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The Failure of the Palestinian Venture

MIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANS

3. The modern Arab state, since its inception, has failed and continues to fail in its main objective: to settle in the hearts of the citizens and to take the place of their traditional loyalty for the tribe, the ethnic group (i.e.: Kurdish, Turkmen), the religious community (i.e.: Muslim, Christian, Druze, Alawite) or the sect (i.e.: Sunni, Shia). A person will define himself as “Iraqi” or “Syrian” only if he is part of a system of government or if he enjoys economic or political benefits from it. No person will volunteer for a state, dedicate his time, his wealth, and certainly not his life for a government, if he doesn’t feel that the governing system represents him. In the Palestinian case, this is evident because of the absence of a volunteer army. All of the employees of the PA, especially those who serve in security apparatuses, are salaried, and serve the government only for what their salary is worth, and no more. They don’t do it because they see the state as something that reflects their collective consciousness. Without the flow of funds, the PA would never be able to buy the services of its employees. It would collapse, and this leads to the clear conclusion that it is not a state of its citizens but an employer of its salaried workers.

4. One of the results of the failure of the Palestinian venture is the split between Gaza and Ramallah. From a historical point of view, the bond between these two centers of Arab population is fairly weak, and is not stronger than the bond between any two centers of population in the area. Between 1948 and 1967 the Gaza Strip was under Egyptian occupation, and the Old City of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria were under Jordanian occupation. These two states reacted with an iron fist to any attempt of the residents of these areas to liberate themselves from occupation. The idea of a “Palestinian State” that would unify the Gaza Strip with Judea and Samaria is new, and was born after 1967 from the coupling of the Israeli left with Arab deceit, which misled some naive Jews to believe that the Arabs would come to terms with a Jewish state within the cease-fire lines that were in place until 1967, known as the “Green Line”.

5. The Palestinian Authority was originally defined as a political entity, a “state in progress”, for the Arabs who live in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. But this geographical definition is a severe contradiction to the modern Arab narrative which claims that the concept of “Palestinians” includes all of the Arabs who live in Israel, even those who live as refugees and immigrants and live in the scores of refugee camps and outside of them in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and in many other states. The connection or bond has never been established between the PLO, the organization that established the PA, and the groups who are defined today as “Palestinian” and live outside of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, because the PLO claims since its inception in 1964 that it is “the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people”. What – if so – is the PLO doing for the “Palestinians” in Jordan, where they are a majority? or in Syria? or in Lebanon? What would be the meaning of the establishment of an Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, for the “Palestinians” who live outside of it? How would this state solve the problem of the “Palestinian” diaspora, those who do not belong to local tribes in other countries?

6. Since a real answer was never given to this question, the PLO invented the standard, but impossible answer: “the right of return”, meaning a solution through a third party: Arab “Palestinians” who were born in Arab states and have lived in them for scores of years, will move to Israel, and this, despite the fact that all throughout history, there has never been a case where the establishment of a state was conditional on the transfer of millions of people who were born in a second state to a third state. What is implied by the “right of return” is that the Palestine Liberation Organization and the “state in progress” that it established, shirk their responsibility for a solution to the problem of the “Palestinians” in the diaspora. Therefore, every time that any possible solution came up between Israel and the PLO, Arafat and Abu Mazen made an obligatory visit to the refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria, in order to ease tensions and to tell the people there that they are not forgotten, and their problem is not neglected by the PLO. But since no one really believes them, organizations that object to the political process have developed in those camps, principally Hamas and the Fronts for Resistance.

About the Author: Dr. Mordechai Kedar (Ph.D. Bar-Ilan U.) Served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. A lecturer in Arabic at Bar-Ilan U., he is also an expert on Israeli Arabs.


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