On Israeli Fears of Palestinian Intentions

In the comments section, a commenter quotes Ahmed Rami the Radio Islam site and wonders what he means by “Hatred, force and ethnic cleansing never originate where self-determination, freedom and justice are guaranteed.” Rami is a notorious anti-Semite Moroccan Arab from Sweden. However, he does have some interesting stuff on his site. He’s a big fan of the Palestinians, so that’s what that quote is all about.
On the other hand, Rami is fanatically in favor of Morocco’s colonization of the Sahrawis’ land in Spanish Sahara, which is awfully close to what the Israelis are doing in Palestine. There’s a reason Morocco has so many UN resolutions against them. By the way, the US has always backed Morocco’s colonization of Spanish Sahara to the hilt.
What Rami means is if Jewish Israelis had “guaranteed self-determination, freedom and justice” for the Palestinians, there would have been no need for Israelis to engage in “hatred, force and ethnic cleansing” of the Palestinians.
On the other hand, the Israeli Jewish argument is that the Palestinians, given half a chance, would not “guarantee self-determination, freedom and justice” for the Jews in Israel, and would engage in “hatred, force and ethnic cleansing” of these Jews.
Statements by Arabs to the effect that “we are going to drive them into the sea” and whatnot haven’t helped to assuage such fears. Arafat himself, asked what would happen in a free Palestine with Jews and Arabs living together, said that the Palestinians would “engage in psychological terrorism” to make the Jews leave.
Hamas has recycled some of the most noxious and notorious anti-Semitic bullshit and stuck it right in its founding charter. It has also refused to amend this charter despite some major efforts by Gulf Arabs at Doha a while back to do so. Doha is where a lot of the Hamas leadership spends quite a bit of its time, by the way. I think they also spend a lot of time in a North African country, possibly Morocco, but I could be wrong.
There’s also some choice Islamic anti-Semitism in that charter that says at the end of the world, the Muslims are going to chase all the Jews on Earth down and kill all of them. Yeah, Mohammad wrote that.
Hamas’ leader, Sheik Yassin, said that all of the Jews in Israel who could not trace their ancestry back to 1917 (Balfour Declaration) would need to take off. The Zionist movement actually began before Balfour, but I guess Hamas is being generous.
Islamic Jihad, in a statement by the leadership in 1992 on their website, is willing to let all Jews stay in Israel, hopefully provided they live under Islamic Law. Their basis for this was that Jews had always lived in Palestine. I haven’t seen any recent statements.
Al Qaeda’s position is that all Jews in Israel need to take off. Even Al Qaeda doesn’t say that they are out to kill all the Jews in Israel! Or at least not now, anyway. Anyway, under any of the Islamic groups, Jews could always stick around provided they convert to Islam. I realize that’s little consolation to 99% of Israelis, but it’s not the same as Hitler’s race-based genocide that tragically left Jews with no out whatsoever, condemned by their genes.
Even the PFLP “bases” reportedly still hold that a free Palestine “must be Arab“, with Jews, if they are present, as a minority in an Arab land. I don’t see how “Palestine is an Arab state” is any more democratic than “Israel is a Jewish state.” Any pro-Pallies want to help me out here?
As far as the PFLP leadership, no one seems to quite know what they think, but Leila Khaled has taken on Hezbollah recently for suggesting that the Jews in Israel all have to take off, based on Islam. She said the PFLP position is that Jews and Arabs can live together in Palestine, and said that the PFLP rejects Hezbollah’s religious-based anti-Jewish position.
Some of the PFLP base people like the Free Arab Voice take the position that all the Jews need to take off too. No one saying this says how they are going to accomplish this task, although the FAV page linked does say that they propose “armed struggle to throw the invaders out of Palestine.”
The original PLO Charter of 1964 signed by Arafat said that all Jews must take off other than those who can trace their ancestry back to 1917. That’s my take on Article 7 after I read some other documents surrounding this typically mealy-mouthed declaration, plus I knew some hardline Arab Commies who read it that way. Balfour again.
So the saner Jews in Israel who might not mind living with lots of Arabs are afraid that the Arabs don’t want to live with Jews as much as so many Jews don’t want to live with Arabs. I must say that unfortunately there is something to their fears.
Nevertheless, even the hardest line factions like Hamas and the PFLP (the ultimate hardliners – one Islamist and the other super-secular Marxist) have more or less said in a mealy-mouthed way that they will support a 2-state solution. Both say they will support it “for the time being” as a temporary solution. Neither one really comes out and says that, but if you read between the lines, that seems to be what they are saying.
Hezbollah, as hardline as their rhetoric is, says that they will support whatever solution that the Palestinians agree to, no matter what it is. If the Palestinians agree to 2-state, Hezbollah isn’t going to say, “Forget that, we are still fighting.” Iran pretty much says the same thing.
So the notion that all of the Arabs are still committed to “throwing the Jews into the sea,” as my dear 87-year old Judeophilic father insists, just does not seem to be the case. On the other hand, are the Arabs ready to join hands with Israeli Jews, sing Kumbaya, and live in peace happily ever after? Well, not that either.
Once again, it’s comlicated.

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4 thoughts on “On Israeli Fears of Palestinian Intentions”

  1. ” at the end of the world, the Muslims are going to chase all the Jews on Earth down and kill all of them. Yeah, Mohammad wrote that.”
    Did he? Got a reference? Anyway, Israel’s biggest cannon-fodder voter support base in the USA believe that, at the end of the world, all the jews will be gathered in Israel and they will all be killed except for 50,000 ( don’t know where they got that figure – a ‘leak’ from big G’s Earthly affairs dept.?). Talk about between a rock and a hard place! The jews themselves appear to believe that everyone else is going to be killed or be their slaves, so they can spend the rest of eternity cheating each other out of money with Ponzi schemes.
    Seriously though, a lot of that stuff is just populist rhetoric, aimed at repressed and angry people, many of whom have poor education because of the long-standing colonial repression of their societies – more subtle arguments will just be drowned out. So there has to be an element of that. But does this show a lack of ‘seriousness’ in the Moslem liberation movements? It obviously doesn’t help sell their cause in the wider world. I think the point is that ‘seriousness’ is exactly what the Israelis and the US fear; it’s often and convincingly stated that the Israelis staged the ’82 Lebanon genocide, largely because the PLO was metamorphosing into a serious and non-violent political movement – to ward off the ‘threat of peace’ as Chomsky charmingly puts it in ‘Fateful Triangle’. This is just of a piece with Israel’s original covert support for Hamas, to undermine the PLO; and the whole US strategy of undermining nationalist and leftist movements be encouraging fundamentalists ( or just plain mentalists). ‘Serious’, more than anything, is what gets you killed or locked up forever like Marwan Barghouti, who everyone agrees should be the real leader of Fatah. I’ve never read the Hamas charter, and I don’t know about their reasons for their refusing to amend it, but they are certainly correct to refuse to recognise the rightful existence of a ‘jewish state’ in Palestine. Whatever their charter says, Hamas have shown themselves to be serious potential ‘partners for peace’, and that is the real reason Israel wants them destroyed.
    ” don’t see how “Palestine is an Arab state” is any more democratic than “Israel is a Jewish state.”
    Well, that’s democracy – if you take the whole of mandate Palestine, allow the refugees to return, and stop the influx of jews who have no connection to the place, then Palestine is a predominantly Arab land, like Britain is a predominantly white Protestant land. It’s not rocket science, and there’s nothing sinister about it.
    Another point about throwing the jews out is, obviously, that no-one else wants them, sorry to say, taking into account the feelings of the decent ones like Mort Goldman – but the kind of jews who are attracted to Israel, and those who have been brought up in its mindset, are just going to be trouble to anyone who lets them in. Sorry, if that seems reminiscent of the situation in 30s Europe, but I feel there’s a lesson here for jews everywhere – what do they get out of all this? What, in fact, does Israel get out of this? I read some figures on the actual quality of life for Israeli jews at http://tinyurl.com/bblnca This is from the WSWS – there is occasionally something really good on there, amongst all the dogma.
    “Despite some slight improvement in the economic situation over the past year as terrorist attacks have declined, unemployment is nearly 9 percent.
    The latest report published by the National Insurance Institute in August 2005 shows:
    * Over 1.5 million Israelis, one quarter of the 6 million population, were living below the poverty level, an increase of 119,000 over the previous year
    * 23 percent of the elderly live below the poverty line
    * Child poverty has increased 50 percent since 1988
    * 714,000, or 1 in 5, children go hungry each and every day.
    A 2004 survey showed that a shocking 40 percent of children live in poverty, squalor and delinquency, and that another 30 percent could slip into a similar fate…
    * The proportion of children in Israeli society fell from 39 percent in 1970 to 33 percent in 2002.
    * The average number of children per family fell consistently from 2.7 in 1980 to 2.3 in 2002, while the number of single child families doubled.
    * There are 50,000 abortions a year, mostly for economic reasons…
    More than 140,000 children living in Israel do not have full Israeli citizenship:
    * 71 percent live in East Jerusalem
    * 29 percent are children of legal foreign workers in Israel, children of immigrants of unclear status, and children from mixed marriages of Israeli Arabs and Palestinians.
    In a recent poll, 80 percent of Israelis considered themselves “poor”.
    The head of the National Insurance Institute, Yohanan Stessman, warned that: “Without the welfare benefits, Israeli society would fall apart and we would reach a point of civil war.” Opposition politicians have attacked the Sharon government, saying: “Poverty and inequality are becoming the country’s most serious strategic threat, not its neighbours.” Eli Yishai. the leader of Shas, one of the ultra-orthodox religious parties, said: “The government’s policies undermine the cohesion of our society,” pointing to Finance Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s cuts in welfare spending and tax breaks that favoured the rich…
    These economic and social conditions also help to explain the attraction of the settlements to hard-pressed Israelis. Central government gives twice as much per capita to local government in the Occupied Territories than in Israel. Investment in housing is 5.3 times that of Israel.
    According to one Israeli academic, only 50,000 settlers—out of a total 450,000 settler population in the West Bank and East Jerusalem—are hard-core expansionists. Most have moved for “quality of life considerations, tax breaks and cheaper mortgages…. Many want to leave but … nobody will buy their homes.” According to a Peace Now survey, the majority would leave if offered compensation for withdrawal.
    Jewish Israeli society is not just divided between rich and poor. It is riven with divisions based on ethnicity and religion. Jews from the Middle East and North Africa have the worst-paid jobs, while Jews of European origin are generally better paid, with an average income of 1.5 times that of those from the Middle East and North Africa.
    Israel is also divided along religious lines; between religious and secular Jews, as the religious authorities seek ever-increasing social control over marriage, divorce and travel on Saturday, making it all but impossible for secular Jews to live in Jerusalem.
    If the situation is dire for the average Israeli, the situation is much worse for Arab Israelis…
    While Israel appears to have a relatively high average per capita income that places it within the top 25 countries, this is deceptive. Average income masks the enormous and ever rising inequality within Israel.
    * Despite the recession, in 2003, Israel’s richest 10 percent became richer
    * In 1994, top managers earned on average 30 times the minimum wage. In 2002, they earned 36 times more
    * Their share of total income rose by 5.6 percent in the same period, while the share of the bottom 80 percent fell by between 0.4 percent and 0.8 percent
    * Average annual income of the top 10 percent of households was about NIS 42,000, compared to NIS 3,100 for the poorest 10 percent. That is, the richest households have 14 times more income than the poorest
    * The gini coefficient, a widely used statistic to measure income inequality, shows that at .38, Israel has one of the highest rates of inequality in the world, second only to the US in the advanced countries…
    ” The Israeli government does not represent the interests of the majority of the Jewish people who live in Israel, let alone the Jewish people all over the world. It is the political representative of a section of Israel’s financial elite, a corrupt and venal clique of international gangsters who operate on behalf of their masters in Washington.”

  2. the link doesn’t work when i click on it but it was interesting. I think it is a christian site of some type i just gave it an eyeball flash.

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