* Special at the end of the article is an extra piece I found which may be of interest. It is a video of Colonel Richard Kemp Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire when he addressed the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies on May 19, 2015. We found his address to be inspiring, informative, as well as right on target describing much of today’s societal ills along with their solution and hope all enjoy it as well.
Can one be supportive of the Arab-Palestinians and also be supportive of Israel as the Home of the Jewish People? At face value this question appears to be simplistic and completely ridiculous bringing the obvious answer of no, not in any manner. The assumption is if one is to support the Arab Palestinians one must also support the destruction of Israel as the Jewish State and if one supports Israel they must oppose the rights of the Arab-Palestinians. But there is no reason that these two sides need be opposites except that such is the entirety of the media portrayal of the conflict. One might claim that the Arab-Israeli conflict is the last place where there is a division such that only one side can claim victory in the end. It is the one conflict where one side must eradicate the other, or so the media line portrays the story and structures their coverage. It is a completely false narrative which recent events makes complete folly of the premise and the coverage, or should we say the lack of coverage. Let us look at one tale of Arab-Palestinian woes where Israel plays no active part and thus the media has given short riffed in their coverage.
The story of which we speak has been the fighting and open destruction being waged by both sides in this conflict in the Yarmouk refugee camp for Arab-Palestinian Refugees. This camp is on the outskirts of Damascus and originally housed tens of thousands of Arab residents with the last official census producing just over one-hundred-thousand Arabs held in the confines of the Yarmouk refugee camp. Even before the Yarmouk refugee camp became a contested area and was safely within the areas held by the Syrian military supporting Syrian Dictator Bashir al-Assad there began the initial problems for the Arab residents within. It was on the Yarmouk refugee camp that many of the initial infamous barrel-bombs were utilized in a blatant attack whose sole purpose was to murder the civilian population and punish the entirety of the population because of a small number who had joined the opposition fight against Assad. It did not matter that there were also those from the Yarmouk refugee camp who were members of the Syrian military and some others fighting by choice with the Syrian Army, all that mattered was the excuse that some small remnant had joined the al-Qaeda al-Nusra Brigades or the Syrian Liberation Army. For that crime Bashir al-Assad passed judgement on the tens of thousands including children, women, elderly and otherwise innocent refugees who had not joined either side and mostly just wished to be left to live their lives. The Yarmouk refugee camp was also one of those sights where chemical weapons were deployed as the barrel-bombs were not murdering the Arab-Palestinian residents quickly enough and some had taken upon themselves the only obvious means to reach safety and had started organizing to flee to Jordan. Reacting to this now framed disloyal act of betrayal for refusing to remain and be murdered, the Arab-Palestinians found loyal Syrian military troops along their route doing everything in their power to kill as many as possible and with the safety of Jordan within sight came the horrific sight of what must have appeared to be an impenetrable line of Syrian troops and heavy weapons waiting to intercept these refugees and prevent their making it to safety.
Of course some did make it across the border and joined the other Syrians living in the refugee camps being tended with as much kindness and sympathy as their Jordanian hosts are able to provide but this is still creating a humanitarian crisis just as it has in Turkey and in the Kurdish areas in northern Syria and Iraq. The world and especially the United Nations have largely given minimal efforts in caring for the refugees from the war in Syria and even less, if such is possible, to saving the Arab-Palestinians whose identity now has become Syrian refugees. There is an opportunity for the Arab-Palestinians to gain some advantage should they choose and provide a potentially better life for their children and their children by casting off their denotation as Palestinian and simply become a part of the greater Syrian refugee population. This should be a relatively easy transition as many traced their heritage back to the greater Syrian areas of the Ottoman Empire and are just as much of Syrian heritage as are the other Syrian refugees now struggling as a whole to simply survive. But such is only the end result where those fortunate enough to have made it into the camps outside of war torn Syria.
For those who insisted on remaining in the Yarmouk refugee camp their tribulations did not end with the barrel-bombs or the chemical weapons use, it continued with ISIS slowly and destructively sweeping across the camp as their war against Bashir al-Assad and against Hezballah and even other rebel groups all but obviated what remained of the Yarmouk refugee camp. And the devastating battle over the camp and its land was not the final end as ISIS has also taken vengeance on the remaining Arab-Palestinians finding many of them lacking in proper support and practice of ISIS and their defined form of Islam, a form which also requires great sacrifice for the cause of ISIS and for those of fighting ability joining their ranks or watching their entire family be slaughtered before being killed themselves. Where are the outcries against this horrific treatment of Arab-Palestinians? Where is Mahmoud Abbas, Saeb Erekat, Ismail Haniyeh, Mohammed Dahlan, Jibril Rajoub, Salam Fayyad, Nabil Shaath, Ahmad Qurei, Khaled Mashal, Mohammed Deif and the rest of the leadership from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, PLO and the rest of the alphabet Palestinian groups and their leaders? Why has there been no demonstrations, launching of rockets and suicide attacks into Damascus by Palestinian militant groups? Where is UNRWA to protect these Arab-Palestinians facing mortal dangers and a genocidal war waged by all sides against the survivors still living within the confines of the Yarmouk refugee camp? The answer is simple, they are all attempting to find some manner of blaming the tragedy on Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu or other Israeli leader as Syrian President Bashir al-Assad, the Syrian military, the Syrian Free Army, al-Qaeda, the al-Nusra Group, and ISIS obviously cannot be the reason as they are all groups who also are a part of the opposition to the existence of Israel, or at least would be if they were not so intent on murdering each other.
The problem for the residents of the Yarmouk neighborhoods are that they are being murdered by Syrian both against and supportive of Bashir al-Assad and in a final measure systematically slaughtered in a genocidal manner by ISIS and all of this being committed step-by-step starting with the Syrian Army shelling with tank fired artillery rounds destroying most of the structures of the Yarmouk neighborhoods, both residences and municipal buildings, then barrel-bombs were dropped targeting any pockets where the residents from the Yarmouk neighborhoods in an attempt to eradicate the remaining residents, then the Syrian Air Force and ground forces unleashed chemical weapons such as Sarin Gas followed by chlorine gas in attempts to slow ISIS advances and again murder the remaining residents of Yarmouk, and then ISIS completed the ethnic cleansing of Muslims as well as any Christians or others by the self-appointed religious inquisitors imposing a Muslim purity judgment on the surviving residents of Yarmouk much the way the Spanish Inquisitors passed sentence on their fellow Christians who were found impure and all others of the defined lesser faiths. Still, the fact that these horrific transgressions are being perpetrated on people formerly made separate as Arab-Palestinian refugees and not simply additional Syrian refugees.
Still, when perhaps there might have been some manner to have saved the majority of the Yarmouk residents there was no hue and cry as their tormentors, their murderers were not the correct kind and there was no manner for linkage to Israel as even the Arab-Palestinian leadership in Ramallah and in Gaza made no effort to offer sanctuary for their fellow Arab-Palestinian brothers and sisters. There was rarely a peep of protest raised about this mass-murdering of fellow Arab-Palestinians. As one would have been hard pressed to find a manner through which to link this as blame on the Israelis without their first being required to offer sanctuary and taken responsibility by the Arab-Palestinian leadership whose specialty is not caring for their brothers and sisters but rather raising funds from the Western elite by preying on their guilt over slights past and pocketing their percentage off the top and spending the remainder on weapons to murder Israelis, not care for their fellow Arab-Palestinians. Why would the Arab-Palestinian leadership show any more compassion, any more concern with the welfare, any feelings of responsibility, anything at all towards assisting their fellow Arab-Palestinians facing dangers and sure death when they feel little if any of this for the Arab-Palestinians they presumably represent and are tasked to actually care for and about. The reality is as the Arab-Palestinians from the Yarmouk refugee camp and the other Arab-Palestinians in camps located in either Syria or Lebanon are of little concern except if they can be utilized in some manner to assist in the destruction of Israel.
There is a really simply and obvious reason we heard nary a sound nor witnessed any action or compassion towards their fellow Arab-Palestinians whose lives were threatened and whose existence was in peril; there was no manner for taking these refugees and automatically forcing them onto Israel using the right of return argument as that must first be formalized through negotiations as without legal authority or even moral authority for forcing what would amount to illegal immigrants upon Israel these Arab-Palestinian refugees would require being brought within the semiautonomous Arab-Palestinian regions already in existence. By bringing any of the Syrian or Lebanese Arab-Palestinians into the existing areas controlled by the Arab-Palestinians having all legal rights and powers under their own presumed elected governance (even if it was one election one time in 2005 and not again since), that would have placed the lenses of world opinion on the fact that the Arab-Palestinians presumably living on lands under occupation by Israel and ruled over by Israel as being the falsehood that it is. The world would have been witness to the autonomous nature of Arab-Palestinian society and having the reality and truth played out in full portrayal for the world to see. This would be the end of the claims of oppression under the cruelty of the Israeli colonialists and the truth of the Arab-Palestinian oppressions being self-inflicted.
Perhaps the Arab-Palestinian leadership was completely unable to step up and take responsibility for the salvation, or at least the protection, of their fellow Arab-Palestinians simply because they have also never found the moral honesty to step up and take responsibility for those unfortunate Arab-Palestinians already betrayed by their own and very same leadership. The reality has been shown that only those Arab-Palestinians who can claim their misery and failures are because of Israel are to be the concern of the world because the truth is that there exists only an extremely small core who can claim to be Pro-Arab-Palestinian as the vast majority of the Pro-Arab-Palestinian are actually more interested in being Anti-Israel thus the truth is one can be Pro-Arab-Palestinian and Pro-Israel but the difficulty comes with being more Pro-Arab-Palestinian than one chooses to be Anti-Israel. The few who honestly care about Arab-Palestinians would have been sounding the outcry for the plight of the Arab-Palestinians at the hands of their brothers on both sides of the massacres as war taking place in Syria and Iraq, and both sides maliciously assaulted in a genocidal manner on the Arab-Palestinians as both sides saw them as an opposing force. That situation is something which should give the world pause to reason out how all sides could view the same subgroup amongst their midst as their enemy. Can it be true that there actually are none who would consider the Arab-Palestinians as potential friends in the tribal world that is the conflict in Syria and other places in the Arab and Muslim world or are they truly found to be abhorrence throughout the Arab world? If such proves true then the entirety of the Arab-Palestinian and Israeli conflict is a war against Israel without any real and honest concern for the Arab-Palestinian, just a burning hatred of Israel, of the Jew and their state, nothing more, nothing less.
I am unsure which is the more tragic, the complete lack of concern by the world, especially by the Arabs themselves from every corner, for the safety and protection of the Arab-Palestinians who play such a central role in the war against Israel or the fact that much of the world, its governments, people, organizations and institutions, are all allied set on the path to eradicate the Jewish state. How is this all happening again and so closely upon the witness of the Pogroms by the Czars, the Holocaust by the Nazis and their overly willing populations with those rare and humane exceptions, the Communist oppressive actions cleansing their society of much of its Jews, and now it is gripping all of Europe and beginning in the United States and Canada, especially in the colleges and universities which usually precedes acceptance into the society as a whole within a decade, two decades at the most. Who will be the first to stand against the oldest and seemingly purist hatred this time. Will any follow this leader or should the world simply slide once again towards an attempted genocidal conflict, this time against something the world had thought vanquished, the Jewish state at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea where it was last eradicated as a nation almost two millennia ago by the Romans, before them the Greeks, preceded by the Persians who stand ready to try once more this time as Iran but we remember them as Persia, and even earlier the Babylonians, Assyrians, Philistines and the initial wars in founding the Jewish state against the Canaanites after escaping ancient Egypt. It has been quite a long history reaching back further than any other groups which never grew to numbers which could be considered significant in the world yet always at the fore of everybody’s thoughts. How can such be and what causes this obsession with the Jews, just under two-tenths of one percent of the world population; that is 0.183% or 0.00183 of the world’s 7.6 billion people, and their percentage is in decline already without a world at war with its only Jewish population showing measurable positive growth, at least for now.
Beyond the Cusp
* Below is a presentation on society, warfare, morality and a critique of the changes witnessed during his life by Colonel Richard Kemp Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire when he addressed the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies on May 19, 2015.