In 1948 David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s founding father and the first prime minister of Israel, referred to Robert F. Maguire, the American pilot who directed and was Chief Pilot for Operation Magic Carpet, as “the Irish Moses” because he and his fleet of silver C-54 transport planes flew tens of thousands of Jewish refugees from all over the world to the new homeland for the Jews, the state of Israel. In 2004, just a year before his death, he was awarded the Medal of Valor by the Simon Wiesenthal Center for “his heroic efforts that helped to rescue tens of thousands of Jews” during 1948-49 after the founding of the State of Israel.
Paradoxically, my father, the “Irish Moses” for Israeli Jews, became very critical of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians in his later years, and refused an invitation to attend ceremonies in Israel celebrating the 50th anniversary of its independence in 1998. His refusal and criticism of Israeli policies toward the Palestinians sparked my interest in the current Israeli-Arab conflict over Palestine.
As the youngest son of the Irish Moses, I hope my blog and writings can contribute to the re-creation of a promised land for the Palestinians who have been exiled and prevented by Israeli Jews, for the past 63 years, from returning to a homeland of their own, as promised to them by the United Nations in 1947.
Palestine is the Promised Land for Jews, Muslims and Christians alike. It is time that Promise is fulfilled for the Palestinians who, like the Jews, are deserving of their own Moses, be he or she Irish or other.
As you will probably note, I explain why I haven’t been responding to the ‘firestorm”
of comments, as you call them. As always, yours are excellent, and if I were up to it I’d continue the debate. But thanks anyway.
BTW, (as I think we nerds say), could you respond to my email address, so I can copy it into my address book?
Hope you are doing well and are on the mend. I’m looking forward to more of your thought-provoking articles.
Get well soon!
Gil Maguire http://www.irishmoses.com