In 1947 the U.N. General Assembly created a partition plan creating the state of Israel within the Arab state of Palestine, in effect establishing a two-nation experiment. Israel signed agreements of recognition with Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Transjordan. Then they proceeded to extend their borders to include 70 percent of the Arabs’ territory in Palestine, 50 percent more than the United Nations agreed to. Since their encroachment into Arab territory, the Palestinians have been fighting to reclaim their land.
The British had to relinquish their control of Palestine given to them during World War II. The independent state of Israel was formed leaving the Gaza Strip and west bank as disputed territories in the hands of Egypt and Transjordan. Within a year, war broke out between the Jews and Arabs for control of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It’s interesting that during the Holocaust, while 6 million Jews were being killed, the British would not allow any European Jews escaping Nazi torture and genocide to enter Palestine. Instead of the Jews blaming the pope for his complacency during the war, they should blame the British for patronizing Hitler.
Determined to defeat Israel and regain Muslim territory, Yasser Arafat formed the al-Fatah in 1958. Then in 1964, with the help from the Arab League, he established the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and organized raids into Israel from Jordan. The successful raids contributed to the establishment of the PLO as an independent national Muslim organization, not just a militant puppet of the Arab states.
The United States, wanting to establish a military presence, sided with the Jews, providing them with foreign aid, arms and a nuclear weapon. The Muslims are slowly getting even with the United States with their acts of terror and the Arabs are mitigating our alliance by overcharging us for their oil.
The Israeli Jews and Arab Muslims are not the only two religions at war over territorial boundaries. Thanks to the British and their schematic for partitioning India in 1947, India’s Hindus and Pakistan’s Muslims are still at war with each other for the control of Kashmir.
Any partitioning of nations usually leads to war or conflict. Korea was divided at the 38th parallel. After Japan lost the war, the Soviet Union and the United States couldn’t determine how to hold a joint trusteeship over Korea so they divided it into two separate countries, forming South Korea and North Korea in 1948. The Russians took the north, we held the south and we both fought for control over the whole thing.
In accordance with a Geneva agreement in 1954, Vietnam was divided at the seventh parallel. The defeated Japanese also had to withdraw from Vietnam leaving it in the middle of a power struggle between Ho Chi Minh’s communist party and the French. To make matters worse, we joined the war party in 1959. It was our longest war in our military history and we were finally defeated by the communists in 1975, which brings us to India.
Again, the British are at the seat of the problem. We all know the history of Mahatma Gandhi, the Hindu political and spiritual pacifist who gained Indian liberation from the British in 1947. Both Muslims and Hindus fought the British for independence and both wanted to take control of India. England, Gandhi and the Muslims agreed the Muslims would take a northwest portion of India to form their own Islamic state within the commonwealth of India, but only if they lived in peace with the Hindus and remaining Muslims in India. However, Kashmir was the fulcrum for more conflict.
During negotiations, the British agreed that Kashmir, located on the border of India and the new border of Pakistan, had their choice of independence, Pakistan’s Muslim mandates or India’s protection. Fearing Pakistani invasions, they agreed to Hindu control in return for armed assistance from India to protect them from the newly formed Muslim state. Currently, half of Kashmir is under the protection of India and a third is under Pakistani mandates. The Kashmir disputes are similar to the Israeli and Palestinians’ conflict. India and Pakistan have been fighting a religious war over Kashmir ever since.
Last week, prior to the terrorist invasion of Mumbai, it was reported the Indian government received an anonymous call demanding India to accede its holding in Kashmir to Pakistan, leaving no doubt the attack was sponsored by the Pakistani government.
One unnamed source in Washington said the people of India could have prevented the attack if they were better prepared. The city of Mumbai has a population of 18 million people compared to the total U.S. population of 310 million. Detroit has a population of less than 1 million and it is the crime capital of the world. Washington, D.C. has a population of almost 600,000 and Oakland, Calif. has a population of only 390,000 and they both have one of the highest incidents of rape and murder in the country.
If the U.S. security system can’t protect its citizens from the terror caused by gangs, murderers and rapists in a relatively small environment or protect its borders from future criminals, how can it castigate India’s security guards for missing the 10 militants who slipped through the sea of 18 million people?
Because of diplomatic mistakes made by the British in the Middle East and the subcontinent years ago, the Palestinians will always be at war with Israel and Pakistan will continue to find reasons to kill Indian Hindus.
I’m sure there will be enough blame for the attack in Mumbai to go around. But maybe we should just blame the British.
David Farside is a Sparks resident and political activist. The polemics of his articles can be discussed at firstname.lastname@example.org. His Web site is www.thefarsidechronicles.com.