Sunday, December 30, 2007

Oslo – A Lesson that was Never Learnt Part II

2nd of 2 parts

By Moshe Sharon

The programme of Israel's gradual elimination

Therefore, following Muhammad's precedent, the Oslo agreements are temporary, a mere phase in the overall strategy of destroying Israel in stages.

The theoretical foundation of this strategy was already formulated in 1975. It is based on the principle which says: use every opportunity to secure territorial acquisitions paying with ambiguous declarations. 'Arafat and his disciples established this principle in Oslo of cheap acquisitions, without abandoning the option of war.

Following this line of thought, the Palestinian authorities are developing and spreading the ideas which existed in the various Palestinian movements, the PLO notwithstanding, long before Oslo. These ideas touch on three cardinal issues which were not discussed in Oslo, nor since Oslo in spite of the fact that they should have been the first to be put on the agenda. These are the problems on which, theoretically, the final settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict depends. (In a side note, it must be emphasized that the Palestinians have no interest in discussing the final settlement, because such negotiations would, by their nature, prevent them from making maximal use of the Oslo agreements that enable them, as has already been emphasized, to acquire maximum property for no price).

The Palestinians have very clear ideas regarding the three problems, which I have already mentioned: Borders, Refugees and Jerusalem:

1. Borders.

Palestine, between the Jordan and the Mediterranean is indivisible. It belongs only to the Palestinians. It follows that Israel's existence, is just a temporary presence. The final aim is to replace it with an Arab-Palestinian state, which would comprise the whole Palestinian territory between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, as it was during the British Mandate.

For this purpose the Arab citizens of Israel must be recruited too, and they should take part in the national Palestinian struggle from within the State of Israel, making use of Israel's democracy, the Israeli media, and the Israeli legal institutions. The aim of replacing Israel with an Arab-Palestinian State can be achieved in two ways.

(a) War. This option involves the recruitment of all, or most of the Arab countries, notably Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq at a convenient time, preferably after Israel is contained, at least, within the 1967 borders.

(b) Changing Israel's character. This is a plan, which aims at the cancellation of Israel as a Jewish state by bringing it to forsake its national Jewish symbols, to abolish the "Law of Return" thus preventing free Jewish immigration, and to open its borders for the free influx of Arabs. In the long run, once ethnically changed, Israel would be defeated by its own democracy. All agree that this option demands a longer period of time, but its implementation is possible, especially since it does not involve bloodshed, and is likely to gain the support of many Israelis too.

It is possible to shorten the last mentioned process, if the Palestinians begin the negotiations about the borders not from the 1949 armistice lines ("The 1967 Green line") but from the 1947 UN "Partition Plan," according to which they can demand most of the Galilee and sizeable part of the Negev.

It should be pointed out that already following the Oslo agreements the Palestinians developed a plan to take over parts of the Negev through the establishment of a corridor, under Palestinian jurisdiction, which connects the Gaza Strip with the "West Bank," and which cuts Israel in half. Both sides of this planned corridor are populated by huge Bedouin tribes, Arab-citizens of Israel, who have undergone a sharp process of Palestinization in the last decade, and are destined to take an active part in this plan.

2. Refugees.

Appended to the definition of Israel's borders is the thesis which has long acquired international approval, namely that, unlike all other refugees in the world who have always been rehabilitated after wars, the Arab refugees are kept as a permanent problem, fully supported by the international community. Moreover, the Arabs have succeeded in imprinting on the international mind the idea that a Palestinian refugee is not a temporary condition, but a status inherited and bequeathed, from generation to generation. A Palestinian refugee is always a refugee, and so also are his descendants. The "Palestinian refugees" therefore are always on the increase, and a whole UN machinery has been established to support, and encourage this anomaly, and perpetuate the existence of this human bomb at Israel's doorstep.

The Palestinians understand the tremendous advantage of the refugees problem in their plan to destroy Israel, emphasizing that all the refugees, and their millions of offspring, belong to the original places in which they had lived before the 1948 war, (which the Arabs initiated and lost). Their right to return to these places, most of which have long ceased to exist, has been the cornerstone in the Arab-Palestinian policy towards Israel. There is no attempt to disguise the reason behind this demand. Flooding Israel proper even with a few hundreds of thousands of Palestinian-Arab, (let alone "five million" as the President of Iran said lately) means the end of the Jewish state within a few years. On the other hand, however, the refugee camps are a great asset for the Arabs which they would endeavor to keep even if an agreement on reparations is reached some time in the future.

3. Jerusalem.

According to the Arabs, Jerusalem belongs only to the Muslims, the Jews do not have, and have never had any right to it. In many of his speeches 'Arafat used to repeat the absurdity that since the destruction of the First Temple the Jews have not been in Jerusalem, and that they have only recently been brought to it by the British.

'Arafat was only repeating the false "facts" which are part of the intensive re-writing of "Palestinian history," which has been taking place for more than seventy years, similar to the rewriting of the history of Iraq, Egypt, Syria, and other Arab states which were born after World War I. In their re-writing of history the Palestinians aim at obliterating any memory of the Jews from Jerusalem in particular, and from the historical map of the Holy Land in general. This they do by presenting the whole history of ancient Israel as an insignificant episode between the Canaanites – who are identified as "Palestinians" – and the Islamic conquests, which are presented as just another wave of Arabs coming to historical Arab lands, and the "liberation movement" of the those ancient Palestinians from Christian rule!

The Islamic conquests in the 7th century also established the legal relations between the Arab-Muslim rulers and the Christian dhimmis; the Jews being of no consequence, in addition to the fact that they possessed no holy places. Only through this falsification of history was it possible to present the Muslim conquests as the legal source for the establishment of a system of "protection" bestowed by the Muslims on the Christians, who were confined to a few non-Muslim holy places.

Following this reasoning, all the Palestinians leaders, theologians, and intellectuals, repeatedly hammer the idea that the Jews possess no holy places in the Holy Land. These are either Muslim or Christian. Moreover, Israel as a state has no legal right even to offer protection to the Christian holy places; this is a sole Islamic prerogative. Only Muslims may benevolently bestow their dhimmah-protection on the Christians, if the latter adhere to the Islamic law regulating their status.

The Palestinian-Arab-Muslim ideology regarding the Jews, which followed the Oslo agreements, is the same as the one prior to them. It negates any connection between the Jews and their historic homeland including all the Jewish historical holy places. All the holy places to which the Jews lay claim are accordingly presented as Muslim holy places with Arab names: The Western Wall is al-Buraq, The Temple Mount is al-Haram al-Qudsi, Hebron is al-Khalil. Classical Islamic texts already Islamized the major figures of Jewish history from Abraham to Solomon – they are all Muslim personalities, Muslim prophets. All the holy places connected with them are therefore, by definition, Muslim holy places. The re-writers of Palestinian history are making maximum use of these old texts.

The Palestinian program as defined in the current policy, in the educational system, in the media, and in the literature is clear: the eye, the ear, and the heart of the future generations of Palestinians should be recruited to the one and only aim – the removal of Israel. For external consumption this ideological bundle is presented in glitzy verbal wrapping, pleasant to the Western ear, and as a meal of deceit spiced to suit the palate of the European, American and the Israeli Left.

Moshe Sharon

Professor (Emeritus) of Islamic History and Civilization

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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