Tag Archives: Palestinian people

Palestinian Statehood – Separating Fact from Fantasy

 

The NY Times recently reported that the Vatican has concluded a treaty recognizing Palestinian statehood. During Israel’s recent election, however, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented that if re-elected, he would oppose the creation of a Palestinian state. He has good reason to oppose it.

Security Council Resolution 242 (November 22, 1967) speaks of withdrawal by Israel from lands occupied in the Six-Day War provided that Israel’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force are recognized.

The response of the Palestinians and the Arab world was simple and unequivocal – The Khartoum Declaration – “No recognition, no negotiation, no peace” – and despite generous offers by Israeli Prime Ministers Barak and Olmert, it is clear that no Palestinian leader then or now is prepared to accept Israel’s right to exist in any borders whatsoever despite all the rhetoric to the contrary.

This became clear on May 10th, 1994, in the wake of Arafat’s signing the Oslo Accords, when he travelled to Johannesburg, South Africa and compared his signing of the Accords with Mohammed’s deceptive signing of a 10-year peace treaty at Hudaybiyyah with the Quraish tribe of Mecca. Two years later, Mohammed broke the Treaty, attacked the Quraish, slaughtered them and conquered Mecca. In other words, the 10-year Treaty was a deception designed to allow Mohammed time to build his forces until they were powerful enough to conquer the Quraish. Arafat stated unequivocally that he viewed the Oslo Accords in the same light as Hudaybiyyah.


In the same month, Israel and the PLO signed the Cairo Agreement under which Israel withdrew from Jericho and more than half of Gaza , all of which was turned over to Palestinian control. The Agreement was based on the formula of “land for peace” whereby Israel relinquished strategic territory and the Palestinians promised to prevent violence and combat terrorist attacks against Israel.

The Cairo Agreement had the exact reverse effect. It unleashed a wave of unprecedented Palestinian terrorism, which included suicide bombings that shook Israel to its core. “Land for peace” quickly devolved into “land for terrorism.” Subsequent deals, such as the Oslo II Accord of September 1995, the January 1997 Hevron protocol, and the October 1998 Wye River Agreement were all based upon the same principle. In each case, Israel handed territory over to the Palestinians in exchange for promises of peace, and, in each instance, without fail, Israel’s gestures were reciprocated with terrorist attacks against its citizens and its country.

And for those who maintain that a more “moderate” Palestinian leadership is now in power, perhaps they should consider the comments of Ahmed Bahar, deputy speaker of the PA parliament, who, on May 14th, confirmed that the Palestinian parliament continues to reject any Jewish right to the land of “Palestine” (meaning the State of Israel) which it defined as “an Islamic endowment to which Jews have no right to even a single inch.” It also confirmed that the Palestinians will never agree to the settlement of the so-called “Palestinian refugees” outside the territory of “Palestine” (meaning the State of Israel), nor will they ever agree to recognize Israel.

The Palestinians have broken every promise they made in the Oslo Accords and continue to seek recognition from world bodies such as the UN and the ICC so as to avoid any negotiations (as required by the Accords) or compromise that would require their recognition of the State of Israel.

Critics of Netanyahu’s position fail to note that, in furtherance of this goal, Palestinian suicide bombers were sent into Israel during the Second Intifada solely for the purpose of killing Jews in marketplaces, restaurants and discoteques because they believed that by doing so, they would secure their “martyrdom”.

The irony is that there never was a “peace process” except in the minds of the Western media and most Western leaders who have bought into all these lies and deceptions. The intention, rather, was to use international diplomatic pressure to force Israel into making strategic concessions that would ultimately lead to its destruction ….. as Arafat openly admitted in Johannesburg over twenty years ago.

Critics should note as well that the Palestinian educational system includes Palestinian poetry, schoolbooks, crossword puzzles and children’s music videos that teach Palestinian children that “Jews are the descendants of pigs and monkeys” and must be killed, and Palestinian leaders have openly declared that any future Palestinian state would be “Jew-free”. They are also using US and European foreign aid dollars to pay Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons as well as the families of Palestinian suicide bombers, and they continue to name marketplaces, town squares, tournaments, and cinemas after these suicide bombers whom they hail as “heroes” and “martyrs”. Nor is mention ever made of Hamas’s founding Charter that openly calls for the murder of Jews wherever they are, and for the destruction of their State.

The sad truth is that the Palestinians want a state not beside Israel, but in place of it. If critics would take the time to read what the Palestinians are saying to each other in Arabic (as translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute and Palestine Media Watch) as opposed to what they are saying to Western leaders and the Western media in English, they would understand the Islamic concept of taqqiyah (deception) and discover the real truth behind the Arab-Israeli conflict – not Israel’s refusal to accept a State of Palestine, but the Arab refusal to accept the existence of Israel as a Jewish state on what they consider to be Islamic lands.

Netanyahu’s new government needs to reject any such pressure to recognize a Palestinian state under current circumstances as should all Western leaders. To give up further lands in exchange for a deceitful peace is something that Israel tried in the 1990s with tragic results. It should not be repeated again.

 

Mark Silverberg

The writer is a foreign policy analyst for the Ariel Center for Policy Research (Israel). He is a former member of the Canadian Justice Department, a past Director of the Canadian Jewish Congress (Western Office), a member of Hadassah’s National Academic Advisory Board and a Contributing Editor for Family Security Matters and Intellectual Conservative. He served as a Consultant to the Secretary General of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem during the first Palestinian intifada. His book “The Quartermasters of Terror: Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Jihad” and articles are archived at http://www.acpr.org.il andwww.marksilverbeg.com.

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

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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