Sunday, March 10, 2019

The dinosaurs and the Palestinian state - Dror Eydar


by Dror Eydar

The Palestinians have never sought an independent state. All they ever wanted was for the Jews not to have one. Meanwhile, we speak up on behalf of our enemies and assign them ideals they have never held.



Chaim Weizmann and Emir Faisal in Aqaba, Transjordan, April 1918     Photo: Wikipedia 

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You still hear serious people talking out loud about the two-state solution as a reasonable – even inevitable – possibility to the conflict between us and the Arabs of the region: dividing the good land and establishing an Arab state on the hills of Judea and Samaria, which could wind up connecting to the Hamas state in the Gaza Strip to the west and the state of Jordan to the east.

Exactly 100 years have passed since the division of the land was first suggested in the 1919 Faisal–Weizmann Agreement, after World War I. Eighteen years later, in 1937, the Peel Commission (convened to investigate the bloody events of 1936) proposed dividing the land, and a decade later, on Nov. 29, 1947, the U.N. voted in favor of the partition plan. The Arabs refused, and their response was war.

The Palestine Liberation Organization was founded before the "occupation" of the 1967 Six-Day War. Its goal was to "liberate all the land from the Zionists." Our country was then quite small in size, and still the organization's terrorists wanted it. The goal hasn't changed; it has sometimes been disguised to delude naïve, liberal, self-righteous Jews in the West.

The Oslo Accords came into being after the PLO was on the mat after backing Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein during the First Persian Gulf War. The Palestinians supported any murderous dictator who served their purposes. In Oslo, the government under then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin put the dying organization on artificial life support and brought tens of thousands of terrorists whom we had armed into western Israel to force the division of the country and fulfill their dream of peace. If the Jews don't acknowledge their right to their own land and revive their sworn enemies from the ashes, we can expect nothing more from Europe or the U.S. That is how the organization of terrorists became the official, respectable representative of the supposed forthcoming Palestinian state.

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It didn't happen. The Palestinian Arabs never asked for an independent state alongside ours; mainly, they wanted the Jews not to have a state. The Jews, for their part, insist on speaking on behalf of their enemies and attaching all sorts of nice ideas to them which they never held. Article 20 of the PLO charter decrees that the Jews are only a religion, not a nation, and therefore have no rights to a country of their own, and must return to the nations from which they arrived and live as Russian, Polish, Iraqi, or Iranian citizens. That article has never been changed. This is a fundamental Arab position; even Arab MKs do not recognize the Jewish people's right to national determination in their own land.

In the past decade, the basic condition laid down for negotiations with the Palestinians – recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people – is not designed to win their recognition of us. We don't need it. It functions as a litmus test for how honest their intentions are. If there is no recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, then even after the land is divided, the Arabs will continue to talk about Israel in terms of colonialism and an apartheid state because they would be able to point to the Law of Return, for example, as a "racist law" that gives Jews preference in obtaining citizenship when they make aliyah.

And as for racism, according to the sanctimonious chorus (which includes Arab MKs), only the Jews – of all the nations of the world – do not have the right to national self-determination in their own country. What is that, if not racism? Given that, we can toss aside the irresponsible remarks voiced by the Zionist Left against the nation-state law.

We should go over the basics. As "Nathan the Wise" (as poet Nathan Alterman was known) once said to Shimon Peres after we returned to the stretches of our land following the Six-Day War: "If indeed there is a dispute here between two peoples – between the Palestinian people, who were supposedly uprooted from their land, and the Jewish people, who supposedly uprooted [the Palestinian people] from their land – we've been wrong all along."

To the poet Haim Gouri, Alterman said, "If we recognize that Judea and Samaria are not ours, we will need to rewrite the entire Bible." Indeed, the demand to establish a Palestinian state starts with a denial of our very historic, legal, and religious right to the land – even on part of it. As I've already observed, no Arab leader is willing to declare that the Jews have any basic right – historic, legal, or religious – to so much as a square foot of this country.

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Let's leave principles aside and discuss how the brilliant plan to divide the land would be implemented. We mentioned World War I. Immediately after it was over, the world powers met and divided up the Middle East, which had fallen into their hands when the Ottoman Empire collapsed. To our north, they grouped together different and hostile ethnic groups – Sunnis, Shiites, Christians, Alawites, Druze, Assyrians, and more – and decided that from then on, they would be one nation: Syria. The same thing happened in Iraq when Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds were bundled together; and in Libya, Yemen, and other places. And it wasn't only different ethnic groups; they mixed the basic, stable units of the region, which existed here for thousands of years – the tribes and clans (extended families) that exist alone and for the most part do not even intermarry.

The major powers, with typical European patronization, forced the Arab peoples into European-style nationalism and thereby sentenced the Arab nation-states to live in a constantly bubbling pressure cooker. It took less than 100 years for the artificial creation to break out of its straitjacket. At the start of the last decade, the Arab Spring still hadn't arrived, but the artificial national structures that Europe had forced on the region were collapsing the crumbling. In their place was revealed the permanent reality that had always been here: one of tribes, clans and ethno-religious groups.

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So the Arab states around us are shaky or collapsing, and still people here are pushing with "messianic zeal" to found an Arab state on the hills of Judea and Samaria, a Qassam rocket away from our major population centers, in the hope it will remain in place and not fall down around our ears. That is what they wanted us to think in the short period of euphoria that surrounded us with the outbreak of the Oslo Accords in the 1990s, thanks to a homogeneous media.

But the various sectors of Palestinian society represented clans and tribes that have in common almost nothing other than their hatred of the Yahud (Jew) and a desire to restore some imaginary lost honor by destroying the state of the Jews. If we were no longer in the area, heaven forbid, it would take a very short time for Hamas to violently seize control of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' ineffectual mechanism of government, and for the sleeper cells of the Islamist revolution to awaken and devour each other. In the temporary lulls that would come with chance reconciliations, they would join forces to make our lives a misery. With a wonderful sightline to the state of Israel, it wouldn't be difficult.

To the righteous who talk about the "occupation," we say: the Jewish people are in all parts of the western land of Israel because it is our land. Since we were forced into exile (and not only by Rome and Byzantine – the Muslim conquest of the seventh century C.E. also ousted Jews and forced many of those who remained to convert to Islam), no other independent national entity has arisen here. This land waited silently for its legal descendants and when we began to return here in the last few centuries did it begin to flower. It kept the faith with us. But we are also in all parts of the land to protect ourselves from another terrorist state right among us and, as WikiLeaks documents show, to protect the Palestinians themselves from the possibility of an Islamist dictatorship.

So what is the solution? I've written many articles about it. In the meantime, it's important to learn the lessons of history: Don't rush and don't force artificial solutions on a complex reality. Patience.


Dror Eydar

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/2019/03/08/the-dinosaurs-and-the-palestinian-state/

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