What Arab patriotism can teach us Zionists

“From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free!”

The Palestinian cause will clearly settle for nothing less than every inch of the State of Israel. This is because this ideology believes we Jews are occupying the land that they believe is theirs. One needn’t look any further than the Palestinian National Anthem, Fida’ī.

In the last stanza of the anthem it says, “By the oath under the shade of the flag. By my land and nation, and the fire of pain I will live as a warrior, I will remain a warrior, I will die as a warrior – until my country returns.” Is this just referring to Ramallah and Nablus? Of course not. This anthem glorifies those that resist and sacrifice themselves for what the Arabs perceive as the illegal occupation of their land, and this isn’t just Judea and Samaria (West Bank), this is also Tel Aviv, Haifa, Tiberius.

So why do we have the chutzpah to tell these patriots to only settle for part of what they believe to be their homeland? Those who insist that the Arab loyalties will subside if there is a `Two-state solution` frankly have no respect for Arab patriotism.

Ze’ev Jabotinsky in his 1923 essay, the Ethics of the Iron Wall, borrowed this instruction from the Talmud and said this:

“Two people walking along the road find a piece of cloth. One of them says: ” I found it. It is mine:” But the other says: ” No: that is not true: I found the cloth, and it is mine: ” The judge to whom they appeal cuts the cloth in two, and each of these obstinate folk gets half. But there is another version of this action. It is only one of the two claimants who is obstinate: the other, on the contrary, has determined to make the world wonder at this magnanimity. So he says: “We both found the cloth, and therefore I ask only a half of it, because the second belongs to B. But B. insists that he found it, and that he alone is entitled to it. In this case, the Talmud recommends a wise Judgment, that is, how very disappointing to our magnanimous gentleman. The judge says: “There is agreement about one half of the cloth. A. admits that it belongs to B. So it is only the second half that is in dispute. We shall, therefore divide this into two halves: And the obstinate claimant gets three-quarters of the cloth, while the gentleman” has only one quarter, and serve him right. It is a very fine thing to be a gentleman, but it is no reason for being an idiot. Our ancestors knew that. But we have forgotten it. We should bear it in mind. Particularly, since we are very badly situated in this matter of concessions. There is not much that we can concede to Arab nationalism, without destroying Zionism.”

In other words, no matter what we do, the Palestinian cause will never settle for anything less than the entirety of the land. And if we concede land to them, this will only be used as a means of taking more land. And eventually, we will have negotiated ourselves out of existence. See 1974 “Phased Plan” for more information.

Rabbi Meir Kahane (convicted of acts related to domestic terrorism by the US government – editor’s inclusion) once said, “Only liberals think you can buy an Arab’s dignity with an indoor toilet.” We cannot buy them out of their patriotism with more international aid, and other benefits. The Palestinians are one the largest recipients of international aid, however has this brought them any closer to change their position on `their` land? Of course not! The question is: how comes we Jews do not have such an unabashed loyalty to the land?

The Muslim Council of Britain before the December 2019 General Election, released a document entitled `Ten Key Pledges to Support Muslim Communities`– their last was:

“Support a binding recognition of Palestine as an independent and sovereign state, and address human rights abuses abroad, including Kashmir, Xinjiang and Myanmar.”

This declaration is not accompanied by an endorsement of peace or the `two-state solution` They are just asserting the rights they believe they have to `their` land.
The Board of Deputies, the senior voice of British Jews, also released a similar document, `The Ten Commitments, and number six says:

“Promote peace projects that unite communities and resist boycotts that divide communities, advocating or a permanent and comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that results in a secure Israel alongside a viable Palestinian state.”

Why must we Jews feel the need to make Zionism acceptable to the antisemite that wants to destroy the Jewish state? Nothing will make him happy but the dismantlement of the Jewish state. By responding in a way which makes our Zionism conditional on there being a `Two-state solution`, we betray the beginnings of a guilt complex for just living.

Rabbi Meir Kahane, in An Open Letter to the World, said the following:

“And since we know that the Arabs-Palestinians dream daily of that extinction [of Israel], we will do everything possible to remain alive in our own land. If that bothers you, dear world, well think of how many times in the past you bothered us.”

And as David Ben Gurion once remarked, “What matters is not what the goyim say, but what Jews do.” We must never make our Judaism or Zionism on the basis of what the gentile world want – if we did that, we would not be here. It is only because of the refusal of Jews to abandon Jewishness and therefore us remaining true to ourselves that Judaism has survived.

Therefore, the next time we hear “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be Free,” our response should not be to chant back antisemitism or to try to promote peace and love. Our response should be one of unapologetic self – respect: “From the River to the Sea, Israel will forever be.”

 

About the Author
National Director of an educational Zionist movement, Herut UK. Writing a book on Jewish responses to antisemitism. Spoken at Limmud, overseas and regularly speaking at university Jewish Societies.
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