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"I don't think there's a Palestinian nation. There's an Arab nation. I don't think there's a Palestinian nation. That's a colonial invention. Since when were there Palestinians? I think there's only an Arab nation. Until the end of the 19th century, Palestine was the southern part of Greater Syria."
If I had said this, I would undoubtedly be called a Jewish nationalist, a racist, and worst of all - detached from reality. Yet, note well, these words were spoken by former MK Dr. Azmi Bishara in an interview with Yaron London several years ago. [Bishara: There is no Palestinian Nation. Never Was!] Bishara is a leader of Israeli Arab citizens who openly identify with the enemy, and who was forced to flee Israel under suspicion of aiding Hizbullah in wartime.
When Benjamin Netanyahu delivered his Bar-Ilan speech, he could have used these words. He could have ripped the mask of deception from the terrible historical lie that we have taken to our hearts as if it were written on the Tablets of the Law given at Sinai. "Two States for Two Nations" has become holy dogma and anyone who challenges its validity is suspected of blasphemy.
But even if we assume that Netanyahu wished to speak in terms acceptable to Europe and the United States, rather than to fight a battle which he considered lost, still it would have been better had he not deceived his listeners with the scam known as "a demilitarized state."
When I heard the speech, my initial reaction was: "There ain't no such animal." Of course, I don't mean nano-states such as Andorra or the Vatican, which have themselves chosen not to maintain an army. There is no real state in the world defined as a demilitarized state. And Netanyahu did not make do with a misleading general statement, he went into details: the state won't have missiles and rockets and planes, and will not be able to sign treaties.
The more I listened to this and said to myself that there is no such thing, I was reminded of something quite bothersome. Was there once such a state? And then one of my friends reminded me there had been.
"It will be forbidden to Germany to maintain or build fortifications... in this territory (West of the Rhine).... It is forbidden for Germany to maintain an army.... the German army will not include more than seven infantry divisions.... It is forbidden for Germany to import or export tanks or any other military hardware.... The German naval forces will be limited and are not to include submarines. The armed forces of Germany will not include any air forces.... In the political realm, Germany is forbidden to enter into any treaty with Austria."
So it was written and sealed in the Treaty of Versailles. The treaty was signed on June 28, 1919, as part of the Paris Peace Conference following the First World War. Essentially, Germany became a demilitarized state and was also limited from a political perspective.
So what happened? Did the "demilitarized" status prevent the Second World War and, worst of all, the destruction of European Jewry?
By 1922, an agreement between Russia and Germany had been signed in the Italian city of Rapallo. The agreement was open and met the terms of the Versailles Treaty, but the conference that prepared it was secret; and there, Soviet Russia and Germany agreed on joint establishment of weapons factories, poison gas and ammunition. German army officers were sent to Russia to be trained in the use of weapons that were forbidden to be maintained in Germany. In Germany, civilian factories were refurbished into arms factories, funded, as it were, by private individuals, not the state.
When I heard about the widespread activity of Jews in the Obama court and about the extreme anti-Israeli stance they are taking, and about the anger of the extreme Left in Israel over Netanyahu's speech - in that he did not express a willingness to take in Arab refugees, give away Jerusalem and dismantle settlements, all as a prepayment for negotiating with the enemies of Israel - I again thought of the Rapallo Treaty. It was the Jewish foreign minister of Germany, Walther Rathenau, who stood behind the agreement that years later gave Nazi Germany its powerful war machine. And it was Erhard Milch, the son of a Jewish father, who subverted the Versailles Treaty and, in the guise of civilian aeronautic companies and flying clubs, established Lufthansa, which during the war became the Luftwaffe, the German air force that in weeks overcame Poland and France and bombed London in the Blitz. The Jewish people can be trusted to bring forth warped members who will arm the "demilitarized Palestinian state", if one should ever come to be.
The lesson being that there is no political power that can prevent a sovereign state from doing whatever it wants. Netanyahu knows that if ever a Palestinian state should, Heaven forbid, be established, Israel will not be able to declare war on it if it should choose, for instance, to sign an international tourism agreement with Cyprus or a transfer-of-technology agreement with Iran. If pipes are manufactured in Tulkarm, Israel will not be able to start a war that can be justified in the eyes of the world if steel cutters turn the pipes into Kassam rockets. Since nothing other than Israeli force could possibly preserve demilitarization, Netanyahu is deceiving the people of Israel and promising them something that cannot be delivered.
But all of the above is not the main thing. The main thing is that Netanyahu
has recognized the right of Arabs to establish a sovereign state in our
homeland. None of his conditions and reservations can hide this abomination.
Whoever recognizes the right of his enemy to establish a state in his
homeland has abandoned all principle and all that is left to do is argue
over the price. Whoever has left his religion and changed his faith cannot
insist on observing the commandments of what is no longer his faith. Whoever
has abandoned his patrimony has no basis on which to insist on continuing to
build on its lands.
For hundreds of years, the Catholic Church believed that the sun orbits the earth. Whoever dared oppose this view was branded insane or a heretic.
Religious dogmas are not overturned by logic. An argument between the believers of different faiths is rarely resolved by rational argument. The prophet Habukuk says, "The righteous man lives by his faith." (Today we say, "A man lives by his faith," and by this we mean that every man has his own personal belief system, and all do not need to believe in one thing.)
But political positions are not matters of mystical faith. They are supposed to be logical. At their best they serve the interests of he who propounds them. Occasionally they fail because the analysis on which they are based is faulty. We can understand countries that demand Israel accept the program of "two states for two nations" because they think that the creation of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River serves their interests. If, Heaven forbid, such a state is established and as a result the State of Israel falls, their own interests will be hurt, but this will simply be one more political miscalculation in a history full of miscalculations.
We can even understand those who demand the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel because they are hostile to Israel and wish to help Arabs. More than 3,500 years of recorded history bear witness to many attempts to destroy the people of Israel or to prevent its political independence. Indeed, the first time the nation of Israel is mentioned in human history outside of the Bible is on the stele of the Pharaoh Merneptah on which is written, "Israel has been destroyed, its seed no longer exists." They tried in the past, they're still trying, and apparently they'll continue to try.
However, when the demand to establish an independent Palestinian state comes not from an attempt to serve the speaker's interests but rather as part of a "search for justice" or under an assumption that one is benefiting Israel, we can no longer relate to the demand with the tools of logic. This is a sort of "religious dogma" that will be difficult if not impossible to contradict by reason. The establishment of a Palestinian state will necessarily bring about the destruction of Israel. Whoever blindly and closed mindedly repeats the mantra "two states for two nations" can apparently not understand this, just as the Popes in the Middle Ages could not be convinced that the sun does not orbit the earth.
The late Yitzchak Rabin said, "A Palestinian state can rise only on the ruins of the State of Israel." He understood that the Arabs desire to destroy Israel. He was familiar with the geography and history of the Land of Israel and knew that a Palestinian state would always be an irredenta longing to take over Israel and inherit the land.
This writer is a doctor, and as a doctor I know that he who wrongly diagnoses a disease cannot hope to cure it. The most widespread error made by those considering the conflict between Jews and Arabs in the Land of Israel lies in the diagnosis that it is a territorial dispute. If it were a territorial dispute, it should be curable by a territorial compromise. (Dozens of such attempts have been made in recent centuries, and all of them have ended bloodbaths or war.) But he who recognizes even at the most basic level the attitude of Islam towards Jews and the status of the Land of Israel in Islam knows that for Islam the Land of Israel is a "Wakf" holy land granted forever to Moslems. Moslems are enjoined from recognizing rule by heretics Jews or Christians in this Wakf. Thus, the Arabs can sign a political agreement, even a peace treaty, with the State of Israel but they will never recognize it as a Jewish state; and no such peace treaty will prevent them from fighting a war with Israel, whether from within or without, in order to turn it into a bi-national state and then, at a later stage, an Arab state. The creation of an independent Palestinian state in the Land of Israel serves this purpose well. This is exactly how Yassir Arafat defined his Theory of Stages. So today, everyone who supports the establishment of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River is trying to implement Arafat's plan. Anyone who believes that an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 lines will resolve the conflict should remember that the Palestine Liberation Organization, which Arafat led, was founded not as a result of the Six Day War of 1967 but three years earlier, when Israel did not possess the territories of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza; and the territory of that Israel is precisely the "Palestine" that the Arabs want to "liberate" as expressed in the name of the organization that Israel is now being asked to sign an accord with, in order to give it a state.
But why is the establishment of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan not only impossible for anyone who wants Israel to continue to exist, but also unnecessary?
Because there already is a Palestinian state, and it is Jordan. Whoever supports the establishment of another Palestinian state, west of Jordan, supports the program of "three states for two nations." The Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the League of Nations' decisions in Geneva in 1920 and 1922 called for the establishment of a national home for the Jews and granted Britain a mandate in order to establish this Jewish National Home on both banks of the Jordan River. The Arabs, who opposed this plan, initiated the first wave of terror in 1920-1921 and put political pressure on Britain, after which the British Secretary of State for the Colonies Winston Churchill visited the Land of Israel and then published the White Paper of 1922, by which he gave three-quarters of the Jewish National Home's territory to the Arabs and established east of the Jordan the Emirate of Trans-Jordan, which eventually became the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Thus, at that point, the Land of Israel had already been divided. An Arab state had been established, and all that remained to do was establish the Jewish state west of the Jordan. But the Arabs of course were not satisfied with that partition, just as they rejected all proposed partitions afterwards, and they initiated another wave of terror, and following each successive wave of terror, another international commission arrived that again redrew the borders and repeatedly re-partitioned the country, leading only to bloodier attacks.
In any case, a Palestinian state rose in Jordan. Seventy percent of its citizens are Palestinians. Jordan is Palestine, de facto and de jure. Nonetheless, those who believed that the sun orbits the earth now say that one Palestinian state is not enough, and because the Palestinians are demanding another one west of the Jordan if they are granted that state, peace will come to the Middle East.
Samuel Huntington in his book The Clash of Civilizations counted over 130 armed conflicts around the world in the year 2000. Approximately 95 percent of these were between Moslems and their neighbors. Islamic borders are bloody. Almost everywhere on the planet, Moslems are attempting to expand at the territorial expense of their neighbors. The illness is global. But for some reason the believers think that the conflict in the Land of Israel is local, of a different nature, and territorial concessions will resolve the conflict. In like manner did many Europeans believe in 1938 that territorial concessions to Hitler would satisfy his hunger and bring peace. For who could believe then that Hitler wanted to take over the world? And who believes today that Islam wants to take over the world? If only the Jews would give up their homeland, there would be peace.
Nonetheless, the solution of two states for two nations should indeed be accepted by everyone. Fortunately, the Jews have a state in Israel and the Palestinians have a state in Jordan. If they don't want a Hashemite king using a Bedouin minority to control 70 percent of the population, they should change that regime. But a Bedouin minority subjugating a Palestinian majority in Jordan should not be the reason for the creation of another state at Israel's expense. With worldwide assistance, the Palestinian refugees can easily be resettled in the expanses of Jordan, and energy and water sources, along with housing and employment, can be promoted with sums much smaller that those that have been invested by the world for over 60 years to maintain the refugees in appalling conditions in their camps. Settling refugees in Arab countries and mainly in Jordan will not completely resolve the conflict because, as noted above, this is fundamentally a religious conflict, and Islam will never accept Jewish rule in the land of Israel. But this is a necessary humanitarian solution which will also diffuse many of the bombs that have exploded and continue to explode in the Land of Israel. Perhaps after the refugee problem has been solved, and after the West stops funding the teaching of hatred and terror in UNWRA institutions and stops mouthing platitudes instead of resettling the refugees, maybe then we will see two sustainable states, Israel and Jordan, living side by side quietly. Maybe then an Arab living in Ramallah as a citizen of the Palestinian-Hashemite State of Jordan can vote for the parliament in Amman and live peacefully in the Land of Israel.
But those who believe in the dogma of "two states for two nations" and intend to establish another Palestinian state west of the Jordan at the expense of Israel, step outside, look heavenward, they see the sun shining in the east, moving along the sky and setting in the west towards evening, and they know: The sun orbits the earth and another Palestinian state is necessary to bring peace. It won't help to tell these people the facts; facts would only confuse such people.
MK Professor Arieh Eldad, M.D. is Chairman of the Hatikva Party.
He is a 25 year veteran of the IDF medical corps
(Brig.-Gen.) and a department head at Hadassah-Ein Kerem Hospital
This essay was published as two separate essays.
Part I is entitled "The Sun Orbits the Palestinian State." Part II is entitled "Demilitarized Palestinian State?" and it
appeared June 26, 2009 in Arutz-7
and was featured on May 8, 2009 on the website of the Jewish Holocaust Survivors, Los Angeles.
This essay was published as two separate essays.
Part I is entitled "The Sun Orbits the Palestinian State."
Part II is entitled "Demilitarized Palestinian State?" and it
appeared June 26, 2009 in Arutz-7
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