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News Link • Palestine -- Israel

The Arabs Did It

• http://original.antiwar.com, by Uri Avnery

My father was an early Zionist. Popular Jewish humor in Germany at that time had it that "a Zionist is a Jew who wants to take money from another Jew in order to settle a third Jew in Palestine." My father certainly was not planning to go to Palestine himself.

Palestine was then a country bereft of ornamental trees. The Arab inhabitants cultivated olive trees, from which they made their scant living, and at that time the citrus trees were introduced. The olive tree is native – already in the Biblical story of Noah's ark, the dove fetches an olive leaf as a sign of life.

According to popular legend, during that war the Turkish administration cut down the trees in order to build a railway across the Sinai peninsula and dislodge the British from the Suez Canal. However, the British crossed the Sinai in the other direction and conquered Palestine.

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