Writing (Away) One’s Future: The Nakba and Palestinian Destiny

Barry Rubin, one of the most astute observers of the Middle Eastern scene, has the following reflections on the Palestinian Nakba. They explain a critical episode in the long and painful tale of Palestinian suffering.

Self-Made Nakba
Barry Rubin
May 19, 2008

It’s become fashionable to match celebration of Israel’s founding (though part of the media can’t even admit Israelis are celebrating) with Palestinian marking of their 1948 “nakba” catastrophe.

Yet whose fault is it that they didn’t use those six decades constructively? And who killed the independent Palestinian state alongside Israel that was part of the partition plan? Answer: The Arab states and Palestinian leadership themselves.

The mourners were the murderers.

You can read details in my book, The Arab States and the Palestine Conflict. Here’s a summary. The key point is that in rejecting partition, demanding everything, and starting a war it could not win, the Arab side ensured endless conflict, the Palestinian refugee issue, and no Palestine. It wasn’t murder it was suicide.

Or in the words of General John Glubb, commander of Jordan’s army: “The politicians, the demagogues, the press, and the mob were in charge….Warnings went unheeded. Doubters were denounced as traitors.”

That’s an old and persisting story. It’s hard for Westerners to imagine how thoroughly Arab culture throttles dissent with this technique of considering any criticism as betrayal. It’s the dynamic that led the French Revolution to the terror. It’s a daily norm in the Palestinian territories. Their unity — 80% approve suicide terror — is itself the product of a regime of both physical and mental terror.

Briefly, the British tried to help the Arabs win; the Americans to assist them in finding a last-minute way out, and the soon-to-be Israeli Jews were ready to have a Palestinian state alongside Israel if their neighbors had accepted it.

The British government provided money and arms to Arab states (for Egypt 40 warplanes and 300 troop carriers; for Iraq, planes as well as antiaircraft and antitank guns; for Saudi Arabia, a military training mission) while embargoing them to Israel, tipped off Arabs about the timing of its withdrawals (giving them a head start to seize abandoned installations), subsidized the Arab League, blocked Jewish immigration, and let British officers run Jordan’s army in the war against Israel.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Said later said, “It became clear to us that Britain viewed with favor the Arab aims regarding Palestine.”

It’s well-known that President Harry Truman supported partition and quickly recognized Israel. But in March 1948 the U.S. government offered the Arab states a serious plan to suspend partition, block a Jewish state, and create a new, long-term trusteeship. They considered but rejected it, even after Washington proposed an international peacekeeping force–including Egyptian troops–to maintain order.

Finally, if the Arab side has accepted partition, the Jewish leadership would have accepted establishment of a Palestinian Arab state. Many were desperate to get a state at all, lacked confidence they would win the war, and knew they could not buck an international consensus.

Why, then, did the Arab side, and especially the Palestinian leadership, reject partition, go to war, and trigger a 60-year-long crisis that was a disaster for their people?

There are four basic reasons:

Palestinian leader Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem, was a man who thought like Hamas. Fresh from his stay in Berlin, where he cooperated with Adolph Hitler, he hated Jews, wanted to destroy them, and could not envision compromise.

Pressure from radical forces and public opinion made it unthinkable, or suicidal, for Arab regimes not to go along with all-out war even when they feared the worst.

Arab states competed for influence, seeing the future Palestine either as their satellite or a place they could seize land for themselves.

Finally, they thought they would win easily. Even the moderate Jordanian King Abdallah said, “It does not matter how many there are. We will sweep them into the sea!” Syria’s prime minister warned that the Arabs would “teach the treacherous Jews an unforgettable lesson.”

I would add to this another reason, perhaps the meta-reason that explains everything from al-Husseini’s genocidal Jihad to the force of public opinion on even vaguely rational and cautious Arab leaders — the horror of an autonomous dhimmi state in the heart of dar al Islam. The following paragraph comes from my essay on the Arab-Israeli conflict:

    With Zionism, this challenge of civil society became far more disturbing, threatening even more fundamental fears of the prime-divider elites. As the Athenian general explained to the Melians before killing all their men and selling their women and children into slavery: “One is not so much frightened of being conquered by a power which rules over others, as Sparta does, as of what would happen if a ruling power is attacked and defeated by its own subjects.” For Sparta, read the Christian West, for subjects, read Jews. A successful Zionism in the heart of the Islamic world represented not only an indignity, it represented a shame so staggering, that it could only herald the death of the dominant culture that allowed it to happen.

And this is both a problem for Islamic theological honor and for Arab imperial honor. Add to that the eagerness of Christian Arabs to find a common ground with their far more numerous Muslim brethren, and you have a perfect anti-Zionist storm. And, like the 30-year feud in Afghanistan, this one has its own inertia. And since the “state” that could intervene — say, the UN, or Western powers — seems more interested in prolonging the feud, it could go on forever. (Actually, I think that since 2000 it has taken a .)

The leader of Syria’s client guerrilla force, Fawzi al-Qawukji, bragged, “We will murder, wreck, and ruin everything standing in our way, be it English, American, or Jewish.” He explained that the holy war would be won not through weapons but through the superiority of self-sacrificing Arab fighters. The idea was revived, with the same failed result, by Yasir Arafat in the 1960s. Today, having learned nothing from experience, radical Arab nationalists and Islamists frequently make the same claim.

This notion that, with sufficient numbers and self-sacrificing enthusiasm the enemy can be destroyed, lies at the heart of the Intifadas, especially the second, in which images like al Durah inspired rioting in Israel as well as the most ferocious hatreds and violence among Palestinians. Anyone unfamiliar with the longue durée of Arab hate-mongering needs to visit Palestinian Media Watch and MEMRI.

True, Arab armies in 1948 were badly led, badly trained, and uncoordinated. Arab regimes distrusted and disliked the Palestinian leadership and bickered among themselves, striving for individual advantage. This pattern, too, was often repeated in later years. Abdallah secretly negotiated with the Zionists but they distrusted him, knew he couldn’t control the other leaders, and he offered too little.

Still, the consensus was, in the words of a U.S. intelligence report, “The loosely organized, ill-equipped armies of the Arab nations do not have any capabilities against a modern opponent but they do have the strength to overrun Jewish resistance in Palestine….”

This was the same logic that launched the Second Intifada — a wave of mass attacks will route the enemy. Most Westerners cannot imagine that the Palestinians in late 2000 thought that they could drive the Jews from Israel the way that Hizbullah had driven them from Lebanon. And yet, if one puts oneself in their shoes, listens to the preaching of their Imams, reads the contents of their newspapers, this was the beginning of a wave of outrage that would sweep the Israelis into the sea. Such is the nature of apocalyptic hopes, whether the Xhosa, or the Lakota Sioux.

It didn’t work out that way. The nascent Israeli forces gained ground against the Husseini and Qawukji forces before the Arab states’ invasion then largely won the ensuing international war.

Neither during the conflict nor after their defeat did the regimes help create an independent Palestinian Arab state. Egypt held the Gaza Strip; Jordan annexed the West Bank. Their rejecting peace so often thereafter made the conflict last until today. The continuation of these policies today by much of the Palestinian leadership–either explicitly or in practice–could make it last another century.

Here we get at the core of the Palestinian tragedy. Palestinian nationalism — whatever some rank and file Palestinians might have thought — was never more for Arab elites (including Palestinians) than an anti-Zionist slogan for Arab nationalism, which was neither nationalist, nor concerned with the lives of Palestinians. On the contrary it was imperialist, with concern for the pride and power of Arab elites.

The underlying concept was that either the Palestinian interest should be subordinate to wider movements (Arab nationalism, Islamism) or at least a Palestinian state could only be established after total victory, in all the lands between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. Even if some Palestinian leaders think differently today, they are unable to act differently.

In other words, the Israelis must go, and until they do, the Palestinian people will be held hostage in concentration camps, built by their fellow Arabs (the elites), so that their suffering can provide a “lethal narrative” with which to assault the enemy.

Another element in the self-perpetuated Nakba was the management of the Palestinian refugee problem. In contrast to all other refugees in the world, the UN set up a system in which Palestinians who left in 1948 maintained that status forever, even if they obtained another nationality.

By not integrating Palestinian refugees–though this sometimes happened on an unofficial level–and keeping them in camps, Arab regimes with the collaboration of the PLO ensured that their suffering would fuel endless conflict and provide recruits for violence.

Fifteen million people were expelled from India and Pakistan, twelve million Germans had been thrown out of eastern Europe, about the same number of Jews were forced out of Arab states, and other such situations had occurred. They are all resolved and mostly forgotten today. In the Palestinian case, however, the nakba was deliberately perpetuated because the Arab world, including the Palestinian leadership, decreed that it could only be ended by a triumphant return to what was now Israel. Neither resettlement elsewhere nor in a West Bank/Gaza state was satisfactory. Indeed, this was one of the main issues on which Arafat destroyed the peace process in 2000. Even the “moderate” leadership of the Palestinian Authority maintains this stance today.

Precisely. No subject offers a more terrifying view of the depths of depravity of Arab political culture than the miserable fate of Arab refugees from the Arab-Israeli conflict. If you want a good example of apartheid, try Lebanese treatment of Palestinian refugees. And nothing illustrates better the way that Westerners who sympathize with the Palestinians by embracing these narratives of Israelis victimizing the poor Palestinian people end up victimizing them. Since the victim narrative needs the Palestinians to suffer so that the Israelis can be blamed, by eagerly adopting the accusations against the Israelis, “sympathetic outsiders” actually reinforce the grip that a predatory elite has on the Palestinian people. No people have gotten more international sympathy and support than the Palestinians, and none have benefited less.

Of course, regarding peace–and even more the desire to avoid war–there has been some real progress in Arab states, including full, but not fully accepted, peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. Most Arab leaders know they cannot win the struggle with Israel by total victory, but that was also true back in 1948. What has changed is their margin for doing nothing has increased, which lets them avoid war. Yet their ability to admit the truth publicly, change their course fully, and accept peace formally and fully still remains quite constricted. And the strong challenge from Islamist movements threatens to reverse even this minimal progress.

The key here is honor-shame. When Egypt signed the peace treaty with Israel in 1979, Egyptians hung their heads in shame all over the Arab world, at conferences, gatherings, even in personal contacts. It was a collective shame for the Egyptian people. The “cold peace” is not only the product of paranoid elements that claim Israeli gum causes impotence and Israeli shampoo causes baldness, it is also the product of a culture for whom admitting the Israelis into the fold of nations represents a Nakba even greater than all the suffering of the Palestinian refugees.

Such is the reality misunderstood or ignored by all those who think peace is easily obtainable with enough effort or unilateral Israeli concessions. Peace, however, cannot be achieved by pretending since those who engage in this process only fool themselves.

Are you listening, Condi?

Despite the lessons of sixty years ago and throughout the ensuing time, the Arab side has the chutzpah to complain–and a good part of the Western media echo–that they were Israel’s victims in 1948.

Back then, Qawukji explained that once the Arabs started winning, the Western media would proclaim, “The Arab cause is a just one.” The Arab side made no secret of the fact that the Jews were the underdog and everyone knew what happened to underdogs. As Arab League Secretary-General Abd al-Rahman Azzam explained, “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre….”

Indeed, it’s one of the more fascinating (and depressing) phenomena of Western liberal thought in the late 20th century that it can’t absorb the cognitive dissonance of having the underdog win. How pathetic to turn against the underdog because he survived and thrived for so long…

By the way, what slogan were Palestinian schoolchildren told to chant at the Nakba Day demonstrations organized by the Palestinian Authority? Why, “Palestine is all ours!” of course, the same slogan as in 1948. Sad to say, the main complaint of Palestinians today is still not so much that they are Israel’s victims but that so far Israel hasn’t been theirs, Azzam-style.

What would Qawukji think to learn that in fact the Western media would proclaim, “The Arab cause is a just one,” only after they had so thoroughly and repeatedly failed to gain such a bloody total victory, though long before they fully accepted the lessons of that failure?

How could he anticipate the emergence of a post-modern sado-masochism which would lionize Palestinian shame, shamelessly paraded in front of the West to gain the sympathy of the Christian enemy in order to get at the still more humiliating Jewish enemy? How pathetic all around.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley). Prof. Rubin’s columns can be read online.

49 Responses to Writing (Away) One’s Future: The Nakba and Palestinian Destiny

  1. RedPencil says:

    Excellent extension of Rubin’s excellent article.

  2. E.G. says:

    “mental terror” links to pmw that exposes palestinian indoctrination and propaganda. But there are more means used to enforce conformity: is there a thread/entry/tag discussing this? A link?

    can you clarify and make some suggestions. i’d be happy to try and incorporate your ideas. this idea of mental terror (as in having kindergarten graduation ceremonies where little kids dip their hands in red paint to mimic the behavior of savage adults who tore Israeli soldiers’ bodies apart with their bare hands), is something that just occurred to me and is not really developed yet. – rl

  3. oao says:

    there is nothing new here and this has been explained many times over — see for example the work of efraim karsh and others.

    the problem is that truth does not count, myth and propaganda do.

  4. Cynic says:

    In contrast to all other refugees in the world, the UN set up a system in which Palestinians who left in 1948 maintained that status forever, even if they obtained another nationality.
    So basically what one is obliged to admit is that the World is an accomplice.
    If the West was an honest broker it would have resolved this problem years ago, but it has been their prerogative to let the Arabs keep grinding away.

    As for Are you listening, Condi? , can one truly accept that she sincerely wants to see peace alongside a Jewish State?

    Since the victim narrative needs the Palestinians to suffer so that the Israelis can be blamed, …
    all the more to question the motives of the West, if not the World, because they could have stopped this a long time ago in the interests of humanitarian behaviour.
    Would Baker and the State Department have gone along in the 80s with Europe by bringing Arafat out of “retirement” in Tunis to trash the Palestinians once more with his thuggery by proclaiming him the only representative of the Palestinians the Israelis could deal with?

    ah, cynic, you live up to your name. alas it’s hard to gainsay your points. palestinians are doubly fortunate/unfortunate for having an israeli enemy. first, the israelis are the best enemies to have because they won’t give you what you really deserve for your depraved behavior (i.e., they don’t play by hama rules), second, if you hate the israelis and want to destroy them, you’ll have lots of eager allies around the world. the combo has been deadly for the p’s, making them the most popular victims of the late 20th early 21st century. – rl

  5. E.G. says:

    oao,

    So what if there’s nothing new? Even if Rubin does not write for your accustomed or already convinced eyes (or mine) there are many other eyes who will find novelty in the info and arguments. And, even without novelty, it can be comforting to find out that one’s view is shared, even if it’s by a (growing?) minority. Last but not least, why would only one view be allowed repetition ?

    re-my above (#2) question, repetition is one means in the propaganda/indoctrination repertoire. I was counting on you too to orient me to resources on “mental terror”… please.

  6. oao says:

    there are many other eyes who will find novelty in the info and arguments.

    if you read my comment you should have seen that i disagree on this very thing.

    repetition is one means in the propaganda/indoctrination repertoire.

    propaganda, yes. history apparently not, as it requires mental effort and critical faculties.

    i am sure there are such discussions, but i dk where.

  7. Eliyahu says:

    cynic is right. He makes some good points about Western policy, about baker and the state dept, particularly about baker and state dept helping to anoint yasser as THE LEADER [der fuehrer], the only LEADER, of the palestinian Arabs. by the way, in the period that Barry Rubin is talking about, this subset of Arabs did NOT call themselves or consider themselves “palestinians.” Their expert witnesses testifying before the Anglo-Commission of Inquiry in 1946 denied that there was such a place as “palestine.” It was all Syria, they said. That view not only fits in with traditional Arab geography that saw only bilad ash-Sham, Greater Syria in English, that is, syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan of today, but with the British intrigue to create a Greater Syrian state, which was discovered by French espionage at the time and recently revealed in an extremely important article by Meir Zamir in HaArets.

    Now, Rubin raises an important issue also stressed by walt-mearsheimer. The issue has several parts.
    A) did the Arab leaders know that they could not win a war against Israel?? From what I know about the 1946 Bludan Conference which planned for the war to come, they did NOT know that they couldn’t win. Heikal, the Egyptian journalist, claimed post-facto, many years later, that he had warned in the egyptian press that they couldn’t win. But this claim was post-facto. And how many shared this view??
    walt-mearsheimer go so far as to claim that the Arabs were never attempting to destroy Israel in any of the wars.

    While there is no question that Israel faced serious threats in its early years, the Arabs were not attempting to destroy Israel in any of these wars. This is not because the Arabs were happy about the presence of a Jewish state in their midst –they were not– but rather because they have never had the capability to win a war against Israel, much less defeat it decisively. There is no question that some Arab leaders talked about “driving the Jews into the sea” during the 1948 war, but this was largely rhetoric designed to appease their publics. In fact, the Arab leaders were mainly concerned with gaining territory for themselves at the expense of the Palestinians, [Israel Lobby, pp 83-84]

    See discussion of these claims at the link below:
    http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2007/10/gem-of-absurdity-from-walt-mearsheimer.html

    w-m are trying to depict the Arab leaders as decent folk only trying to “appease their publics.” This despite all of the usual Arab rodomontade and blood lust expressed at the time. Well, w-m are base propagandists. but on the issue of did the ARabs think they could win the war, or did most of them or most of the leaders think so, well, why wouldn’t they think so when they knew that they had Brtish support, when a report had been drawn up for General George Marshall, [for the State and Defense Depts?] called the Marshall Report, I believe, that asserted that the Jews could not hold out against the Arabs, that the Arabs would necessarily win?? So why wouldn’t the Arabs think so too, with all of their other advantages, including their legal capacity to import heavy weapons before Israeli independence, which Israel could not do before 15 May 1948??

    Rubin points out the British military aid for the Arabs. But he does not document the “knowledge” by Arab leaders that they couldn’t win the war. As a matter of fact, Nuqrashy Pasha, pm of Egypt is cited by Heikal as doubting Egypt’s military capacity and not wanting to go to war. But, Heikal claims, the British pressured the king, Farouq, to go to war, overruling Nuquashy. Did the king know that he could not win the war and that losing the war with Israel would help lead to his downfall and expulsion from egypt?? Who knew, Barry, and who didn’t know?? I hope that you, Barry, don’t get taken in by the silly w-m argument that I quote above.

  8. Eliyahu says:

    There is a seeming contradiction in w-m between the Arab states not attempting to destroy Israel while wanting to grab territory, apparently thinking that they could achieve that. But if the Arabs knew that they couldn’t defeat Israel, how did they know that they would be able to grab territory?? No doubt the apparent contradiction could be explained away in several ways. But the whole argument is dubious. Anyhow, I would like to see w-m questioned sharply by knowledgeable scholars on these issues.

  9. oao says:

    w-m are trying to depict the Arab leaders as decent folk only trying to “appease their publics.”

    even if we accept this nonsense, does not this mean that their public wanted to throw the jews into the sea?

    So why wouldn’t the Arabs think so too, with all of their other advantages

    perhaps there were exceptions, but in general the arabs believed that TOGETHER they could readily defeat a few jews.

    if you read w. r. mead critique of w-m you should know that their book was a quickly written, seriously flawed, superficial, confused, inconsistent, vague, op-ed rather than academic book, to capitalize on the noise their bad paper made.

    they wanted to make a quick buck and in the process they contradicted their own “realist” position which says that domestic politics are unimportant for foreign policy.

  10. Rob says:

    It’s important to remember that Arab rejectionism did not begin with the 1947 UN resolution on partition. The Arabs rejected Jewish emigration to Palestine from the beginning. At least as early as 1920, they were rioting against Jewish immigration and land purchases. It is also important to remember that the League of Nations mandate on Palestine (administered by the British) specifically called for the establishment of a National Jewish Homeland in Palestine. The Arabs were offered their own ‘homeland’ in 1937 as part of the outcomes of the Peel Royal Commission into the Arab uprising of 1936. They rejected it then, as they did in 1947.

    In other words, Arab rejectionism goes back way before their alleged ‘nakba’. They could have had their own state in 1937, in 1947, at any time between 1947 and 1967 (when the West Bank and Gaza were occupied by Arab states) and probably at any time between 1967 and 1977 in return for peace, before the first election of Likud. Even after that they could have got it – after all, Begin ceded the Sinai in return for peace. And of course they could have got it in 2000.

    Just footnotes to Rubin’s article, but worth keeping in mind.

  11. oao says:

    the thing to keep in mind is that the objective of the arabs is not to have a state, but to ELIMINATE ISRAEL. nothing else will kill the shame and envy.

    the palestinians are not a nation, which is why they are incapable of building a state.

  12. Barry Meislin says:

    Yes, the elimination of Israel is the key goal. The only goal, really.

    Nothing else actually matters.

    And with Israel gone, should that happen, the neighboring states will vye with each other, and with the Palestinians, for their share of the spoils, as they did, or tried to do, in 1948. The carnage will be extreme, and the Palestinians will be chewed up and spit out, but no one will give a damn about that once Israel is no longer around to shoulder any of the blame.

  13. E.G. says:

    Steven Plaut published a paper a month or 2 ago, retracing the origin of the term Nakba to the early 20th century, and not at all related to Jews. I’ll try to locate it.

  14. Yes, all the Palestinian disasters are self-made in this sense, but it is important that we not miss the reason that they seem to us to be missing the point. They are full of hatred and noise of a kind that we are not able to fully comprehend. Their souls are filled with the fire and smoke of a totalitarian/fascist hell with which we cannot identify. It is not so much that Israel’s existence is the problem for them. Israel is just the closest bit os reality they need to obliterate. Israel is in their face. It taunts them by being a place where Muslims are under the rule of infidels.

    The reason truth is trumped by myth is that, for totalitarians truth, logic and reason are the ultimate betrayals of the system and the system is the only thing that matters. Here, the system is Islam but no matter, it does not have to make any more or less sense than National Socialism or Communism or Korean “Dear Leader-ism” the more absurd, the better! As I wrote in my latest post, http://breathofthebeast.blogspot.com/2008/06/welcome-to-sderot.html

    “…They have “selected” them (Israel) for annihilation first but it is nothing personal, you understand, just a sacrifice to prove there is no value to human life. There is no value to anything that does not affirm the spiritual vacuum of Islamism. It is not because they worship Allah, nor is it is that they believe Mohammed was a prophet. It is that they believe that he was the only prophet, that they know the absolute truth and that it is their mission to ignore (and destroy) all evidence to the contrary. If you believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, they will not rest until they destroy you too.

    The Jihadists are not interested in cease-fires or peace. They are happy to tell you what they want. They want the world to live under Shari’a law. They believe that anyone that doesn’t want that is sub-human and deserves to be killed. This is nothing less than another confrontation with the evil of fascist, totalitarianism, and that is a beast whose hunger cannot be sated with souls, nor can its thirst be slaked with blood. The lottery they are holding is to determine not if you will be destroyed but when you will be destroyed. We are all citizens of Sderot- its just that most of us don’t know it yet.”

    We need to stop trying to think about this with our own logic.
    Did they really think that they could win in 1948? Irrelevant.
    Are they a partner for peace? Preposterous.
    Is there an antidote? Use their weakness against them.
    Richard has it right- The only way is to rouse Western Civilization from the sado-masochistic torpor and revive reason and reliance on observation as the touchstones of “what is right”.

    Empirical, scientific knowledge has been the the engine of western progress and it is can power us through this challenge as well but we need to refit and repair our information gathering, synthesis and distribution system (the media) and inoculate it to withstand the corrosive effects of the totalitarian mythos.

  15. diane says:

    How could he anticipate the emergence of a post-modern sado-masochism which would lionize Palestinian shame, shamelessly paraded in front of the West to gain the sympathy of the Christian enemy in order to get at the still more humiliating Jewish enemy?

    Richard points to an intriguing paradox here by his clever juxtaposition: “shame, shamelessly paraded.”

    In an honor/shame culture, how do we account for the “shameless parading of shame” — of which the al-Durra blood libel is Exhibit A? Put another way: in a culture where men will do anything — even murder their own daughters — to save face, how do they justify (psychologically) the self-inflicted shame of being repeatedly cast (sometimes via collective chicanery, e.g. Pallywood) as the abjectest of victims, beggars with their hands outstretched in perpetuity, the greatest wretches of the earth?

    The obvious answer — that for 60 year the Arab elites have been content to callously sacrifice the honor of the Palestinian people — seems insufficient to me. The Palestinians fully participate in the honor/shame code. Wouldn’t their pride cause them to break ranks with false friends who privately despise them? (Palestinians are held in contempt in all the Arab world – a world in which, ironically, they rank, thanks to decades of Israeli occupation/influence, among the most educated, most modernized.) Why would these bright, talented and fiercely proud people put up with 60 years of humiliation (nakba) cynically imposed by their brothers in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, etc.?

  16. Eliyahu says:

    yes, diane, there is a paradox there. But a great deal of intellectual effort is needed to reason out an explanation for it. You might try it. Maybe they take pride in fooling the West. The problem is that so many in the West want to be fooled –for their own reasons, whether Judeophobia, economics, realpolitik, etc.

    oao, these Arab “publics” that we have been discussing are not a reason-based “civil society” [or even one that pretends to reason] but fanatic mobs motivated by traditional jihad hatreds and aspirations.

  17. Eliyahu says:

    Rob is right about the date of inception of Arab rejectionism. But more ought to be said on this point. Col. Meinertzhagen says that even in 1920 British officials in Jerusalem incited Arab mobs through the instrumentality of Haj Amin el-Husseini. We see the official British favoritism for Arab pogromists at that time also through the peculiar sentences meted out to Jabotinsky who tried to organize Jewish self-defense and Husseini who was somehow allowed to “escape” across the Jordan river to areas also under British control. There was plenty of British hypocrisy at the time about the need for all to respect the law. blah blah. Jabotinsky violated the law suposedly by organizing armed self-defense for Jews in the Old City whereas British authorities were not providing defense for Jews in the Old City or elsewhere. In fact, British troops kept Jewish defenders from getting into the Old City, stopping them at the Jaffa Gate.

    So it wasn’t only the Arabs.

  18. Cynic says:

    Palestinians are held in contempt in all the Arab world

    Yes, and Palestinians of the West Bank hold the Palestinians in Gaza in contempt.

  19. oao says:

    Israel is in their face. It taunts them by being a place where Muslims are under the rule of infidels.

    It’s worse: Israel is a success which PROVES islam wrong.

    Richard has it right- The only way is to rouse Western Civilization from the sado-masochistic torpor and revive reason and reliance on observation as the touchstones of “what is right”.

    That’s why it does not happen, because it’s the only way.

    oao, these Arab “publics” that we have been discussing are not a reason-based “civil society” [or even one that pretends to reason] but fanatic mobs motivated by traditional jihad hatreds and aspirations.

    but of course. what is worse, that’s how the western publics are becoming. take a look at lgf’s documentation of what’s being expressed at daily kos and obama’s sites.

    Palestinians are held in contempt in all the Arab world … Yes, and Palestinians of the West Bank hold the Palestinians in Gaza in contempt.

    The only ones who hold neither the palestinians, nor the arabs in contempt come from the west. they hold israel in contempt.

  20. Eliyahu says:

    correction:
    in 1946, Arab expert witnesses testified before the Anglo-American Commission of Inquiry on Palestine.

    see books on this commission by Bartley Crum and Richard Crossman.

    Ya`aqov, it does matter whether the Arabs knew or didn’t know that they couldn’t win the war in 1947-48. The claim that they knew they would lose is one of the cornerstones of the walt-mearsheimer propaganda tract and as such ought to be knowledgeably refuted. The claim made by w-m is so ludicrous that you want to laugh, but many fools are ready to believe it because it’s in w-m’s tract. And w-m are professors [not to mention State Dept consultants]!! As a significant piece of unreason poisoning the public sphere, it needs to be refuted as do other such claims, on other subjects too.

  21. Barry Meislin says:

    Of course the Arabs knew, at the outset, that they would win in 1948.

    (What else could, “We will throw the Jews into the sea” possibly mean?)

    The Nakba, the great catastrophe, was their unforseen and most unfortunate failure to do so, and they have persuaded a huge swath of the righteous around the world to bemoan their failure (and to subsidize their continued efforts to reverse it).

    But the Arabs also knew they would win in 1967.

    And they still know that they will win (“We will redeem Palestine with our blood” and “Palestine from the river to the sea”).

    Eventually.

    In the meantime, the minions of progressive humanity, along with a sizable number of Jews and Israelis is guilt-ridden, with angst and sorrow (not to mention anger) that the Palestinians didn’t nip the state of Israel in the bud at its inception. That the Jews of Palestine actually survived being slaughtered. Imagine.

  22. Eliyahu says:

    Barry, I’m sure that the Arab rank and file and a solid majority of their leadership, intellectual, political, economic, and religious, believed –along with Azzam Pasha [quoted above by Rubin]– that they would carry out slaughters of Jews like the Mongol massacres. But I’m willing to agree too that some politicians, especially those less under British influence, were reluctant to go to war, whatever they may have believed about the outcome. Maybe Hassanein Heykal was telling the truth when he claimed post-facto that he had warned of the Jews’ military superiority before May 15, 1948. Maybe he’s right that Egypt got into the war only because of British pressure on the king, overriding the will of PM Nugrashy. But I wish Barry Rubin would document the assertion that they knew that they couldn’t win. Who knew? All of them? Just some of them?
    Then why all of the self-confidence at the Bludan Conference? Furthermore, why did the US experts forecast an Arab victory??

    Let’s get back to questions on this issue. Did the Arab leaders know that they would lose? If they knew, why then did they go to war? Was it merely British pressure? And if the Arab leaders had such foresight, then why couldn’t they foresee that losing a war to the Yahud –despised and oppressed for long centuries in Arab society– would lead to the downfall of their own regimes, or even to the loss of their lives??

  23. E.G. says:

    Then why all of the self-confidence at the Bludan Conference? Furthermore, why did the US experts forecast an Arab victory??

    How about Groupthink? Overconfidence? Ill-foracasting methods? Wishful thinking?
    Why would/should Arab leaders be more rational than other leaders?

  24. Richard Landes says:

    on the issue of “did they think they could win…?” — i think it’s pure anachronistic 20-20 hindsight to suggest so. it would have taken a profound understanding of both Jewish capacities for self-defense (hardly a prominent feature of the last 1400 years in the Muslim experience), and of the dynamics of modernity (including warfare strategy) in order for Arab observers to soberly assess the scene and predict Israeli victory in 1948. even westerners expected their overwhelming numbers and motivation a guarantor of Arab victory.

    and since the Arabs went to war in 1948 for the very same reasons that they despised the Dhimmi Jew and hated humiliating modernity, why on earth would they have (or listen to) such insights. for w-m to argue this is either pure bad faith, or slightly watered down with the pathetic a-historical training that too many “political scientists” get.

  25. Richard Landes says:

    response to Diane:

    In an honor/shame culture, how do we account for the “shameless parading of shame” — of which the al-Durra blood libel is Exhibit A? Put another way: in a culture where men will do anything — even murder their own daughters — to save face, how do they justify (psychologically) the self-inflicted shame of being repeatedly cast (sometimes via collective chicanery, e.g. Pallywood) as the abjectest of victims, beggars with their hands outstretched in perpetuity, the greatest wretches of the earth?

    The obvious answer — that for 60 year the Arab elites have been content to callously sacrifice the honor of the Palestinian people — seems insufficient to me. The Palestinians fully participate in the honor/shame code. Wouldn’t their pride cause them to break ranks with false friends who privately despise them? (Palestinians are held in contempt in all the Arab world – a world in which, ironically, they rank, thanks to decades of Israeli occupation/influence, among the most educated, most modernized.) Why would these bright, talented and fiercely proud people put up with 60 years of humiliation (nakba) cynically imposed by their brothers in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, etc.?

    Eliyahu has already laid out some of the answer to this paradox. i guess you could analyze it as a hierarchy of humiliations. the most mind-boggling and inacceptable, is the state of freed Dhimmi, Israel, in the heart of dar al Islam. like losing a limb, that loss is so huge that all other pains recede into the background. denying israel legitimacy then becomes the only way to deny the loss of the limb… it’ll be shortly sewn back on. that the wound festers becomes problematic because as a wretched of the earth cripple, the Palestinians all of a sudden find themselves the object of much favorable attention: “you poor people! what have those nasty jews done to you!”

    so the Palestinians get to nurse their grievances, get international support, and dream of the day they’ll get their honor back. the horrifying situation in which they are playing the victim — they want to be identified as the “new Jew”, not as the strong, take-no-guff Israeli, but as the weak, despised and oppressed holocaust-devastated Jew — before a crowd of modern Christians escapes notice. like a bizarre performance of the bizarre emperor’s new clothes, the Palestinians parade their shame, and thrill to the sound of the crowd’s joy.

    but somewhere inside, they know something’s terribly wrong. so they spare their hearts by promising themselves that, the time come, they’ll not only kill the saturday people, but also the sunday people. the hatred they feel towards the west, i think, is only fed by their dependence on it. and since they can’t strike back at their too-strong enemies, they strike at their weakest friends — in such a pathological honor-shame culture, honor-killings target not only daughters and sisters whose active behavior has shamed her family, but even ones who have been raped.

    of course that still doesn’t answer Diane’s question — why would some of the smartest, best-educated Arabs give in to these pathological pressures. my guess is that there are many Palestinians and Arabs who see this is an awful predicament and genuinely hate both it and the regressive, authoritarian and corrupt leadership that enforces it. but at least two factors militate against their being able to fight it:

    1) intimidation, both physical and cultural. Andersen’s Emperor’s New Clothes has no trace of coercion (in that sense a good product of liberal circles in the 19th century). but in this world, saying the wrong thing can get you hurt badly. add to that the cultural pressure to conform — it’s much harder to have the grotesque parade interrupted in a society where breaking ranks is considered betrayal — and you have heavy pressure not to blow the whistle on this particular pathological long-running episode.

    2) modernity is the only way out. the only way to escape the dilemma is to develop modern cultural capacities. that, unfortunately means letting go of honor-shame hegemonics — giving up honor-killings, allowing the Quran to be analyzed according to historical criticism, enfranchising women, adopting some of the rules of meritocracy, developing self-criticism etc. — that would challenge Arab culture at its core. so even if there is a majority of Arabs who would like to see this outcome (who, for example would like not to have to kill their daughters in order to maintain good standing in the community), they cannot break ranks without becoming, like Neo in the matrix, a hunted and relatively isolated target.

  26. oao says:

    for w-m to argue this is either pure bad faith, or slightly watered down with the pathetic a-historical training that too many “political scientists” get.

    the reviews of their book has exposed their abysmal methodology and “journalistic” quality so clearly, that NO argument or conclusion in it can be taken seriously. they simply don’t have serious knowledge on the subject, are superficial and have not proved their claims with evidence.

    and I can say this as a political scientist who was probably the last generation to be instilled with the scientific method, which is the central component of the education that makes you capable to sensitize to the huge difficulties of doing social SCIENCE.

  27. Barry Meislin says:

    The Nazis were also sure they’d win.

    And the Japanese.

    And the USSR was absolutely certain that it was the wave of the future, that it would crush the west.

    That they didn’t manage to win means they never intended to? That they had severe, soul-searching doubts? That they were basically of humanistic intent, but merely misguided? Or misbegotten? Who went just a bit overboard with their sense of nationalism or feelings of grievance?

    That we should feel sorry for them, while overlooking the carnage, destruction and devastation they wrought?

    This whole post-hoc debate is an absurd exercise for the credulous, the revisionist, the perverse, the conspiracy theorist. And the hater.

    And yes, there are a lot of those; and their numbers are growing daily, so that as in the 30s, we seem to be heading for an unpreventable “correction.”

    Along with the concommitant carnage, destruction and devastation.

  28. oao says:

    RL,

    a very accurate analysis.

    the hatred they feel towards the west, i think, is only fed by their dependence on it.

    if you were an arab indoctrinated non-stop with the islamic supremacist notion that allah will make sure you’ll be successful and rule over the infidels; and as a result of that you do nothing to take care of yourself and become a wretched failure and a supplicant of the successful infidels, the cognitive dissonance must be too unbearable not to instill enormous hatred. which, btw, is the intention of the leadership and how they manage to stay in power.

    that would challenge Arab culture at its core.

    that would also completely overhaul the power structure in the arab world. the qaradawis of the arab world know this very well which is precisely why they dedicate all their resources to keep modernity away and the rabble in line against it. they have a much better comprehension of the dangers than their christian counterparts, who lost their power by accepting modernity.

  29. Rich Rostrom says:

    One comment. The Arabs of Palestine rejected partition in 1948 for several reasons, but the biggest one is not mentioned here: no free people has ever consented to the settlement of their country and its political takeover by foreigners. That is what Jabotinsky pointed out in “The Iron Wall”. There was going to be a smash no matter what.

    Islamist and Arabist-racist attitudes, refracted through the honor-shame paradigm, greatly multiplied the scope and duration of the conflict, turning it into disaster for the Palestinians, but did not create it.

  30. Diane says:

    With regard to factor No. 1, it has always struck me as odd that the people living under communism in 20th century Eastern Europe — who were under no less pressure to mouth the disapproving party line on all things Western — secretly craved these forbidden fruits. Fed a steady diet of slanders against the West and “good news” from the state-run media, they rolled their eyes and tuned in to Voice of America and Radio Free Europe. Given the chance, they defected to the West in numbers. When democracy came in 1989, it was welcomed in an open-armed embrace.

    In the Arab world, this paradigm doesn’t seem to apply. Witness our expectation that Iraqis would greet with flowers the liberating troops come to topple the bllody dictator. Isn’t that what Poland and France did in 1945? And all the former Soviet satellites did after the Berlin Wall fell?

    But not in Iraq.

    When Israel “liberated” Gaza and the West Bank from Jordanian and Egyptian rule in 1967, there should have been some of that euphoria. But there wasn’t.

    I’m mystified by polls that show, for example, 70% if Arab-Israelis saying they would rather live in Israel than anywhere else on earth. Yet a large majority of their brothers in Gaza and the West Bank condone suicide bombings. There is a strange disconnect here, if these polls are to be believe. (I suspect if you scratch beneath the surface of that 70% figure, you will find a survey question worded not in terms of Israeli sovereignty, but in terms of living on land that constitutes present-day Israel.)

    But Eastern Europe is part of the Western Civilization, you will say. It is to be expected that Poles and Czechs and Hungarians would be pleased to see liberalism restored, and would look back on Stalinism as an unfortunate, failed experiment. It would not be hard for them to turn back to Voltaire, you say.

    But Arab culture is very ancient too, and has its own roots in enlightenment, scientific discovery, ethnic and religious diversity. Nor is it unacquainted with the experience of losing to the West. The last half millenium is a history of such losses. So whence the stubborn pride, unwilling to recognize the good when it stares them in the face, preferring to embrace self-immolation for some fantasy of 72 black-eyed virgins that surely no educated person really believes?

  31. oao says:

    rostrom,

    how can you be so ignorant and stupid?

    WHAT country? NAME it, give its border, the date it was established, what government it had?

    Islamist and Arabist-racist attitudes, refracted through the honor-shame paradigm, greatly multiplied the scope and duration of the conflict, turning it into disaster for the Palestinians, but did not create it.

    Really? So jew-hatred did not start with islam, but with the creation of israel?

    what an idiot.

  32. oao says:

    I suspect if you scratch beneath the surface of that 70% figure, you will find a survey question worded not in terms of Israeli sovereignty, but in terms of living on land that constitutes present-day Israel.

    that’s why this is not usually probed.

    anyway, not only do they say what they know the askers want to hear, but they sure prefer it to living in the paradise of the arab countries.

    however, like their brothers they aspire to rule over the jews and would given a chance. it would not be pretty and israel would become another arab paradise, something which their hatred is too great to permit them to realize.

  33. E.G. says:

    rl this idea of mental terror (…), is something that just occurred to me and is not really developed yet.

    Reading comments by Diane and oao, plus your factor #1, I suggest that mental terror = intimidation + indoctrination.
    Compliance mechanisms coupled with slogan thinking (a la Orwell) makes frightened, easily maneuverable herds, not affinity-based groups of individuated persons.

    Am I merely renaming the wheel?

  34. E.G. says:

    Not without relation to my previous post

    <a href=http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jQ-bHlMu4I9bA5zSroHj3qJycRpw Equal time for happy news on Romania TV, radio

  35. E.G. says:

    Oops!

    Equal time for happy news on Romania TV, radio

    http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jQ-bHlMu4I9bA5zSroHj3qJycRpw

  36. oao says:

    intimidation + indoctrination

    a version of the stick and the carrot. if you go against the grain, you’ll pay. if, otoh, you kill jews, you’ll go to heaven and get your 72 virgins.
    for people that are sexually oppressed and inhibited
    by culture and religion from a productive life and from an education that makes sure they don’t acquire knowledge and ability to reason it’ll work like a charm.

    it is not different fundamentally from anti-semitism in the rest of the world, including the US: things are bad? find a scapegoat and channel the energy to it and away from the real causes.

    t

  37. oao says:

    being of romanian extraction (left in 1961) and having visited a few times since then, it does not surprise me. in fact, communism has never left romania, it was simply relabeled democracy. ceausescu eliminated all resistance, so all that was left were the ruling cadres, who stole the public sector and got rich from it but continue to rule the same way because they dk anything else.

    except they are now part of the EU and and fool the west the same way the arabs do.

  38. diane says:

    Let me throw in a counter example that begs clarification: Why do we occasionally see groups like Israel’s Druze population, rejecting the pan-Arab agenda and embracing the Dhimmi Jews? My understanding is that Druze serve in the IDF without reservation. I realize they are not Muslims, but then neither are the Christian Palestinians of Bethlehem and Nazareth. Yet the latter maintain solidarity with the Arab establishment in the face of harsh oppression. Rather than ally themselves with the Dhimmi overlords (Israel), they overwhelmingly choose emigration. (Apparently they disagree with that 70 percent of Arab-Israelis who wish to live in Israel more than anywhere else.)

    But wait: Remember the Christian Phalangists who carried out the massacres at Sabra and Shatila? Whatever else motivated them, it’s worth noting they seemed to have no qualms about allying themselves with the Dhimmi Jews in butchering their Palestinian brothers… (Of course, butchering brothers is not something Arabs/Muslims have a problem with historically — it’s the choosing of Jews OVER said brothers that is noteworthy here.)

    To generalize beyond the Israel-Arab conflict, let’s look at the Kurds of Iraq. Mostly Muslim, both Sunni and Shi’ite, they have broken from the Arab establishment in a stunning show of independence. After the first Gulf War, they sided with the coalition and, under the protection of its no-fly zone, established a thriving democracy. True, their allegiance to the West does not stop them from fighting Turkey (a Western ally). But they seem curiously unconflicted by this state of affairs. America is their friend, even if America is also Turkey’s friend…

    Richard, I would like to see you tackle these nuances in your writing on the honor/shame imperative fueling the Arab/Muslim world’s hatred of the secular, democratic West.

  39. E.G. says:

    oao,

    Did Commie Romanians exert mental terror? Did Soviets? Nazis? Robespierre? Are Progressives doing it?
    I for one am sure it’s not an Arab or Iranian invention. And, are you suggesting it’s synonymous to anti-Semitism?

  40. E.G. says:

    diane,

    I recall having read a statement made by a/some Druze(s) regarding their ad hoc allegiance principle, something like “When in Rome behave like a Roman”. Syrian Druzes are loyal Syrian citizens, I believe. The Christian palestinians, on the other hand, are terrorized by their Moslem neighbours. I’m not aware of Nazareth Christian massive immigration. Isn’t one of the Kenesset Arab deputees Christian?

    And the Phalangists were avenging their assassinated Christian President, given that the Palestinian colonialism (see: Fatahland) brought havoc to their land.

  41. lazar says:

    Diane-
    Regarding your questions about Israel’s Druze and Bedouin Population:
    When framing the argument in terms of dhimmi peoples, then the key distinction between peoples is whether or not they are Muslim. Since Druze are not Muslim, they do not frame their worldview in terms of Dhimmi and non-Dhimmi peoples. Their loyalty is toward their land, so wherever they happen to be, they give their allegiance to that country (Golan Druze are in a unique predicament, so they have their own dynamic). They try to cozy up to the power centers in their country, and in Israel’s case, where the army is a major power center, the Druze find it the most comfortable power center to succeed in, given their proud warrior heritage.

    The Bedouin are indeed Muslim, but generally, in terms of self-identification, their Muslim identity comes only after their clan loyalty, and oftentimes country.

    Neither Druze nor Bedouin consider themselves Arab, and have historically suffered from the dominant Muslim Arab classes. They scoff at the Palestinians as “the Arabs”, and harbor boiling resentment at the Israeli Arabs for marginalizing them historically.

    That being said, Druze and Bedouin both operate according to a very clear honor/shame dynamic, and a central part of that is being near the Strongman, in this case, Israel, especially its military and law enforcement branches. Since they are both fighting for the same places close to the Israeli “plate”, there is open hostility between Druze and Bedouin. In the IDF, pains are taken to schedule the rotations of Druze and Bedouin units at training bases carefully, to ensure that they will not be at the same base simultaneously.

    For more on honor/shame culture among Bedouin soldiers in the IDF, see my article in The Small Wars Journal, http://smallwarsjournal.com/mag/2008/04/understanding-arab-culture.php.

    I see Christian Arabs in a situation analogous to European Jews pre-1939. They are aware of the tenuous situation in which their community exists, and are therefore hyperpatriotic, at least publicly. In Israel, where the Christian Arabs can breathe easier than in Muslim countries, their anger is directed toward their historical rivals, the Muslim Arabs.

  42. E.G. says:

    oao,

    I suddenly recall an article on Romanian Jews’ children (or grandchildren) that was recently published in a French Jewish monthly. It argued, I think, that descendants of Romanian Jews had no idea of their heritage.

  43. [...] episode in the long and painful tale of Palestinian suffering. Self-Made Nakba Barry Rubin Mayhttp://www.theaugeanstables.com/2008/06/22/writing-away-ones-future-the-nakba-and-palestinian-destin…Africa: Water and Wood Shortages Worsen AllAfrica.comEvery morning soon after sunrise, Fatne [...]

  44. Eliyahu says:

    Rich Rostrom, I want to give you a different response to your assertion about “no free people…” And here Jabotinsky is not the last word. I admire him, but his writings are not what Jews call: Torah from Sinai, or the oracle of Delphi, if you like.

    1) The Palestinian Arabs did not consider themselves a separate people, distinct from other Arabs, at that time [1947-49]. The notion of a palestinian people did not emerge until the 1960s.

    2) Britain was very active in encouraging the Arabs in the country and the Arab states to attack Israel and to prevent a Jewish state. The USA played a lesser role in this effort. Two recent articles in HaArets, including the English edition, by Meir Zamir, make this very clear, as did some of the recent books of Efraim Karsh. Zamir’s articles are based on British documents copied and/or captured by French agents and the Haganah underground, which were cooperating in that period. An article by Shlomo Slonim deals with the US State Dept role at the time.

    I also read an article recently about the battle of Jaffa [Yafo] in April 1948. When the Jews had defeated Arab forces in that city, that had been aided in building fortifications by the British, the British directly entered into the battle, sending in fighter aircraft, artillery, tanks and armored cars to fight to keep Jaffa port in Arab hands. If left in Arab hands, the invading Arab armies on May 15, 1948, would have been able to land heavy weapons in the Jaffa port, right next to Tel Aviv. In case anyone thinks that the Arabs had not provoked the Jews, Arab snipers and Arab mortar fire from Jaffa had killed 156 people in Tel Aviv starting on 30 Nov 1947.

    British fighter aircraft also fought for the Arabs over El-Arish in Sinai in early 1949. Five UK aircraft were shot down by Israel.

  45. oao says:

    Did Commie Romanians exert mental terror? Did Soviets? Nazis? Robespierre?

    how else would they keep themselves in power?

    Are Progressives doing it?

    Do the bees make honey? they still wanna rule.

    I for one am sure it’s not an Arab or Iranian invention.

    who said so and what difference does it make?

    And, are you suggesting it’s synonymous to anti-Semitism?

    ditto. romania is very anti-semitic, communism was only one of the reasons most jews left. we did not much care whether it was synonymous or not.

  46. oao says:

    It argued, I think, that descendants of Romanian Jews had no idea of their heritage.

    sad, but lots of reasons for that.

  47. oao says:

    eliyahu,

    i have this suspicion that your lesson will go unlearned by our Rich friend.

  48. rl says:

    Response to Rick Rostrom (#30)

    no free people has ever consented to the settlement of their country and its political takeover by foreigners

    at what point were the Palestinian Arabs a free people? accepting the division would have given them freedom (sort of — given their elite) for the first time in their history.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>