Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Former Jordanian diplomat argues for Arab claim to Haifa

The government-aligned Jordan Times has an op-ed by Hasan Abu Nimah, who is Jordan's former UN ambassador and as such cannot be considered a mere flake. The article, however, argues that the Green Line is not a valid border of Israel, either:
[The idea of a land swap including the large settlement blocs] is based on the common, but false notion that the June 4, 1967, demarcation line separating Israel from the West Bank (then part of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan) is the legitimate border of Israel and should therefore be the one along which the conflict should be settled.

This assumption is wrong; the 1967 border has no legitimacy and should not be taken for granted.

He then engages in a nice piece of historical revisionism here, forgetting that Israel accepted the 1947 partition and that the Arabs are the ones who attacked first:
The [partition] resolution was never implemented, however. Immediately after it was passed, Zionist militias began their campaign to conquer territory beyond that which was allocated by the partition plan. Vastly outgunned Palestinian militias resisted as best as they could, until the belated intervention of Arab armies some six months after the war began. By that time it was too late - as hundreds of thousands of Palestinians had already been ethnically cleansed, expelled from their homes. Israel, contrary to myth, was not brought into being by the UN, but by war and conquest.
The highlighted statement is an outright lie. Arabs attacked Jews immediately after the UN vote - the first massacre was less than 24 hours after the resolution passed. The Haganah waited months before going on the offensive, as it became clear that this was the only way to defend the Jews from being slaughtered. And the first wave of Palestinian Arabs to leave the country went quite voluntarily, mostly the upper class running away to Lebanon, where they thought they could wait out the fighting and return home the same way they did during the 1936-9 Arab riots.

The 1949 Rhodes Armistice, which ended the first Arab-Israeli war, left Israel in control of 78 per cent of historic Palestine and established a ceasefire with its neighbours, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Until the second round - in June 1967 - Arabs had been calling for the abolition of the "illegal Zionist entity" planted by colonial powers like a dagger in the heart of the Arab nation. They also waited for the United Nations to implement its many resolutions redressing the gross injustice inflicted hitherto.
He is right in one aspect: before 1967, Arabs never considered the Green Line to have any legitimacy. And, in fact, they pretty much still believe that Israel has no legitimacy and continues to exist solely as a "dagger in the heart of the Arab nation." The only grudging admission they give towards Israel's existence is based on the utter inability to destroy her, not a change of heart about the borders or right of Israel to exist.

However, they generally keep these opinions to themselves. The West does not take kindly to their arguments that Israel should be completely destroyed, so they instead couch their arguments in terms of "settlements" and "occupation" and "international law," when in fact their real aim has not changed, and is only delayed by what they perceive as the quirk of temporary Jewish military strength and Western support for the "colonialists."

He ends the article saying that
...if Israel tells the Arabs that the West Bank settlements of Ariel and Maale Adumim are part of Israel, then the Arab position can be that Haifa, Jaffa and Acre are still part of Palestine.
Again, this is not some crazy nutcase writing for the Electronic Intifada (where this article was quickly reproduced.)This is a former Jordanian ambassador, writing for a semi-official Jordanian newspaper.

It reveals the truth about how far away a real peace truly is, and it proves that Israel is not going to gain any legitimacy in even the so-called "moderate" Arab states by giving up its land for an illusory peace.