Chasing Arafat’s Dream

In by Elwood McQuaid

During the fiasco over the Palestinian Authority’s all-out push at the UN in September for a unilaterally forged Palestinian state, the implausible morphed into the incomprehensible. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon eloquently illustrated how far off the table reality had fallen when he admonished Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He told him to “act with restraint” and invoke “wisdom” regarding the Palestinian bid to begin, essentially, the destruction of Israel.

Others joined the fray. They insisted Israel forfeit “occupied” land it allegedly swiped from the Palestinians and now rules (so they claim) with apartheid-like oppression. Israel must be prepared, they insisted, to make significant concessions, with no evidence the Palestinian Authority (PA) will reciprocate.

All of America’s fumbling efforts, along with those of a few weak-kneed Europeans, to cajole PA leader Mahmoud Abbas into thinking twice before going it alone were slapped down. Interestingly, the insult didn’t seem to ruffle a feather of indignation among the countries (chief of which is the United States) that annually pour billions of dollars into the PA’s ill-managed coffers.

Why would Abbas—former lieutenant of Yasser Arafat, the late terrorist leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)—eschew negotiations in favor of a course that may well lead to war? It doesn’t make sense—unless one realizes that, in essentials, Abbas is an unreconstructed PLO devotee. The perceived difference between his persona and Arafat’s is more one of image and style rather than substance.

Unfortunately, Western societies fail to evaluate substance and underlying ideology. Instead, they fall for altered images and readjusted externals that give the illusion of change. But make no mistake: Behind the smiles, wardrobe makeovers, and retooled rhetoric lies the same old stuff.

No recognition ever of the right of a Jewish state to exist. A massive “return” of Palestinian “refugees” to Israel would do in a few short years what Arab armies could not do in a succession of wars. If you want proof, log on to and check out Anne Bayefsky’s exposé on the logo of the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations. The logo displays the flag of “Palestine” with an image of the proposed country stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. No Israel anywhere. Why? Because according to the plan, Israel will no longer exist.

Judenrein Bounces Back
Judenrein, a German word meaning “clean of Jews,” was thought by most to have hit the dustbin when Adolf Hitler and his Third Reich fell to the allies in 1945.

American attorney Alan Dershowitz recently expounded on the duplicity of the PA’s claim that it would create a “secular democratic state.” The draft constitution for a state of Palestine, he said, declares, “Islam is the official religion in Palestine”; and Sharia law will be the “major source of legislation.”

Furthermore, the Muslim state would prohibit Jewish people from becoming citizens or owning land—or even from living there. Furthermore, when the Palestinian ambassador to the United States was asked whether “any Jew who is inside the borders of Palestine will have to leave,” his answer was, “Absolutely!”

All this sounds exceedingly familiar. When the Jordanians used military force to occupy Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and East Jerusalem in 1948, they played by the same rules. In defiance  of UN entreaties, they systematically destroyed 58 Jewish synagogues; removed 38,000 Jewish tombstones from the Mount of Olives, which they then used to pave roads and floor latrines; and barred Jewish access to the Western Wall and Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. Jerusalem became a divided city until the Israelis liberated it during the 1967 Six-Day War.

What makes people believe that an Islamist Palestinian state—which boasts the added dimension of wanting world domination—would be a better, more benevolent neighbor to a Jewish state than were the Jordanians?

Name of the Game: Win It All
Clearly, Palestinians and Islamist radicals throughout the region believe their time has come and that they are now positioned to take it all. We hear as much in their not-so-veiled threats that rejecting the imposition on Israel of a Palestinian state will likely mean war. This calculated tactic is designed to create a panic response among weak leaders who would rather capitulate than fight to ensure security and stability. Like it or not, sometimes you have to fight; and this is a battle we can ill afford to lose.