Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Sunday 3 June 2012

David Singer On The Implications Of Mahmoud Abbas's Refusal To Recognise Israel As A Jewish State

In his latest article ("Palestine –  Racist And Apartheid Policies Plague Peace Proposals") that comes via the antipodean J-Wire service, Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer explores the persistence of Palestinian rejectionism of Israel's right to exist as a Jewish State and what that rejectionism implies for peace.

Writes David Singer:
 'Mahmoud Abbas, president of Palestine and the Palestinian Authority, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Movement (PLO) and of Fatah – the PLO’s largest faction – has doomed to the garbage bin any possible peace proposals that might be offered by Israel’s new National Unity Government, following his latest outburst in the Lebanese newspaper An-Nahhar:
"We won’t agree to recognize something called the Jewish state. Why wasn’t this issue raised when Israel negotiated with Jordan and Egypt?"
Abbas’s highly inflammatory remark is just one of many similar statements that have been made in the past.

Abbas has clearly indicated that he has no intention of mitigating his view that there is no place for a Jewish State in its biblical and historical homeland – nor in the Palestinian Arab state that he now heads that was internationally recognized on 31 October 2011 with Palestine’s admission to UNESCO as its 195th member state.

His comment only shows that nothing has really changed in the racist policies adopted by the Palestinian Arabs since their rejection of the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan proposing the creation of a Jewish state and an Arab state in what was then left of Mandatory Palestine following the creation in 1946 of the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan – now called Jordan – on 78 per cent of the territory initially slated for reconstitution of the Jewish National Home.

What is even worse and very worrying is the deafening silence from the international community to Abbas continuing along this racist and apartheid path.

Abbas apparently seems perplexed that the issue of a Jewish State was never raised in negotiations when peace treaties were negotiated between Israel and Egypt and Israel and Jordan.

The answer is very simple.

Neither Egypt nor Jordan had enshrined in their constitutions or their policies any provision remotely approaching clause 20 of the PLO Charter:
"The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine, and everything that has been based upon them, are deemed null and void. Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitutes statehood. Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong."  [Emphasis added]
Neither did Egypt or Jordan expressly embrace the policy of Hamas – the Islamic Resistance Movement – as espoused in Article 11 of its Charter:
"The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that. Palestine is an Islamic Waqf land consecrated for Moslem generations until Judgement Day."  [Emphasis added]
Yet Hamas is a movement that Abbas is desperately seeking to bring into a future unity government under his control

Until the PLO and Hamas unequivocally revoke and abandon these racist policies Israel has no other course but to insist that recognition of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish People is a non-negotiable demand that is not to be compromised under any circumstances in any future negotiations with Abbas. [Emphasis added]

The campaign of Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) – promoted and actively supported by Abbas and the Palestinian Authority – has been properly described as:
"a negative and one-sided campaign aimed at demonising Israeli Jews irrespective of their political views on the Palestinian question."
Penalizing individual Jews financially and economically by boycotting the purchase of their goods and the provision of their services is racist and discriminatory. Yet many in the international community continue to warm to such policies – rather than expressing a total loathing and revulsion at such attempts to deny the right of Jews to be treated equally with their Moslem and Christian counterparts in the lawful pursuit of their right to freedom of trade and commerce.

Last played on the Palestinian Authority’s air waves on 12 May – and at least 24 times before then –  is a song which contains the following lyrics:
"We commit and promise to stand behind you, oh Mahmoud Abbas, until Judgment Day/ I am returning to you, the purest land, oh land of the free/ No matter how long the nights of exile, I am returning to you, oh land/ From Rafah to Rosh Hanikra [northern Israel]our coast, and Beit Shean [Israeli city]. Above your soil, oh my land, is a picture of Garden of Eden/ From Rafah to Rosh Hanikra our coast, and Beit Shean] Above your soil, oh my land, is a picture of Garden of Eden/ From Rafah to Rosh Hanikra, north and south, are the picture’s borders. From Haifa [Israeli city] and Tantura to the [Jordan] valley [i.e., all of Israel]/I am returning to you, the purest land, oh land of the free."
Abbas has also made it abundantly clear that he will not tolerate any Jews living in any Palestinian Arab State.

The dissemination of such sentiments may be justified as part of the individual’s right to freedom of expression.

However when such views are promoted and actively supported by the president of a state, the bona fides of the president and that state to sue for peace must be seriously questioned.

Given these recent expressions of open racism and official government support of on-going efforts to isolate and denigrate Jews, one can confidently predict that nothing Israel offers will ever be acceptable to the Palestinian Arabs.

Palestine presently has a tenuous hold on Gaza and about 40 per cent of the West Bank.

Statements and policies like those identified above ensure that these present areas of Palestinian statehood are not likely to be expanded any further.

Abbas needs to shape up – or ship out.'

Cross-posted from here


  1. I can't agree with David Singer's analysis. Abbas is a weak figure who can't even be sure of support in his own party. Hamas and many non Hamas Palestinians sincerely believe that a Jewish State is a double sacrilege. Firstly because a state that was once conquered by Islam remains Muslim for eternity and secondly because Jews (and Muslims) must never be in a superior status to Muslims. Should Abbas accept a Jewish State then he and his administration may not last two weeks after an Israeli withdrawal.

    However, all is not lost. The late Anwar Sadat realised that Islam is a major obstacle to peace and finding a way to finesse it was a prerequisite for a satisfactory solution. So he had his religious authorities publish a fatwa that jihad can be suspended if the enemy is too strong for Muslims to have any chance of success.

    I'm not sure how Jordan handled the same problem but Hussein as a direct descendent of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad and coming from the family that still sees itself as the legitimate custodians of Mecca and Medina would clearly have more Islamic clout than Sadat had.

    If Abbas or his successors removed without comment those clauses in their constitutions that are problematic but don't replace them, leaving the issue ambiguous and unsolved, that would probably be the best we can hope for. A practical peace.

    In addition, once again without being specific, Abbas had enough courage to declare that an agreement with Israel would signify a complete end to the conflict the failure to recognise Israel's Jewishness might not be such a problem in practise.

    1. Slight typo because Jews (and Muslims) must never be in a superior status to Muslims. should of course be Jews (and Christians).

    2. Thanks for the comment, deegee.


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