They gave him a Silver as a sign of trust and friendship.
about the AHMEDINJAD speech.... here is a comment worth reading:
Firstly I'm a Conservative voting, capitalist, proud British Citizen. I
don't read tabloid papers, and I don't believe everything I see on
television. I think the USA is an incredible country and having spent a
lot of time with it's people I'm constantly impressed by their welcoming
and generous nature.
Having read the FULL TRANSCRIPT, not some edited tabloid version I have to
say I'm impressed by the man.
I am disgusted by the hosts introduction, I think he forgot his manners,
his courtesy and above all his respect. Like him or not, Ahmadinejad is a
president, a leader of a foreign power, and he acted like such, what an
awful message Lee Bollinger has sent to the Iranian people on the etiquet
of American representatives.
Quick Summary -
Ahmadinejad correctly points out that, well before 9/11 Iran was attacked
by a terrorist group that is now state funded by America! During those
attacks the government was decapitated and over 4,000 Iranians were
killed! Double standards anyone? Lets see if the media points that one out!
He reminds us that American backed Saddam Hussein attacked his country and
killed thousands of his people using WMD's.
He points out that they have been an IAEA member state for 33 years.
He points out that the IAEA has not once raised concerns over the Iranian
He points out that they have accepted the offer for foreign provision of
nuclear fuel and technology in the past but have been repeatedly let down
on this, why should he allow it to happen again?
He points out that as a member of the IAEA they have a right to nuclear
He admits the the holocaust occured but would like to further research
it's causes, it's origin and it's current day implications.
He absolutely states that his country does not wish to harm any other.
He questions Israel's right to exist and to own the land which it claims.
He does not at any point say he wishes to remove it, nor does he deny
this. If Israel's land claims are wrong, should they have any right to
He asks for a referendum across Isreal and Palastine, he is promoting
democratic principles not followed by our leaders before we invaded Iraq!
He tells us that Jewish Iranians hold positions in the goverment.
He doesn't answer the questions about political detainees in Iranian
prisons, which will surely provoke a negative response. But I asked
myself, would Bush answer specific questions about specific prisoners at
Quantanamo, held without trial? I don't think so!
He correctly points out that America also uses draconian capital
punishment, and that however this is acheived the end result is the same,
death! Something we abolished a long time ago here in the UK.
He points out that Iranian women hold high positions in the government. I
watched a BBC programme not long ago that backed this up, with Iranian
business women claiming they are sometimes more respected than their male
He claims not to have homosexuality in Iran! This is either a deluded
comment, or something is lost in translation. He claims not to have the
"phenomenon" witnessed in the USA. I think it's fair to say that most arab
nations have not seen it either! Draw your own conclusions there.
He says that he wanted to go to 'ground zero' to pay his respects.
Personally I think he should have been allowed to go, after all he
dislikes Al Queda as much as the rest of us!
Personally he struck me as a composed, intelligent if not slighty too
religiously orientated, leader. I felt that he dealt with a blatent
display of disrespect with dignity and professionalism. I think he got his
point across well without needing to rant or try and stir emotions a'la
I think that for a country that has been continually attacked by western
leaders and media he is incredibly placid.
Compared to other leaders he answered questions directly and did well to
avoid been drawn into giving answers to loaded questions.
here is a brief history lesson.
Between about 1800 and 1500 B.C., it is thought that a Semitic people
called Hebrews (hapiru) left Mesopotamia and settled in Canaan.
The Assyrians conquered Israel in 722 or 721 B.C. The Babylonians
conquered Judah around 586 B.C
About 50 years later, the Persian king Cyrus conquered Babylonia.
Alexander the Great then conquered the Persian Empire. After Alexander's
death in 323 B.C.
his generals divided the empire. One of these generals, Seleucus, founded
a dynasty that gained control of much of Palestine about 200 B.C
In 167 B.C., the Jews revolted under the leadership of the Maccabeans and
either drove the Seleucids out of Palestine or at least established a
large degree of autonomy, forming a kingdom with its capital in Jerusalem.
About 61 B.C., Roman troops under Pompei invaded Judea and sacked
Jerusalem in support of King Herod.
Roman rulers put down Jewish revolts in about A.D. 70 and A.D. 132. In
A.D. 135, the Romans drove the Jews out of Jerusalem, following the failed
Bar Kochba revolt. The Romans named the area Palaestina, at about this
Palestine was governed by the Roman Empire until the fourth century A.D.
(300's) and then by the Byzantine Empire.
During the seventh century (A.D. 600's), Muslim Arab armies moved north
from Arabia to conquer most of the Middle East, including Palestine.
Jerusalem was conquered about 638 by the Caliph Umar (Omar) who gave his
protection to its inhabitants. Muslim powers controlled the region until
the early 1900's. The rulers allowed Christians and Jews to keep their
The Seljuk Turks conquered Jerusalem in 1071, but their rule in Palestine
lasted less than 30 years
The Fatimids took advantage of the Seljuk struggles with the Christian
crusaders. They made an alliance with the crusaders in 1098 and captured
Jerusalem, Jaffa and other parts of Palestine.
The Crusaders, however, broke the alliance and invaded Palestine about a
year later. They captured Jaffa and Jerusalem in 1099, slaughtered many
Jewish and Muslim defenders and forbade Jews to live in Jerusalem. They
held the city until 1187.
The crusaders left Palestine for good when the Muslims captured Acre in
In the mid-1200's, Mamelukes, originally soldier-slaves of the Arabs based
in Egypt, established an empire that in time included the area of
Palestine. Arab-speaking Muslims made up most of the population of the
area once called Palestine.
Beginning in the late 1300's, Jews from Spain and other Mediterranean
lands settled in Jerusalem and other parts of the land.
The Ottoman Empire defeated the Mamelukes in 1517, and Palestine became
part of the Ottoman Empire.
The Turkish Sultan invited Jews fleeing the Spanish Catholic inquisition
to settle in the Turkish empire, including several cities in Palestine.
In 1798, Napoleon entered the land. The war with Napoleon and subsequent
misadministration by Egyptian and Ottoman rulers, reduced the population
of Palestine. Arabs and Jews fled to safer and more prosperous lands.
(Revolts by Palestinian Arabs against Egyptian and Ottoman rule at this
time may have helped to catalyze Palestinian national feeling.)
Both Arab and Jewish population increased. By 1880, about 24,000 Jews were
living in Palestine, out of a population of about 400,000. At about that
time, the Ottoman government imposed severe restrictions on Jewish
immigration and land purchase, and also began actively soliciting inviting
Muslims from other parts of the Ottoman empire to settle in Palestine,
including Circassians and Bosnians. The restrictions were evaded in
various ways by Jews seeking to colonize Palestine, chiefly by bribery.
In the nineteenth century new social currents animated Jewish life. The
emancipation of European Jews, signaled by the French revolution, brought
Jews out of the Ghetto and into the modern world, exposing them to modern
Beginning in the late 1800's, oppression of Jews in Eastern Europe
stimulated emigration of Jews to Palestine.
The Zionist movement became a formal organization in 1897
The Zionists wished to establish a "Jewish Homeland" in Palestine under
Turkish or German rule.
The Zionists established farm communities in Palestine at Petah Tikva,
Zichron Jacob, Rishon Letzion and elsewhere. Later they established the
new city of Tel Aviv, north of Jaffa. At the same time, Palestine's Arab
population grew rapidly. By 1914, the total population of Palestine stood
at about 700,000. About 615,000 were Arabs, and 85,000 to 100,000 were
During World War I (1914-1918), the Ottoman Empire joined Germany and
Austria-Hungary against the Allies. An Ottoman military government ruled
Palestine. The war was hard on both Jewish and Arab populations however,
it was more difficult for the Jews
A large number of Jews were Russian nationals. They had been able to enter
Palestine as Russian nationals because of the concessions Turkey had
granted to Russian citizens, and they had used this method to overcome
restrictions on immigration. They had also maintained Russian citizenship
to avoid being drafted into the Turkish army. Therefore, a large number of
Jews were forced to flee Palestine during the war.
Britain and France planned to divide the Ottoman holdings in the Middle
East among themselves after the war. The Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916
called for part of Palestine to be under British rule, part to be placed
under a joint Allied government, and for Syria and Lebanon to be given to
In 1916, Arabs led by T.E. Lawrence and backed by Sharif Husayn revolted
against the Ottomans in the belief that Britain would help establish Arab
independence in the Middle East.
The United States and other countries pressed for Arab self-determination.
The Arabs, and many in the British government including Lawrence, believed
that the Arabs had been short-changed by the British promise to give Syria
to the French, and likewise by the promise of Palestine as a Jewish
homeland. The Arabs claimed that Palestine was included in the area
promised to them, but the British denied this.
In November 1917, before Britain had conquered Jerusalem and the area to
be known as Palestine, Britain issued the Balfour Declaration. The
declaration stated Britain's support for the creation of a Jewish national
home in Palestine, without violating the civil and religious rights of the
existing non-Jewish communities
After the war, the League of Nations divided much of the Ottoman Empire
into mandated territories. The British and French saw the Mandates as
instruments of imperial ambitions.
US President Wilson insisted that the mandates must foster eventual
independence. The British were anxious to keep Palestine away from the
French, and decided to ask for a mandate that would implement the Jewish
national home of the Balfour declaration, a project that would be
supported by the Americans. The Arabs opposed the idea of a Jewish
national home, considering that the areas now called Palestine were their
land. The Arabs felt they were in danger of dispossession by the Zionists,
and did not relish living under Jewish rule.
By this time, Zionists had recognized the inevitability of conflict with
the Palestinian and other Arabs. The Zionists and others presented their
case to the Paris Peace conference. Ultimately, the British plan was
adopted. The main issues taken into account were division of rights
between Britain and France, rather than the views of the inhabitants.
In 1920, Britain received a provisional mandate over Palestine, which
would extend west and east of the River Jordan. The area of the mandate
given to Britain at the San Remo conference was much larger than historic
Palestine as envisaged by the Zionists, who had sought an eastern border
to the West of Amman. The mandate, based on the Balfour declaration, was
formalized in 1922. The mandate provided for an agency, later called "The
Jewish Agency for Palestine," that would represent Jewish interests in
Palestine to the British and to promote Jewish immigration. A Jewish
agency was created only in 1929.
The area granted to the mandate was much larger than the area sought by
the Zionists. It is possible, that as Churchill suggested in 1922, the
British never intended that all of this area would become a Jewish
national home. On the other hand, some believe that Britain had no special
plans for Transjordan initially.
In 1921 Abdullah, the son of King Husayn of the Hijaz, marched toward
Transjordan with 2,000 soldiers. Two days later, Abdullah marched north
and by March 1921, he occupied the entire country.
In 1922, the British declared that the boundary of Palestine would be
limited to the area west of the river. The area east of the river, called
Transjordan (now Jordan), was made a separate British mandate and
eventually given independence (See map at right) . A part of the Zionist
movement felt betrayed at losing a large area of what they termed
"historic Palestine" to Transjordan, and split off to form the
"Revisionist" movement, headed by Benjamin Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky.
In the spring of 1920, spring of 1921 and summer of 1929, Arab
nationalists opposed to the Balfour declaration, the mandate and the
Jewish National Home, instigated riots and pogroms against Jews in
Jerusalem, Hebron, Jaffa and Haifa. The violence led to the formation of
the Haganah Jewish self-defense organization in 1920. The riots of 1920
and 1921 reflected opposition to the Balfour declaration and fears that
the Arabs of Palestine would be dispossessed, and were probably attempts
to show the British that Palestine as a Jewish National home would be
Jewish immigration swelled in the 1930s, driven by persecution in Eastern
Europe, even before the rise of Nazism. Large numbers of Jews began to
come from Poland owing to discriminatory laws and harsh economic
In 1936 widespread rioting, later known as the Arab Revolt or Great
Uprising, broke out. The revolt was kindled when British forces killed Izz
al din El Qassam in a gun battle. Izz al Din El Qassam was a Syrian
preacher who had emigrated to Palestine and was agitating against the
British and the Jews.
The Peel commission of 1937 recommended partitioning Palestine into a
small Jewish state and a large Arab one. The commission's recommendations
also included voluntary transfer of Arabs and Jews to separate the
populations. The Jewish leadership considered the plan but the Palestinian
and Arab leadership, including King Saud of Saudi Arabia , rejected
partition and demanded that the British curtail Jewish immigration. Saud
said that if the British failed to follow Arab wishes in Palestine, the
Arabs would turn against them and side with their enemies. He said that
Arabs did not understand the "strange attitude of your British Government,
and the still more strange hypnotic influence which the Jews, a race
accursed by God according to His Holy Book, and destined to final
destruction and eternal damnation hereafter, appear to wield over them and
the English people generally."
In response to the riots, the British began limiting immigration and the
1939 White Paper decreed that 15,000 Jews would be allowed to enter
Palestine each year for five years. Thereafter, immigration would be
subject to Arab approval. At the same time, the British took drastic and
often cruel steps to curtail the riots. Husseini fled to Iraq, where he
was involved in an Axis-supported coup against the British and then to
Nazi Germany, where he subsequently broadcast for the Axis powers, was
active in curtailing Jewish immigration from neutral countries and
organized SS death squads in Yugoslavia.
During World War II (1939-1945), many Palestinian Arabs and Jews joined
the Allied forces. though some Palestinian and Arab leaders were
sympathetic to the Nazi cause. There were growing suspicions that the
Nazis were systematically exterminating the Jews of Europe. These
suspicions were later confirmed, and the extermination of European Jews
came to be known as the Holocaust. The continued threat of extermination
also created great pressure for immigration to Palestine, but the gates of
Palestine were closed by the British White Paper. In 1941 the British
freed Jewish Haganah underground leaders in a general amnesty, and they
joined the British in fighting the Germans.
The Jews of Palestine responded to the White Paper and the Holocaust by
organizing illegal immigration to Palestine from occupied Europe, through
the "Institution for Illegal Immigration" (Hamossad L'aliya Beth). Illegal
immigration (Aliya Bet) was organized by the Jewish Agency between 1939
and 1942, and again in 1945 and 1948.
Despite the desperate need to find a haven for refugees, the doors of
Palestine remained shut to Jewish immigration. The Zionist leadership met
in the Biltmore Hotel in New York City in 1942 and declared that it
supported the establishment of Palestine as a Jewish Commonwealth. This
was not simply a return to the Balfour declaration repudiated by the
British White Paper, but rather a restatement of Zionist aims that went
beyond the Balfour declaration, and a determination that the British were
in principle, an enemy to be fought, rather than an ally.
On November 6, members of the Jewish Lehi underground Eliyahu Hakim and
Eliyahu Bet Zuri assassinated Lord Moyne in Cairo. Moyne, a known
anti-Zionist, was Minister of State for the Middle East and in charge of
carrying out the terms of the 1939 White Paper - preventing Jewish
immigration to Palestine by force. He was also a personal friend of
Winston Churchill. The assassination did not change British policy, but it
turned Winston Churchill against the Zionists. Hakim and Bet Zuri were
caught and were hanged by the British in 1945.
In the summer of 1945, the Labor party came to power in Great Britain.
They had promised that they would reverse the British White Paper and
would support a Jewish state in Palestine. However, they presently reneged
on their promise, and continued and redoubled efforts to stop Jewish
immigration. The US and other countries brought pressure to bear on the
British to allow immigration. An Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry
recommended allowing 100,000 Jews to immigrate immediately to Palestine.
The Arabs brought pressure on the British to block such immigration. The
British found Palestine to be ungovernable and returned the mandate to the
United Nations, successor to the League of Nations.
The United Nations Special Commission on Palestine (UNSCOP) recommended
that Palestine be divided into an Arab state and a Jewish state. The
commission called for Jerusalem to be put under international
administration The UN General Assembly adopted this plan on Nov. 29, 1947
as UN Resolution (GA 181), owing to support of both the US and the Soviet
Union, and in particular, the personal support of US President Harry S.
Truman. Many factors contributed to Truman's decision to support
partition, including domestic politics and intense Zionist lobbying, no
The Jews accepted the UN decision, but the Arabs rejected it. It soon
became evident that the scheme could not work. Mutual antagonism would
make it impossible for either community to tolerate the other. The UN was
unwilling and unable to force implementation of the internationalization
of Jerusalem. The Arab League, at the instigation of Haj Amin Al-Husseini,
declared a war to rid Palestine of the Jews. In fact however, the Arab
countries each had separate agendas. Abdullah, king of Jordan, had an
informal and secret agreement with Israel, negotiated with Golda Meir, to
annex the portions of Palestine allocated to the Palestinian state in the
West Bank, and prevent formation of a Palestinian state. Syria wanted to
annex the northern part of Palestine, including Jewish and Arab areas.
The War of Independence or 1948 War is divided into the pre-independence
period, and the post-independence period. Clashes between Israeli
underground groups and Arab irregulars began almost as soon as the UN
passed the partition resolution. During this time, Arab countries did not
invade, though the Jordan legion did assist the in the attack against Gush
Etzion, a small block of settlements in the territory allocated to the
Palestinian state, south of Jerusalem.
And the rest is as they say....History