Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 10, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
srael: bravest nation in the world Thursday, May 10, 1973 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 5 By David Astor, London Observer commentator The 25th anniversary of the state of Israel is an occasion for paying respect. That a poly- glot collection of small traders, professional men, clerks and artisans could so Quickly trans- form themselves into a nation of soldiers and pioneers is a cause for wonderment. That this small nation has also cher- ished the arts and sciences and practised free political discus- sion is a kind of miracle. The continued existence of the state of Israel is not a con- cern to which any liberal- minded European could feel in- difference. The story of the Jews for the last years has been largely a European story; Jewish and Christian his- tory have intertwined. As ev- eryone knows, many of the thinkers and scientists who made the modern world had the fearlessly questioning mind that Judaic culture has notably produced. Today, most coun- tries of the owe some- thing of their intellectual vital- ity to their citizens of Jewish descent. The other bond between Jews and Christians is the negative side of this story. The intermit- tent persecution of Jews throughout the centuries has happened in Christian coun- tries. In Muslim and Hindu so- cieties Jews have usually lived in peace. Disagreeable though the fact may be, every Christian society has a history of Jewish ill-treatment we seldom remember that Eng- land, like Spain, drove out all its Jews, causing a mass sui- cide in York. As we know only too well, this evil prejudice reached its ter- rifying climax when Hitler's men rounded up all those of Jewish descent in continental Europe. The people of Holland and Denmark, to their eternal honor, showed that by a dedi- cated social effort some Jew- ish families could be saved. But they were almost alone in this. A worse disgrace was the be- havior of countries outside con- tinental Europe. Without excep- tion they refused to admit Jewish refugees in substantial numbers, for fear that this would not be acceptable to their own people. It was this apparently universal preiudice that resulted in Auschwitz the Nazis could not drive the Jews abroad and had thereby seen how little the rest of the world cared about them. This s e e r i n g experience largely explains one of the main factors of the Middle East situation today. That is the un- willingness of Israelis to rely on anyone else's protection. Their past has convinced them that nobody else will raise a hand for them, if it's inconven- ient. And, should any Israeli doubt this he need only remem- ber how General de Gaulle, at one time Israel's chief military backer, decided overnight to swap the Israelis for the Arabs as France's Middle Eastern ally, because it suited France to do so. It is this deep mistrust that inclines Israel to adopt a I-have-I-hold attitude in its pre- s e n t international situation. And, of course, there are fac- tors in the present that rein- force memories of the past. Israel lives surrounded by ene- mies, as has been demonstrat- ed by two wars and a thousand speeches. This basic fact of Israel's sit- uation is due to another, that Israel is built on land that others claim as theirs. There may seem to be nothing alto- gether unusual about this'. All nations live in territory that their ancestors once wrested from someone else. And all modern immigrant societies, such as those of the Americas and Antip odes, established themselves by forcibly getting rid of the original native in- habitants. Unlike the Zionists, some of these Christian set- tlers practised policies of ex- termination, as did the British in Tasmania. Why, then, have the Israelis incurred such specially bitter resentment from the Palestini- ans and other Arabs? It is partly that the Palestinians, while not being exterminated, had to move out in huge num- bers for no good reason in jus- tice; it is partly that they were more culturally advanced than American Indians and, indeed, than many of their Arab neigh- bors: the Israelis took over, not a desert, but a largely culti- vated and developed land. But it is also that the Arabs, like others all round the world who had experienced European do- mination, were at this time be- ginning to demand an end of foreign domination. They were remembering their own proud history; wanting to acquire the technologies that had given the power over them. They were at the stage that makes p3ople fiercely anti-im- perialist. The arrival of the in Palestine was not seen by Zion- ists as part of European im- perialism; their motives were different from those of other European settlers. The Zionists had been horribly persecuted: they claimed an historic tie with Palestine: and they had no wish to rule, or in any way dominate, any subject peoole. But the one way in which Zion- ists resembled 'other European colonizers was in their assump- tion that they had a right to land that others were inhabit- ing. This total contradiction in is having a FRED 25 years experience Fred, Les, Con and Cayle welcome Mr. Bob Barber to Toyota Travel Centre's sales staff. Bob was In the automotive Industry for eight years at Rocky Mountain House, where he had a GM dealership. He also spent several years as District Manager for Massey Ferguson, having worked out of Edmonton end Calgary. He moved to lethbridge In 1955. From 1955 to his present appointment at Toyota Travel, Bob was involved in the farm machinery and motel business. Bob welcomes his many friends and customers to visit him at Toyota Travel Centre and to see the fine display of Toyota cars and trucks. 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PHONE 327-3155 TK the Arab and Jewish views of Zionism one seeing it as im- perialism, the other as the cre- ation of a refuge in their his- toric homeland for the most desperate of persecuted people has led by stages to the present total deadlock in their relations. In some ways, this impasse may not seem entire- ly calamitous for Israel. There is almost no fighting today. The Palestinians on the West Bank are quiet and becoming more prosperous. There is no force in the Middle East that could challenge Israel's armed forces and the American 6th Fleet is standing by to hold off possible Russian pressure. The view that in this situa- tion time is on the side of Is- rael is popular inside the coun- try itself. But there are factors that make this uncertain. What happens if the West Bank Pal- estinian population, living under Israeli rule, increases till it is greater in number then the Jewish population If they were to be made equal citizens Israel would cease to be a Jew- ish State; if they were not Is- rael would have acquired a helot majority population. Another factor where time is not surely on Israel's side is the relative balance of power between Israel and the Arab states. At present Israel has an undoubted military hegemony over most of the Middle East. But, within the next 10 years, the wealth in the hands of oil- exporting countries will have soared. They will be able to buy themselves military r o c k ets capable of bombardment from a long distance. It would then become increasingly difficult for Israel's forces to knock out all the bases of such rockets and impossible to contemplate invading and holding down all the Arab countries involved. In those circumstances, not even a nuclear capacity of their own would give the Israelis the im- munity from attack they now enjoy. What Is the alternative' Some kind of peace settlement with the Arab states. But such a settlement could only be had through restoring more or less the 1967 frontiers, and that ob- viously would leave Israel ter- ritorially weakened as com- pared to today. It is for the Israelis to make their own decisions in these momentous matters and every- one who knows them knows that they will. But it is for the countries of Western Europe and the United States who want peace in the Middle East and also want to see Israel flourish, to decide their atti- tude to one question: what guarantees of defence to both sides could be given if an Arab-Israeli peace settlement were to be reached. How could guarantors make their physical ability to stop surprise attacks in so small an area sufficiently believable? How could they convince both parties that their forces would not be withdrawn at some fu- ture date when it was no longer convenient to keep them there? Would anything less than a Soviet American joint pres- ence on the ground be a suffi- cient basis for such guaran- tees? There are various possible answers to these questions: but unless such answers have been worked out and formally offer- ed to both parties it will be useless to wait for the Israelis to make the first move. A quarter century of living with enemies just around the corner of your house, after a couple of thousand years with no home of your own, is not the prep- aration for a man to move from apparent safety into ap- parent risk. Books in brief "Journey Through Europe" bv John Hillaby. (Longman Canada Ltd., 272 pages, "If you are reasonably fit and enjoy what you are doing, you can walk almost any- so says John Hillaby. And walk almost anywhere he does. This time across Eurooe, from the Dutch coast to the Mediterranean. Hillaby's writing is surpris- ingly light and interesting, full legends, charming stories and even a smattering of his- tory. It reads easily for the most part, but the over-abund- ance of foreign phrases is a drawback to anyone not fami- liar with the various languages. The author makes many no- tations on pollution, but one of the mosf forceful is this one: "Holland had been fair enough, but I wouldn't wish the Lower Mouse on a dog. Hopefully there would be about 200 miles of open country before indus- try merged It's a surprisingly good book, not a dry travelogue, but a solendid, enjoyable dialogue about what a man likes doing best walking. GARRY ALLISON Stability Kenya style By Louis Eurke NAIROBI Nothing is more vital to a developing country than stability. It cre- ates the atmosphere which helps investors to make up their minds about putting mon- ey into a country, and money is the fer- tilizer so necessary for national growth. Of the three East African countries, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, Kenya is the most stabilized though as someone said it is "cooking." However, its present stabil- ity is something of a surprise in the light of its history as a colony. Its second is the worst, culminating in the spectacular Mau Mau rebellion of the fifties. Nor did it have a steady start when Uhuru, or independ- ence, came in the sixties. Within a year the baby nation was rocked by revolution; quenched by the rapid arrival of British troops from Aden on the Arabian Gulf. No one called it an invasion because it saved the lives of hundreds if not thous- ands. Yet one wonders at the presence of British troops a decade latar in a free and independent nation. They are strong and reckoned capable of handling a rebel force of 10 times their number. One is not told that British troops are here. Like a puzzle, the pieces fall into place young men, close cropped hair, all alike, language and vocabulary limited and military. Finally, the last piece ap- pears when a trooper dressed in full bat- tle gear with black beret jumps from a large truck somewhere in downtown Nai- robi. Of course, it may only be a military exercise, but that is not the people say. There is, however, another factor in Ken- ya's stability. Naturally it is related to Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and the events of the last two decades. In the 50s, the world learned of the ugliest of African revolts, known as Mau Mau, but too few recog- nized it for what it really wcs a vicious civil war which spilled out of the forests around Mount Kenya and onto the Kingin- gops, or "white highlands." Because a few hundred whiles were chopped up horribly, it was labeled a black revolt. No one sym- pathized with the thousands of Kikuyu and Kikamba who vanished in deaths more horrible bocause brother fought brother. Eventually Mzee Kenyata brought sta- bility to the ship of state, forgiving the British for their brutal retaliations, but ftot forgetting the lessons learned. Having spent half his life overseas, the president of Kenya knows the wiles of the white man. He continues to milk his former mas- ters of millions of dollars yearly while his paternal hand rocks the nation in its cradle- hcod. Kenya is made of many tribes, each one a nation in numbers the Kikuyu, Kik- amba, Jaluo, Nandi, Masai and others. They are as alike as Poles and Danes. But while Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and the British army remains alive and well in Kenya, peace ill reign. When the presi- dent dies, and he is old now, it is any- one's guess what will happen. As one edu- cator said to me, is no politician who aims lower than the top. Everyone knows there is only room for one of them on the Not Holy Writ From The Winnipeg Free Press Not since the Scopes trial of 1925 has the issue of whether Darwinism should be taught in the schools of this continent re- ceived as much publcity as it has in the past few weeks. Now, aLiiost concurrently, in Alberta and California, the issue has been joined again. Leading to the present imbroglio has been the discovery of fossilized footprints in a Texas riverbed, found 30 years ago, but not investigated by creationists until re- cently. The footprints seem to indicate that primitive man co-existed with the dino- saurs. This appears to contradict the geolo- gical timetable which places 70 to 100 mil- lion years between the dinosaurs and man. In California the fundamentalists have won a victory of sorts by persuading the state educational authorities that Darwin- ism should be taught as a theory and not as a fact; in Alberta there is a move on foot with the possibility of a test case before the Supreme Court of the prov- ince to achieve the same result. At first glance there may appear to be something iixongruous in all this, but it may have a point, even if it's no more than to remind us that the dogmas of science are as much to b e questioned as the dog- mas of religion. In asking that Darwinism be taught as theory and not as a fact, the opponents of evolution are asking no more than Darwin himself would have asked. He did not present his theory as more than a theory though it remains, as a whole, if not in detail, the best theory regarding the origin and development of life that we yet have. But he never insisted on its acceptance as fact. It is those who have come after him including unthinking educators who have done that, giving Ms theory an aura of infallibility that he would never have given it himself. Without endorsing the view of the ex- treme fundamentalists, it is possible, in the circumstances, to sympathize with the move to place the Darwinian theory where it belongs and, at the same time, to see science as an opsn-ended development. If the Alberta and California experiences teach nothing else, they remind us that the "truths" of science are constantly sub- ject to change and that we are as much in error in accepting the infalliblity of sci- ence as in accepting the infallibility of any other form of Holy Writ. ANDY RUSSELL The Barren Grounds caribou WATERTON LAKES PARK At one time in the far north of Canada and Alaska, among the big arctic prairies and mountains of the Yukon and Northwest Ter- ritories, it is estimated there were three and half to four million Barren Grounds caribou. These are different from tne wood- land and mountain caribou in the fact that they still migrate over vast stretches of country and consequently are far more nu- merous. Their migrations take from wintering grounds south of trecline away down to the shores of the Arctic Ocean and the Beaufort Sea hi summer. But the herds are much reduced now, partly because of over- kill, before there was any protection given them, and partly due to changing environ- m-nt. Up in the Porcupine Paver country of northeast Yukon Territory there are 000 head still wintering on and about the Old Crow Flats. Here they are still the major food source of the Old Crow In- dians, who for centuries have eaten their meat, dressed themselves in the soft tan- ned deer hides and made tools and orna- ments from the antlers. There is concrete archaeological evidence that the nativs people of this region were living off the caribou years ago. Although caribou numbers are nothing compared to the old days, there is still a herd of head wintering there an impressive sight as they pour north in spring on their great migration northwest into Alaska. About arc still to be found in the region south of Bathursf In- let in the Northwest Territories. Perhaps a quarter of A million more can be found in northern-central Alaska migrating back and forth through the mountain passes there. By using vast reaches of country in their feeding on the tundra and shrubbery of the north they are able to survive. But if for any reason these migrations are cut off by pipelines, railroads or highways, or access allows a drastic over-kill, caribou numbers will fade to a comparative handful, for only by constant migration can they find enough suitable forage to maintain the herds. Confined to any limited area their feeding pressure will quickly upset the delicately balanced arctic growth and they will largely die out. In no way can man replace this fast warm blooded renewable resource with any kind of domestic animal, for the cari- bou is a prolific and very specialized prod- duct of nature that took many thousands of years to evolve and there is no other animal that can come anywhere near sue- cessful living in such a harsh environ- ment. Consequently any kind of development plan in the north must spend sufficient time and effort to find the best way to harvest the energy resources there with the least possible disturbance. Some au- thorities of considerable experience say quite flatly that it is impossible. Maybe they are right, but the energy resources will be taken The least we can do is to take every possible precaution to take them with the least possible upset to the environment, For to upset the environment of the cari- bou will reach much farther than the decimation of that species. It will have vast social repercussions amongst the many na- tive people dependent on them and by the same token we will suffer, for when any part of the social structure of a country is affected, no part of the people of that country escapes the consequences. So apart from the technical and aesthetic challenges of finding (he best way to de- velop the north, we are obliged to find the very be.sl way to do it for our own good. The day is past whan we can take the attitude that we can inlrude how and where we like without making the best pos- sible adjustments and plans for that in- trusion. No longer can we afford the expense of considering the cost of developments in construction alone. Feasibility es'imates must take into consideration the long-term results of such intrusion, otherwise we are overlooking the responsibilities we hold for the future.