Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald discusses the dhimmi coverage of the murder of Eliahu Asheri:
I listened to the BBC last night. The announcer could not get enough of that word “settler.” The “Palestinians” had executed “an Israeli settler.” The “settler” had been kidnapped. And so on. One would have no way of knowing, unless one already knew — and how many do? — that this “settler” was a young boy, that he had “settled” on land that was in the original League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, even after all of Eastern Palestine (that is historic Palestine, east of the Jordan), was unilaterally closed by the British to Jewish immigration — an act that infuriated the members of the League of Nations’ Mandates Commission.
That land, of course, given by way of instant consolation prize to Abdullah, now grandly promoted to Emir of the Emirate of Transjordan. This young “settler” lived on land that still remained part of the absolute minimum territory that the British, as mandatory authority, were to hold and where they were supposed to promote, were required to promote by the terms of the Mandate, “close Jewish settlement on the land.”
It is disturbing that all kinds of people, in all kinds of countries, who know nothing of the Mandate for Palestine or the longer demographic and cadastral history of that area, nonetheless make pronouncements without this knowledge. How many know, for example, that about 90% of the land was state and waste land — that is, land owned by no one except, possibly, the Ottoman rulers, and that their title passed to the British as mandatory authority, to be held in trust for the intended successor government, that of the Jewish National Home?
It is intolerable that the BBC, an organ of the British government that served as the mandatory authority for Palestine, does not insist that its program speakers, or those who write their copy, demonstrate a clear understanding of, inter alia, the Mandate’s provisions (quoting from them), and of the history of the various non-Arab and non-Muslim peoples of that area — that area which too many have been bamboozled into thinking of as the “Arab world” (an Aramco construction that has taken on a life of its own). BBC speakers should have to show also that they know something of the demography and land-ownership patterns.
If they did, they would never use that loaded word “settler” which they, and the European press and other media, have filled with such venomous meaning. If they did, they would never use that loaded word “occupied” (as in “occupied Arab lands” — a phrase that says the case is closed, and we can all go home), or “occupation,” which are terms that evoke goose-stepping Germans marching into Paris in June 1940, and clearly suggest that the “occupier” has no valid title, no claim, to the land he is occupying. But Israel does possess such valid title, a title far superior to that of the local Arabs, many of them descendants of the Egyptians and Iraqis and others who flooded in, in greater numbers than the Jewish “settlers,” during the Mandatory period — even though the place was supposed to be the one small sliver in the entire Middle East, that the Jews would have to reconstruct their commonwealth and not to be treated, as they were everywhere, as dhimmis. And while a few years ago one would not have known what that word means, we all now do — not least because we can look around the world and see how non-Muslims or even non-Arab Muslims are treated everywhere that Arab Muslims rule.
The Jihad against Israel is relentless and endless. Yet it is still hard for Israelis to face reality. In not facing it, in not identifying what they face as a Jihad, they have done themselves and their own position a terrible disservice, and they have also confused the Europeans as to what it is that Europe faces. One can hardly fault them–it is not Israel’s business to save the Europeans from their own folly, even as the E.U. does everything it can to de-legitimize the very idea of Israel. Still, one wishes that the sensible scholars of Islam — there are some in Israel, though it too has all the problems that one finds in the larger Western world, including apologists, deniers, and the simply obtuse — would be listened to by their own government, which is under Olmert still hellbent on believing there is a “solution” to be found in giving away territory.