This is another guest post by reader and frequent contributor Brian Goldfarb.
It’s not what’s being said, it’s who’s saying it that’s the surprise!
In what follows, nothing that will surprise regular readers of this site is said by the author. If you prefer, it isn’t what is being said here at the Gatestone Institute’s article: Why the Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel as the Jewish State.
The surprise is who is saying it.
And that someone calls himself Ali Salim and is identified only as “a scholar based in the Middle East” on the Gatestone Institute website. Which is interesting in itself, because I take this (as I’m sure you do) as a nom-de-plume, because he fears recognition in his real persona.
Indeed, Salim starts from a position we all recognise (Anne has been drawing our attention to it for ages), which is that;
“The core of the problem is that Palestinian recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish People would not only end the dream of the return to Palestine, but also of the destruction of Israel currently being implemented through the incitement and terrorist campaign waged by the Palestinian People in their institutions, mosques, schools, terrorist organizations and foreign propaganda centers. Their strategic intention is to perpetuate the conflict, not end it.
The real reason Mahmoud Abbas wants control of the bridges and crossings, and refuses to leave them in Israeli hands, is to duplicate the terrorism of the Gaza Strip — to smuggle in arms and establish terrorist squads. Crossings left in Israel’s hands would mean greater security for Jordan as well.”
He also draws our attention (we, here, are not the ones who need our attention drawn to this, but plenty of others out there do) to the fact – and it is a historical fact – that:
“…every Muslim knows that the Jews in Israel are the descendants of the ancient Hebrew nation known as the Israelites, we also recognize the fact that the Jews have been connected to the blessed land of Palestine for thousands of years, even before the Romans conquered Judea and changed its name to Palestina, as attested to by history. The ties of the Jews to the Holy Land have been documented by all the sacred books, including the Holy Qur’an.”
Well, maybe the bit about “every Muslim knows” isn’t exactly so, but the historical fact is well known, at least by those who actually read their history books. It is also the reason that Salim gives as to why the Palestinian Authority (PA) is extremely reluctant (you have to see the word “reluctant” as though it were written in letters of fire, three feet high) to recognise the State of Israel as the Jewish national homeland that is most interesting, at least from a presumed Moslem:
“The real reason for their refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish country, however, is that the rais [chief], President Mahmoud Abbas, the man who claims to be the leader of the Palestinian people, has never abandoned the demand for the return of the Palestinians to “Palestine,” that is, the entire State of Israel, so that it might be destroyed.”
Salim goes on to say that
“The danger is that when the Israelis realize that the Palestinians manipulators do not have any real intention of forging a peace agreement, Israel will withdraw from territories it does not want to rule, as it did in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians will receive far less from Israel than they could have achieved through dialogue, and will spend the rest of their days living as bad neighbors in a state of hopeless, eternal conflict.
Moving on to the boycott threat, Salim remarks:
During the first and second intifidas [uprisings], when the Palestinians boycotted Israeli-manufactured goods and refused to work for Israelis, we thought the boycott would destroy Israel’s economy, but the result was that we hurt only ourselves. Goods made in Israel were smuggled into the occupied territories and sold at exorbitant prices, many times what they cost in Israel; and when Palestinian construction workers stayed home, the Israelis began using industrial building methods, so now the workers are still at home.
I worry that the Palestinians are irresponsible and gambling with their fate and with their children’s future. Instead of recognizing Israel as the Jewish state as part of a package deal of mutual recognition leading to a life a peace, they are trying to force the world unilaterally to recognize a Palestinian state.
A boycott of Israeli universities — with laboratories responsible for so many Nobel Prizes and the creation of such stunning advances for the good of all humanity — will not reduce Israeli academic excellence. The people who will suffer the most again are the thousands of Palestinian breadwinners who currently work in Israel’s factories and fields, both in Israel itself and in the West Bank — yet another example of the West’s duplicitous crocodile tears in pretending to care about the Palestinians but in reality, not a jot. The resulting joblessness can only breed even greater unrest, moving both parties farther away from peace — a strategy doubtless backed by many of these bogus-moralists in Europe from the outset.” There is no implication in Salim’s words that the conflict would be other than internecine, and not between Israel and Palestine.
At a more mundane level, what happens to those 500 or so Palestinian employees of SodaStream at the Ma’ale Adumim plant if this were to actually happen? They go back to unemployment. And if Abbas is as serious as Salim suggests, why should the Israelis care (although many do and will)?
That said, even those of us (like me) who are not exactly fans of Bibi recognise that he is very intelligent. He knows the importance of the recognition of Israel as a sovereign state: it’s brought peace on Israel’s southern and eastern borders with Egypt and Jordan. Salim’s very last paragraph essentially repeats this very point when he says that
“If I were an Israeli, I would insist on Palestinian recognition of the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish People. This Palestinian recognition would make it accepted as a religious duty for the entire Islamic nation to make peace with Israel, and make it possible for an independent, flourishing Palestinian state to be established on Israel’s eastern border.”
If only…and if this is what they only really wished for…
Would that there were more clear-eyed commentators and politicians in the Arab world, people like Ali Salim and Khaled Abu Toameh, who are not afraid to speak their mind and tell the real truth to their people, to wake them up before it’s too late.