|Map courtesy of Edgar Davidson's blog (see text)|
Of course, this is the vision of the Middle East that the majority of Palestinians themselves seem ultimately to want to see, if the October poll that I posted about on 22 November (“Still Crazy After all These Years”) is an accurate reflection of their attitudes. As some commentators have pointed out, if the Palestinians were to recognise Israel as it is, "the Jewish state", and not as what they seem to want it to become, an Arab-majority nation, then they might convince the Israelis that their intentions are honourable. As things stand, it’s no wonder that there are widespread fears among Israelis and genuine friends of Israel that in the Palestinians’ eyes there is no place for Israel, long-term, in a Muslim-dominated Middle East: the Jews will either be in a position of dhimmitude or the Caliphate will be judenrein. The Hizb ut Tahrir Islamic fundamentalist movement has become active among Palestinians, and there are fears that independent statehood would not hold back the movement’s determination to bring about the eradication of Israel and its Jews.
Reinforcing that impression are statements by leading Palestinian figures themselves. Last month in Ramallah the Fatah Revolutionary Council in convention voted to "affirm its rejection of the so-called Jewish state or any other formula that could achieve this goal" well as its opposition to the principle of swapping land for peace, since "illegal settler gangs cannot be placed on an equal footing with the owners of the lands and rights". Abbas and his colleagues expressed support for "adhering to the basic rights, first and foremost the right of return for Palestinian refugees" and avowed their resistance to "pressure aimed at resuming the peace talks without achieving the demands of the Palestinians". Abbas also vowed not to return to the negotiating table unless Israel completely froze Jewish construction throughout the West Bank and all areas of Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinian Authority for its mooted new country. And at a separate ceremony he lavished praise Abu Daoud, "the shahid [martyr] commander Amin al-Hindi", who masterminded the slaughter of eleven members of the Israeli team at the Munich Olympics in 1972.
We’ve had their bizarre claims that Rachel’s Tomb and the Kotel are not Jewish holy sites but theirs. We’ve seen this performance by a dance group on the official PA TV station (chaired by Abbas) two days before the latest peace talks began(hat tip: Palestine Media Watch), making it quite clear that Israel proper, and not merely the “occupied territories” remains just as much the target for "liberation" as ever:
Band member recites a poem:
"Fight, brother, the flag will never be lowered,
the torches will never die out.”
On [Mount] Carmel and in the [Jordan] Valley,
we are rocks and streams.
In Lod we are poems, and in Ramle - grenades.
We, my brother, shall remain the revolution of the fighting nation.”
"The Zionists went out from [their] homelands,
compounding damage and enmity.
But the Palestinian revolution awaits [them].
The orchard called us to the [armed] struggle.
We replaced bracelets with weapons.
We attacked the despicable [Zionists].
This invading enemy is on the battlefield.
This is the day of consolation of Jihad.
Pull the trigger.
We shall redeem Jerusalem, Nablus and the country."
On the same station there’s also recently been this:
"My brother! The oppressors [Israelis] have gone too far.
Therefore Jihad is a right, and self-sacrifice is a right.
Shall we let them steal the Arab nature -
the patriarchal glory and rule?
And only through the sound of the sword
They respond, with voice or echo.
Draw from the sheath your sword;
And let it not return.
My brother, my brother, O proud Arab
Today is our moment, not tomorrow.
My brother, the time of our nation's sunrise has arrived,
[the time] for you to repel those who are misled
And bring renaissance to Islam."
"The journey of jihad and martyrdom began 23 years ago and will continue until the liquidation of the masses of aggression, treachery and even high banners of faith and bring us day after day, year after year from Palestine .. all of Palestine. The Jihad will continue until the liberation of the Palestinian city of Jerusalem to pray a prayer of thanks after the liberation of all Palestine..."We know too, that the Hamas Charter states:
"For our struggle against the Jews is extremely wide-ranging and grave, so much so that it will need all the loyal efforts we can wield, to be followed by further steps and reinforced by successive battalions from the multifarious Arab and Islamic world, until the enemies are defeated and Allah’s victory prevails.
Hamas has been looking forward to implement Allah’s promise whatever time it might take. The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him! This will not apply to the Gharqad, which is a Jewish tree.
When our enemies usurp some Islamic lands, Jihad becomes a duty binding on all Muslims. In order to face the usurpation of Palestine by the Jews, we have no escape from raising the banner of Jihad. This would require the propagation of Islamic consciousness among the masses on all local, Arab and Islamic levels. We must spread the spirit of Jihad among the [Islamic] Umma, clash with the enemies and join the ranks of the Jihad fighters."
In the view of many a hawk (or should I say "clear-headed realist"?) who insists that the true solution to the conflict lies in the concept that “Jordan is Palestine”, the creation of a Palestinian State would spell suicide for Israel, squeezed between Hamastan on its western flank and Fatahstan on its eastern one. Within days if not hours, goes this doomsday scenario, Israel would be shelled from both Palestinian components, as well as from Hezbollah to the north.
If the European Union makes good its threat, such a move would mean that Abbas had achieved his aim (Israel pushed back to its 1967 boundaries) without the need to negotiate or make concessions to Israel. Not for nothing are the pre-Six Day War boundaries (the 1949 lines, dubbed by Abba Eban, not exactly the most hawkish of Israeli statesmen, the "Auschwitz borders") widely considered militarily indefensible – just consider the proximity of the West Bank to Tel Aviv and imagine the damage rockets would do – they could hardly be agreed to by an Israel that wishes to survive, and since that is so, the Jewish State would be set on a permanent collision course with Palestine and the rest of the world. (See Robin Shepherd’s analyses http://www.robinshepherdonline.com/first-big-step-to-unilateral-palestinian-%20declaration-of-independence-as-brazil-formally-recognises-palestini...
Whether through ignorance, stupidity or malevolence, there’s a sizeable component of western public opinion that, forgetting why the Israelis “occupy “ the disputed territories in the first place – the refusal of the Arabs to recognize Israel and determination to eradicate Israel by force – would heartily concur with recognizing a Palestinian State – and damn the Israelis.
In the present circumstances, as the Jewish State seems on the eve of being offered up on the slab (I refuse to call it "the altar") of appeasement by allies who themselves face global jihad, how bittersweet it is to read what a keen Zionist had to say thirty years ago:
'Israel’s present struggle to maintain its hold over Judea and Samaria touches on its fundamental capacity to assure the strategic requirements of national survival. What lies in the balance is Israel’s need to prevent this territory from falling into Arab hands whereby, through political extremism and military hostility, it will serve as a springboard for the final onslaught on the reconstituted state then squeezed into the narrow, exposed coastal strip, with Jerusalem encircled on the eastern border. However, no Israeli government since 1967 managed to convince the world (and most of the Jewish People) that the question of Judea and Samaria actually had little to do with regional negotiations or with Zionist “expansionism” – but with the very survival of the State.
On strategic, political, and ideological grounds Judea and Samaria are as vital to Jewish survival as Zionism was vital to Jewish survival at the close of the 19th century.
Then the massive misery of Jewry, particularly in Eastern Europe, helped galvanize the belief in a return to Eretz-Israel as the solution to the Jewish problem. It was credible to argue then that without the creation of a Jewish entity, home, or state, Jewry – or large parts of it – might be wiped out through sheer pauperism, exhaustion, persecution, and loss of collective will. All might be lost if Zion was not claimed and controlled by the Jewish People committed to the physical welfare and the dignity of the nation.
Today, the value of Judea and Samaria does not immediately rest upon its critical importance as a refuge for Jews in distress. That may certainly become the case when two conditions are realised:
• when diasporas like Iranian, South African, Russian, Moroccan, Argentinian, Quebec, and other Jewries overwhelmingly conclude that secure Jewish life is attainable only in Israel; and
• when the authorities in Israel realize that considerations of population dispersion, quality, and ecology of life, strategic needs in conventional and nuclear terms, and ideological authenticity all demand that the abnormal Mediterranean statelet yield its primacy to the heartland of the country – historically and geographically – in the mountainous terrain of Judea and Samaria.However, since neither of these two conditions obtain now the immediate value of Judea and Samaria for world Jewry is based on that area’s elemental importance for the security of Israel. The State of Israel is the domain of the entire Jewish People: Israel’s welfare is its welfare, and Israel’s demise could well be the spiritual, moral – perhaps physical – demise of Jewry everywhere.
|View of Tel Aviv from the West Bank|
...Historical analogy and contemporary circumstances both suggest that the impetus for more organized action regarding Judea and Samaria must come from the large Jewish community in the United States. That is the core of Jewish financial, demographic, and political power; and that is the major international arena for global pressure on Israel to relinquish Judea and Samaria to Arab rule. Therefore, for Jewish and non-Jewish reasons, the struggle must be fought in America – first and foremost.
There may not be in this era a Dreyfus Trial to focus Jewry’s attention on the abysmal condition of the marginal Jew – seemingly part of Gentile society yet subject arbitrarily to its sudden wrath. There may also not be a Herzl to raise up Jewish masses and instil into them the hope of national freedom and disgnity. Anti-semitism and the quality of Jewish leadership may both have waned considerably in our days. Jewish collective consciousness, leading to a Zionist formula, is pathetically weak; the external and internal conditions for its development are not propitious. [Remember, he was writing before the rise of Eurabia, and its inherent antisemitism.]
But something must be done and time is short. With the failures of the secular, and in part, religious Jewish establishment, a new radical beginning must be made to create an authentic Zionist framework for Jewish action....
If Gush Emunim has been (unjustifiably) accused of illegal settlement, the new Zionist leadership will fully support legal settlement. If settlement seemed to be the partisan endeavour of basically only religious Israeli society, then future construction in Judea and Samaria will be the enterprise of the national collectivity as a whole. If the Israeli government has sometimes behaved surreptiously, now everything will be open and public in all ways. There is nothing to be ashamed of, and there is nothing to fear.' ("A Herzlian Zionist Model for Judea and Samaria" by Dr Mordechai Nisan, in Forum on the Jewish People, Zionism and Israel, Spring/Summer 1981, No. 41, pp. 85-90)