SIR – I have been enjoying Malta – another ex-British territory that has done well for itself by its bootstraps – to return to find Bob Storey's column of double standards and bilious outrage that his principals are tripping over their bootlaces ... again.
In 1967, whatever Nasser ‘really wanted’ to do, he publicised as breathing fiery revenge for the 1948 (deserved) ‘black eyes’ and out to demolish Tel Aviv; besides admitted in the official Egyptian report in Octpber ’67, the USSR had set up the war with rumours to lean on the US with a little Mid East fracas to get out of Vietnam as a tit-for-tat to call off the Arabs from thumping Israel.
However, balls bounce and the Arab armies of 1948-’67 were not up to scratch. I was 26 in 1967 and the fortnight prior to the war frightened everybody for real especially when the West did not send navies to open the Egyptian aggression of blockading Eilat and it looked as if Israel would be abandoned like Czechoslovakia at Munich.
Little changes. Hamas rejects the Jewish people, never mind their state, and fires 12,000 (or is it 15,000?) rockets at Israeli civilians – collective punishment? – lets off fire balloons to burn five figures of acres: crops, forest and nature reserve (such a green protest!), then complains of military retaliation.
Palestine protagonists object to Israel every which way then demand citizens' rights. Sorry Israel's Arabs have all citizens' rights, but the PA Arabs are agreed not in Israel and have to make their own PA work for themselves and have only visitors' civic and commercial rights in Israel. It would help if the PA called off their violence and the PA made peace instead of rejecting yet another peace plan.
As regards rights in 1948 only 30% of Palestine West of the Jordan was private freehold and the rest waste or crown land – mostly in the 50% of the country in Beer Sheba sub-district's Negev Desert. The Jewish community of the Mandate paid two-thirds of the tax revenue, i.e. four times the rate of the Arab two-thirds of the population.
The divorce at 44% to 56% was not unreasonable as roughly the Jews got their 7% minus and two-thirds of the 70% and the Arabs got their 24% plus one-third of the 70%.
Finally, the Arabs did not have to reject UN181 and start a war. The surrounding Arab states did not have to interfere for lying excuses when, as turned out, they bagged Arab Western Palestine for themselves.