by Bassam Tawil
To prevent this Palestinian State that Europeans seem determined to push down our throats, many people are discussing a "Palestinian Spring" revolution. They simply do not know what else to do to protect ourselves from these "Goodists" of Europe.
Do they honestly think we will have better lives in a "Palestinian State"?ISIS operatives are already in Egypt, ready to take over the Sinai Peninsula, and with their eyes set on Libya. Is this what the Europeans really want?
Listening, in both English and Arabic, to the latest speeches of Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas and his fellow Fatah Central Committee members, we get the uncomfortable feeling that the Palestinian State, now being promoted in Europe, will not only be a threat to the stability of the entire region, but to us who have to keep living here, as well to those countries in Europe who promote it.
As Palestinians discuss among themselves -- far from the diplomats in their five-star hotels -- rather than accept this "gift" that Europe seems determined to push down our throats, many people increasingly see no choice but to launch a "Palestinian Spring" revolution. It would not be, as you might think, to rid them of Israel but finally to rid us of our wretched leadership and corrupt system of government -- and to stop the European counties that are imposing this brutal system on us by financing it.
We have been fortunate enough to see from Israel how a democracy works. So although a Palestinian Spring revolution might cause chaos in the region and elsewhere for a while, its chances of success are far more assured than in the other places in the Middle East, where it has been tried but has not always succeeded.
We do not want to do this, of course, but if we are forced by Europe to have this corrupt dictatorship called Palestine, terrorist groups such as Hamas, Al-Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, and ISIS will flood the West Bank in less than week, and our lives will be even worse than what we have now. We simply do not know what else to do to defend ourselves from these "Goodists" of Europe.
The Palestinian leadership, which represses people rather than confers with them, would of course deny all this to the European diplomats. The Palestinian leaders just want to keep the funds coming and keep their jobs. And of course, the European diplomats do not talk to us, the man on the street, the frustrated rest of us. They only talk to each other, their "counterparts," as they call them, in their air-conditioned meeting rooms and hotels.
And they evidently think that we cannot see through this plan. And to thank us they will to trap us under another corrupt Arab dictatorship?
It is not the fault of the Israelis. In a weird way, the Israelis are just the other victims whom the Europeans -- in collusion with our leaders -- are manipulating us to hate. The Europeans pay our leaders to shape how we think. It is a brainwashing that never lets up.
The Europeans put their own people on trial for "hate speech" when they have said nothing but the truth; and yet they pour millions into non-stop propaganda and bloodthirsty hate-speech on our government-controlled TV -- the only kind we have here. They fund any baseless sewage our leaders can think up.
The usual claim is "occupation," but the Israelis are only "occupying" the West Bank because we -- in the form of Jordan -- occupied land promised to them, and then repeatedly attacked them.
A more recent claim is "settlements," but the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] was formed in 1964, before there were any "settlements," so what exactly was it planning to "liberate"? If you look at any Palestinian map to this day, it encompasses the entire country of Israel. To the Palestinian Authority and many Arabs and Muslims, all of Israel is one big "settlement." Last week, Fatah Central Committee member Tawfiq Tirawi said, "Haifa, Jaffa, Acre and Nazareth are Palestinian, despite the Americans and the Israelis." Next week it will be some other pretext.
What is becoming more and more clear is that just about everything going wrong here can be laid at the feet of Europe, at the feet of the leaders there who fund and cheer on the corruption and lawlessness which they would not tolerate in their own countries for a minute, but which they expect us to.
Palestine is here, exactly where it always was. It has been lived in for 4000 years, by Arabs, Christians, Jews and anyone else who showed up. The Roman Emperor Hadrian called it Iudaea. Later, in 135 CE, the Romans renamed it Syria Palaestina in an attempt to sever all connection to it by the Jews. It was part of the Ottoman Empire until its dissolution in 1918, then called Palestine again under the British Mandate. After Israel's war of Independence in 1948, it was and still is called Israel.
There never has been a Palestinian state. Ever. The West Bank was Jordanian, the Golan Heights were Syrian and the Gaza Strip was Egyptian.
The truth is that PA President Mahmoud Abbas has been trying to turn the State of Israel into the State of Palestine. He has been trying to create confusion in Europe and at the UN -- evidently, unfortunately, with some success. He has been falsely accusing Israel of committing "genocide" in the Gaza Strip. Regardless of the fabricated numbers issued by Hamas, more than half of the 2,000 Gazans killed over the summer were Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist operatives, not "innocent civilians." It was Hamas that ordered its own people onto the roofs of apartment buildings in Gaza while Gazans were firing rockets, mortars and missiles into Israel. It was Hamas that used its own people as human shields to prevent Israel from being able to defend itself, or, when it did, so there would be more Palestinian "dead babies" to show to the intimidated television crews, to make Israelis look villainous.
It is Hamas that expresses in both its charter and daily statements the intention of committing genocide on the Jews -- not the Israelis, the Jews.
Article 7 of the Hamas charter openly calls for the genocide of the Jews, an act "legitimized" by Islam, as part of the religious legacy of Muhammad's oral tradition (the hadiths).
Abbas has also been calling for a "peaceful popular resistance" against the Israelis, by "using all available means" within "international law" -- courtesy of Europe. "The Palestinian resistance," evokes brave Frenchmen daring to attack Nazis, not Palestinian terrorists driving cars into people, emerging from tunnels to kill and kidnap kindergarteners, or slaughtering old men while they are praying.
The truth is that Mahmoud Abbas' appeals to world leaders are to help him circumvent the Israeli government, peace negotiations and legally binding peace agreements, all in order to achieve a Palestinian state unilaterally -- without having to recognize Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people and without reaching a final status agreement with it.
If I were Israeli, I would understand that when Mahmoud Abbas says he wants a safe passage between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, as well as full control of air and sea lanes, he means he wants to receive arms from Iran without interference.
So, are we actually accusing the Jews of "genocide" while it is we who are striving kill all of them and drive them "into the sea"? Are the Europeans actually buying this nonsense? We all ask ourselves: If Europeans like to feel so righteous about themselves, then why are they acting as the accomplices and accessories to criminals? Does that not make them criminals, too?
It is Abbas, who, instead of distancing himself from Hamas's ISIS-like dreams of establishing an Islamic Emirate on the ruins of Israel, has yoked himself to the same Islamist terrorist ideology. He and his close associates are not only trying to sidestep negotiations to which both sides committed themselves in the 1995 Oslo II Accords, but they daily keep whipping up violence. He also clearly seems to be to be hoping that European countries and the United Nations will recognize Palestine as a state even before it promises to end the daily violence, which now will be funded even more lavishly, thanks to the new Palestinian rapprochement with the major funders of terror, Qatar and Iran.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas (r) meets with the Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal in Qatar, July 20, 2014. (Image source: Handout from the Palestinian Authority President's Office/Thaer Ghanem)
It is clear that Abbas, despite constant tensions, instead of siding with Muslims who genuinely believe in peace, and who condemn terrorist organizations such as Hamas and ISIS, actually sides with Hamas. Hamas is his partner in the "Unity Government" between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Both Palestinian governments commit war crimes and distort the true meaning of Islam.
Furthermore, the Palestinian Authority, Fatah and Hamas continue to promote violence. The government-controlled PA TV calls for attacking Israelis, and daily honors terrorists and calls for funds to be given to their families.
Much of these funds are supplied by the European Union, with no transparency or accountability despite years of efforts to have the amounts of this funding made public, as is required by law in the EU's own mandate. Therefore, we have no choice but sadly to conclude that the EU is just as cynical and corrupt as the sclerotic dictatorship to which it is trying to consign us.
Mahmoud Abbas and his associates in the Fatah Central Committee have been continually escalating their anti-Israeli rhetoric -- the result of his surrender to the might of Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Instead of trying to beat Hamas, which is clearly beyond his capabilities, he has joined Hamas -- the coward's way out ever since Hamas threw him out of the Gaza Strip in disgrace in 2007, when he barely escaped with his life.
Hamas has continued to try to kill Abbas, as he found out to his shock last summer. But apparently, Abbas keeps on hoping. As the proverb says: a Muslim doesn't let himself get bitten by the same snake twice.
Hamas follows the Muslim Brotherhood's murderous ideology, which seeks only to impose itself on the entire world, in direct contravention of the Qur'an, which states that people are not to be converted to Islam by compulsion (Qur'an 2:256). Even Jordan's King Abdullah II, in the United Nation on September 24, 2014, said that there was a civil war in the Islamic world between the terrorist extremists and genuine Muslims.
If European leaders really cared about us, instead of sending money to us to help rid them of the Jews, they would help us find a better leadership -- a leadership that would care about the daily lives and well-being of its people instead of just taking more and more free money from Europe. It is now a big business for the Palestinian leaders, and comes with no conditions; why should they stop? Even now, after the crushing defeat of Hamas, no one in Europe has even suggested that Hamas should be disarmed and the Gaza Strip demilitarized as a condition before funding its rebuilding.
Do European leaders honestly think we will have better lives in a "Palestinian State"? At least now we do not have Hamas occupying more land and exchanging the abuses we suffer now for religious fanatics' abuses that would be even worse.
If we are going to be honest with ourselves, as we here can see here every day on the ground, Israel has never called for the destruction of the Palestinians; and research strongly suggests that they have never tried to "destroy the Palestinians" or any other ethnic group -- not Christians, Muslims, Kurds, Yazidis or Copts.
Israel has never said or done anything that indicated any plan to destroy the Palestinian people. On the contrary, Israel, while protecting itself, has done its utmost not to harm Palestinian civilians, even though it could inflict untold damage if it wished. We laugh about how fortunate we are to have Israel as our "enemy;" that everyone should have an enemy like that. Can you imagine what a massacre of the Jews -- and Christians and others -- would be like if Iran or ISIS had the weapons Israel has?
On the contrary, it is we, the Palestinians, who for decades have been calling for the destruction of the "Zionist entity" and for driving the Jews into the sea. Some of us still act to achieve that aim.
The current leadership here, of course, has, as usual, been seeking to turn these feelings of rising anger and frustration against Israel. But increasingly the people here see through that and keep talking about the literally hundreds of millions of euros a year the Europeans are giving to the leadership and politicized so-called "human rights charities" to keep it that way.
Here, people are now saying that the real problem is not Israel and, certainly -- laughably -- not the lack of a peace accord, as much as the Americans, like Neville Chamberlain 1938, might like to have one to wave at gullible viewers.
Israel is tough, yes, but has largely been fair -- more than one can say for other countries in the region. Israel, so long as it is not provoked, has been a remarkably decent neighbor. Not everything is perfect by far -- there are problems and have been unspeakably savage revenge attacks by a few Israelis here and there. But those have always been exceptions, and have always been severely condemned and punished by the Israelis, not celebrated and glorified, as with the Palestinian leadership.
It is to this Palestinian leadership whom these European leaders would like to abandon us: a government that not one of them would want to live under for a day.
ISIS operatives are already in the Sinai Peninsula, planning how to take over Egypt, and with their eyes set on Libya.
Is this really what the Europeans want?
Bassam Tawil is a scholar based in the Middle East.
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.