Wolff Bachner: The United Nations has strict guidelines for the establishment of a nation, including the formation of a single government with effective control over the territory in question, clearly defined borders, the ability to provide all necessary public institutions and services, adequate critical infrastructure including power, water and transportation, a self sufficient economy that is not entirely dependent on foreign aid and acceptance of the Universal Declaration of Human rights.
Wouldn’t the creation of a Palestinian state that fails to meet all the basic requirements for statehood only increase the suffering of the Palestinians?
Dr. Sherman: The entire Palestinian claim for statehood is based on a fallacious and fraudulent narrative, openly admitted to be deliberately deceptive and duplicitous by the Palestinians themselves, which makes its acceptance by Israel–and its allies, alleged or otherwise—staggeringly inexplicable. Indeed, it was none other than Prof Amnon Rubinstein, Israel Prize laureate for Law and who served as Minister of Education for the far-Left Meretz Party who stated:
“Of all the Palestinian lies there is no lie greater or more crushing than that which calls for the establishment of a separate Palestinian state in the West Bank… Not since the time of Dr. Goebbels [Nazi Gemany's propaganda minister ] has there been a case in which continual repetition of a lie has born such great fruits….” From “Palestinian Lies”, in Ha’aretz, July 1976.
In an article titled “UN-nation; un-nation; non-nation; anti-nation” (Sept. 16, 2011), I likened the move to establish a Palestinian state to an attempt at “political alchemy ” – i.e. an endeavor to conjure up a substantive political construct out of mere political myth; an attempt to produce a nation when the elements of nationhood do not exist; an effort to construct a state when the constructs of statehood are absent. In the article I elaborate on the myths that underlie the Palestinian narrative and hence the mendacious claim for statehood that arises from it:
Senior Palestinian leaders have openly admitted—consistently and continually—that Palestinians are not a distinctly separate people identifiably different from others in the Arab world. For example on March 14, 1977, Farouk Kadoumi, head of the PLO Political Department, told Newsweek: “… Jordanians and Palestinians are considered by the PLO as one people”.
This statement parallels almost exactly the position expressed two weeks later by the former head of the PLO’s Military Department and Executive Council member Zuheir Muhsin who declared: There are no differences between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. We are all part of one nation. (Dutch daily, Trouw, March 31, 1977).
It was Jordan’s King Hussein who underscored that the emergence of collective Palestinian identity was merely a ploy to counter Jewish claims to territory considered “Arab”. At the Arab League meeting in Amman in November 1987, he stated:”The appearance of the Palestinian national personality comes as an answer to Israel’s claim that Palestine is Jewish.”
This, of course, necessarily implies that the “Palestinian personality” is devoid of an independent existence, a fictional derivative, fabricated only to counteract Jewish territorial claims. Indeed, without Jewish claims there would be no Palestinian personality.
The Myth of Palestinian Nationhood:
But not only do the Palestinians admit that they are not an identifiably discrete sociological entity i.e. a people,they also concede that as a political unit, i.e. a nation, their demands/aspirations are neither genuine nor permanent.
Thus previously mentioned Zuheir Muhsin candidly confesses:
“It is only for political reasons that we carefully under-line our Palestinian identity, because it is in the interest of the Arabs to encourage a separate Palestinian identity. Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes.The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel [sic].”
Doesn’t get much more explicit than that!
Indeed the Palestinians not only affirm that their national demands are bogus, but that they are also only a temporary instrumental ruse. In the current National Covenant they declare:
“The Palestinian people are a part of the Arab Nation…[and] believe in Arab unity…however, they must, at the present stage of their struggle, safeguard their Palestinian identity and develop their consciousness of that identity…”
So how are we to avoid concluding that at a later stage there will be no need to preserve their identity or develop consciousness thereof? How are we to avoid concluding that Palestinian identity is merely a short-term ruse to achieve a political goal of annulling the “illegal 1947 partition of Palestine” (i.e. Israel).
Indeed, what other nation explicitly proclaim that the need for their identity is merely a temporary hoax to further other goals. The Greeks? The Italians? The Japanese?
Indeed as the late King Hussein once declared:
“The appearance of the Palestinian national personality comes as an answer to Israel’s claim that Palestine is Jewish”.
The Myth of Palestinian Homeland:
Article 16 of the original version of the Palestinian National Covenant sets out the desire of the people of Palestine “who look forward to…restoring the legitimate situation to Palestine, establishing peace and security in its territory, and enabling its people to exercise national sovereignty..”
However, since the Covenant was adopted in 1964, well before Israel “occupied” a square inch of the “West Bank” or Gaza, the question is precisely what is meant by “its territory” in which the Palestinians were “looking forward… to exercise national sovereignty”. Indeed in Article 24, they state specifically what this territory did not include, and where they were not seeking to exercise “national sovereignty”. In it they explicitly proclaim that they do not desire to “exercise any territorial sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, [or] on the Gaza Strip…”
From this we learn two stunning facts!
Not only did the Palestinians not claim the “West Bank” and Gaza as part of their homeland but they also specifically excluded them from it.!!
Moreover, they explicitly acknowledged—and accepted—that the “West Bank” belonged to another sovereign entity, the Hashemite Kingdom!
There is thus not the slightest resemblance – indeed not even one square inch of overlap—between the territory envisaged/claimed by the Palestinians as their “homeland” when they first formulated their national aspirations and the “homeland” allegedly envisaged/claimed today.
Indeed the two visions of “homeland” territories are mutually exclusive!
Accordingly, it would seem that geographical contours of Jewish rule is far more central in defining the location of the Palestinian “homeland” than any “collective historical memory”. For the Palestinians only incorporated the “West Bank” (and Gaza) in their territorial claims when it came under Israeli control—clearly vindicating the view that the concept “Palestinian-ness” is a fabricated construct, merely conjured up, as admitted above by King Hussein, to further the Arab quest to repudiate “Jewishness”.
The Myth of Palestinian Statelessness:
One of the major themes that is played upon to invoke great sympathy for the Palestinian cause—and corresponding wrath at Israel—is that they are a “stateless” people. But this condition of “stateless” is not a result of Israeli malfeasance but of Arab malevolence.
For the Palestinians are stateless because the Arabs have either stripped them of citizenship they already had, or precluded them from acquiring citizenship they desired.
In the “West Bank” for example, up until 1988, all Palestinians—including the refugees—held Jordanian citizenship. This was then annulled by King Hussein, when he relinquished his claim to this territory. This abrupt and brusque measure was described by Anis F. Kassim, a prominent Palestinian legal expert, in the following terms:”…more than 1.5 million Palestinians went to bed on 31 July 1988 as Jordanian citizens, and woke up on 1 August 1988 as stateless persons”.
But Palestinians have also been prohibited from acquiring citizenship of their countries of residence in the Arab world, where they have lived for over half a century. The Arab League has instructed its members to deny citizenship to Palestinian Arabs resident within their frontiers “to avoid dissolution of their identity and protect their right to return to their homeland”. Thus Arab League spokesman Hisham Youssef conceded in an 2004-interview to the Los Angeles Times that Palestinians in the Arab world live”in very bad conditions,” but reiterated that this official policy is meant “to preserve their Palestinian identity” which apparently is incapable of independent existence without external coercion. With breathtaking arrogance and callousness, he went on to assert that
“If every Palestinian who sought refuge in a certain country was integrated and accommodated into that country, there won’t be any reason for them to return to Palestine”.
Clearly then the “state of stateless” for millions of Palestinians is a direct consequence of Arab malice and can only be obviated by addressing that malice.
The Palestinians as a non-nation…and an anti-nation:
One could hardly find more resounding renunciation of Palestinian nationhood than the one provided by former Arab MK Azmi Bishara, who fled Israel to avoid investigation on alleged acts treason during the 2007 Lebanon War. On a 1994 Channel 2 program he astounded his Israeli co-participants with the following assertion:
“Well, I don’t think there is a Palestinian nation at all. I think there is an Arab nation. I always thought so…I do not think there is a Palestinian nation. I think it’s a colonialist invention – Palestinian nation. When were there any Palestinians? Where did it come from?”
Indeed, when? Indeed, where?
But not only do the Palestinian lack the fundamental elements to qualify them as a “nation”, they in fact exhibit qualities that make them the antithesis of a “nation”. For their efforts as a collective are being channeled far less towards an endeavor to achieve national sovereignty for themselves, and far more towards an endeavor to annul the national sovereignty of others.
In this regard the Palestinians could not only be dubbed a non-nation but an anti-nation.
Dr. Martin Sherman, founder and CEO of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies, is one of Israel’s foremost strategic policy analysts and a strong supporter of an independent Jewish state with an undivided capital in Jerusalem.