web analytics
July 28, 2015 / 12 Av, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Why The Palestinians Can’t Say Two Simple Words

Ali Jarbawi explained in a Times editorial that the Palestinians can’t say the words “Jewish state,” because that would negate their historical narrative in which they see themselves as victims of history who can only be made whole by the destruction of Israel.
Mahmoud Abbas, acting leader of the Palestinian Authority

Mahmoud Abbas, acting leader of the Palestinian Authority
Photo Credit: Issam Rimawi/FLASH90

As we learned from his recent interview with journalist Jeffery Goldberg, President Obama is obsessed with the idea that Israeli intransigence is the reason there is no peace in the Middle East.

But Israel has already shown its willingness to accept a U.S. framework for continued talks despite justified misgivings about the direction of the negotiations. Meanwhile, the Palestinians have given every indication they won’t buy into the framework because they fear it will commit them to the one thing they have repeatedly shown no interest in accepting: peace.

Further proof of that came earlier this month from The New York Times in the form of an op-ed from a leading Palestinian academic explaining why his people could never agree to one of the key points in the framework: recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. Ali Jarbawi of Bir Zeit University gave a number of reasons why the Jewish state demand is a non-starter.

Not entirely by coincidence, the Times editorial page has endorsed the Palestinian position on the Jewish state. The Times’s dismissal of the Jewish state demand is one more indication that the paper’s supposed concern for Israel’s future is less than sincere.

Let’s first dismiss the claim made by both the Times and Jarbawi that this demand by Israel is an innovation on Netanyahu’s part whose purpose is to derail the peace process. In fact, there’s nothing new about it. The original 1947 United Nations partition resolution stated that the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River was to be divided between an Arab state and one it designated as a “Jewish state.”

If the Palestinians are now reversing their adamant rejection of partition by saying they will be satisfied by an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza, there should be no problem accepting this term.

But they can’t, and Jarbawi doesn’t shy away from explaining why. The Palestinians can’t say the words “Jewish state” because to do so would force them to give up their historical narrative in which they see themselves as victims of history who can only be made whole by annulling the results of Israel’s War of Independence.

The key principle of Palestinian nationalism is rejection of Zionism and the existence of Israel no matter where its borders are drawn. If Palestinians agree that a Jewish state has a right to exist, that means they are forever giving up their dreams of extinguishing it. That seems unfair to Jarbawi because it means the 1948 refugees and their descendants would be deprived of their dream of “return,” which means the end of Israel as a Jewish state.

Jarbawi makes the specious point that agreeing to Israel’s being a Jewish state would compromise the rights of Israel’s Arab minority. He knows very well this is a red herring since Israel’s basic laws hold that it is both a Jewish state and one in which ethnic and religious minorities have full rights. Israeli Arabs are equal before the law in Israel; they serve in its Knesset, government and judiciary. There is no conceivable scenario under which those rights will be annulled even in the event of war, let alone the outbreak of peace.

But his real objection to this point comes in the next paragraph when he says that even if those conditions are confirmed, Palestinians fear a peace treaty might mean that Jews in the West Bank who wish to remain in their homes in the event of peace, would be given the same rights that Arabs have in Israel.

A savvy Palestinian propagandist might have been willing to concede the right of Jews to live in a future Palestinian State as a protected minority, but not Jarbawi. Speaking for what is mainstream – indeed, the virtually unanimous – opinion of Palestinians, the academic says Jews have no right to be there and therefore cannot be accorded the equal rights Arabs have inside Israel. Their vision of peace is apparently one in which a Jew-free Palestinian state exists alongside an Israel flooded by Palestinian refugees who would vote the Jewish state out of existence.

About the Author: Jonathan S. Tobin is senior online editor of Commentary magazine and chief political blogger at www.commentarymagazine.com, where this first appeared. He can be reached via e-mail at jtobin@commentarymagazine.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

26 Responses to “Why The Palestinians Can’t Say Two Simple Words”

  1. Olga Pinsky says:

    Because he looks like an ancient mummy!

  2. Because the Palestinians are terrorist. He can any negotiate with terrorist, really????

  3. Because the Palestinians are terrorist. He can any negotiate with terrorist, really????

  4. Tarek Saba says:

    Olga Pinsky how’s poland?

  5. when are you people going to wake up…

  6. when are you people going to wake up…

  7. Say “Jewish State ” it won’t hurt ! And don’t
    Touch ISRAEL , you can’t
    Keep blaming ISRAEL for
    What you should blame
    Yourself for! I stand by ISRAEL ,

  8. Martin Kool says:

    Judea and samaria our homeland .

  9. Martin Kool says:

    Judea and samaria our homeland .

  10. How can Christ make an agreement with the Devil….History shows Jerusalem belongs to Isreal…

  11. How can Christ make an agreement with the Devil….History shows Jerusalem belongs to Isreal…

  12. there is a reason we are called bnai yisroel.

  13. Romeo Singh says:

    ISRAEL IS PROMISE TO THE JEWS BY YHWH…

  14. YES they do, as ordained by God himself.

  15. YES they do, as ordained by God himself.

  16. Howard Hyman says:

    I say EXPEL THESE BAST*RDS!!! They will never accept Israel. Let us stop pretending!

  17. Howard Hyman says:

    Gaza and Sinai ALSO are part of Israel!

  18. If the Pals try to resort to the UN, and even the US it’s asinine. Doubtful they would care, of course, but the same two entitles declared Israel to be a state. Is that sensible?? (No)

  19. In a time to come,Will they all wish they had.

  20. Israel Will NEVER Be Annihilated!!

  21. Steven Plaut says:

    I have two simple words for those people who claim Israel needs to stop insisting that the "Palestinians" recognize Israel as a legitimate Jewish state and the first of the two starts with an "F"

  22. I say we never talk to the arab savage barbarians at all.

  23. Alan Kardon says:

    No recognition, no talks and no release of any more terrorists. Stay tough Israel.

  24. Kathie Sykes says:

    The name of the "Palestinian" state… Jordan. Whoever won't live peacefully should be sent over the river.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
President Obama overlaid against photo of Jonathan Pollard.
Jonathan Pollard To Be Freed in November
Latest Indepth Stories
Open Tent

{Originally posted to the author’s website, FirstOne Through} Some passionate and eloquent liberals have bemoaned the state of inclusiveness among Jews today. Leon Wieseltier, editor of the New Republic penned an angry piece “J Street’s Rejection Is a Scandal” about the exclusion in 2014 of J Street from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. […]

Hamas on the Temple Mount - Jul 3, 2015

Magnanimity by Moshe Dayan, allowing Muslim control of the Temple Mount, led to today’s situation.

Community-Jewels-logo

It was modeled upon a similar fund that had been set up by Sephardic Jews in Venice. But Amsterdam’s Dotar was initially more ambitious in scope.

Brudner-072415-Rav-Aharon

Rav Aharon Margalit is a bestselling author – his book, As Long As I Live, has been translated into four languages – and a standing-room only lecturer. Both religious and non-religious audiences flock to hear him. What makes him so extraordinary? Rav Margalit is a Chasidic Jew who experienced incredible challenges from a very young […]

J Street is the vanguard (Jewish face)in support of Obama’s Vienna Accords Nuclear Deal with Iran

“I hold the woman’s place over that of men in every fundamental aspect of public and private life.”

The US-UNRWA accord is another example of this White House, hostile to Israel, disregarding truth.

On the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, Tisha B’av, a reflection on the dangerous deal with Iran

The Kotel gained significance around 1550. Previously, many Jews prayed on the Temple Mount itself.

All Jews MUST stand together to oppose boycotts against Israel. So why does NIF & JCF support BDS?

This year it is hard to concentrate on anything but Iran building nuclear weapons to destroy Israel

Bibi failed the moment he transferred Israel’s Iran problem to the international arena.

I was entranced by Kaddish, a song of sorrow of the whole of Israel for the 1000s of years of exile

Like the Avos, we are invested with the mission to inspire humanity to become nobler and greater

Iran accords are worse than Munich; even Chamberlain would be shocked at what is transpiring again.

An unhappy person cannot become happy by acquiring items. Happiness has to come from somewhere else.

More Articles from Jonathan S. Tobin
President Barack Obama

Obama thought he could replace the Saudis with Iran as the new ME lynchpin without paying a price

Tobin-012315

The abuse following publication proved a cautionary tale: no one followed in Peters’s footsteps

Anti-Semitism has returned to the mainstream of European society and Israel has become its focus.

One of the key talking points by apologists for Hamas in the current conflict is that it isn’t fair that Israelis under fire have bomb shelters while Palestinians in Gaza don’t have any. Among other factors, the lack of shelters accounts in part for the differences in casualty figures between the two peoples. But somehow […]

How will all this end? Hamas seems to think it will be Netanyahu who will blink first.

Nothing short of a stroke that will decapitate the leadership of this group will convince the Arabs that Hamas has made a mistake.

Z STREET will have the ability to compel IRS officials to testify as to their practices and produce all records.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/why-the-palestinians-cant-say-two-simple-words/2014/03/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: