Connect with us

World News

Palestinians are in an uproar (over the prospect of living in Palestine)



Palestinians are in an uproar (over the prospect of living in Palestine)

In no other conflict have aggressors been invited by their victims to remain citizens of the country they’ve been trying to wipe off the map.

Leave aside, for the moment, the deepening rows about U.S. President Donald Trump’s “vision” for ending the Middle East conflict.

Leave aside the question whether the plan’s lead author, Jared Kushner, and the U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, backtracked on an “immediate” Israeli declaration of sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the “Triangle” of disputed territory (they didn’t; the need to first map out and agree on the details was stated from the start).

Leave aside the uproar among Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, along with certain southern areas of Israel, who are appalled by the prospect of a proposed Palestinian state (it won’t happen because it’s conditional upon the Palestinians ending their war to exterminate Israel, which they won’t ever abandon).

Leave aside the way Israel’s beleaguered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be using the Trump proposal for electoral purposes (so he’s behaving like a politician; big deal).

Look instead at the reaction by the Palestinians. Not the reaction by the Palestinian Authority, which was merely the latest of their many rejections of a state of their own alongside Israel.

Look at the Palestinians themselves for whom that state is intended. What is their reaction to the offer of more than 80 percent of the land for such a state? They’re furious.

This isn’t because it’s not 100 percent of the land. They’re furious at the idea that they might find themselves living in such a state. So furious that they demonstrated in the thousands against the prospect.

Palestinian leaders and their Western supporters are shrieking that the plan would strip the Israeli Arabs in the Jordan Valley and the “Triangle” area of their Israeli citizenship, and transfer them into Palestine by the simply expedient of drawing its border around their villages.

This is untrue. The Trump plan states that they will be able to choose between remaining citizens of Israel and becoming citizens of Palestine. So they wouldn’t be “stripped” of their citizenship at all. Changing it would be their choice.

And surely, they would all choose to become citizens of Palestine—the outcome we’ve been told is the absolute precondition for ending the Arab-Israel conflict?

Well, guess what. Given this choice—as the evidence has consistently indicated—many, if not most, would voluntarily choose to remain citizens of Israel. Who could possibly be surprised?

As the authoritative Israeli Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh has written for the Gatestone Institute, the main reason these “Triangle” Arabs strongly oppose becoming citizens of a Palestine state is that it would extinguish the freedoms they enjoy as Israeli citizens.

“The Arab Israelis’ protests,” he writes, “are seen as a message to the world that they prefer to continue living in Israel and not under another Arab dictatorship.”

They hear daily about the oppression of Gaza’s Arabs at the hands of Hamas. And recently, several students, mostly at An-Najah University in Nablus, were arrested by the P.A. security forces and brutally tortured.

Arab students living in the disputed territories, he says, can only envy Israeli Arab students who are free to hold political activities on Israel’s campuses.

Regardless of this reaction to the proposed Palestine state, it’s important to note just how bizarre this particular aspect of the Trump proposal is.

In other wars, the displacement of at least parts of a population is commmonplace, which hardly occasions any comment.

Also read:  Israel sees dawn of a new era as African and Arab countries seek diplomatic cooperation

In no other conflict have the victims of aggression suggested, as under this plan, that their aggressors should not only be allowed to stay in their own homes, not only be ruled by the people they say they want to rule them, but that they should also be invited to remain instead citizens of the country they have been trying to wipe out.

And all this while these people are still led by a regime inciting them to continue their war—and who are regarded as such a permanent threat that they can never be trusted with full sovereignty over their own airspace and other security issues.

On the face of it, therefore, the proposal for such a Palestine state is suicidally stupid for Israel. So we should ask why—even though its conditions mean there’s zero possibility that the Palestinian Arabs would ever agree to it—such an apparently perverse offer is being made at all.

One answer is that many in the West, including, it seems, Jared Kushner, still naively believe that, offered the prospect of massively leveraged prosperity, the Palestinians will eventually realize that their interests lie in peace rather than war. This suggests a failure properly to internalize the true cause of this conflict, which is not the absence of a Palestinian state but the intention of exterminating Israel.

For its own part, vulnerable Israel has felt obliged to go along with this misguided Western consensus because it is nervous of pushing too hard against its allies, even its two-faced “friends” in Europe and Britain.

In addition, right from the start, the Jews of Israel have been strikingly ambivalent about the Arabs who lived in the land, despite the war waged by those Arabs to deny the Jews their rightful home.

Thus, during Israel’s war of independence, the embattled Jews declared they didn’t want the Arabs of the land to leave the Jewish state that they were at that very time desperately fighting the Arabs’ armies to establish. Even during that struggle for existence, they drew a distinction between the leaders and the led.

There’s a direct line from that to the Israel of today—not just to the two-staters on the left who seem blind to the potential threat that Palestine would pose, but to Jewish centrists who believe that the Palestinians are entitled to a state of their own.

Yet by any normal moral standard, whatever rights the Palestinian Arabs may ever have had must be considered forfeit many times over as a result of their century-old war of extermination.

So why are the Israeli Jews so benign towards these enemies?

Maybe there’s a submerged degree of guilt, particularly among secular Jews from a European background who originally felt themselves to be cultural outsiders and were therefore sympathetic to the situation of the Arabs living in the land.

At the same time, maybe the Palestinian Arabs are a necessarily ambiguous enemy because they are family. A stepfamily, for sure: as the Torah tells us, the descendants of Ishmael who, with his mother Hagar, was driven out into the desert by his father, Abraham.

But with that common father, family nevertheless. And however much your family hurts and threatens you, even with unconscionable barbarism and savagery, there’s often still a part of you that against all the odds never stops yearning to repair the rift with those to whom you will always feel linked.

Peace between the Arabs and the Jews, however, won’t come through redrawing the map of the Middle East, but only if the Arab and Muslim world stops trying to wipe the State of Israel off it.

But the generosity Israel is displaying towards the Palestinian Arabs by offering them this choice of nation—and the reason for their response—provides an opportunity to educate Jews whose view of Israel is increasingly shaped by its enemies in what being a Jewish state actually means.

And some Israelis need to learn that, too.




Latest News

U.S. strikes 2 targets in Syria in response to ‘continued attacks’



The U.S. military struck two facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Iran-affiliated groups in response to “continued attacks” against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria, the Pentagon said on Sunday.

The strikes were conducted against a training facility in Abu Kamal and a safe house in Mayadin in the eastern governorate of Deir Ezzor, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a brief statement.

The U.S. struck similar targets in eastern Syria in October and earlier in November.

Pro-Iranian militias have intensified their attacks on U.S. military bases in Syria and Iraq in recent weeks as a response to the Israeli military campaign in Gaza.

The security situation in the entire region has been particularly tense since Oct. 7, when Hamas militants staged deadly attacks in southern Israel.

Israel is responding with an overwhelming air and ground offensive in Gaza.

As a deterrent, the U.S. has moved more weapons systems, warships and air squadrons to the Eastern Mediterranean, and is deploying several hundred troops to the Middle East to support US units there.

U.S. President Joe Biden had ordered Sunday’s action to make it clear that the U.S. was defending itself, its personnel, and its interests, Austin stressed.

The U.S. is prepared to take further necessary measures to protect its own people and interests.

  • dpa
Continue Reading

Latest News

Russia writes off $23bn debt for Africa – Putin



Russia sends almost 12m tons of grain to Africa says Putin

…Pledges additional $90 million***

Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, says the Russian Government has written off $23 billion debt burden of African countries.

Putin spoke at the plenary session of the ongoing second Russia–Africa Summit 2023 held from July 27 to July 28.

He said Moscow would allocate an additional $90 million for these purposes.

Putin said Russia was advocating the expansion of representation of African countries in the UN Security Council and other UN structures.

“Russia and Africa strive to develop cooperation in all areas and strengthen ‘honest, open, constructive’ partnership.

“Russia will also assist in opening new African embassies and consulates in Russia,” he said.

According to him, the reopening of embassies in Burkina Faso and Equatorial Guinea is going as planned.

He said sovereignty was “not a one-time achieved state,” and it must be constantly protected.

Putin also offered assistance to Africa in countering threats such as terrorism, piracy, and transnational crimes adding that it would continue to train personnel from African countries.

He assured that Russian businesses have a lot to offer partners from Africa.

Putin said transition to national currencies and the establishment of transport and logistics chains would contribute to the increase in mutual trade turnover.

“Russia is ready to provide trade preferences to Africa, support the creation of modern production sectors, agricultural sector, and provide assistance through relevant international structures and agencies.

“Russia will always be a responsible international supplier of agricultural products,” he said.

Continue Reading

Latest News

U.S. Coastguard Finds ‘debris field’ Near Missing Vessel



A “debris field” has been discovered within the search area for the missing Titan submersible, the U.S. Coastguard (USCG) said on Thursday.

The agency said a remotely-operated vehicle made the discovery near the wreckage of the Titanic on Thursday.

The hunt for the missing deep-sea vessel is still an “active search and rescue” mission after it lost communication on Sunday.

The vessel was about 700 kilometres south of St John’s, Newfoundland, during a voyage to the Titanic shipwreck off the coast of Canada.

Coastguard officials said they were “evaluating the information” following Thursday’s debris discovery.

A press conference will be held at the Coastguard base in Boston to “discuss the findings” at 8pm (1900 GMT).

Rear Admiral John Mauger, the first Coastguard district commander, and Captain Jamie Frederick, first Coastguard district response coordinator, will lead the press conference.

Founding member of the Board of Trustees of The Explorers Club, Hamish Harding, was on board the undersea craft, alongside UK-based businessman Shahzada Dawood, his son Suleman Dawood, and OceanGate’s chief executive and founder Stockton Rush, as well as French submersible pilot Paul-Henri Nargeolet.

The USCG said the ROV that made the discovery was from the Canadian Horizon Arctic ship – with the debris being found on the sea floor near the Titanic wreckage.

Assistance from the Royal Air Force (RAF) is due to arrive in St John’s on Thursday after it confirmed a request was received overnight for help with the movement of additional commercial equipment.

Two RAF planes, a C-17 Globemaster and A400 Atlas, departed RAF Lossiemouth in north-east Scotland on Thursday.

A British submariner and equipment from a UK firm have been sent to help the search at the request of the U.S. Coastguard, Downing Street said.

Royal Navy submariner Lieutenant Commander Richard Kantharia, who was on exchange with the U.S. Navy, has been seconded to the search and rescue team.

OceanGate Expeditions estimated the oxygen supply on the 6.7 metre-long vessel would last 96 hours, giving rescuers a deadline of around midday on Thursday.

Experts said the chances of finding the sub and rescuing those inside were diminishing.

Former Royal Navy submarine captain Ryan Ramsey told the PA news agency: “The outlook is bleak, that’s the only word for it as this tragic event unfolds and almost the closing stages of where this changes from rescue to a salvage mission.”

The Titan is believed to be about 900 miles east and 400 miles south of Newfoundland.

It is not known how deep the vessel is, with the seabed being around 3,800 metres from the surface. 

– dpa

Continue Reading


Editor’s Pick