There are many peoples on this planet that would do anything for their independence, sovereignty, and a state of their own if it was offered to them. Just ask the Kurds, Tibetans, Basques, and Chechens. ?
Yet there is one singular group that continues to spurn offers of statehood, missing and wasting numerous opportunities, and blaming others for its “victimhood”- and then commits horrendous acts of terrorism and violence when offered almost all of what it wants. We are referring, of course, to the Palestinian Arabs – a people who, unlike the Kurds, do not have their own religion, language, or culture that’s different in essence from their Arab brethren in neighboring ?Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. The Palestinian Arabs have answered every peace offer for their own “Palestinian” state with one unequivocal word, “no,” and then initiated a wave of hatred, violence, and terrorism. The reason? Because it would also mean recognition of and co-existence with a non-Arab people, the Jews.
Actually, there has been a Palestinian Arab state in the region since 1921, located in the eastern 78 percent of the Palestine Mandate designated for a Jewish National Home: ?Jordan. Even today, more than two-thirds of the people of Jordan are Palestinian Arabs. The offers of another Palestinian Arab state (which would be the 23rd Arab state) in the remaining western portion of the Palestine Mandate date back to the 1937 Peel Commission. That began a consistent pattern of rejected offers through to the present: 1947 UN Partition Plan, 1967 at Khartoum, 2000 at Camp David, 2001 at Taba, the 2008 Olmert Plan. The current Kerry-led negotiations also appear to be heading in that direction. Yet the Palestinian Arabs still adamantly reject the “two state solution” of an “Arab State” and “Jewish State” referenced in the 1947 UN partition resolution.
So it is instructive to ask, what do the Palestinian Arabs really want? If we would only listen to what they persistently say and read their charters, we would understand: the eradication of ?Israel through armed struggle, replacing the Jewish state with a Palestinian Arab state. Just read the charters of the Palestinian Authority, PLO, Fatah, and Hamas, and it is laid out in straightforward unambiguous terms. It really is no wonder they say “no” to a state if it also means that they have to recognize the tiny Jewish state alongside it. There are already 22 Arab states with a population of 400 million and land mass 625 times that of Israel, versus 6.2 million Jews in a sliver of land the size of New Jersey.
We have seen a preview of what their state will be like: ?Gaza, which has become a terrorist launching pad for tens of thousands of rockets and missiles into Israel since Israel left and uprooted 8,000 citizens from their homes in 2005. It is a failed entity ruled by the corrupt, genocidal, terrorist entity Hamas, which steadfastly refuses to recognize Israel. A Palestinian Arab state in the West Bank/Judea-Samaria, the cradle of Jewish civilization, on the high ground overlooking the heart of Israel’s population centers from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, will only pose a more lethal danger to the safety and security of Israel. And the Jewish claim does not rest just on security, but on a continuous three-millennia presence in the land.
The pathology of the Palestinian Arab movement, which is actually a part of the larger Arab war on Israel, is violent rejection. It is partly fueled by Islamic beliefs that any Jewish presence on the land is a crime against the Islamic “natural order of things,” the crime of a ?dhimmi people, the Jews, having sovereignty in their midst.
Yet Westerners fantasize and delude themselves that the Palestinian Arabs actually want to live in peace alongside ?Israel. This was recently epitomized by Israel’s chief negotiator Tzipi Livni, who told Knesset members that they should “expect to be surprised” regarding Palestinian Authority willingness to recognize Israel as a Jewish State. But her fairy-tale beliefs defy reality, and the bubble was burst immediately when PA negotiator Saeb Erekat reiterated yet again that the Palestinian Arabs would never accept Israel as a Jewish State.
Sheikh Jabari, the strongman of ?Hebron, put it concisely: “We can never recognize the Jewish state. I can’t. It goes against the Koran. Tel Aviv is Waqf [Muslim] holy land. I can’t recognize you de jure, but I also recognize that you’re not going anywhere. You’re here to stay.”
Western intervention only makes things worse, and leads the PA to believe that it can maintain a culture of victimhood and pay no price for its maximalist, uncompromising beliefs. Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Arab culture of incitement, terrorism, and resort to lawfare has only increased, in absolute violation of their commitments to teach and preach peace, dismantle the terrorist infrastructure, confiscate weapons, and arrest terrorists. The PA has not kept those international commitments; so what gives ?Israel and Western diplomats confidence that any future accords – which will presumably involve Israel relinquishing vital land areas necessary for its security – will be honored? In Arab-Muslim culture, agreements tend to be broken when one side gains the strength to overcome the other, i.e. hudna. In the Middle East, the current status is what peace actually looks like: no paper agreements. At best, a détente, where only force and power prevail and are respected. That is what has enabled Israel to miraculously survive as an oasis of hope, democracy, and freedom in the midst of Arab-Muslim dominated totalitarian states, military dictatorships, and theocracies.?
Israel ??has no reliable “peace partner” in the Western sense, no matter how the mainstream media, EU, diplomats, and elites want to spin it. These apologists will always somehow find a way to rationalize and justify the Palestinian Arabs’ predictable resort to violence and in turn seek to delegitimize Israel for not making further concessions – regardless of whether it puts the Jewish State in deadly danger. The diplomatic process is not working. There must be far more onus on the PA to make true peace and prepare its own people for it. If and when Palestinian Arabs are ready, willing and able to say “yes,” Israel will be there – but not any sooner.
Lee S. Bender and Jerome R. Verlin are co-President and co-Vice President, respectively, of the Zionist Organization of America- Greater Philadelphia District. They are the authors of Pressing Israel: Media Bias Exposed From A-Z (Pavilion Press, 2012). Verlin is the author of Israel 3000 Years: The Jewish People’s 3000 Year Presence inPalestine (Pavilion Press, 2011)