Rounding Up the Wagons Again

“Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened.” [Winston Churchill]

One has to wonder how the French 2016 and the Saudi 2002 Arab peace plans/initiatives can miraculously yield a different outcome from the multitude efforts of the past. In an Haaretz Op-Ed dated June 2, 2016, Saeb Erekat, the PA senior negotiator made this proclamation; “This [the new effort] path should be clear and unambiguous whereby both parties are required to fulfill their obligations emanating from past agreements.” Indeed, did the PA at any time curb the hate filled education of their youth? Did they eliminate terrorism? Were they able to bring to fruition a unified front with Gaza Hamas? Perhaps one may be inclined to forgive Erekat’s moral relativism when compared with his past remarks which were heavily weighted in absolute lies.

On the 62nd anniversary of the passing of UN Resolution 194, Erekat misinterpreted this event as promoting the “right of return” of the Palestinian Arabs during Israel’s War of Independence. This is not so, but rather a fine example of his engagement in untruths. The actual wording of this unbinding resolution, unlike Resolution 242, is as follows:

“——refugees wishing to return to their homes and live in peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practical date and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for the loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or equity, should be made good by the Government or authorities responsible.” There is no mention of “Palestinian” refugees, the implication being that this resolution applies equally to Jewish refugees.

While the subject resolution has never been implemented, Israel did, in fact, make a substantial repatriation offer to accept 100,000 refugees during the 1948 negotiations. This offer was rejected by the Arab states. Erekat conveniently elected to omit this and the fact that as Abba Eban explained to the UN, the Arab refugees were a byproduct of the Arab decision to go to war.[1]

On November 5, 2015, Erekat was responsible for the issuance of a media guide entitled, “Key points to Remember when Reporting on Occupied Palestine.” It was widely distributed to foreign media based in Israel and outlets worldwide. They provide further thoughts on the PA position:

Point 1: “Israel occupies the State of Palestine.”

State? Since when? Using the language of colonialism to the Zionist endeavor suggests the illegitimacy of Israel as an attempt to bolster a reverse argument on ” — the indigenous Palestinian population and replacement with foreign settlers .”

Point 2: “The main issue is the Israeli Occupation.”

Even former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan had to admit this to be not “illegal” but a condition arising from the defeat of Arab attempts to wage war. Incorporating the term “Apartheid Regime” adds to discredited argument on Israel’s credibility.

Point 3 : “Palestinian Recognition of Israel was met with more Colonization.”

What recognition? To this day the fully unreformed PLO Covenant suggests otherwise. As for colonization, 5 years later, the Palestinians signed the Oslo Declaration of Principles, which made it very clear that full sovereignty, borders, and settlements are issues to be settled in “permanent status” talks. Using an expression such as “belligerent” Israeli occupation, despite 3 past occasions when the PA rejected major compromises put on the table hardly subscribes to ongoing colonization.

Point 4: “For Israel, forcible displacement and colonization acre an official policy, not the two-stet solution.”

Regarding Palestinian notions of “peace and security”, this is obviously ludicrous given that Israelis are targeted for murder by Palestinians on a daily basis.

Point 5: “East Jerusalem is an integral part of the Occupied State of Palestine.”

It is an integral part of Palestine and the Land of Israel and cannot be otherwise sin no State of Palestine exists.

Point 6: “Israeli settlements in Occupied East Jerusalem are as illegal as settlements in the rest of the Occupied State of Palestine.”

In 1993, the Palestinians clearly recognized the unique nature of Jerusalem insofar asset was to be negotiated as a separate issue.

Point 7: “The A-Aqsa Mosque Compound is under Israeli Occupation just as the rest of East Jerusalem.”

Erekat selectively ignores not only Israel’s careful respect for the status quo on the Temple Mount, painstakingly reasserted in the face of murderous provocation. He also denigrates and ignores the relatively constructive role of the Kingdom of Jordan in the efforts to maintain law and order at the holy site.

Point 8: “Israel has effectively changed Al-Aqsa Status Quo.”

“Placing [monitoring] cameras [on the Mount] that will broadcast to Israeli occupying forces is a further violation of the Status Quo.” Really? Mr. Erekat, you are surely aware that such action has universal merit and represents the joint efforts of Israel, Jordan and the US to establish transparency [for the entire world] regarding activities on the Temple Mount.

Point 9: “International protection is a right for the Palestinian people.”

Protection against what or for whom? Terrorists?

Point 10: “International law, UN Resolutions and agreements were made to be implemented, not to be ‘negotiated upon’.”The notable 242 wording – “territories”, not “the territories”; as well as “secure and recognized borders” [the 1949 armistice lines were neither] – clearly suggests the need to negotiate new borders. Apparently this was lost on Erekot. Instead what was demanded were the usual preconditions, release of the most extreme terrorists, halting of settlements and reopening of political institutions in eastern Jerusalem.[2]

Erekot’s most recent outburst was an old shop worn cry questioning the justice whereby a minority [the Jews] should gain sovereignty over the majority [the Palestinians] in the establishment of Israel. . By way of offering him a full response, Tsafrir Ronen’s, “Hadrian’s Curse -The Invention of Palestine” a remarkable historical background serves the purpose.

Ronen’s three-part essay, considers the invention of Palestine as a psychological weapon for conquering Eretz Yisrael. By way of an introductory summary:

“In most 2,000 years ago, the Roman Emperor Hadrian cursed the Jewish People and decreed that Judea should be henceforth called ‘Palestine’ after the Philistines, an ancient enemy of Israel that had disappeared from the word’s stage more than 600 years earlier. It was his final twist of the knife and legacy after wars, massacres, persecutions, and exiles that had largely extinguished the Jewish presence from Judea.”

Connecting the past with the present, Tsafrir Ronen views the modern day enemies of a resurrected Jewish Nation modeling Hadrian’s Curse in attempting to pull off a monumental theft; the Arab world having reincarnated ‘Palestine’ to steal Israel’s heritage and the Land of the Jewish People. This propaganda in the form of a so-called ‘two state solution’ has become a powerful weapon used by Israel’s enemies, the Arabs, to try to conquer Eretz Yisrael without firing a shot, without an army, tanks or jets. Of course, they have been able to engage assistance in the form of Obama, Kerry et al
The historical record clearly demonstrates that there never was a ‘Palestinian’ people. Sadly, the world has become so accustomed to the ‘truth’ of the ‘Palestinian’ perversion of history as to accept the deception. As astutely emphasized by Ronen, “Hadrian’s ancient curse now threatens Israel’s very existence.” The hope for peace “demands that the deceit and danger of a Palestinian state must be exposed and avoided.”

Part 1 The Secret All the Arabs Know

In this section, Ronen quotes freely from the recorded voices of significant Arab leaders. We learn from the testimony of the founder of the PLO himself, Ahmed Shukari who in 1956 proclaimed from the podium of the UN, as the Arab League’s Ambassador that “such a creature as Palestine does not exist at all. This land is nothing but the southern portion of Greater Syria–”

Shukari’s credibility is unquestionable in making this assertion. Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser hired him to found the PLO, an organization dedicated to the liberation of a country that in his own words did not exist at all.

The late Syrian president is on record saying in 1974 as saying That Palestine is “a part of Southern Syria” and in 1987 at a conference in Amman, “A country named ‘Palestine’ has never existed.” Jordanian King Hussein responded, “The appearance of the national Palestine persona serves as a response to Israel’s claim that Palestine is Jewish.”

A member of the PLO leadership, Zahir Muhsein, the leader of the al-Sa’iqa Organization, revealed the truth in a 1977 interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw:

“The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people—–”

Part 2 – The Arabs’ Ultimate Goal Israel

It fast became apparent after the Six Day War that Israel could not be militarily overcome. Consequently the Arabs embraced diplomacy as a preferred strategy, one in which the conversion would be replacing rejection to emphasis on suffering ‘occupation’. Empathizing with the underdog is a natural human instinct when one observes a little David facing off against a mighty Goliath. Hence the conflict was recast as a Palestinian – Israel, rather than Arab – Israel conflict. Stated otherwise, the Arabs understood that the Israeli Samson would only be possible to beat by way of the cunning of a Philistine Delilah.

The Arabs discovered that from a propaganda standpoint, it was easier to convince world public opinion of the rights of the small deprived ‘Palestinian People’ to its own state. The Palestinian people is a fabrication invented with afterthought as a psychological weapon of Arab countries defeated in battle, a “‘Trojan Horse’ for conquering Eretz Yisrael, as Feisal Husseini said after the Oslo accords.”

Part 3- Will Israel finish Hadrian’s Work

In retrospect, no one could have imagined in 1917, at the time of the Balfour Declaration during WW1, that anyone would use the name Palestine to create a monstrous, hostile, false identity, for propaganda purposes, and would engrave on their flag the destruction of Israel.
Ronen poses the question; ‘Will Israel, which valiantly vanquished all the Arab armies when they attacked it also know how to face this propaganda attack that is threatening to destroy it?’ No rhetorical question in that his answer is that it would seem that the battle is already decided, even as he is struck by the Israeli Prime Minister and Foreign Minister saying that ‘Israel’s interest is to establish a Palestinian state.’

Further, he is prompted to ask an obvious question. “Will Hadrian’s curse, which didn’t succeed for1800 years, precisely when Israel was in exile from their land, succeed now, with Israel’s return? Will it be precisely the Israeli government that will resurrect Hadrian’s curse, previously lost in the depths of forgetfulness?”[3]

Tragically Tsafrir Ronen suffered a heart attack at the age of 53 on December 28, 2008. Clearly a great loss for his people. To his credit, his insightfulness lingers on.

Britain’s role in this fiasco is an amalgam of poor judgment, pragmatism, bias and in some instances anti-Semitism.

In 1917, the Jewish Population in Palestine was 75,000, whereas the Arab population was 250,000. [4] Because of this disparity, Erekat and many Palestinians in the past find it unreasonable that a Jewish state should exist at all in the Middle East. Never mind the continuous Jewish presence from ‘time immemorial.’ Nor the restrictions on Jewish immigration verses the oversight of illegal Arab immigration. Nor the fact that the growth in the Arab community during the Mandate years was largely aided and abetted by the Jewish industrialization of the country. Churchill fully acknowledged this:

“Left to themselves, the Arabs of Palestine would not in a thousand years have taken effective steps towards the irrigation and electrification of Palestine. They would have been quite content to dwell – a handful of philosophic people – in the wasted sun-scorched plains, letting the waters of Jordan continue to flow unbridled and unhamessed into the Dead Sea.”[5]

Churchill was also able to comprehend the vacuous claims of the so-called Palestinians:

“No race has done better out of the fidelity with which the Allies redeemed their promises to the oppressed races than the Arabs. Owing to the tremendous sacrifices of the Allied nations, and more particularly Britain and her Empire, the Arabs have already won independence in Iraq, Arabia, Syria, and Trans-Jordan, although most of the Arab races fought throughout the War for the Turkish oppressors—-[In particular] the Palestinian Arabs fought for Turkish rule.” [6]

The refusal to recognize that what happens in the present is based on the past, a past in which many mistakes were made. Israel is the only country in the world that is constantly under “siege”, a country whose enemies are in significantly greater in numbers and ever co close geographically. For more than sixteen hundred years, the Jews were the dominant population of the Land of Israel. Although often conquered by Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Egyptians and Romans, Jews remained the main inhabitants of the land until the Roman conquest, enjoying political independence. The Land of Israel was considered by the Jews to be their only homeland — not part of an empire, but a sovereign political, cultural and religious center.

Following the destruction of the two Temples, many Jews left the Land of Israel, but contrary to conventional wisdom, Jewish life did not cease to exist there during the last 2,000 + years. Since the year 636 A.D., the Land of Israel, as well as the rest of the Middle East, formed a part of the Muslim Empire; however, it was never constituted as a distinct part of this empire. Neither was there ever a Muslim-Arab state centered in the Land of Israel.

On the eve of WW1, under Muslim occupation, the population of Palestine was only 1/8 of what it had been in 636 A.D., when the Muslims conquered the country. The Muslim population of the country was a composite of local people who had converted to Islam either by choice or force. Some had moved to Palestine from Yemen and the Maghreb and Egypt.

What the world needs to comprehend is that the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 had more to do with thousands of years of attachment to the Land of Israel and to 70 years of Zionist political activity than to the Holocaust. It is closely linked to Judaism, which symbolizes the religious attachment to the land.

There is surely a lesson in what has transpired since Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza and indeed all the concessions Israel has made to date. From the debate between Ambassador Yaacov Herzog and Professor Toynbee held at McGill, Montreal, 31 January 1961; Herzog “But you want us to take back people who have been nurtured on hate for 13 years on the basis of a Resolution of 1948 talking of those wishing to live in peace. But these have been nurtured on hate, vengeance and destruction, and if we take them back they can rip us apart.” [7]. In the event, that a ‘Palestinian” state was to be formed on Israel’s borders today, would this not constitute a greater number given the freedom to incorporate limitless refugees and terrorists? Yet a further question, why the need for another Arab state?

An important statement; “The Palestine Royal Commission, the Peel Commission, 1937, which interviewed a number of leading contemporary statesmen concluded on this point: ‘The field in which the Jewish national Home was to be established was understood, at the time of the Balfour Declaration, to be the whole of historic Palestine, and the Zionists were seriously disappointed when Trans-Jordan was cut away from that field under Article 25′”. And this; “—when Abdullah was practically written off by his promoters, it was Captain Hubert Young who thought that the incorporation of Trans-Jordan into Palestine the best solution.” While the Zionists foolishly accepted the separation of Trans-Jordan, they objected to the deliberate exclusion of Jews from settling there.

Cornal Richard Meinertzhagen: “The question is linked up with the severance of Transjordan from Palestine. Both Lloyd George and Balfour told me that in giving the Jews [sic] their national home in Palestine, the Biblical Palestine, that is to say the whole of the country occupied by the Jewish tribes, including Moab and Ammon. But Churchill encouraged by Lawrence, gave the whole of Trans-Jordan to that miserable Abdullah, thus depriving Israel of a vital territory and allowing a complete encirclement of Israel by Arabs. At the time [1921] I was working in the Colonial Office [Churchill was Colonial Secretary] and I remonstrated. He put on that ridiculous bull dog expression but nothing could be done to remedy Churchill’s stupidity—-.”

Therein lies the rub, today’s problem could have been obviated. It still can, but not through any further “stupidity” in the form of a non “Two state solution”.

Alex Rose, Ashkelon
July 4, 2016

[1] Writing the Wrongs; The Lies of Saeb Erekot by Blogger GS Don Morris Phd/Chana Givon [JCPA]
[2] The lies of Saeb Erekot: How Palestinian Propaganda Warps the Truth and Undermines Peace Efforts by Col. [res] Dr. Eran Lerman, BESA [The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies].
[3] Hadrian’s Curse – The Invention of Palestine by Tsafrir Rosen, a former member of the secular kibbutz, Ein Charod. He was a media personality, served in the elite army unit, Sayeret Matkal, and was one of the founders of the Nahalal Forum on Behalf of the Entire Eretz Yisrael.[Published in Think – Israel May-June 2008]
[4] Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East by Michael B. Oren.[ Chapter24].
[5] An American in Palestine: Elwood Mead and Zionist Water Resource Planning, 1123 – 1936 by Robert E. Rook.
[6] A Place Among Nations – Israel and the World by Benjamin Netanyahu.
[7] A People that dwells alone by Yaacov Herzog.

About the Author
Alex Rose was born in South Africa in 1935 and lived there until departing for the US in 1977 where he spent 26 years. He is an engineering consultant. For 18 years he was employed by Westinghouse until age 60 whereupon he became self-employed. He was also formerly on the Executive of Americans for a Safe Israel and a founding member of CAMERA, New York (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America and today one of the largest media monitoring organizations concerned with accuracy and balanced reporting on Israel). In 2003 he and his wife made Aliyah to Israel and presently reside in Ashkelon.