Tag Archives: Palestinian people

So, Just What is a “Palestinian,” Anyways?

image
The Philistines, of course, were a seafaring people of the Aegean islands.

They were one of the rivals for regional dominance competing with the ancient Israelites along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea over one thousand years before Jesus of Nazareth walked the land.

They were, needless to say, not a people from the Arabian peninsula and were in no way the forebears of those who conquered the Land of Israel in the seventh century.

This is to say that the ancient enemy of the Jews, the Philistines, are in no way related to the contemporary Arabs who have, for some reason, taken a Latin name that refers to a Greek people.

Furthermore, Palestinian-Arab authorities sometimes claim to be either descendants of the Philistines or descendants of the ancient Canaanites or descendants of the little known ancient Jebusites.

The areas of Judea and Samaria, and all the Land of Israel, was renamed Syria-Palestina by the Roman Emperor Hadrian around the year 135 CE for the explicit purpose of erasing Jewish history on the land of the defeated indigenous Jewish population upon the failure of the Bar Kochba Rebellion.

From that day to this the traditional homeland of the Jewish people was generally referred to as either “Palestine” or the “Holy Land” or “Eretz Israel,” depending upon among who, when, and where the conversation was taking place.

By the time that the Zionist project was well under way in the early part of the twentieth-century the terms “Palestine,” to refer to the region, and “Palestinian,” to refer to the Jews of the region, were commonplace in the west.

Throughout the first half of the twentieth-century a “Palestinian” was generally considered a Jew or, in official British terms during the period of the mandate, anyone, without regard to race or religion, who resided within the mandate, itself.  This definition, in my opinion, is probably the only one that actually makes sense from a liberal perspective.

As is often remarked, the Jerusalem Post was originally dubbed the “Palestine Post.”  It was not until after the Jews relinquished the designation of “Palestinian” that the local Arabs picked it up. This is why Golda Meir could famously tell the the Sunday Times in the summer of 1969:

There were no such thing as Palestinians. When was there an independent Palestinian people with a Palestinian state? It was either southern Syria before the First World War, and then it was a Palestine including Jordan. It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.

This is because “Palestine” was a regional, not a national designation.  The above quote is sometimes employed by the hard-left to suggest that Meir was racist, but the hard-left considers Israel to be a racist country, in any case, and all of its leaders from the past, including Golda, herself, to be fascistic.

The idea of “Palestinian” to refer specifically to the local Arabs only gained significant credence among Arabs, themselves, during the 1960s with the rise of Arafat and the PLO and with it, for the very first time in human history, an allegedly distinct ethnicity emerged for the specific purpose of robbing another people of sovereignty and self-defense on their own land.

For the Jewish people, therefore, the keffiyah resonates in a manner similar to a Klansmen’s hood.

In a certain kind of way, this answers the question of just what is a “Palestinian,” anyway?  You could accurately answer like this:

A “Palestinian” is an Arab residing on Jewish land whose cultural identity is largely dependent upon the effort to eliminate Jewish sovereignty and self-defense in Eretz Israel directly after the Holocaust

This definition, however, only makes sense if the Palestinian-Arabs do, in fact, represent a distinct national group.  While I understand about Benedict Anderson’s criticisms of nations as “imagined communities,” nonetheless for a distinct national group to be a distinct national group there must be significant cultural distinctions between that group and the larger related communities.

In the case of those whom we call “Palestinian” the distinctions are virtually non-existent. This is not the case between, for example, the Japanese and the Chinese because even non-Asians can readily observe the many cultural distinctions between these neighboring far east Asian peoples.  The “Palestinians,” however, share the same cuisine with other Arabs. They share the same religion with other Arabs. They share the same language with other Arabs. They share similar honor / shame codes.  Customs.   Culture.   Language.   Food.   Traditions.

All more or less the same.

The reason for this is because Palestinian-Arab nationalism was merely a recent response to the fact that the Jews had finally released ourselves from dhimmitude and we would simply no longer allow ourselves to be forced into second and third-class non-citizenship under Arab-Muslim domination.

Thirteen centuries was more than enough, thank you very much.

So, if “Palestinian” does not represent a distinct nation or ethnicity then just what is a “Palestinian”?

The truth of the matter, of course, is that “Palestine” is simply another name for the Land of Israel, but one foisted upon it by a malicious Roman conqueror.  Just as Jewish people have no moral obligation to recognize a “Palestinian” people who came into existence, as an allegedly distinct people, within recent decades for the specific purpose of doing Jewish people harm, so we have no compelling reason to resurrect the Greco-Roman name “Palestine” to refer to our homeland.

If the Arabs want to take a big bite out of Israel in order to create a criminal-terrorist entity on Jewish land, we’ve certainly given them every opportunity, but as Abba Eban famously said after the Geneva peace talks of 1973, the Palestinian-Arabs “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”

“Palestine,” it must furthermore be understood, refers to a region, not a nation.  Just as “Saharan” is not an ethnicity and “Californian” is not an ethnicity, so “Palestinian” is not an ethnicity. Everyone who lives in California is a “Californian.”  If you are resident of the state of California then, whatever else you may be, you are very definitely a Californian.

The same is true for everyone who lives in the Land of Israel.  They are all “Palestinian” in the sense that they all live in what was the British Mandate of Palestine.

A “Palestinian” might be an Arab and he or she might be a Muslim, but there are all sorts of “Palestinians” who are not Arab. The Palestinian Authority is willing to accept the idea of an “Arab Christian” as “Palestinian,” but that is where the door shuts closed. All others, despite residing in the region for perhaps generations, can never be considered “Palestinian” in the hard-right racist manner that the PA determines such things.

At the end of the day, however, everyone who lives in Eretz Israel is a “Palestinian,” if we need to even use such terminology, just as every citizen of the State of Israel is an Israeli, without regard to ethnicity or religion.   There are Arab-Israelis and Jewish-Israelis and Rosicrucian-Israelis and, presumably even, Chinese-Buddhist-Israelis, just as there are Arab-Palestinians and Jewish-Palestinians and Rosicrucian-Palestinians and, presumably even, Chinese-Buddhist-Palestinians.

The Arabs may represent a significant portion of what was once the British Mandate of Palestine, but they obviously never represented all of it.  The Jews were always willing to share, just as the Arabs were always determined to prevail in a zero-sum contest against their formerly persecuted subjects.

But if one is an all-or-nothing kind of person and if you cannot grab it all, you very often get nothing.

This is something that Mahmoud Abbas might well keep in mind.

http://blog.eretzyisrael.org/post/116919864662/so-just-what-is-a-palestinian-anyways

Palestinians and the Art of the Possible

Bismarck once said, “Politics is the art of the possible.” So it is with the Mideast, as much as it was in the Europe of Bismarck. The pro-Western, and pro-Zionist side is failing to take this insight to heart, preferring legal theory to practical wisdom.

The Jewish writer Yehudit Shier Weisberg is quick to cite San Remo as the authorization for Jewish settlement wherever in Judea and Samaria that Jews build communities. She has noted:

The present United Nations Charter recognizes its obligation to uphold the commitments of the League of Nation[s]. Article 80 of the UN Charter states that a right gained through a Mandate will not expire as a result of the expiration of a Mandate — Yehudit Shier Weisberg

Mrs. Weisberg further builds her case:

… [R]ights once granted or recognized under a treaty or other legal instrument do not expire with the expiration of the treaty or instrument is now codified in article 70(1)(b) of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties … — Yehudit Shier Weisberg

This leads to the conclusion:

So according to international law valid to this day, Jews are allowed to settle anywhere west of the Jordan River — Yehudit Shier Weisberg

With such a forceful legal insight, Mrs. Weisberg correctly asserts the Jewish right to build in Judea and Samaria under International Law.

However, the inconvenient flip side of San Remo, is that Arabs in Judea and Samaria are also to have full civil rights, which were also forcefully guaranteed by the Palestinian Mandate, and which also do not expire. If the Mandates obligations to the Jews are valid, so also are the obligations to the Arabs.

The same Mandate guaranteed:

…safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion. — Article 2, of final draft of the League of Nations San Remo Mandate

We know that these rights included the right to vote, as the British Mandate offered voting rights to the Arabs.

As I have told my Jewish friends, from time to time, San Remo is a two-edged sword, and one cannot assert one’s rights under San Remo, while ignoring the aforementioned rights of the Arabs. The Arabs were to be treated equitably, which requires voting and building permits.

If San Remo is to be the basis for Israel’s claims to Judea and Samaria, then extending full civil rights, including voting rights, to the Arabs must follow. This is precisely why Israel has offered the voting franchise to the Arabs in the Golan Heights and the eastern side of Jerusalem. If those local Arabs are foolish enough to  not avail themselves of the offer — and most are so foolish — their rights still do not expire, as Mrs. Weisberg has so forcefully demonstrated.

Where those rights are not tendered to the Arabs, the Jewish rights, it might be argued, are in abeyance, since the rights are connected. Yet, today the Arabs in Judea and Samaria, when prosecuted by Israel, are tried in military, not civil, courts with a consequent abridgment of legal protections. They have no say, by voting, in the Israeli government which controls their borders, a right guaranteed by San Remo, which, as noted, does not expire.

Sadly, San Remo was weak. Britain was quick to riddle the document with escape clauses; and duplicitous enough to avoid declaring a Jewish precedence in rights over the Arab, except in the right of setting up national homeland. Britain talked out of both sides of her mouth; and left a time bomb of a problem.

To be sure, I am not so crazy as to advocate that Israel immediately extend the franchise to 2 million increasingly radicalized Arabs in Judea and Samaria; but that is the flip side of any claim to the land based on San Remo. If Jewish rights do not expire, then neither do Arab rights. That is the rub; and that is why I am not so benighted as to build a case for Israel based on a flawed San Remo.

Therefore, let us remove the problem from sovereignty by virtue of a sorely duplicitous San Remo instrument and apply the principle of Bismarck. Let us aim for what is possible, with an eye to saving Israel apart from the suicidal obligations of San Remo to the Arabs.

Concentrating on what is possible, we find that young Arabs are willing to immigrate out of Judea and Samaria.

44% of young Palestinians are willing to [e]migrate if given the opportunity. — Dr. Martin Sherman, citing a Bir Zeit University Poll, as quoted by JPOST, 2006

That is an amazing statistic. At once we see that almost half of the future Palestinian demographic in Judea and Samaria could disappear, if we dispensed with blaming one side or the other, and worked to implementing a practical solution.

The Arab elite are so terrified of this statistic that they have issued fatwas against emigration.

No doubt, once the 44% have left, the remaining 56% might soften their hardline stance, and more could be persuaded to leave.

So the question remains: if 44% of Arab youth in Judea and Samaria are willing to emigrate. How can we help them? The answer, of course, is by financial compensation.

Arrangements can be made to offer visas to a third country, along with monetary packages, tended to the youth upon arrival in that country. The money should be sufficient to set the youth, or young family, up in a self-sustaining basis in the new land. Low-balling compensation, to lower costs, would only defeat the purpose. Moreover, the Palestinians should come in with enough capital that the receiving nations would welcome them as assets, rather than burdens. No nation will take in poor Palestinians.

$100,000 per adult, with $50,000 for children under 14, would prove more than sufficient to set up Palestinians for life in many countries, offering them enough to purchase a house and a business.

For this to work requires a willingness to forego some justice. Many Israelis want no part of reimbursing the violent Palestinians, but while such a view might have merit, the end result will be a continued low-grade war. Bismarck’s wisdom is in order here.

For a precedent to this view, one might cite the American Civil War. Prewar abolitionists were horrified when the plan to purchase and manumit slaves was considered. It was ungodly to reward the slave owner with profit for his crime. However, the Civil War cost far more than the contemplated purchased manumission would have, with the horrific result that 600,000 of America’s finest stock died. The Constitution would not have been distorted from a prewar extreme of state’s rights to the postwar extreme of Federal control, and a happier balance would have obtained. Sometimes, the most moral thing to do is to forego human justice; and leave it up to God.

Assuming we have such money available, what countries would take them in?

Sadly, we must rule out all the Arab countries. The Arabs have determinedly refused to naturalize Palestinians for decades, under the aegis of the Casablanca Protocol of 1965. Though neutrality stated, the Protocol is exercised to deny rights to any Palestinian. The Arabs, who otherwise disagree on everything else, have shown a remarkable cohesion on this. Some nations, like Saudi Arabia, have a Palestinian naturalization exclusion written into their laws.

Pressure could be put on non-Arab Muslim nations to take their brethren; though by extension, we can probably safely assume that Pakistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia will exhibit that very same Muslim solidarity against naturalization. Should that be proven wrong, and Palestinians be welcomed, these countries would prove wonderful destinations, where the Palestinians could be set up in a prosperous condition for a reasonable cost.

The cost of setting up the Palestinians in Europe and America would be prohibitive. Moreover, given Arab anger at the West — which is blamed for its part in creating Israel — it would probably not be so safe to take too many Palestinians in.

But, as I previously noted in AT, there is a place in the world where Arabs are welcomed, where they often become elites, and almost always assimilate well: South America. While most Arab immigrants to South America were Christian, not all were — and the descendants of those Muslims who did arrive are often Christian. Moreover, South America is a place where $100,000 per adult would be sufficient to set up the Palestinians for life.

So let’s crunch some numbers, shall we?

Uruguay allows anyone who can show a $6,000 a year income to immigrate in. A young Palestinian couple coming in with $200,000 would easily meet that requirement — with any future children becoming Uruguayan rather than potential mujahideen in Judea and Samaria.

Uruguay, right now, has a population of 3.3 Million, with less than 400 being Muslim.

The Muslim population lives primarily near the border with Brazil. An Islamic cultural representative estimated 300 to 400 Muslims in the country but noted that the majority were minimally observant. – U.S. State Department, 2007

Were Uruguay to accept 25,000 Muslims, they en toto would only constitute 0.75% of Uruguay’s population.

Uruguay is probably South America’s most secular republic. A civil war was fought over this principle, and Uruguay ruthlessly secularized, removing crucifixes from classrooms, and God from oaths. Such a secular people will not so easily tolerate Islamic extremism. The new Palestinian arrivals, if dispersed, will assimilate, and eventually Christianize and/or secularize over time.

We in America know fully well the power of Hispanic culture, which is why our legal, voting, and tax forms are now bilingual. Hispanic culture, formed out of the Reconquista, will not so easily yield to multicultural tolerance of Islamic shenanigans; but will eventually overpower it. Once young Palestinian females catch a glance of Uruguay’s lusty national dance, the Candombe, sharia will collapse rather quickly.

This is no mere exercise in thought. Obama and Kerry offered a $4 billion dollar package to the Palestinians trying to wring out a peace deal in 2013. For that same amount of money, they could have moved 40,000 young Palestinian women to South America, which would have been a real move for peace.

If Uruguay could easily take 25,000 Palestinians, how about Chile?

Chile has 18 Million people. Less than 4,000, or 0.025% are Muslim. Moreover Chile is in the midst of an Evangelical Revival, which would sweep up many new arrivals. If 100,000 Palestinians were sent to Chile — at an overall cost of $10 billion dollars — $100,000 per adult — they would still constitute only about 0.6% of the population. Already, Chile has shown a willingness to absorb even Muslim Palestinians at lower numbers. Chile has a large 500,000 strong, economically settled, assimilated, intermarried, and elite Palestinian Christian community, which is rather sympathetic to many of the Muslims in Judea and Samaria. These Palestinian Christians would outnumber the new Muslim arrivals around 5 to 1. The rest of Christian non-Palestinian Chileans would outnumber the Muslims almost 175 to 1.  A few new mosques might be built; but in the end, assimilation is inevitable, and the mosques would eventually be sold to strip malls for construction.

One has to merely make sure that the new arrivals are not concentrated in Muslim ghettos, and one can readily see that in one generation, most will convert either by intermarriage with Christians, or by choice. One could further recommend that individual families be located near Evangelical Pentecostal Churches, and the outcome would be all but certain.

Peru has 30 Million people with only 5,000 Muslims. If 150,000 Palestinians were sent to Peru, they would constitute less than 0.5% of the population. Like, Chile, Peru has strong Evangelical communities, some of which even send missionaries to the Muslim world.

Brazil, with 200 Million people, could take more. São Paulo has a large Christian Arab community which would welcome them, and even has an Arab Evangelical Church.

Likewise with Argentina, Paraguay, Colombia, etc. in proportion to their population, and economic capacity for absorption, with preference being given to those countries with stronger proselytizing Evangelical communities.

In all these countries, families coming in with $100,000 per adult, and $50,000 per child under 14, could easily buy a house, a car, and set up a business in South America. The arrivals would be readily welcomed by large Christian Arab communities, already prosperous and settled for generations, who would ease the immigrants’ introduction, and hasten their assimilation, while toning down their Islamic ardor, and probably completing the arrangement with intermarriage unto conversion, something which is quite common as evinced by this Muslim-Argentine with a Christian daughter.

A non-practicing Muslim, [Tamara] married an Argentine Christian and allowed her two daughters to choose their own religion. “One is a Christian, the other one is still thinking about it”, Tamara says. — Buenos Aires Herald

Though most Zionists are eager to point out that Islamic rage is independent of the return of the Jews to their land — in order to avoid the blame game — it cannot be denied that, though the Jews are right in their return, that return has been a red flag in the face of the Islamic bull.

We cannot accept that Palestine will become Jewish. — Osama Bin Laden

A festering Palestinian problem only aggravates an already crazed Islamic street. Moving the Palestinians out of Palestinian will not make the Muslim street any saner, but it will refocus their rage internally, rather than at the West, whom they blame for supporting Zionism.

But how can this be done? No Arab group will agree to sell out Palestine.

Precisely! But who says we have to go through Arab agencies? I suggest that the deal be discretely offered to individuals. Dr. Martin Sherman had referred to this as atomization. It does not require corporate Arab agreement.

An effort could be made, especially to young Arab women — the ones who have yet to start childbearing — that they could be offered an escape from sharia. They could be offered $100,000 and a visa to a South American republic. The key is the visa. Without an escape, they would never take the money. Women, in particular, being less violent, would be more readily acceptable to Latin countries. There is no reason that an offer could not be made, and the woman flown out in a few hours, before retaliation is even possible.

Would it work? To some extent. Every little bit helps. It will start off slowly, but as more settle into South America, social networks will be created to help the remaining arrivals. It will accelerate over time. Landed Arabs will never agree, but they are a minority. Landless — and by extension, rootless — youth would have nothing to lose. Concentrate on getting the women out, for they hold the key to stopping the demographic growth of Arabs. Removing men would do nothing in a polygamous society, where the remaining men would merely double up on the wives. As the number of women decrease, testosterone will force men to leave, many at their own expense.

Who should pay?

Some Christian churches, the Evangelical Right, should be asked to contribute. If Arab countries can be persuaded to contribute, I have no problem; but I doubt any Arab country will subsidize an Arab flight from “Palestine.” Don’t hold your breath.

Much of this will have to be subsidized by the Jewish community worldwide. If that irks some Jews, and it will, remind them of the Abolitionist error during the Civil War. Impress dissenters that by subsidizing the relocation, they are not rewarding the Arab, but rather indirectly paying a third-party country to take the problem off of Israel’s back. No payments means the Israelis are stuck with the problem. In the end, this will be cheaper than a Mideast Conflagration.

The EU should be persuaded — by legal action, if necessary — to stop contributing to Arab building projects. The millions spent on building solar-powered camps for Bedouins could easily pay for Palestinians to be relocated. It matters not whether the Arab construction is illegal, or whether Israel is illegally withholding permits from the Arabs. Avoid the legal wrangling altogether, and do what is practicable.

But does this sound crazy?

Au contraire! In fact, in 2008, Condoleezza Rice suggestion a Palestinian relocation to a province in Argentina.

The United States proposed giving Palestinian refugees land in South America as a radical solution to a problem that has haunted Middle East peace talks for decades. — The Guardian

Secretary Rice’s solution was just a variation of what is being suggested here, except that in this plan no one South American country would have to provide the whole solution by ceding a province, and the Palestinians would not be concentrated, encouraging a growth in Islam; but rather spread far and wide with an eye to assimilation.

Conclusion: Rather than arguing about the rights granted to the Jewish people under San Remo — which conversely require rights also be tendered to the Arabs as well — a better solution can be found in applying a common-sense policy of relocation, using the wisdom of Bismarck that “politics is the art of the possible.”

Forget the legalese, which can swing both ways, and concentrate on merely moving the Arabs out.

Recognize that whether morally just or not, Jews will have to pay much of the expense. Christian Zionists should also be encouraged to put their money where their mouth is. The EU and the State Department should be required to stop subsidizing a continuance of the Arab problem, and refocus their monies on a solution. Cut subsidies to UNRWA and use the money to relocate the Arabs. Cut subsidies to the Palestinian Authority and use the money to send Arab women out to a life of freedom. The monies spent on tent cities built in Area C — which sooner or later, rightly or wrongly, will be bulldozed by the Israelis — should be used to relocate the Arabs instead.

The key here is to make sure that the incoming Arabs are not concentrated. The arrivals should be kept under 1% of the population of whatever country takes them in. South Africa, where Muslims are only 1.5% of the population, but very powerful, has shown that 1% is about the tipping point for social issues. Under 1% and Islam dies out, which is the historical South American experience. Caution should therefore be exercised in the number of immigrations sent to Argentina, which is near that 1% Muslim tipping point already. With 400 million in South America, the addition of 2 Million Palestinians from Judea and Samaria to the continent would constitute only 0.5% of the continental population, well under our cutoff.

Gaza is another matter and may be a lost cause; but since Jews are not presently settling in Gaza, it can be kept under blockade. Judea and Samaria is the pressing situation. Concentrate there.

Europe and the USA should inform Arab countries that no Arab immigration will be tolerated until the Arabs start naturalizing Palestinians in Syria, Egypt, Iraq, etc. Those who will not naturalize Palestinians should not expect us to naturalize them.

The UN should be told that funding to maintain the problem will not be subsidized. Rather only funding to relocate will be considered. Had all the money spent on a two-state solution been spent on relocation, Judea and Samaria would be Jewish by now.

Finally, stop nay-saying. This is doable, if people would forego their pride, concentrate less on who is right or wrong, and just work toward ending the problem. Politics is the art of the possible.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who is neither Jewish, Latin, nor Arab. He runs a website, http://latinarabia.com, where he discusses the subculture of Arabs in Latin America. He wishes his Spanish were better.