Opinion: The Gazette and the 1952 revolution (222)
By Sami El-Shahed - The Egyptian Gazette
Saturday, November 5, 2011
The partition plan was a compromise position based on two other plans, giving more or less land to each state. Political pressure by proponents of partition was used to get the UN to pass the partition proposal. Most of the Jews accepted the proposal, in particular the Jewish Agency, which was the Jewish state-in-formation.
The more extreme nationalist Jewish groups like Menachem Begin’s Irgun Tsvai Leumi and Yitzhak Shamir’s LEHI (known as the Stern Gang), which had been fighting the British, rejected it. They were so fanatical in their demand for a Jewish state (from the Nile to the Euphrates) that in the 1940’s, they came up with a novel idea about foes of the Jews.
Hitler was a ‘persecutor’ of Jews, but the ‘enemy’ of Jews was the power that occupied Palestine, the British. There would always be persecutors until Jews vanquished ‘the enemy’ and took over their rightful turf.
However, numerous records indicate the joy of Palestine’s Jewish inhabitants as they attended to the UN session voting for the division proposal. Up to this day, Israeli history books mention November 29 (the date of this session) as the most important date in the Israel’s acquisition of independence. However, Jews did criticise the lack of territorial continuity for the Jewish state.
The Arab leadership opposed the plan, arguing that it violated the rights of the majority of the people in Palestine, which at the time was 67% non-Jewish (1,237,000) and 33% Jewish (608,000). They criticised the amount and quality of land given to Israel. The Jews had been offered 55 per cent of the land when they only owned 7%.
The population for the proposed Jewish state would be 498,000 Jews and 325,000 non-Jews. The population for the proposed Arab State would be 807,000 non-Jews and 10,000 Jews. The population for the proposed International Zone would be 105,000 non-Jews and 100,000 Jews.
Arabs also feared that the Jewish state would be a stepping stone for further advancement; this view is supported by statements from David Ben Gurion and other leaders recently discovered by Israel’s New Historians and other independent scholars.
As early as 1938, David Ben-Gurion declared: “After we become a strong force, as a result of the creation of a state, we shall abolish partition and expand into the whole of Palestine”. In 1948, Menachem Begin said, “The partition of the Homeland is illegal. It will never be recognised. The signature of institutions and individuals of the partition agreement is invalid. It will not bind the Jewish people. Jerusalem was and will forever be our capital. Eretz Israel (the land of Israel) will be restored to the people of Israel, All of it. And forever”.
Subsequent events had shown Israel expanding primarily through land conquered in successive wars which, it alleged, were intended ‘to eliminate Israel’, and thus there was a ‘military necessity, to create a buffer zone against future invasions.’