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Friday, September 17, 2010

Arab League rejects "Jewish state"

From Ma'an:

Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo on Thursday decided to reject a demand made by Israel, asking Palestinian negotiators recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

In a statement issued after the meeting, the Arab League supported President Mahmoud Abbas' refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Palestinian negotiators have recognized Israel’s right to exist, but not as a Jewish state, which officials say would prejudice the right of return for refugees and violate the rights of Israel's non-Jewish residents.
If recognizing Israel as a Jewish state would violate the rights of non-Jews in Israel, then defining "Palestine" as Arab would likewise violate the rights of non-Arabs, and defining it is Islamic would - by their definition - mean that non-Muslims will be discriminated against.

Here are parts of the "Constitution of Palestine" that mentions the word "Arab" or "Islam":

ARTICLE 1
Palestine is part of the large Arab World, and the Palestinian people are part of the Arab Nation. Arab Unity is an objective which the Palestinian People shall work to achieve.

ARTICLE 4
Islam is the official religion in Palestine. Respect and sanctity of all other heavenly religions shall be maintained.
The principles of Islamic Shari’a shall be the main source of legislation.
Arabic shall be the official language.

In addition, in five instances, the constitution refers specifically to the "Palestinian Arab people" or the "Arab Palestinian people." For example,

ARTICLE 116
Laws shall be promulgated in the name of the Palestinian Arab People, and shall be published immediately in the official gazette. These laws shall come into force 30 days from the date of their publication unless the laws state otherwise.

It sounds like non-Arabs cannot become "Palestinian" and that any non-Arabs who happen to live in Palestine would be, by definition, in a lower class.

Equal rights only apply to Palestinian Arabs:

ARTICLE 9
All Palestinians are equal under the law and judiciary without discrimination because of race, sex, color, religion, political views, or disability.

Since all Palestinians are Arabs by their definition, this means that there would be discrimination against non-Arabs.

Furthermore, since the constitution says that "Respect and sanctity of all other heavenly religions shall be maintained," that means that the Constitution of Palestine is enshrining discrimination against other religions that are not considered "heavenly" by Islam. In other words, Hindus and Buddhists can expect to be treated in a bigoted way should they want to visit or live in any Palestinian Arab state.

Of course, every Arab state's constitution says things that are similar.

The hypocrisy behind the outrage at calling Israel "Jewish" cannot be more blatant.