Commentary Magazine


Contentions

How Often do Palestinians Have to Spell Out Their Goal?

If anyone still thinks the Palestinians seek a state that will live alongside Israel in peace, they should examine the map broadcast by the Palestinian Authority’s
official TV station the day after PA President Mahmoud Abbas formally applied for statehood at the UN. The station, as Palestinian Media Watch notes, is directly controlled by Abbas’ office. And here is its idea of statehood: a map showing all of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza wrapped in a Palestinian flag, with a giant key stabbed through it.

The dual message of the flag and the key – both symbols of ownership – couldn’t be clearer: It’s all ours, and we intend to take it back. But lest anyone have doubts, there are also Arabic words alongside to explain: According to PMW’s translation, they read “expelled,” “resolve” and “right to return.”

That map really says it all. But if anyone needs more convincing, they should visit the website of the PLO’s official UN mission. Since the statehood application was filed by the PLO, not the PA, what the PLO thinks matters. And lo and behold, it thinks its 1968 charter remains valid: Under the headline “Decisions and Actions Related to the Palestine National Charter” – where you’d expect to find the vaunted decision of the late 1990s to revoke the clauses that negate Israel’s existence – you instead find the unreconstructed 1968 version.

For those unfamiliar with the document, here are a few highlights: “Palestine, with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit” (Article 2); “Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people” (Article 1); a Palestinian “must be prepared for the armed struggle and ready to sacrifice his wealth and his life in order to win back his homeland” (Article 7); “Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine” (Article
9); “The liberation of Palestine … aims at the elimination of Zionism in Palestine” (Article 15); “The partition of Palestine in 1947, and the establishment of the state of Israel are entirely illegal, regardless of the passage of time” (Article 19); “Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the conception of what constitutes statehood. Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of their own” (Article 20); “Zionism is a political movement organically associated with international imperialism … It is racist and fanatic in its nature, aggressive, expansionist and colonial in its aims, and fascist in its methods. Israel is the instrument of the Zionist movement … liberation of Palestine will destroy the Zionist and imperialist presence” (Article 22); “The demand of security and peace, as well as the demand of right and justice, require all states to consider Zionism an illegitimate movement, to outlaw its existence, and to ban its operations” (Article 23).

Not much room for peaceful coexistence there.

Still unconvinced? Try listening to Abbas Zaki, who sits on the Central Committee of Abbas’ Fatah party. On the very day Abbas filed his UN application, he told  Al Jazeera (in MEMRI’s translation):

“Everybody knows that the greater goal cannot be accomplished in one go. If Israel withdraws from Jerusalem, evacuates the 650,000 settlers, and dismantles the wall – what will become of Israel? It will come to an end… If we say that we want to wipe Israel out… C’mon, it’s too difficult. It’s not [acceptable] policy to say so. Don’t say these things to the world. Keep it to yourself.”

All this leaves only one question: How many times do the Palestinians have to say exactly what their goal is before the world finally believes them?

 



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