Israel's apologists, like Edith Parker (June 3 letter), keep repeating the hollow argument that "Palestine was never a state" implying that it can never be one. Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, let alone the pigmy states of the Gulf, were never states. Today they are all states. Why can't Palestine be a state also?
The same apologists have a tendency to present the facts in a misleading way, such as when Ms. Parker said: "the British Mandate expired." The British Mandate didn't expire. Actually, the British unilaterally decided to end the Mandate entrusted to them by the League of Nations, which left the local Arab population defenseless. Understandably, the neighboring Arab states came to the rescue of their brethren.
Not only do theses apologists lie, they even lie to themselves. On the subject of immigration, Ms. Parker said that "Statistics record that approximately 94,000 Jews and 60,000 Arabs immigrated into Palestine between 1922-1931," without indicating her source. By citing statistics not far apart, she is trying to insinuate that the Arabs were also "foreign-born intruders." Her figure for Jewish immigration is accurate but she deceptively inflates the number of Arab immigrants. According to the Palestine Royal Commission Report of 1937, the Arab immigration for that period was only 9,274. Also, Ms. Parker deliberately picked the period when Jewish immigration was at its lowest. Had she taken the 1920-1936 period covered by the Report, the total Jewish immigration would have been 282,645 compared to a total of just 19,073 Arab immigrants.
Now, the record is set straight.
June 4, 1998