“The conflict has never been about the creation of a 22nd Arab state, it has always been about the existence of the one and only Jewish state.” Prime Minister Netanyahu
The idea of a two state solution is no longer a viable option (if indeed it ever was) and its time for Israel to unequivocally explain why. President Abu Mazen and the PLO are discussed by much of the world as being a true partner for peace for Israel. This lie is perpetrated by an international community all too eager to place blame on the Jewish state of Israel, continuing 2,000 years of antagonism, for the failings of peace between Israel and its neighbors. This lie is perpetuated by the international left, too obsessed with multiculturalism and marxist delusions to realize the contradiction inherent in defending the most racist, homophobic and misogynistic apartheid-regimes that exist on Earth. This lie is perpetuated by leftist Diaspora Jews who have internalized the libels of our enemies in the misguided notion that it will finally bring peace and acceptance to Jews and to Israel. These people are living in a dream world in which changes to Israeli policy can actually change 100 years of Arab refusal to live alongside free Jews in the Middle East. From an emotional standpoint, it makes sense that leftist Israelis and Diaspora Jews would fool themselves into believing that Israeli policies are a cause of the conflict; convincing ourselves that we are at fault gives us control over the situation and allows us to think that we can alone can create peace. Facing reality, and admitting that no Israeli concessions will result in the Jewish state’s legitimacy in the eyes of our enemies, is a depressing fact to confront and forces us to accept that we cannot create peace by ourselves, no matter how much we want it. This is devastating for many to admit.
However demoralizing, this fact is relentlessly accurate. If the conflict were about territories or Palestinian statehood, Arab refusal could not have the following trajectory: The Palestinian Arabs, and the Arab world at large, refused to peacefully coexist with the Jews of Palestine in the 1920’s-1930’s before the state of Israel was established, while it existed in its pre-1967 “Auschwitz” armistice lines, and after Israel gained control of the West Bank in 1967. Since then, they have refused to make peace with neither the left- wing Labor government nor the right wing Likud government. They refused to make peace with Israel when the West Bank/Gaza was under Arab control for 20 years and did not contain a single “ Jewish settlement”, and they have refused to make peace since 1993, when Israel transferred governing duties of West Bank cities to the Palestinian Authority. They have continued their rejectionist attitude towards peace since 2005 even after Israel unilaterally left Gaza. The Palestinian Arabs rejected the opportunity to establish a state in 1937, 1948, the 1990’s, 2000, 2001, 2008, and 2014. Continuing to ignore this trend of roughly 100 years of Arab rejectionist behavior and violence and then blaming Israel, who has tried to live in peace with its Arab neighbors from the very day it was established, is the definition of insanity.
On May 14th 1948, Israel declared statehood. The following day the Arab League, made up of 5 Arab armies (as well as the Palestinian Arabs themselves) declared war on the Jewish state with the explicit goal of wiping out the Jewish state and “throwing the Jews into the sea”. This has always been the goal and, despite illusionary diplomacy, it has never changed. It was the goal in 1929, when Arab gunmen massacred the religious, old, defenseless Jews of Hebron. This was the goal of Hassan Al Bannah, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, and a Nazi sympathizer who translated Mein Kamf into Arabic and developed the tenants that eventually created Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad. This was the goal in the 1930’s-1940’s when the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al Husseini, made up vicious libels against the Jews to incite pogroms, allied with the Nazis, and plotted to recreate the Final solution in Palestine. This was the goal during Israel’s war of independence in 1948, when Azzam Pasha, the Secretary General of the Arab League, announced that the war would be “a momentous extermination and massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres of the Crusades.” This was the goal from 1951-1955 when 922 Israeli civilians were murdered by Arab terrorists infiltrating through Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Gaza and the West Bank. This was the goal in 1967, when, after another humiliating failure to wipe out the Jewish state, the Arab nations got together in Khartoum and issued the infamous “3 No’s, no recognition of Israel, no negotiation with Israel, no peace with Israel.” 6 years later, rather than realize peace, the Arab nations instead blitzkrieged Israel one more time and came the closest they ever would to ending the third Jewish commonwealth, before ultimately being defeated.
None of these wars (or the hundreds of terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians that had occurred to this point) had anything to do with “Palestinian statehood”, “Arab refugees” “occupation” or “settlements.” All of these buzzwords, as I’ll explain, are part of the (brilliantly) invented Palestinian narrative that doesn’t mirror the relevant facts of history and ignores the first 40 years of the conflict.
After 3 large scale wars of annihilation, half a dozen more limited wars of attrition, and hundreds of terrorist attacks, in 1974, the Palestinian Arab leadership, now reconstituted as the Palestinian Liberation Organization, introduced the “Plan of Phases Plan.” The premise was essentially a plan to dismantle the Jewish state, but through diplomatic means. Because it had failed to defeat Israel militarily, in the 1970’s Yassir Arafat and the PLO changed their tactics and began to hide their desires for Israel’s destruction in the rhetoric of “social justice”, as instructed by the Soviet KGB. The KGB knew how to appeal to western sympathies and they taught Arafat how to change the story from a Muslim-Arab war of annihilation against the Jews into talk about “Palestinian self-determination” and “victimized Palestinians”.
As Zahir Muhsein, executive member of the PLO told a Dutch newspaper in 1977, “The Palestinian people do not exist. The Creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel.” He said this because it was only after Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) came under Israeli control that the idea of a “Palestinian nation” was forged in the first place. “Palestine” merely refers to a geographical region (like New England) and as such, there has never existed a distinct Palestinian people, homeland, or state: Palestine had been a sparsely populated part of the Ottoman empire for 400 years prior to WW1. In fact, the Arab Higher Committee in 1948 argued to the UN, “Politically the Arabs of Palestine are not independent in the sense of forming a separate political identity.” Yasser Arafat himself has recognized that the Arabs of Palestine are merely part of a greater Arab nation, and are no different ethnically than Arabs in Syria, Lebanon or Jordan. This is why for the 20 years that Judea and Samaria was under Arab control, with no Jews, there was no movement, no protests, nary a word spoken about creating a state of Palestine in the “occupied territories.” It’s also why, from its creation in 1964 (a time in which there was no “Israeli occupation”) until 1967, the PLO’s charter only focused on “liquidating the state of Israel” and claimed no sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. Despite this reality, Arafat had managed to switch David and Goliath in the eyes of the world and reverse the facts of history in order to set the diplomatic stage. The PLO would try to exact concessions from Israel, diplomatic and territorial, until it would be strong enough to completely annihilate the Jewish state.
Revisionist talk of Palestinian self-determination by the PLO mirrors the ridiculous “right of return” that seeks to place blame for the emergence of refugees on those attacked rather than the aggressors. As Bruce Thornton of the Freedom Center has written in regard to the Arab refugees, “Only in the case of the Palestinian Arabs has this perennial cost of aggression been reversed, and those who prevailed in a war they didn’t start been demonized for the suffering of refugees created by the aggression of their ethnic and religious fellows.” 20 million refugees emerged in the 20th century as a result of war, including 12 million Germans and 1.5 million Greeks that had lived in their respective homelands for hundreds of years: only the Palestinians are perpetual refugees, prevented from achieving citizenship, jobs and property by their fellow Arab nations, to be used permanently as a diplomatic weapon against the state of Israel.
What makes this distortion of truth even more malicious is that “In no other conflict have refugees failed to be integrated into countries with which they share an ethnic, religious, and cultural identity. Most of the some 800,000 Jews, for example, driven from lands like Egypt and Iraq in which their ancestors had lived for centuries, were welcomed into Israel, which footed the bill for their maintenance and integration into society. The Arab states, on the other hand, kept their brother Arabs and Muslims in squalid camps that have evolved into squalid cities, their keep paid for by the United Nations Relief Works Agency, the only U.N. agency dedicated to only one group of refugees.” Quite simply, the Palestinian Arabs launched a war against Israel, urged many of the local Arabs that fled Palestine to leave until all of the Jews were killed and they could return, and then (in the second stage of the war) called upon the Greater Arab League (and their 5 armies) to destroy Israel. The Palestinian Arabs that left as a result of the fighting or that were forcibly removed by the Israelis, were naturally seen as an enemy threat in light of the fighting to date and the oncoming Arab assault upon Israel. A fact few choose to point out is that the 150,000 Arabs that did not leave the country became citizens of the new state of Israel and have grown to over 1.2 million people in the democratic and free Jewish state.
The lies and propaganda about Israel’s control of the territories and the value of the settlements has likewise been distorted over the past 40 years. Calling Israel’s control of the territories an “occupation” has always been disingenuous and ignorant of the history that led Israel to reluctantly control the region, but since 1993, the term has become even more distorted. The Palestinian Authority, the governing body of Area A and B in the West Bank, administers the civil/municipal day-to-day lives of 97% of Arab Palestinians, with Israel understandably only concerned with keeping public order and preventing terrorist attacks. Gaza is its own country in everything but name, and as such Israel plays no role in its governance. Further, as I explain in more detail in Part 2, the greatest irony for those that obsess about ” the Israeli Occupation” is that the Arabs of Judea and Samaria enjoyed their greatest standard of living, life expectancy, education and employment rates (and greater than any neighboring Arab country) from 1967-1993 under Israeli jurisdiction. All of these measures drastically worsened immediately under the ruthless, authoritarian PLO.
Israel fell into Judea, Samaria, and East Jerusalem in a defensive war for its very survival. Israel had no intention of taking this territory, as shown by their repeated pleas to Jordan that no fighting would occur between them unless Jordan initiated it. After Israel’s subsequent military victory, they made it readily apparent they were willing to return the land for peace with the nations that had just tried to annihilate them. But Israel was not going to unilaterally give away territory to people still formally at war with them and return to indefensible borders. Instead, having won the heart of the Jewish homeland in a defensive war of survival, with a clear legal right to the territory (as evidenced both by the League of Nations in 1922 and the international tradition of punishing international aggressors to ensure they can’t attack again), and nobody to sign a peace treaty with, Jewish settlement was reestablished in Judea and Samaria. (Judea and Samaria is the actual name of the region popularly called the “West Bank’. Calling it the West Bank (of Jordan) is to validate Jordan’s illegal conquest in 1948.) Israel had given up this land once for peace and the move helped to almost annihilate them; Jewish settlement would serve as a security barrier and prevent the PLO, still formally committed to Israel’s destruction, from establishing a terror haven a mere 9 miles from major Israeli population centers.
Calling “Jewish settlements”, which make up only 3% of Judea and Samaria, a deterrent to peace is to be ignorant of the 50 years of the conflict that existed before 1967 and to be unconcerned with Jordan’s illegal conquest of Judea and Samaria in 1949 and their ethnic cleansing of the Jews living there. Even further, almost all of the settlement expansion since 1993 exists in long established Jewish towns and cities understood by all parties to be part of Israel in any future peace deal anyway (land swaps), so it’s dishonest and outrageous to claim they could affect any “peace process”. Further, Israel has removed settlements (In Gaza and Sinai) and has given away land in the past so this entire discussion is moot, as Israel has repeatedly shown its willingness to make great concessions for peace. Most importantly, however, is the implication this criticism leads to: preventing free Jews from living and building on empty, vacant land (simply because they are Jewish) will lead to a real and genuine peace. This doesn’t seem ridiculous to anyone?
The ongoing failure to address and refute these delusional narratives is what allows Mahmoud Abbas to grow so bold as to openly yearn for the creation of an apartheid, Judenrein (Jew-free), Islamic dictatorship without the world batting an eyelash. It is a travesty.
These three faux components of the Palestinian narrative; self-determination, the “right of return” for refugees, and talk about Jewish “occupation” are the diplomatic equivalent of warfare and terrorism, because their ultimate goal is to weaken and eventually eliminate the Jewish state of Israel. They need to be exposed as such.
The Two State Delusion Part 2: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/the-two-state-delusion-the-fallacies-of-oslo/