London's Mayor Blames Middle East Policy

Not sure how many of you were up bright and early this morning and heard Ken Livingstone’s interview on R4’s Today programme where he spoke very candidly about his views re the bomb attacks on 7th July.

The mayor stresses he does not condone suicide bombings

Decades of British and American intervention in the oil-rich Middle East motivated the London bombers, Ken Livingstone has suggested.

The London mayor told BBC News he had no sympathy with the bombers and he opposed all violence.

But he argued that the attacks would not have happened had Western powers left Arab nations free to decide their own affairs after World War I.

Instead, they had often supported unsavoury governments in the region.

A lot of young people see the double standards

Ken Livingstone
London Mayor

Mr Livingstone was asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme what he thought had motivated the bombers.

He replied: “I think you’ve just had 80 years of western intervention into predominantly Arab lands because of the western need for oil.

“We’ve propped up unsavoury governments, we’ve overthrown ones we didn’t consider sympathetic.

“And I think the particular problem we have at the moment is that in the 1980s… the Americans recruited and trained Osama Bin Laden, taught him how to kill, to make bombs, and set him off to kill the Russians and drive them out of Afghanistan.

“They didn’t give any thought to the fact that once he’d done that he might turn on his creators.”

No justice?

Mr Livingstone said Western governments had been so terrified of losing their fuel supplies that they had kept intervening in the Middle East.

He argued: “If at the end of the First World War we had done what we promised the Arabs, which was to let them be free and have their own governments, and kept out of Arab affairs, and just bought their oil, rather than feeling we had to control the flow of oil, I suspect this wouldn’t have arisen.”

He attacked double standards by Western nations, such as the initial welcome given when Saddam Hussein came to power in Iraq.

There was also the “running sore” of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.

“A lot of young people see the double standards, they see what happens in Guantanamo Bay, and they just think that there isn’t a just foreign policy,” said Mr Livingstone.

Suicide bombers

Mr Livingstone said he did not just denounce suicide bombers.

He also denounced “those governments which use indiscriminate slaughter to advance their foreign policy, as we have occasionally seen with the Israeli government bombing areas from which a terrorist group will have come, irrespective of the casualties it inflicts, women, children and men”.

He continued: “Under foreign occupation and denied the right to vote, denied the right to run your own affairs, often denied the right to work for three generations, I suspect that if it had happened here in England, we would have produced a lot of suicide bombers ourselves.”

Mr Livingstone also criticised parts of the media for giving too much publicity to certain figures who were “totally unrepresentative” of British Muslims.

Tourist impact

Mr Livingstone later took questions about the bombings from members of the London Assembly.

He said the unity shown by Londoners in the wake of the attacks was a commemoration to those who died and showed a determination not to give in to terrorism.

The mayor said most of the Tube would be working normally by the end of the week and the Underground should be working as before by the end of the month.

But he warned Tube users they would have to put up with the kind of disruption caused by packages left on trains which was seen during past IRA bombing campaigns.

There had been “very, very little” cancellations of existing hotel bookings and flights to London, said Mr Livingstone.

But there had been an immediate drop in new bookings for long-haul flights and hotels and a “dramatic reduction” in British people bringing children into the capital.

‘Naming and shaming’ hotels

Before this month’s attacks, the levels of American tourists visiting London were only running at 75% of the numbers seen before the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US.

One way to counter the “turn down” in tourist trade was to attract more people from the UK and other parts of Europe, said Mr Livingstone.

Mr Livingstone said he did not have information about hotels raising prices for people trying to stay in London after the attacks.

But if there was evidence of “profiteering”, the Greater London Authority would “name and shame” those hotels involved and refuse to do business with them in the future, he said.

  • Keith M

    “Mr Livingstone said he did not just denounce suicide bombers.”

    Welcome back Red Ken!

  • Andrew

    Is this the same Ken Livingstone who invited Yusuf al-Qadari, the very man who described suicide bombings as “blessed acts”, to the Uk?
    Is this also the same Ken Livingstone who, upon learning that a reporter he was ranting at was a Jew, compared him to a concentration camp guard? Is this also the same Ken Livingstone who described the IRA as “freedom fighters”? I could go on.
    Ken Livingstone is to politics what the Manson family is to dinner partys. The sooner he has his voice box removed the better.

  • John

    And I think the particular problem we have at the moment is that in the 1980s… the Americans recruited and trained Osama Bin Laden, taught him how to kill, to make bombs, and set him off to kill the Russians and drive them out of Afghanistan.

    For what it’s worth, I seem to recall that the 9/11 Commission report claims that this is not true. Yes, they aided Afghans and some Arabs, but not Osama and his band of merry men.

    Under foreign occupation and denied the right to vote, denied the right to run your own affairs, often denied the right to work for three generations, I suspect that if it had happened here in England, we would have produced a lot of suicide bombers ourselves.

    What a fascinating comment. What is he saying – that these men were not “ourselves”? How does that wash with his comment about the world coming to London to find a better life? These men were born and raised in England, for God’s sake.

    Whether there are “a lot” of English “produced” suicide bombers is still unknown. However, what is known is that these suicide bombers were NOT “under foreign occupation and denied the right to vote, denied the right to run [their] own affairs” or “denied the right to work.

  • Occasional Commentator

    Andrew said:

    Is this also the same Ken Livingstone who, upon learning that a reporter he was ranting at was a Jew, compared him to a concentration camp guard?

    He compared a reporter who was stalking about outside a party to a concentration camp guard. This seems like a fair comparison. To say that he shouldn’t have said that to a Jewish reporter is racist, why should Jews be treated differently to anybody else?

    Also, the reporter pointed out he was Jewish AFTER Ken made the comparison. Some have said that Ken knew the reporter and knew he was Jewish, but are we sure? And even if so, after a few drinks he could have forgotten.

    Back to the main point of this story, wondering what the reasons are for the attack on London. Tony Blair dodged the question in his press conference by saying the attacks were unjustified. Well Tony, noone ever asked you whether they were justified, they asked what the cause was.

    Any leader should be expected to try to understand and predict the enemy to some extent. If they are unable to understand and predict the enemy in any way, they need to be sacked and replaced. Imagine Churchill refusing to ask for suggestions from his generals on what the Nazi’s next move might be? Tony dodged the question which can only mean he believes the Iraq War make the London bombings more likely.

    My personal hunch is that the Iraq War didn’t make them much more likely, if at all, but I won’t dodge the issue like Tony Blair or the man-players on this thread.

  • heck

    This makes a lot more sense than Blair’s lies that the bombing had nothing to do with his illegal invasion of iraq.

    If anyone believes Blair I have some weapons of mass destruction to show you.

  • DCB

    Isn’t it nice that us Londoners have our own foreign policy? Usual service is resumed from Ken. He was uncharacteristically doing very well in the immediate aftermath of the bombing. Still unlike Galloway at least he had the good grace to shut up until things settled down a bit.

    Interesting article in this weeks Economists about the attacks that were recently foiled in the Netherlands. The Dutch do not have a history of colonialism in the Middle East, they have not meddled in Iraq, nor have they been up Bush’s backside, yet they also saw themselves targeted.

    Surely the root causes are also the contradictions between elements of Islam and western modernity. It’s so much harder to deal with the problem if we see it in this light. Seeing it as being 100% the product of our foreign policy implies that it is an easily solvable problem.

  • Kelvin Doherty

    DCM,

    What you say is spot on. Christians used to burn women ( witches) because they had a black cat, drown those deemed as infidels on ducking stools etc. Western society has moved on, and in order to survive so has Christianity. The middle east has been catapulted from a semi feudal society into capitalist modernity in a much shorter space of time. Consequently, many of the practices/belifs of Islam are struggling to adapt to the changes in society.

  • michail darley

    Good to hear ‘red’ Ken Livingstone talking about the context again. Given the emotional impact of mass murder in ‘our’ cities, it was appropriate for’reds’ like Ken to first grieve for the maimed and dead and denounce the murderers; also to talk about the vicious irrationality of this form of violence.

    But it’s also appropriate for ‘reds’ to challenge dominant narratives about our beloved leaders protecting us from religious maniacs, when they have really conspired to put us in harm’s way.

  • DCB

    kelvin

    My favorite is the promise that sucide bombers will get 77 virgins when they enter into heaven. Apparently it is a mis-translation and its meant to be 77 raisens. As raisons were highly valued in the middle ages.

    Can you imagine killing yourself and then getting a handfull of raisons.

  • michail darley

    DCB, you say “Surely the root causes are also the contradictions between elements of Islam and western modernity. It’s so much harder to deal with the problem if we see it in this light. Seeing it as being 100% the product of our foreign policy implies that it is an easily solvable problem.”

    I would agree with your (implied) disdain for intolerant religious fanaticism. I would also agree that a 100% explanation for the bombings based on foreign policy would be ridiculous. But I really don’t think Livingstone ,or anyone else of his general perspective, has ever argued that.

    I would also agree that ideas about solving the problem easily would be wishful thinking. What we surely need are reasoned and agenda free analyses of the balance of risks and causes.

    I oppose western neo-colonialism in the Middle East because it is atrocious in a broad range of ways. That it contributes in some way to my lack of security as I go to work is a factor in, but not crucial to my belief.

  • The Beach Tree

    To be fair to Livingston on the issue of this ‘supposed’ invite to a radical cleric, he gave a fairly frank and reasoned outline on Channel 4 last night.

    This cleric apparently is one of the most liberal clerics in terms of the future of islam, women in islam, international relations and international terror generally (e.g. 9/11, 7/7 , Bali, Casablanca, Madrid). He has however a profound blind spot on the Israel/Palestine issue, and it is ‘those’ suiced bombers he supports, uniquely and quite obviously illogically (and immorally for that matter).

    Ken pretty much accepted that this blind spot was unacceptable, while trying to explain why he believed the cleric was so adamant about this peculiar exception.

    He went on to say that regrettably no-one will ever change this cleric’s mind on this one issue, but that he has important contributions to make on other islamic issues, which will benefit the western and islamic world alike.

    Now ken may well be talking out his arse, and it wouldn’t be the first time. But if (IF) Ken’s analysis has a grain of truth, I can imagine why, with care, he might think this cleric might be employed usefully, while of course completely condemning his views on the Isreali/Palestinian issue.

    Ken’s a wild card, always has been, always will be. He’s given to swimming upstream on minority issues. He has however, despite most fears, been a pretty good mayor, pretty popular as well, and around 7/7 showed he did have sound abilities in uniting the city.

    Unfortunately his refusal to treat the extremes of ‘islam’ in the ‘accepted’ and ‘convential’ manner makes him an easy target for people with more reactionary views.

    BNP founder and self-confessed Nazi John Tyndall died yesterday. Perhaps a better example than Stupid old Ken of true evil.

  • George

    Andrew,
    “Is this also the same Ken Livingstone who, upon learning that a reporter he was ranting at was a Jew, compared him to a concentration camp guard?”

    Complete fabrication.

    He didn’t know he was a Jew but he did know he was a reporter for the Evening Standard, the Daily Mail’s sister paper.

    You know the Daily Mail, don’t you Andrew?

    The paper that when it was first set up in 1896 campaigned against Jewish refugees escaping pogroms in Eastern Europe coming to London.

    The same paper that in the 1930s, fought all proposals that Jewish refugees fleeing Hitler
    should be admitted to the UK.

    The same paper whose owner supported Hitler’s rise to power.

    Maybe you liked its demonisation of Irish people in the last fifty years too?

  • Baluba

    Any suicide notes turned up from the lads who did it? I haven’t heard there were.

    Don’t suicide bombers usually (99.99999% of the time) leave an explanation/video/statement of intent/reasoning?

    Is it being withheld from the public if it exists?

    Wouldn’t be surprised if there was one and it said ‘We are doing this because Britain is complicit in attacking Islamic nations’.

    I know I’m cynical, but hey, it pays to be in this place.

  • Albert Doyle

    Well whatever Ken’s faults he isn’t telling people that these bombers were motivated by a hatred for democracy or our way of life, a la Blair/Bush. Is there any doubt that the policies of the US and Britain in the Middle East and regarding the Palestinians in particular have a lot to do with all this?

  • Jocky

    Obviously its our middle east foreign policy to blame, it’s the old pan arab nationalism that we’ve affronted. Dont thinhk so, Since when has pan arab nationalism or muslim bortherhood ever existed? How come whenever this line is trotted out it’s by those who already disagree with our foreign policy? a case of framing the problem to fit their existing agenda.

    One of the few decent bits of comment I’ve seen on the bombings was from a mid east web site. Paraprahsed below.

    “The terror attack wasnt motivated by an action of the attacked country. The aim of terror attacks is to gain political favor for a group in its own constituency – by attacking a strong and hated or envied enemy. the people who run terror groups are not self-sacrificing idealists, they are power-hungry, cynical and amoral sociopaths.

    Those who look for “underlying causes” or fantasize about terror as theater contribute unwittingly to the success of terrorists by making their doings legitimate and acceptable, and allowing them to legitimize their rise to power by use of force. The world political stage has been kind to terrorists, prettifying their murder as militancy and “activism” and making every sort of excuse for them. Organize a march against the “evil American occupation of Iraq,” and you will get hundreds of thousands of supporters and be glorified as an angel of peace by all the right thinking people. Organize a march against terror, and you are blasted as a neo-con. If you are Muslim then you are called an uncle Tom Muslim and your character is besmirched by doubtful characters like Hussein Ibish. If you are not a Muslim and you are against terror you are apt to be labeled an Islamophobic Zionist neocon.”

    By all accounts the four bombers were up until recently typical, average people with no significant grievance against anyone. Next thing they are blowing themselves up. They didn’t come up with that plan by theirselves. There was a guiding hand who convinced them to do it, and for reason that have little to do with British foreign policy.

    How many young people in N.I. had their lives ruined after being conivnced the best thing they could do was blow some people up.

    Strange how a lot of these terrorists originate from Saudi Arabia and Egypt, two countries that are friendly to the West and in Egypots case recieve huge amounts in Aid from America.

  • 6countyprod

    In 2003, someone said: 60 years of western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe, because in the long run, stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty. As long as the Middle East remains a place where freedom does not flourish, it will remain a place of stagnation, resentment, and violence ready for export.

    The words of George W. Bush. He was acknowledging the failures of former US and western policies towards the middle east. Those failures have lead to the rise of a generation of discontented Muslims. The London attack is only one incident in a long list of atrocities, some pre-Iraq War, some post-Iraq War, carried out against people in or from non-Muslim nations.

    While it is only human nature to point the finger at someone close to home, we need to keep in mind that Al Qaeda, and its offshoots, have been planning this violent missionary campaign to establish Islam as the world religion for a long time. I suppose Bush and Blair have been instrumental in bringing the boil to a head.

    It’s easy to play the blame-game, but let’s not forget who it is that is actually slaughtering innocent people around the world. No matter how plausible it may sound, there is absolutely no excuse for the actions of these extreme Muslims.

  • Chris

    well, 6countyprod, Who is Actually slaughtering innocent people around the world? Terrorist bombers have killed a few thousand people, it is true. If 99.99 percent of all Muslims arent reactionary or extreme then that .01 percent is still numbered among the many thousands. But who is slaughtering people wholesale? These muslim extremists or Western Governments? For the past fifty years, Western governments have manipulated the Arab nations for their oil. Between American bombings of over 11 Arab nations who they were not currently at war with to the sanctions that were starving Iraq. Israel/Palestine? Terrorists have killed 1000 israeli men, women, and children in the past five years. But the Israeli army has killed over 3500 palestinian men,women, and yes, Children too in that same timeframe. The Most conservative Civilian deathcount by American armed forces is at 25,000. Most during the Shock and Awe bombing campaign against populated cities during the first five days of the invasion. But according to non American military sources its closer to 70,000. Yes, 70,000 innocent people dead because Saddam killed 25,000. Huh? Am i missing something here? Every one of those people has muslim relatives, some of which will be more inclined to commit psychotic acts against Western nations. Western nations are slaughtering innocents on a scale a few thousand nuts will never be able to keep up with. And we sit idly by, accepting our governments “explanations” on how they are fighting terrorism.Time to stop “fighting” terrorism and find a new option.

  • Brian Boru

    [I]My personal hunch is that the Iraq War didn’t make them much more likely, if at all, but I won’t dodge the issue like Tony Blair or the man-players on this thread.
    [/I]

    Of course it made it more likely. I don’t see Southern Ireland, or Sweden, or Belgium, or France, or Portugal etc. being bombed. The bombing targets are either in or associated with the countries involved in the war in Iraq, or the oppression of the Palestinians (Israel). John Reid was disingenuous recently by saying that the bombings in Africa showed that Iraq wasn’t connected to the bombings in London. It wasn’t just anywhere in Africa that were bombed a few years back – they were the US embassies, and everyone knows that hatred for the US in the Muslim world is because it has armed and funded Israel to the teeth and steadfastly refused to criticise it or pressure it over its brutal oppression and ethnic-cleansing of the Palestinians. This doesn’t justify it at all. But it is nonetheless a fair point that there is a strong element of cause-and-effect here. Were there not, countries or targets not associated with the US/Israel/Iraq War/Arab regimes backed by Washington would be being bombed aswell and they are not.

    BTW, I’d love to know where the WMD are…

  • Abucs

    Sure, don’t Britain and the US have a right to invade and administer any country they like to make them all civilised ?

    Aren’t they always the good guys with anyone opposing them ungrateful criminals.

    Where have i heard that sort of talk before ?

    Just keep pointing to the sinful actions of the other side and avoid all the awkward questions.

  • 6countyprod

    Chris, you forgot The Lancet figures from last October. They were talking about 100,000 deaths. People continue to pull ludicous numbers out of the air. Do you think anyone actually believes all this guesswork at casualties? No wonder the credibility of the mainstream news organisations is going down the tube.

    When Palestinians stop killing Israelis, the Israelis will stop killing Palestinians. When al Qaeda and their Sunni Muslim colleagues in Iraq (who make up only 20% of the population) end their violent campaign against the other 80+% of Iraqis, the war will end. If we stop resisting terror, the violence will continue. So, the violence is set to continue until the Palestinians and Muslim extremists accept that they cannot win by force.

  • Albert Doyle

    Right, things are much better now than before. You bet. The destruction, dead and wounded in Iraq, the attacks on the home countries of the invaders (not on other western nations), the failure of the Iraq puppets to create anything like a democracy (Chalabi’s latest purge of the prosecution team making a fair trial of Saddam impossible), Israel’s continued racist abuses fueling more hatred in all Muslim countries, ignored by Bush/Blair. Just “stay the course” they tell us. When are the people of the US and UK going to wake up and call a halt to these outrages?

  • 6countyprod

    ‘Iraq puppets’. The Kurds, maybe, but the Shiites, …come on Albert, waken up. The Shiites know what is good for them, and it is not Sunni/al qaeda rule.

    The Muslim goal is to annihilate Israel and the Jews. Israel has a right to exist, and has a right to defend itself from the Islamofascists.

  • Fobo

    “the failure of the Iraq puppets to create anything like a democracy”

    Unlike the anti-war movements favourite tyrant, the current government in Iraq was elected and most Iraqi’s participated in that election. Who are you to say that Iraqi’s are incapable of choosing a government?

    “the failure of the Iraq puppets to create anything like a democracy (Chalabi’s latest purge of the prosecution team making a fair trial of Saddam impossible)”

    That’s true Albert, it’s impossible to give Saddam Hussein a fair trial as he’s obviously guilty. Personally I fear this is going to be like the Milosevic trial and go on for a ridiculous amount of time. We should have saved the time and money and just hung Saddam when he was caught. Unfortunately Milosevic will escape that fate due to pathetic whining about violating his human rights.

    “Israel’s continued racist abuses fueling more hatred in all Muslim countries, ignored by Bush/Blair.”

    If you look at the last few Israeli governments you will notice a pattern:-

    Peres/Barak = Willing to concede much to the Palestinians, Palestinian terror increases.

    Netanyahu/Sharon = Tougher negotiating stance and Palestinian terrorism decreases.

    Now you cannot expect the Israelis to make unilateral concessions to the Palestinians when they are met with increased violence. So if you want to see a Palestinian state then you will be better off comaplaining about their violence. As Israel is not going to allow a state to be created which is either unwilling or unable to prevent itself being used as a base to attack Israel.

  • Brian Boru

    6countyprod, surely the expulsion of millions of Arabs from their homes in present-day Israel should also be considered “terrorism”?

  • 6countyprod

    Isn’t it interesting that the Israeli authorities are now having problems expelling Israelis from their homes. My basic premise is that Israel have a right to exist. They obviously don’t do everything right, but they have a right to do what is necessary to defend themselves.

    You might find this article by Melanie Phillips in relation to Livingstone’s comments interesting.

  • agnosofascist

    6countyprodofascist

    “The Muslim goal is to annihilate Israel and the Jews. Israel has a right to exist, and has a right to defend itself from the Islamofascists.”

    How would you reconcile that with the Palestinian’s right to exist and defend themselves from Judaofascists.

    While your at it, can you explain the position of Muslim recruits in the IDF?

  • 6countyprod

    Owen, you don’t know the first thing about me, so don’t call me a fascist.

  • agnosofascist

    6countyprodofascist

    “Owen, you don’t know the first thing about me, so don’t call me a fascist.”

    I’m Judging you by your comments and I know this much about you, you are the classic case of a fascist. Fascists like to attribute spurious “goals” to the populations they despise. It all helps to increase hostility to those populations.

    With the Nazis it was the Jews

    With you it’s the muslims

    I wonder if any of our muslim minority here in the 6 counties ever take a look at this website. It must be quite scary for them to see comments like yours declaring to the world that it’s the goal of every single one of them to kill all Jews.

    Do you also attribute that goal to the IDF Beduoin recruits in Gaza who’ve spent the last number of years protecting Jewish settlers? Is that part of a muslim conspiracy?

    Slugger is going downhill these days with this kind of extemist bile.

    As the Nazis illustrated, it’s something we should be wary of.

  • 6countyprod

    In 1964 the Arab League, created the Palestine Liberation Organization. The PLO’s first leader was the Egyptian, Ahmed Shukairy who coined the slogan about driving the Jews into the sea.

    The Palestinian National Covenant (1964) contained the following statements:

    Article 19: The establishment of Israel is fundamentally null and void, whatever time has elapsed …;

    Article 15: [We call for] the liquidation of the Zionist presence in Palestine;

    Article 22: The liberation of Palestine will destroy the Zionist and imperialist presence and will contribute to the establishment of peace in the Middle East …

    Article 15: [We call for] the liquidation of the Zionist presence in Palestine;

    Article 22: The liberation of Palestine will destroy the Zionist and imperialist presence and will contribute to the establishment of peace in the Middle East …

    Hamas has now taken up the baton.

    In face of the Jews’ usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised.

    Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.

    [Peace] initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement… Those conferences are no more than a means to appoint the infidels as arbitrators in the lands of Islam… There is no solution for the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility.

    The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: ‘O Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him

    Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.

    [Peace] initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement… Those conferences are no more than a means to appoint the infidels as arbitrators in the lands of Islam… There is no solution for the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility.

    The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: ‘O Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him

    I say that Israel has a right to exist, and defend itself from attacks by these nice folks, and I’m the fascist?!? Wow, great logic, Owen

  • dror ben-adam

    6countyprod, You don’t really expect those here who don’t accept much Israel’s right to exist.

    Like Brian Boru’s tendency to forget 800,000 jews who had to leave their homes parallel to the Arabs in Israel, but the fact is that they were absorbed into Israel, after leaving almost everything in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Yeman, Morocco, Tunisia, Algiers, Lybia and Egypt.

    Those Arabs who left Israel did it after they were told to evacuate their villages by Arab leadrs so they could “clear” the area from the Jews!

    The fact that they lost and couldn’t guarantee peaceful return is not Israel’s blame.

    Today it’s another war – after all the Arab Palestinians were offered 95% of the territories and responded with the Oslo War. Don’t distort the facts!

  • agnosofascist

    6county

    I ask you the same question twice.

    But instead of giving me an answer you turn into Reich Minister For Propaganda.

    You quote me the holy Islamic texts that prove it’s “the Muslim goal is to annihilate Israel and the Jews”.

    If it looks and sounds fascist, it probably is fascist.

    dror ben-adam

    “Those Arabs who left Israel did it after they were told to evacuate their villages by Arab leadrs so they could “clear” the area from the Jews!”

    If believing that makes you feel better, I’m happy for you.

    What about here in NI? People flee their homes at very short notice all the time. I always thought it was for fear of death or serious injury. Maybe you’ve got an alternative explanation for that as well.

  • dror ben-adam

    not just me it seems.

    The following is a collection of historical quotations relating to the Arab refugees, collected by Moshe Kohn. With these quotes, the Arabs tell the story of the origin of the Palestinian refugees in their own words:

    ON APRIL 23, 1948 Jamal Husseini, acting chairman of the Palestine Arab Higher Committee (AHC), told the UN Security Council: “The Arabs did not want to submit to a truce … They preferred to abandon their homes,belongings and everything they possessed.”

    ON SEPTEMBER 6, 1948, the Beirut Daily Telegraph quoted Emil Ghory, secretary of the AHC, as saying: “The fact that there are those refugees is the direct consequence of the action of the Arab states in opposing partition and the Jewish state. The Arab states agreed upon this policy unanimously…”

    ON JUNE 8, 1951, Habib Issa, secretary-general of the Arab League, wrote in the New York Lebanese daily al-Hoda that in 1948, Azzam Pasha, then League secretary, had “assured the Arab peoples that the occupation of Palestine and of Tel Aviv would be as simple as a military promenade … Brotherly advice was given to the Arabs of Palestine to leave their land, homes and property, and to stay temporarily in neighbouring fraternal states.”

    IN THE MARCH 1976 issue of Falastin a-Thaura, then the official journal of the Beirut-based PLO, Mahmud Abbas (“Abu Mazen” who’s today the PA president), PLO spokesman, wrote: “The Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians from the Zionist tyranny but, instead, they abandoned them, forced them to emigrate and to leave their homeland, and threw them into prisons similar to the ghettos in which the Jews used to live.”

    ON APRIL 9, 1953, the Jordanian daily al-Urdun quoted a refugee, Yunes Ahmed Assad, formerly of Deir Yassin, as saying: “For the flight and fall of the other villages, it is our leaders who are responsible, because of the dissemination of rumours exaggerating Jewish crimes and describing them as atrocities in order to inflame the Arabs … they instilled fear and terror into the hearts of the Arabs of Palestine until they fled, leaving their homes and property to the enemy.”

    ANOTHER refugee told the Jordanian daily a-Difaa on September 6, 1954: “The Arab governments told us, ‘Get out so that we can get in.’ So we got out, but they did not get in.”

    THE JORDANIAN daily Falastin wrote on February 19, 1949: “The Arab states… encouraged the Palestinian Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies.”

    ON OCTOBER 2, 1948, the London Economist reported, in an eyewitness account of the flight of Haifa’s Arabs: “There is little doubt that the most potent of the factors [in the flight] were the announcements made over the air by the Arab Higher Executive urging all Arabs in Haifa to quit … And it was clearly intimated that those Arabs who remained in Haifa and accepted Jewish protection would be regarded as renegades.”

    THE PRIME Minister of Syria in 1948, Khaled al-Azem, in his memoirs, published in 1973, listed what he thought were the reasons for the Arab failure in 1948: ” … the fifth factor was the call by the Arab governments to the inhabitants of Palestine to evacuate it and leave for the bordering Arab countries … We brought destruction upon a million Arab refugees by calling on them and pleading with them to leave their land.”

    And the slaughter continues in Sini.

  • dror ben-adam

    not just me it seems.

    The following is a collection of historical quotations relating to the Arab refugees, collected by Moshe Kohn. With these quotes, the Arabs tell the story of the origin of the Palestinian refugees in their own words:

    ON APRIL 23, 1948 Jamal Husseini, acting chairman of the Palestine Arab Higher Committee (AHC), told the UN Security Council: “The Arabs did not want to submit to a truce … They preferred to abandon their homes,belongings and everything they possessed.”

    ON SEPTEMBER 6, 1948, the Beirut Daily Telegraph quoted Emil Ghory, secretary of the AHC, as saying: “The fact that there are those refugees is the direct consequence of the action of the Arab states in opposing partition and the Jewish state. The Arab states agreed upon this policy unanimously…”

    ON JUNE 8, 1951, Habib Issa, secretary-general of the Arab League, wrote in the New York Lebanese daily al-Hoda that in 1948, Azzam Pasha, then League secretary, had “assured the Arab peoples that the occupation of Palestine and of Tel Aviv would be as simple as a military promenade … Brotherly advice was given to the Arabs of Palestine to leave their land, homes and property, and to stay temporarily in neighbouring fraternal states.”

    IN THE MARCH 1976 issue of Falastin a-Thaura, then the official journal of the Beirut-based PLO, Mahmud Abbas (“Abu Mazen” who’s today the PA president), PLO spokesman, wrote: “The Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians from the Zionist tyranny but, instead, they abandoned them, forced them to emigrate and to leave their homeland, and threw them into prisons similar to the ghettos in which the Jews used to live.”

    ON APRIL 9, 1953, the Jordanian daily al-Urdun quoted a refugee, Yunes Ahmed Assad, formerly of Deir Yassin, as saying: “For the flight and fall of the other villages, it is our leaders who are responsible, because of the dissemination of rumours exaggerating Jewish crimes and describing them as atrocities in order to inflame the Arabs … they instilled fear and terror into the hearts of the Arabs of Palestine until they fled, leaving their homes and property to the enemy.”

    ANOTHER refugee told the Jordanian daily a-Difaa on September 6, 1954: “The Arab governments told us, ‘Get out so that we can get in.’ So we got out, but they did not get in.”

    THE JORDANIAN daily Falastin wrote on February 19, 1949: “The Arab states… encouraged the Palestinian Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies.”

    ON OCTOBER 2, 1948, the London Economist reported, in an eyewitness account of the flight of Haifa’s Arabs: “There is little doubt that the most potent of the factors [in the flight] were the announcements made over the air by the Arab Higher Executive urging all Arabs in Haifa to quit … And it was clearly intimated that those Arabs who remained in Haifa and accepted Jewish protection would be regarded as renegades.”

    THE PRIME Minister of Syria in 1948, Khaled al-Azem, in his memoirs, published in 1973, listed what he thought were the reasons for the Arab failure in 1948: ” … the fifth factor was the call by the Arab governments to the inhabitants of Palestine to evacuate it and leave for the bordering Arab countries … We brought destruction upon a million Arab refugees by calling on them and pleading with them to leave their land.”

    And the slaughter continues in Sini.