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Sunday, July 10, 2011

The more things change, the more they stay the same

Two years ago, I posted a 1958 interview Mike Wallace with Abba Eban, who was Israel's Foreign Minister during the Six-Day War. I had occasion to look at that post again this morning due to this article by Sarah Honig. I'd like to repost the video - this time from YouTube.

It's in three parts. Here's the first part. Let's go to the videotape.

Here's the second part. Let's go to the videotape.

Here's the third part. Let's go to the videotape.

Two years ago, I commented:
What's amazing in watching this video is how much things are still the same (except for the cigarette ads). In particular, I want to point out to you that the Arabs were complaining about land Israel had liberated in 1948 that went beyond the original lines that the UN had fixed in the 1947 partition plan. What they never mentioned was that they had rejected the partition plan and had lost that additional land in a war that they started. Does that sound familiar? It should. It's essentially the same thing that happened in 1967, and the Arabs have been crying about it ever since. Note who wants peace and who wants war.
In a column published on Friday, Sarah Honig comments.
Once we make allowances for cumulative historical processes and the propaganda-amplifying potential of new technologies (like the World Wide Web), it becomes obvious that the differences we perceive are mostly in detail rather than substance. The bare essence was uncannily the same back in the day.

Just get a load of Wallace’s opening salvo: “In its 10 years as a state, Israel has been involved in repeated violence, major border incidents and two open wars.” The subtext is that there’s something unsavory and belligerent about Israel, that it’s a troublemaker.

But then Wallace pulled out bigger guns – the Arab refugees: “Such men as historian Arnold Toynbee have said this: ‘The evil deeds committed by the Zionist Jews against the Arabs are comparable to crimes committed against the Jews by the Nazis.’”

Are we shocked? What can be more perversely prevalent in our existence than Nazi epithets hurled at the country that resisted annihilation merely three years after the Holocaust?

But perhaps we should all memorize Eban’s timeless retort. He accused Toynbee of “monstrous blasphemy. Here he takes the massacre of millions of our men, women and children, and compares it to the plight of Arab refugees alive, on their kindred soil, suffering certain anguish, but of course possessed of the supreme gift of life. The refugee problem is the result of an Arab policy which created the problem by the invasion of Israel, which perpetuates it... and which refuses to solve the problem which they have the full capacity to solve.”

Just as worthy of recall is Eban’s comment about Israel’s alleged expansionism. He advised everyone “not to lose any sleep at night worrying about whether the State of Israel is too big. Really there is nothing more grotesque or eccentric in the international life of our times than the doctrine that little Israel, 8,000 square miles in area, should become even smaller in order that the vast Arab Empire should still further expand.”

Wallace escalated his provocation: “Mr. Ambassador, do you... foresee further territorial expansion by Israel?” In gentlemanly tones Eban objected: “I don’t like the word ‘further,’ Mr. Wallace... I wonder whether the issue isn’t one of Arab expansion.”

Wallace wouldn’t let go: “Israel benefited territorially from a war, from armed violence.”

Eban was unfazed: “Yes, I’m glad to say that I hope that whenever countries wage a war of aggression, as the Arab States did, they should be the losers.”

Unswayed, Wallace pressed on: “As a member of the Judaic faith, which cherishes social justice and morality, do you believe that any country should profit territorially from violence?” The entire exchange reveals the pervasiveness of anti-Israel mainstream-media bias long before the Six Day War. Although the Arabs controlled all the territories which Palestinians currently claim for their state, Israel was portrayed, already then, as an occupier – because it successfully fended off a concerted attack by seven Arab armies on the day of its birth.
Read the whole thing.

Honig doesn't mention it, but the part about the Egyptian banker saying "Israel can only exist on charity" is pretty funny in light of where Israel is today and where Egypt and the 'Palestinians' are today. Heh.

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At 4:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carl, even the cigarette ads are the same. Just a reminder of the know-all retired IDF officer's monologue at the beginning of this past week's full Latma show.

At 6:07 PM, Blogger Captain.H said...

I'm old enough to distinctly remember watching as a teenager, on TV Abba Eban's speech to the UN Security Council at the end of the Six Day War. Wow, what powerful, passionate, eloquent oratory!

I just pulled up the Wiki page on Abba Eban. Impressive is an understatement. You can get an instant picture of Eban's intellect from the information that he graduated from Cambridge University with "triple firsts". For those of us used to American-style academic rankings, that's equivalent to going to a really first class university and graduating Summa Cum Laude in THREE Majors. That's an achievement only a highly self-disciplined, really first class mind can achieve.

He even managed to impress Henry Kissinger, "I have never encountered anyone who matched his command of the English language. Sentences poured forth in mellifluous constructions complicated enough to test the listener’s intelligence and simultaneously leave him transfixed by the speaker’s virtuosity."

I'm amazed that Carl was able to find this old TV interview. Well done, Carl! Now, if you could find for us a video of Abba Eban's 1967 awesome speech to the UN Security Council, that'd be terrific.

At 9:16 AM, Blogger Lawrence said...

I had no idea that Toynbee was such a Jew-hater, wow.

It goes to show that the Judenhass as anti-Israel venom of the Western liberal is nothing new, it really goes way back..


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