The Arabs would have us Westerners see the Palestinians as a little oppressed David against the evil Israeli Goliath. Is this really the case? Not according to Zuheir Mohsein who in 1977 when he was a member of the supreme council of the PLO said (1)
There are no differences between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. We are all part of one nation. It is only for political reasons that we carefully underline our Palestinian identity, because it is in the interest of the Arabs to encourage a separate Palestinian identity in contrast to Zionism. Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity is there only for tactical reasons. The establishment of a Palestinian state is a new expedient to continue the fight against Zionism and for Arab unity
There are many more quotes by Arabs supporting Mr. Mohsein's statement. What Zuheir is saying here is the conflict is really between the Arab nation and Israel. Framing the conflict in this way portrays Israel as a tiny David in a sea of hostile Arabs which is why this argument is mostly made toward Arab audiences not Western ones.
The Arabs would like to turn the West against Israel by convincing Westerners that Israelis are evil oppressors of the Palestinians. There is no doubt the Palestinian Arabs are suffering but it is suffering of their own making. One of their big complaints is checkpoints yet if they did not commit suicide bombings there would be no need for checkpoints. The Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza suffer from widespread poverty yet in the 1970s before the Palestinian Authority was given control of 98% of the Arabs in these areas they were the fourth fastest growing economy in the world -- ahead of such "wonders" as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Korea, and substantially ahead of Israel itself...
The Arabs in their quest to turn the world against Israel fabricate atrocities by Israel. A classic example of this is their claim of an Israeli massacre of Arabs at Jenin. Unfortunately their fabrications are spread by media outlets such as CNN and the BBC.
Jonathan Foreman in an article called "Media Miss Israeli Restraint" (New York Post 4/17/02) wrote:
the tactics chosen by the Israeli army -- sending infantrymen from house to house -- simply make no sense unless the avoidance of civilian casualties was a priority. If the Israelis were truly as callous or reckless about civilian casualties as CNN and the BBC imply, they could have destroyed the "terrorist infrastructure" at much less risk to their own men: * The last time American troops fought guerillas in an urban area was the battle of Hue in 1968. We didn't hesitate to use artillery and jet aircraft in support of the Marines. * The early French response to the uprising in Algeria included the naval bombardment of a rebel-controlled town, randomly killing up to 8,000 people. * The Russians literally pulverized the Chechen capital of Grozny in 1999. And if the Israelis were as monstrously cavalier about human life as their enemies claim, they would simply have shelled or bombed Ramallah and Jenin into submission. That's what Syria's then-President Assad did at Hama in 1982--where he crushed the Muslim Brotherhood at the cost of at least 10,000 lives....
The Israelis could be forgiven for learning the wrong lesson from the past two weeks: That next time they go after the people who've been suicide bombing their kids, they might as well just level Ramallah and Nablus and Jenin. Why take the risk of fighting from house to house if you're going to be treated as if you've done a Grozny anyway?
While the United States attacked Afghanistan they tried not to hit civilians but they were not willing to do so at the risk of house to house combat. One result was U.S. aircraft hit a hospital by mistake. Another was the loss of many civilian lives.
The Arabs would have the West believe that one reason that they are fighting is because Israel took away the West Bank from them. Yet the West Bank, was originally Judea and Samaria, which was part of Biblical Israel and which was designated to be part of the Jewish National Home. Israel gained control of Judea and Samaria in 1967 when Jordan attacked Israel while she was fighting Syria and Egypt. Former State Department Legal Advisor Stephen Schwebel, who later headed the International Court of Justice in the Hague, wrote in 1970 regarding Israel's case:
Where the prior holder of territory (Jordan) had seized that territory unlawfully, the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense has, against that prior holder, better title.
If as the Arabs would have us believe the Arabs are fighting simply to liberate Judea and Samaria from Israel, then why was the Palestinian Liberation Organization founded before Israel had control of those areas? Why have territorial concessions by Israel only led to more and more violence? Why if the conflict is only about Judea and Samaria, did the Voice of Palestine broadcast On May 3, 1999, a religious sermon (at Jerusalem's Al Aqsa mosque) instructing all Muslims that all of Israel is part of Palestine and that Israel's survival is "forbidden by religious law:" Here is an excerpt of that sermon:
The land of Muslim Palestine is a single unit which cannot be divided. There is no difference between Haifa and Nablus, between Lod and Ramallah, between Jerusalem and Nazareth. The division of the land of Palestine into cantons and the recognition of the occupation is forbidden by religious law, since the land of Palestine is sacred Wakf land for the benefit of all Muslims, east and west. No one has the right to divide it or give up any of it. The liberation of Palestine is obligatory for all the Islamic nations and not only for our Palestinian nation....All Israeli politicians across their entire political spectrum, regardless of their labels, they all have a single Zionist view embodied in the occupation of the land and the establishment of the Zionist entity at the expense of the Muslim Palestinian land....Allah shall free the captives and the prisoners, Allah shall grant victory to our jihad warriors.
This sermon tells us that Palestine is sacred Wakf land. It is a religious obligation to liberate it.
Yassir Arafat in a speech at a rally in Ramallah (2/7/02) gave us another clue as to the origin of the Middle East conflict when he said:
We will make the lives of the infidels Hell!
Could hatred of the non-believing infidel be the root of the Middle East conflict? The preacher Dr. Ahmed Yousuf Abu Halabiah, a member of the Palestinian Sharianic (Islamic religious law) Rulings Council, and Rector of Advanced Studies, the Islamic University, said on Palestinian Television, 13 October 2000
it is necessary to slaughter them and murder them, according to the words of Allah... it is forbidden to have mercy in your hearts for the Jews in any place and in any land. Make war on them any place that you find yourself. Any place that you encounter them, kill them. Kill the Jews and those among the Americans that are like them... The Jews only understand might. Have no mercy on the Jews, murder them everywhere...
Dr. Muhammed Ibrahim Madi, said on Palestinian Television, 30 March 2001
We the Palestinian nation, our fate from Allah is to be the vanguard in the war against the Jews until the resurrection of the dead, as the prophet Muhammad said: "The resurrection of the dead will not arrive until you will fight the Jews and kill them...
Islamic Jihad leader, Ramadan Abdalla Shalah said [Mid-East Mirror, November 10, 1996):
In the end Israel will disappear as the Koran states. From the standpoint of the Koran, there is no place for Israel and its existence is not justifiable.
The Hamas Charter instructs:
We [all Palestinians] know the Palestinian problem is a religious one, to be dealt with on this premise... 'I swear by that [sic] who holds in his hands the Soul of Muhammad! I indeed wish to go to war for the sake of Allah! I will assault and kill, assault and kill, assault and kill.'
In July 2002, Rantisi the leader of Hamas, said that terrorist attacks
would continue until all Jews leave
Israel. On 6/10/03, after an Israeli attempt to assassinate him for terrorist attacks they traced to him, he told the world from his hospital bed that he would not rest until the last Zionist is killed and kicked out of the Holy Land.
Mahmoud Zahar, in an interview with the BBC on 5/20/03, told the interviewer regarding Israel:
I'm telling you frankly, the attitude of Islam is not to accept a foreign state in this area.
Gamal Abdel-Nasser, the first Egyptian president told the United Arab Repulbic National Assembly in 1964:
The danger of Israel lies in its very existence and in what it represents.
The anonymous author of Terrorist Hunter wrote in her book:
I couldn't have put it better myself. The Arab world's complaint was not about Palestine or refugees, not about the territories occupied since 1948, not about Israel's alliance with the United States at a time when all Arab countries sided with the Soviets. The real cause, the reason for its complaint, was simply that Israel was there. It was young, modern, secular, enthusiastically democratic and -far worse- a country strongly supportive of the West and its values of freedom and progress. For the Arab states bordering Israel, accepting its existence would have meant encouraging a disaster that could lead to men shaving their beards, women walking unveiled in public or, far worse, learning to read, and eventually - Allah the Merciful! - the selling of McDonald's hamburgers on street corners.
Certainly the Arabs believe the war against Israel to be a religious one. This is why Israeli concessions of land haven't worked. The conflict is not about land. It's about hostility toward the Jews because they are non-believing infidels.
(1) The Dutch Newspaper, Trouw March 31, 1977
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