Next week Israel will celebrate the 60th anniversary of its declaration of independence in the presence of an enviable number of dignitaries and heads of state. One week later, on May 15, the Palestinians will commiserate their Nakba — the day they were driven from their homeland by Jewish paramilitary settlers who established the State of Israel.
On May 11, they're saying "next week" about Israel's anniversary, then "one week later" referring to May 15...?
Israel's independence was declared on May 14th, 1948; the next day, on May 15th, al Naqba, which is an Arabic word that means "the catastrophe" began; it was the Arab world's declaration of war against Israel. A catastrophe it was, because the Arabs got clobbered, and lost a great deal of land.
While Israel will be showered with words of admiration and congratulation, principally by those countries that helped create it, the Palestinians will be huddled together in exile or under military occupation, encircled by the Israeli wall of shame that was probably inspired by the Nazi wall that enclosed the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw in 1940. The only statements making reference to them will be the empty rhetoric of Arab officials calling for peace and the establishment of a Palestinian state, and probably maligning Hamas. Victors will continue writing history, at least as long as they remain powerful.
The reason "the Palestinians will be huddled together in exile or under military occupation" is because they are being used as a distraction. Saudi Arabia - the nation where the newspaper from which this article was taken - certainly has both the land and the money to provide a home for the Palestinians. Saudi Arabia does not offer to do so. The Saudis could also fund economic development in Palestinian territory. Again, the Saudis do not do so.
Instead, Saudi Arabia exports hateful anti-Israeli propaganda - much like the editorial we are reviewing - and funds mosques, where Saudi-trained "holy men" spew their anti-Israeli venom. They help organize, train and equip terrorist forces to attack Israel from territory ruled by the "Palestinian Authority", which is mostly a refurbished terrorist organization, the Palestine Liberation Organization. The PLO grew rich and powerful off not just terrorism, but the organized crime that funds terrorism. This thugocracy sees no benefit in peace with Israel, so it is in bed with the corrupt leaders of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi royal family, for its part, is also a bunch of hypocrites; the "Palestinian issue" helps distract their Arab brethren from the fact that Saudi princes party very heartily, with booze and scantily-clad women, when they are outside their little desert kingdom. Saudi money goes to fund terrorism, instead of building an economy able to survive when Saudi oil runs out - which is beginning to happen.
So, the "Palestinians" are pawns - the real occupation is the thugocracy that rules them, and the Arab powers (not just the Saudis) that turn Palestinian land into a battleground by promoting suicide attacks on Israeli targets.
By the way - the Palestinian Arabs have never been the only Palestinians. Prior to Israel's declaration of independence, Palestine had a substantial Jewish population. These people were Palestinians, too. There has been immigration of people to the land of Israel since Israel declared its independence, but we should not lose sight of the fact that many Jews were "Palestinians" as well.
Ah, but that is not so politically correct to say, is it?
At 60, Israel appears solid, focused, constantly expanding and basking in the adulation of its powerful supporters and the resignation of its intimidated neighbors. By contrast, the Palestinians, evicted from their homeland, appear weak, divided, starved, vulnerable and spurned by most Arab leaders. Israel, a warrior state armed to the teeth with conventional and nuclear weapons, represents a success for the great powers in more ways than one. Their most important achievement was offloading the centuries old "Jewish question" on the Arabs. Ever since, Israel has proved a belligerent state bent on aggression and expansion, which was also useful to the powers that nurtured it. However, Israel's atrocities against the Palestinians and other Arabs, and its extensive settlement under occupation of their land, makes it appear more like a giant on stilts than a peace-loving nation that lives by the norms of international law.
The "resignation of its intimidated neighbors" - the Arab neighbors were so intimidated that they declared war on Israel the very next day, and have done so periodically over the years.
The reason they stopped is because they kept getting clobbered, and kept losing more and more land.
Finally, they hit upon a strategy that worked: terrorism.
Terrorism means that Arab armies do not get slaughtered due to the incompetence and corruption of their leaders, terrorism means that no more Arab land will get occupied during Israeli counterattacks, and terrorism means that the terrorists get some degree of respectability - and even money from foreign nations - for being the government of a group of people who are worth more to the Arab world as victims than as people.
Yes, the plight of the Palestinians is terrible, isn't it?
In spite of the glow of success, two historical factors are corroding the underpinnings of Israel as a state. First, Israel was founded on the 17th century doctrine of settler colonialism — the New World migration model of which the United States is the unique surviving example. As European settlers arrived in droves in the New World that Christopher Columbus discovered in 1492, the land was ethnically cleansed of its indigenous population, especially North American Indians. Hundreds of tribes and ethnic communities were systematically devastated or driven west of the Mississippi River to make room for European colonists. In 1778, even before becoming the nation, new Americans signed a treaty with the Indian Delawares — the first of what would become a body of more than 380 treaties that never held in the face of the desire to expand. Under those treaties, the nascent US gained more than one billion acres of Indian land in North America, mostly by force, coercion and outright war, with some bought for as little as 10 cents an acre.
Notice how there is no discussion of the ethnic cleansing of ancient Christian peoples throughout the Middle East.
Neither is there discussion of the ongoing ethnic cleansing of ethnic Serbs in "Kosova".
Of course, with these high-sounding words, can we expect the Islamic world to relinquish its claim to places like Al Andalus? The people of Iberia finally reconquered their peninsula from its African and Arab colonial masters on January 2, 1492. But no, classic hypocrisy, the extremist version of Islam officially promoted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia claims every inch of land that ever was under Muslim rule, even as it tries to impose submission on the rest of the world.
But, we don't hear much about Arab and African colonialism in Iberia, do we?
Consciously or otherwise, this was the model adopted by the Zionist movement to seize Palestine under the fallacy of "a land without a people for a people without a land", with the support of the British via the Balfour Declaration. This shared model of ethnic cleansing and land expropriation is the strongest bond between Israel and the US.
Well, considering how the Bush Administration sides with Kosovo terrorists who just declared their independence from Serbia, maybe the author has a point here?
Of course, the point leads back to hypocrisy of the Saudi government, supporting Islamic extremists in their land-grab in the Balkans, but denouncing what they claim to be comparable conduct on the part of Israel.
During its so-called "war of liberation", Israel committed 70 massacres and atrocities against the Palestinian people as part of a methodical campaign of ethnic cleansing. It terrorized and expelled 85 percent of the population from 747 Palestinian towns and villages. Most of these were either obliterated to prevent the return of Palestinian inhabitants or given to immigrant Jewish settlers. At the time, this created a population of 900,000 refugees who were "temporarily" relocated to neighboring Arab countries. Palestinian refugees are now estimated at 4.5 million, half of them in host Arab countries.
According to Salman Abu Setta, general coordinator of the Right of Return Congress, 80 percent of the Jewish population of Israel lives in about 10 percent of the historic land of Palestine under the British mandate. Most of the territories extending from Beersheba in the south to the northern swathe of the Upper Galilee are scarcely populated. The density of the Palestinian population in Gaza is 6,000 individuals per one square kilometer — a total of 1.5 million Palestinians heaped upon each other under inhuman blockade conditions. Israel rejects the Palestinians' right of return even to these vacant areas, justified by what amounts to a racist policy of maintaining the "Jewish" nature of the state — another echo of Nazi Germany under Hitler.
But, Egypt has similarly built a wall to keep its Palestinian Arab Muslim brethren out.
And, when Saudi Arabia needs workers (because none of the King's many cousins want to do the work themselves), where do they get them from? Do they offer jobs to their Palestinian Arab Muslim brethren who are kept under such inhumane conditions?
According to the Wikipedia article Palestinian Refugees, less than a quarter million Palestinian refugees are in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; meanwhile the article Jewish exodus from Arab lands puts a total of well over three quarters of a million Jews who have fled Arab lands since Israel came into existence; most of these lands now have between zero and a thousand remaining Jews.
Immigration to Israel has become a matter of economic opportunity, not the claimed pseudo-religious Zionist ideology of "return to the Promised Land". The population of Israel is 5.2 million out of a world Jewry population of 13 million, with about five million living in the US. Immigration to Israel is declining; the fertility rate among the Jewish population is 0.5 percent, far below the population replacement value, while the Palestinian fertility rate is nearly three percent. Israeli politicians regard this as a bomb ready to explode. Israeli concerns have prompted rising calls to declare Israel an exclusively Jewish state where only Jews are eligible for citizenship. The rest — that is, the Palestinians who have lived on that land since the time of the Canaanites — are regarded as a nuisance to be evicted when circumstances are favorable.
Again, the eviction of Jews from Arab lands seems to have passed under the radar.
Israel's main problem, however, is that unlike the American Indians or indigenous populations in other colonized lands, the Palestinians refuse to disappear or melt away. Despite the brutal occupation, genocide, mass detentions, numberless checkpoints, the economic blockade, daily humiliation and starvation, and the powerful support afforded to Israel by the US administration, Palestinians refuse to be amassed together in a reservation under the title of a Palestinian state. Palestinian elders keep the keys to their original houses, the deeds to their property, and teach their children about the horrors they had to endure at the hands of those they once embraced as neighbors in the historic land of Palestine.
Sixty years after its "independence", Israel has lost its moral compass. Aggression, occupation and expansion have become its most vaunted practices. Hence it has no sense of security. It seeks regional recognition and cooperation but enforces a system of apartheid against the Palestinians.
This from the controlled press of our ally in the War on Terror, Saudi Arabia.
It forces a stop at Yad Vashim on the schedule of every visiting dignitary but kills Palestinian men, women and children, bulldozes their houses and orchards, confiscates their land, pumps out their water, arrests and detains thousands of them indefinitely, violates every human dignity under the sun, and denies the nation it subsumed its legitimate rights. Israel is not planning on any just and lasting settlement with the Palestinians. Like its master, the US, it only believes in the force of arms — the ability to subjugate by destruction. That is what the Nazis did to the Jews and other minorities in Europe; and that is what the Jews of Israel are doing to the Palestinians. What Israel and the Western alliance call "acts of terrorism" by fundamentalists are the same acts they cheered as heroic by the resistance to Nazi occupation in Europe.
Almost treating them like dhimmis, huh?
Saudi Arabia has zero credibility.
When the White Star Line launched the Titanic ocean liner on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York in February 1912, it was widely promoted as a passenger ship "designed to be unsinkable". It was equipped with the most sophisticated available technology and the best crew of the time.
While en route to New York the Titanic hit an iceberg on Feb. 14 and sank to the bottom of the Atlantic, to the shock of the world and the maritime industry. How long can Israel afford to behave as the unsinkable ship of the Middle East?
Actually, Israel is only the tip of an iceberg of infidels; the real Titanic in the world today is Wahhabism and related versions of militant extremist Islam.