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Gerald Honigman is a Florida educator who has done extensive doctoral work in Middle East studies, has lectured on numerous university and other platforms. He has debated many of the best Arab and pro-Arab academics in public debates and on television. Mr. Honigman is widely published in academic journals, magazines, newspapers and other publications.


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PostMon May 28, 2007 3:15 pm     Qassams and Refugees...The Meanings Of Words    


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So, What Do Qassam Rockets And Arab Refugees Have In Common?

by Gerald A. Honigman



It was all very predictable.

As soon as fighting broke out at the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian Arab refugee camp in Lebanon between yet another group of Arab jihadists and the Lebanese army a few weeks ago, international pundits and reporters were quick to lay the blame on Israel’s doorstep. Report after report told of the plight of refugees who allegedly exist as such because of the rebirth of Israel.

Much has been written about how the plight of those refugees really came about. Yet the reporters too often act simply as Arab mouthpieces.

No one wants to stay in an area where intense fighting is going on, and when a half dozen Arab states invaded a miniscule, reborn Israel in 1948, some half million Arabs took the repeated advice of their own leaders and fled to make way for what they were told would be conquering Arab armies. After already receiving the lion’s share (over ¾) of the original April 25, 1920 Mandate of Palestine (with the creation of what would later be renamed Jordan) in 1922, Arab nationalism then rejected the ‘47 partition plan which would have divided the roughly 20% of the territory that was still left in half. The Arabs chose war instead.

While no one is squeaky clean once the bullets start flying, and after Israel was attacked, some Arabs found themselves moved out of strategic areas (especially after the Arab blockade of Jerusalem), most indeed left for the previous reasons mentioned. There’s volumes of solid contemporary documentation--including from the Arabs themselves--to support this.

Back to the future…

While the Lebanese are dealing with Arab refugees in the north, Jews are trying to stop Qassam rockets and such from being fired deliberately at civilians into Israel proper from Gaza.

Recall that Israel totally withdrew from Gaza--the historic invasion route since the days of the Pharaohs into Israel proper--a few years back…and got the thank you most of us expected. It just brought the Arabs one step closer to their post-’67 destruction in phases plan for the Jewish State. The same result can be expected if Israel caves in in Judea and Samaria--the “West Bank”--as well. Territorial compromise is an absolute must there, and Israel must insist that the days of its pre-’67, 9-mile wide armistice line, not border, existence are gone forever.

But something worse than irony is also at work here…


When choosing their new weapon of terror and destruction, Hamas (which, like most other Arabs, denies Israel's right to exist with or without the disputed territories) gave careful thought to the name that it should go by. Since the "militant wing" of the organization (the folks that actually blow up the buses, pizzerias, and such) was named after Sheikh Izz ad-Din al-Qassam, it made sense to name the new terror weapon after him as well.

Surely such a man must have had some great credentials in the "Palestinian" Arab movement...

Of course.

Izz ad-Din made his name by butchering "Zionist invaders" during the early mandatory period after World War I.

What else do we know about this legendary leader of the "Palestinians?"

Well, for starters, Hamas' hero--like most other allegedly "native Palestinians"--was born elsewhere. In his case, this killer of Zionist invaders was himself an invader from Ladeqiya--Latakia--Syria.

In just one three month period alone, the League of Nations Permanent Mandates Commissions documented scores of thousands of other Syrian Arabs pouring into the British Mandate of Palestine.

Like numerous other Arabs moving in from elsewhere, they came to the Palestine Mandate to take advantage of the economic boom going on because of the influx of Jewish capital. And for every Arab newcomer--i.e. settler--that was documented, many more slipped in under cover of darkness and were never recorded. Add to this the fact that, for a number of reasons, the Brits were more concerned about entering Jews than entering Arabs.

So lots of evidence exists which shows that--like the murderous Sheikh--most "Palestinian" Arabs were no more native than most of the returning, forcibly exiled, Diaspora Jews.

Recall that so many Arabs were recent arrivals into the Mandate that when UNRWA was created to deal with the Arab refugee situation--again, created as a result of the invasion by a half dozen Arab states of a reborn Israel in 1948--it had to adjust the definition of "refugee" from the prior meaning of persons normally and traditionally resident to those who lived in the Mandate for a minimum of only two years prior to 1948. Keep this in mind regarding current discussions about those refugee camps in Lebanon.

Also consider that for every Arab who was forced to flee the fighting that Arabs started themselves in their attempt to nip a nascent Israel in the bud, a Jewish refugee was forced to flee Arab/Muslim lands...but with no UNRWA set up to help them.

Indeed, scores of thousands of Jews fled the same Syria that Sheikh al-Qassam migrated to Palestine from. Greater New York City alone now has some tens of thousands of these Syrian Jewish refugees. And hundreds of thousands of other Jews fled Iraq, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Yemen, and so forth.

Now bring this all together…

An Israel not even the size of New Jersey absorbed more Jewish refugees fleeing Arab lands than Arabs moving in the other direction.

Arab states, on the other hand, caged their own refugees in camps and blamed it on the Jews. And it’s the latter’s “fault” for wanting in one tiny, resurrected state what Arabs created almost two dozen of for themselves by conquering mostly non-Arab peoples and their lands on over six million square miles of territory.

Now, in the Lebanese army’s fight against similar “refugees” in those camps, notice also, please, that the world is not demanding pinpoint accuracy as those camps get shelled. Yet consider what typically happens when Israel, trying to locate the exact car and the exact perpetrators, sometimes causes “collateral” damage as a result.


Qassam, refugee…

Words do have meaning, and those who make their livings off of them ought to be the experts regarding such things.

So, wouldn’t it be nice if the media and other powers that be educated themselves first before simply jumping on the blame Israel bandwagon?


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Posted by Simon62

  
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PostMon May 28, 2007 6:20 pm     Education, period    


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"So, wouldn’t it be nice if the media and other powers that be educated themselves first before simply jumping on the blame Israel bandwagon?"

Heck sir,
I'd be happy if they'd just get semantics right! Just as Hollywood using two twin beds because of censors in old movies, caused millions of persons to buy twin beds for their own bedrooms as well... the words and perception of a thing, define the thing, as outlined to me by a very wise english professor.
So "Suicide Bomber" should really be replaced with "Homicide Bomber" IMHO...and "Militant" with "Terrorist". Sadly, only a very few journalists of *any* stripe seem to do the deep research...it's easier to simply copy & paste what someone else wrote without too much examination.


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Posted by Honigman

  
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PostFri Jun 01, 2007 12:58 pm     Qassams and Refugees...The Meanings Of Words    


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For Simon 62's response:

This goes far beyond mere "semantics"...which the author has dealt with in other articles.

Knowing the beyond ironic origins of the very name for Qassam rockets--as pointed out in this article--attacks the very premise of alleged Arab victimization by Jews. This is far beyond using "militant" for "terrorist" and such--as claimed by Simon 62--though that is wrong as well.


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Posted by Simon62

  
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PostFri Jun 01, 2007 5:00 pm     Beyond Ironic    


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"Knowing the beyond ironic origins of the very name for Qassam rockets--as pointed out in this article--attacks the very premise of alleged Arab victimization by Jews. This is far beyond using "militant" for "terrorist" and such--as claimed by Simon 62--though that is wrong as well."

Believe me, your points were well taken sir. History is replete with examples showing Arabic aggression, followed by Israeli reaction, and the (to me, predictably juvenile & nonsensical) PA claims of "Israeli aggression / Warcrimes" Indeed, the recent ordeal of Gilad Shalit and the incidents that pushed the latest confrontation to serious war zones, are classic examples of this. I was merely stating; that I was hoping & longing for the first ripples of truth and common sense, to break out with regards to the actions of terrorists in the minds of news journalists. (Rather than their PR 'spin')
IMHOO, I feel that many (though doubtless not all) of the PA, with their collective anthem' of discrimination and/or victimization have little interest in the actual work of nation-building, compromise, or even being tolerable neighbors; being more comfortable with intolerance, intractable positions, and taking US/EU/Israeli monies and programs... in between long bouts of breast beating and complaining...all without ever being willing to see how their own actions might have driven them to that destination.
My comments were directed more twords my hope that 3-4 news anchors, calling it as it really is on a consistant basis...might begin to lift blinders that many people have on.


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