It’s been 71 years now, to the day, and the Jewish State of Israel is still “thriving” among us as the fictitious “ancestral homeland” of Jews — a deceptive rhetorical ploy Thomas Friedman, among many others, has been spouting, without check — until recently.
“The term ‘Jew’ is fuzzy at this time,” writes. Yossi Gurvitz in “Tom Friedman’s belief in an ‘ancestral homeland’ is a toxic myth and not history — Updated”, a long piece that thoroughly debunks the hoax and explains how the myth was started in the Middle Ages.
And still, the obfuscation persists and Palestinian heart-rending testimony is flicked away like a piece of dust, despite the weight of the evidence. In a recent interview about the creation of the Jewish State of Israel and our Jewish-state Nakba, Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib, U.S. Representative for Michigan’s 13th congressional district, has said:
“all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time. And I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right, in many ways. But they did it in a way that took their human dignity away and it was forced on them.”
Forced on us then and about to be forced on us again.
“Under the US plan known as ‘the deal of the century’, the Israeli military would retain control over settlements, the Jordan Valley and borders for five years as final status negotiations continue, a senior US diplomat working on the deal has told Middle East Eye.”
The phrase “for five years as final status negotiations continue” is eerily and frighteningly familiar — reminiscent of another “five-year interim period” that lasted for over two decades.
It doesn’t take much imagination to realize what will happen again — endless maneuvers, deceptions and delays, and in the end, deadlock.
“Rarely were nations able to achieve so much in negotiations while making so few cosmetic concessions in return,” wrote Naseer H. Aruri in 2003 about Israel’s negotiations gains in the Madrid and Oslo “peace process” of the 1990s. What’s happening now is a consolidation of these “negotiations” gains.
The so-called “peace process” wasn’t about peace; it was a negotiating strategy for Israel, and so is Trump’s “deal”.
Through the “peace process”, Israel gained significant benefits: full peace with Jordan, de facto normalization with many Arab states, and full relations with many Islamic and third-world states that had boycotted Israel earlier.
As a result of that “process”, Israel and the Zionist movement accomplished a vital strategic goal, on which Israel and the U.S. are now capitalizing: Making a separate peace with Arab states that is not contingent on the necessity of fulfilling any obligations to the Palestinian people as spelled out in various U.N. resolutions.
The West Bank and Gaza, which Israel does not consider occupied, are not an issue in the negotiations (as, for example, a small desert area in southern Jordan was an issue in the negotiations between Israel and Jordan). And neither is Syria’s Golan Heights, as we are now hearing.
Palestinians who rejected Oslo are totally vindicated — and have been so for a long while, in fact. Those who joined Arafat’s bandwagon in the 1980s, whether reluctantly, against their better judgment, or with hope, are now totally disillusioned.
Every single Palestinian in the occupied West Bank or Gaza Strip, child and up, realizes that “negotiations” is a code word for sidelining Palestinians and that the US, especially as headed by Trump who sold Jerusalem down the river, is a dishonest broker.
Israel’s conquest of Jerusalem was the defining issue of the 1967 war, which Israel started without seeking the assistance of the United States with the objective of “adjusting” its 1948 borders by capturing the West Bank, and Jerusalem as a first priority. Jerusalem was annexed within days of the end of the war, every inch of it having been mapped long beforehand. Trump’s deal is nothing more than a U.S. rubber stamp on the status quo.
It is easy for Palestinians, those on the inside and outside, to conclude now that that there is no other alternative to the imposition of the status quo upon them than to make it a hell for Israel. That eventuality may spell continued disaster for the Palestinians, but possibly for Israelis as well. Under Oslo, Palestinian obligations for Israeli security has come to include settlements, and that cannot possibly hold if the deal of the century is rejected. And the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is burgeoning.
From the Paris Peace Conference (the meeting of the victorious Allied Powers following the end of World War I to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers) of 1919 to the Paris Protocol (the framework establishing the interim-period economic relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority) of 2012, the idea that the Jewish people had an inherent and inalienable right to Palestine was paramount.
And if the Palestinians could not reconcile themselves to this devilish notion to usurp their homeland right from under their feet, why, then, force majeure, not compromise, was and remains the only feasible response, despite abundant proof, then and now, that Palestinians continue to cling to their national identity, their property and heritage in Palestine in the most adverse and bloody circumstances.
The principles adopted, not only by the Zionist movement, but also by its Western-power enablers continue to be, as follows:
- The Zionist movement is inherently righteous and meets an overwhelming need among Jews worldwide that trumps Palestinian misery.
- Religious zealots of both the Jewish and Christian variety continue to state the above in religious terms, describing Palestine as a real-estate divine promise to the “tribes of Israel”.
- The dispossession of Palestinians and their ongoing oppression is the only solution to solving the problem of virulent anti-Semitism in the West — then and now.
- Arab nationalism is a legitimate, though highly unlikely movement, but Palestinian nationalism is regarded as either illegitimate or nonexistent.
- Jewish European culture is superior to indigenous Arab, predominantly Muslim, culture.
That last point, in fact, was the ostensible reason (or part of it) why the Madrid and Oslo process dragged on for so long; Quartet funding poured in to civilize Palestinians through endless NGO workshops — to build their “capacity” for state building, for democracy, for planning, for women’s liberation, children’s rights, legal reform — you name it.
As a result of this intensive “training”, almost every other Palestinian can whip up a vision/mission statement for anything under the sun and a detailed strategic plan. It was a pathetic game played by funders on the one hand, and the Palestinian Authority and civil society on the other. Toward the end of this farce, the funders began demanding, as the cost of doing business with Palestinians, normalization practices with Israeli organization. No “final status negotiations”, as we know, were ever even close on the horizon at any point in the process. And, of c0urse, a vision of an unpartitioned Palestine as a solution was, of course verboten.
By the way, ‘The Quartet’ refers to the “foursome of nations and international and supranational entities involved in mediating the Israeli–Palestinian peace process. The Quartet comprises the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Russia.” This time around, the U.S. is acting unilaterally.
The hope now is that the Palestinian Authority, which has caused a schism between itself and Palestinian grassroots and the international solidarity movement as a result of the 1990s Oslo arrangements, will now be able to extricate itself from that unfortunate vise and find a way to avoid jumping into the fire.
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Rima Najjar is a Palestinian whose father’s side of the family comes from the forcibly depopulated village of Lifta on the western outskirts of Jerusalem. She is an activist, researcher and retired professor of English literature, Al-Quds University, occupied West Bank. She is a frequent contributor to Global Research.