Look at the map of the world. See the space occupied by
the British Commonwealth12 million square miles, a quarter of the
world, 1,200 Palestines. Look at the space occupied by the Arabs from
Morocco, to Sudan, to Arabia, and Iraq3 ½ million square
miles, or 350 Palestines. Of Palestine, the State of Israel gets half;
a half of this is the Negeb. The British are trying to amputate the State
of Israel by taking away the Negeb.
The British, who, for a long time, threatened to leave Palestine,
never really intended to do so. But when they were compelled to do so,
they made up the following scheme: to prevent the population in the Arab
part of partitioned Palestine from electing a government of its own choice;
to occupy the country with the troops of John Glubb, a brigadier in the
British service of the puppet Abdullah; to amputate the Negeb from the
Jewish part of Palestine; to acquire extraterritorial rights in Haifa;
and to annex Jerusalem, an international city by the decision of the United
Nations, to the British protectorate as Abdullahs capital.
* * *
The Negeb is a desert; practically no Arabs live there.
During the past twelve years Jews, who until then had only one experimental
station, Ruhama, on the northern border of the Negeb, began to reclaim
this land and established there more than 30 agricultural settlements.
The settlers brought water from afar. They planted castor trees and the
trees grew. Since the Negeb has no native population, the United Nations
allotted it to the State of Israel since the allotted territory in the
cultivated areas of Palestine is very small. The Egyptian Army was unable
to penetrate these lonely settlements because of the determination of
the settlers to remain there alive or dead.
The British may be interested in the Negeb for a military
base in the vicinity of the Suez Canal, though their base on the island
of Cyprus, favorably located, is only one or two hours flying distance
from the canal. Since the Israelis are opposed to giving up the Negeb,
the British suspect that the Israelis must know some thing about buried
treasure there, perhaps oil.
A member of the British Parliament gave loud voice to this
suspicion. The British never really understood why the Jews came to Palestine,
a country of malaria; why they cling now to the desert in the Negeb. The
British hold more than a quarter of the globe in their hands, and they
do not care for deserts. If the practical Jews are so eager to have a
desert, there must be gold or oil or other riches there.
* * *
The cunning Jew does not say this; he makes believe that
he intends to fulfill the prophets words that deserts shall bloom.
The British know of hundreds of millions of acres of desert. Nobody has
wanted or wants to reclaim them. Is this idealism on the part of the Israelis?
The British never heard of such fanaticism anywhere in the world. Surely
there must be gold hidden somewhere in the Negeb. If so, then the British
would like it for themselves.
The British look at the Israelis incredulously and wonder
if they really try to live in the desert just because they want to.
* * *
The British are no dreamers, but practical men. In the Colonial
Office there is no ledger in which to enter intangibles like idealism.
The time of Richard the Lion-Hearted, who went on a crusade to free Jerusalem
from the Moslems, is truly past. Today it is the British who do all the
scheming to make Jerusalem, designated by the United Nations to be an
international city for all the peoples of the world, a city under an Arab
king, which it was not even when the Turks ruled over Palestine.
When the goal of Richard the Lion-Hearted was finally achieved
and the Holy City, by the decision of the nations of the world, was proclaimed
the City of Peace on Earth, the British shelled it for four weeks with
field guns placed on the hills around the cityevery foot of which
is precious to all human heartsin order to make it a capital for
king Abdullah. Richard the Lion-Hearted must have turned over in his grave.
* * *
Ernest the Bovine-Hearted is today supreme in the British
Isles. Stewart Alsop has commented in the Herald Tribune on Britains
Palestine policy: The general British reaction to Bevins
policy [on Palestine] was recently summed up by one of Bevins staunchest
supporters, who remarked, Everyone knows that Ernies making
a proper muck of it, but every ones a hundred percent behind him.
A Shylock spirit lives in the Colonial Office and gangrene
infects the British Isles. The historic Shylock, the prototype of Shakespeares
character in The Merchant of Venice, was a gentile; his name
Paolo Mari Sechi and he demanded a pound of flesh from the debtor, a Jew,
whose name was Sansone Geneda. The story was told by Leti, Vita Sixto
Quinta, Venice, 1587.