The world should not revolve around the Palestinians – not when they don’t want a state of their own; and not when there are other matters to attend to like Kurdish independence or the freeing of women and children enslaved by Islamic State. And hasn’t enough Jewish blood be spilled over the Palestinian issue?
By Richard Mather
The world seems to turn on a Palestinian axis. It is remarkable that the Palestinians, who have no historical, cultural or legal rights to the land of Israel, are endowed with so much international and economic patronage by the European Union, the United States, the United Nations, and other organisations, such as Oxfam and Christian Aid. How did the Palestinians and their international backers manage to achieve such a feat? Why does the world revolve around the Palestinians?
There are two answers to this. One is the Palestinians’ cynical calculus of terror. They have learnt that violence is rewarded by the West. Acts of terror against Jews only strengthen the West’s belief that a Palestinian state is the answer. Hence the two-state solution based on the so-called pre-1967 borders. But the West is being fooled. Palestinians do not want a political solution, not when terrorism reaps dividends. That’s why Yasser Arafat instigated the second intifada. He did it to mask his rejection of the Camp David deal in 2000. And what happened? The world blamed Israel for the “occupation,” which garnered further sympathy for the Palestinians.
Arafat, Hamas and Mahmoud Abbas all know that terrorism focuses worldwide attention on Israel. Should the Palestinians ever have their own state, Western leaders and newspapers would lose interest and turn their full attention to other matters such as Kurdish dispossession, Chinese human rights abuses or the enslavement of women and children in Syria. This is not what the Palestinians or other Arabs want. They want the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to continue because it exerts unbearable pressure on the Jewish state.
The second reason why the Palestinians enjoy so much international privilege and patronage is because they appeal to Western sympathy for the underdog (although this sympathy rarely extended to Jews during the 1930s and 1940s). Palestinians have achieved this by doing something rather remarkable. And that is to appropriate another people’s history and suffering.
First of all they stole the name. The word “Palestinian” was a designation given to Jews in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. It acquired its modern connotation in the 1960s when Arafat began talking of “the Palestinian people.” Then they appropriated and inverted the Holocaust so that Palestinians could project themselves as the “new Jews” and the Israelis as the “new Nazis.” Then they appropriated places of importance to Jews. The biblical name of Judea-Samaria has been replaced by “West Bank” or “Occupied Territory.” And Judaism’s holiest city, Jerusalem, is called Al-Quds. To add insult to Jewish injury, the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb are now considered integral to a future State of Palestine. And there are attempts to appropriate the Western Wall as an Islamic holy site.
Appropriation on its own would not be enough, however. The Palestinians had to invent an entire backstory in order to fool the world. Claims that the Palestinians are descendants of the Jebusites and Canaanites are risible. In truth, most of the people who now call themselves Palestinians descend from migrants who left Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the Balkans (among other places) in the eighteenth century onwards. In fact, the UN has acknowledged that many had only lived in Palestine for two years prior to Jewish independence in 1948. By contrast, there has been a continuous Jewish presence in the land for thousands of years.
So the Palestinians have managed to convince the world that they are an indigenous people who are now in exile because of Zionism. But some of the credit for this elaborate hoax should go to the Kremlin. In the 1960s, Soviet authorities and their Arab allies dreamt up the fiction of a Palestinian human rights struggle in order to destabilise Israel and its main ally, the USA. According to Major General Ion Mihai Pacepa (the highest ranking Soviet bloc defector), the Kremlin’s vision was to create an international anti-Zionist movement that would “instill a Nazi-style hatred for the Jews.” In other words, the Palestinian cause was a Cold War strategy to win the Middle East for Russia.
This “Nazi-style hatred for the Jews” has a name. It is called Palestinianism. The ideology draws strength from a number of anti-Semitic canards, archetypes and sources, including the religious (“Jews are forsaken by God”), the conspiratorial (“the Israeli government is infecting Palestinians with Aids”), and the economic (“Zionists control international finance,” “Boycott Israeli products”). The interchangeability of “Zionist” and “Jew” in Palestinianist political discourse is, of course, indicative of its anti-Semitic nature.
The ideological similarity to other Jew-hating phenomena such as Lutheranism and Nazism should not surprise us. Palestinianism is just the latest manifestation of an age-hold hatred. Christians and the Nazis were just as convinced as the Palestinianists of the righteousness of their causes. Indeed, each generation believes it has the answer to the so-called Jewish problem. Palestinianism is just the Final Solution by another name.
Because that’s what Palestinianism is about: genocide. It does not entail a peaceful political or diplomatic solution to the crisis. When Palestinians and their supporters chant “Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea,” they are calling for the genocide and/or mass expulsion of millions of Israelis. This is what Western leaders fail to realise. Or they overlook it in the hope that boycotting Israeli goods will bring Israel to the negotiating table. This is not how Abbas and his acolytes view the boycotts. They see the boycotts as economic warfare against the Jews, with the ultimate aim of bringing down Israel.
But there is another reason why Western leaders need to wise up. The Palestinian issue, however bogus, has resulted in decades of terrorism and a new wave of anti-Jewish prejudice.
Westerners, especially well-meaning people like Quakers, liberals, trade unionists and charity bosses, suffer from cognitive dissonance. They are horrified by images of the Holocaust but they are unable to support a country that is run by Jews for Jews. If Israel was any other country – that is to say if it wasn’t a Jewish state – most people would gladly support a young, innovative, multicultural and thriving democracy. The only explanation as to why liberals, Christians and leftists are apologists for far-right terror groups like Hamas and Hezbollah is that they harbour (perhaps unconsciously) unsavoury attitudes about Jews.
The rise in anti-Semitism in contemporary Europe has received little attention or sympathy because much of the abuse is carried out by Muslims and left-wing activists, who do not conform to the image of the anti-Semite as National Front skinhead. But the new anti-Semitism is more dangerous and more nuanced than the neo-Nazi thuggery of the 1970s. In addition to the hijackings, suicide bombings, shootings and knife attacks, Jews have faced a barrage of anti-Semitic propaganda emanating from pressure groups, universities, political institutions, charities, churches and media outlets.
The rise in anti-Semitic violence has started to attract some (belated) attention. British prime minister David Cameron has condemned Islamist Jew-hatred. The former Canadian premier Stephen Harper warned of a dangerous new form of anti-Semitism and said the world has a moral duty to rally around Israel. But the issue of anti-Semitism is not a priority for most policy-makers, international bodies or newspapers. In fact, some politicians and opinion-makers are complicit in the murder of Jews because they either foment Judeophobia by telling lies about Israel or turn a blind eye to Palestinian incitement (or both).
The situation cannot continue. Not when Jews living in Jerusalem and Paris are being abused, attacked and butchered. So much for “never again.” Even before the Gaza conflict of 2014 when anti-Semitism was at its highest since World War Two, around half of all Jews living in France, Belgium and Hungary were considering emigrating because they no longer felt safe in their respective countries.
So perhaps people of influence in the West should be asking themselves one simple question: Is Palestinianism really worth so much Jewish suffering?
Let’s look at the facts: There have been over half a dozen opportunities since 1937 for the Palestinian Arabs to create their own state. Since 2000, the Palestinian leadership had three major opportunities to establish an independent state, the most famous being the Camp David talks where Arafat was offered 92% of the West Bank, 100% of Gaza and east Jerusalem. In 2008, the Israelis put forward a proposal in which the Palestinians would receive Gaza, the majority of the West Bank, parts of east Jerusalem, safe passage between the West Bank and Gaza, and the dismantling of settlements in the Jordan Valley and eastern Samaria. Abbas did not give a final response on the matter and negotiations ended.
Another fact: Palestinian Arab figureheads and organisations – from Amin al-Husseini to Hamas – have been murdering Jews under the banner of Islam since the 1920s. So is the creation of a predominantly Sunni Muslim state between Israel and Jordan really a good idea, especially in our age of ultra-violent Islamic extremism?
How likely is it that a State of Palestine will make peace with Israel? Will homosexuals and lesbians in a Palestinian state be given equal rights or thrown off tall buildings? Will women have equal rights? Will there be a free press or will journalists be imprisoned and silenced?
In short, will a State of Palestine be a blessing or a curse?
Since it is clear that Jewish blood is flowing; since it is clear that the Palestinians are not interested in peaceful co-existence; since it is clear that the decay of Arab nations in the Middle East looks set to continue; and since it is highly likely that a Palestinian state will be a human rights basketcase, wouldn’t it be better for the international community to put aside childish notions of a Palestinian state and lavish their time and resources on more important matters?
The liberation of the Kurds from Islamist imperialism may be a good place to start. Or what about putting an end to the Syrian crisis? An end to sex slavery or bonded labour? There are so many pressing issues that require our immediate and full attention, that it seems absurd to pursue the creation of a State of Palestine when it is obvious that the Palestinians themselves don’t want a state and the Jews are paying the price with their blood.
Well, the world is bloodstained enough. What is perceived as a dispute over a tiny piece of land in the Middle East is, in fact, a racial war against the Jews. And as long as sensible people in the corridors of power in London, Brussels and Washington DC continue to play into the hands of obsessional and irrational anti-Semites, the security of the Jewish people will become increasingly perilous.
It is time to tell the Palestinians and their fellow travellers that enough is enough. The world should not revolve around them any longer.