Editor’s note: The following letter is in response to Zamir Thind’s letter to the editor that ran on Thursday’s opinion page. Miller taught at UC Davis from 1968 to 1971. He has lived in Contra Costa County since 2002.
I recognize that one should never judge the content of a course by the accounts of its students, but Mr. Thind’s recounting of the history of the Middle East is so confused that one has to wonder if he sleeps through class or if this is indeed the kind of drivel that is disseminated in POL 136 at UC Davis.
The assertion that the Jewish state was created out of fear of assimilation is as mindless as it is insipid. The Jewish state was the result of two imperatives: a 3,000-year affinity to the land, and a need for the Jewish people to find refuge in a world where the British Foreign Office and the American State Department preferred that Jews died in Hitler’s gas chambers rather than be rescued through emigration.
Contrary to Mr. Thind’s assertions, Britain actually hindered the creation of a Jewish State. As the British withdrew from the Mandate, they turned over strategic positions to the Arabs while disarming the Jews. Britain created the Arab Legion, staffed with British officers, that was the best trained and equipped and most capable fighting force during the Israeli War for Independence. At the UN, Britain actually abstained on the vote for partition and did not even recognize Israel until Jan. 29, 1949. A generation earlier, Britain arbitrarily created the “faux” state of Jordan, from which Jews were excluded.
As for the canards equating Judaism with Nazism, they are not worthy of a response.
Certainly, Mr. Thind must have learned in POL 136 that nearly one million Jews were expelled from Arab lands after 1948 and that for a Palestinian to sell land to a Jew is a capital crime.
In contrast, over a million Arabs live in Israel with equal political rights. Arabs serve in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, and have represented Israel at the UN and in Israel’s diplomatic corps. In Arab and Muslim lands, where Jews lived for centuries before there was an Islam or an Arab nationalism, almost no Jews remain.
Mr. Thind needs to rethink which culture seeks exclusion.