What Mahmoud Abbas would have written had he told the truth:
SIXTY-THREE years ago, a 13-year-old Palestinian Arab boy left his home in the Galilean city of Safed and went with his family to Syria. His family left out of an vague fear of what a future in a Jewish state might be like, but not because they were in any danger. He never saw any Jewish troops. His family was not expelled. The child took up shelter in a canvas tent provided to all the arriving refugees. Though he and his family wished for decades to return to their home, they had chose the wrong side in the war. And although his family would happily have become Syrian citizens so they could live in honor and dignity, this right - that of citizenship - was denied. That child’s story, like that of so many other Palestinians, is mine.
This month, however, as we commemorate another year of our free choice to leave our homes — which we cynically call the nakba, or catastrophe — the Palestinian people have a new gimmick to enable us to start a new stage in the eventual destruction of Israel and return to our ancestral homes that no longer exist: this September, at the United Nations General Assembly, we will request international recognition of the State of Palestine on the land that Jordan had illegally annexed and that Egypt had taken over in 1949; land that those Arab countries never considered to be "Palestine" and which Israel won in a war where combined Arab armies tried to destroy her. We want this state, which we rejected in 1938, 1947, 2001 and 2008, to be admitted as a full member of the United Nations - without us having to compromise on our demands to ethnically clean all Jews from the land.
Many are questioning what value there is to such recognition while the land is itself in dispute. Others have accused us of imperiling the peace process. We believe, however, that this UN stunt will enable us to get everythign we have been demanding without actually having to compromise with Israel, and without accepting her right to live in peace and security. This will allow us to do what we have been tryign to do the entire time - get 100% of our demands met without having to give up a thing.
It is important to note that the last time the question of Palestinian statehood took center stage at the General Assembly, the question posed to the international community was whether our homeland should be partitioned into two states. In November 1947, the General Assembly made its recommendation and answered in the affirmative. Jews happily accepted this compromise, even though their land would have been indefensible and crazily shaped. The Jews accepted the plan even though it didn't include their own holiest cities. The Palestinian Arab leadership, however, rejected the compromise plan outright. Shortly thereafter, my people attacked their Jewish neighbors - people they had lived with for decades - in unspeakably brutal ways. Bus bombs, sniping, even knife attacks became the norm that Jews had to live with in their own homes. Only after months of incessant attacks by Arabs did the Zionist forces start an offensive that ultimately expanded the amount of land they controlled beyond the UN partition lines. Five Arab nations simultaneously attacked in May 1948, and Israel won again as my people fled in fear, often believing hugely exaggerated rumors of Zionist massacres.
Now we want to pretend that none of that happened and that we should not have to pay a price for consistently choosing terrorism over peace, war over compromise.
Minutes after the State of Israel was established on May 14, 1948, the United States granted it recognition. Palestinian Arab leadership, however, happily accepted a Transjordanian plan where the West Bank would become part of what was to become Jordan. We never asked for a state while the Jordanians and Egyptians ruled us - except within Israel's 1949 armistice lines, lines that were never accepted by the international community as a border.
Palestine’s admission to the United Nations would allow us to change the rules again, to rewrite history and pretend that we are not responsible at all for the problems of the past 63 years, most of which were inflicted by our own corrupt leadership and the very Arab leaders who continue to use us as pawns in their own political games against Israel. The Arabs and even Palestinian Arab leaders are the ones who kept us in camps, not Israel. Even today, under my rule and under Hamas rule, not a single "refugee" camps has been dismantled - because the misery the people are under comes in so politically useful to us.
We don't want our quest for recognition as a state to be seen as the stunt it is, even though we have lost many of our men and women in similar political theater - for example, when we rejected the Camp David proposals for peace. We go to the United Nations now because we don't want to compromise, because we always viewed the "peace process" as a means to gain everything we want without having to give up anything, because we want to distract the world from the simple fact that Israel has been the only party to compromise since (in my own words) 1988. We want to pretend that we have given up on wanting to destroy Israel, but in reality we continue to insist on a "right to return" thathas no basis in international law and whose entire purpose is to destroy Israel demographically. We have been negotiating with the State of Israel for 20 years without coming any closer to realizing a state of our own because we have not given up on one inch of land we consider ours - land that we explicitly said we have no claim on in 1964, when Jordan controlled it.
We have rejected negotiations for about two years now, even under identical conditions that we used to negotiate regularly with Israel. We are using "settlements" as an excuse, but also the world's bias against the Likud, to pressure Israel to give up even more - even after they have given up Area A to our control, as well as Gaza. Now we have made a conscious decision to embrace Hamas, a recognized terror group, and to reject the peace process with Israel.
We are demanding statehood even though we do not fulfill the criteria of statehood listed in the Montevideo Convention, the 1933 treaty that sets out the rights and duties of states. We have no defined territory, and in fact there never was an independent country named Palestine. Our land cannot be considered legally "occupied" because there was no accepted state there beforehand - because of our own rejection of the 1947 Partition Plan made by the same UN that we now embrace. The permanent population of our land is supposedly the Palestinian people, yet we do not want them to move from their camps into our nation, but into Israel instead. Our cynicism is extraordinary, yet we have world sympathy on our side.
Our economy is completely dependent on our enemy, Israel. The only reason things have been getting better for us is because Israel has wanted real peace while we have been using them to chip away at the territory controlled by the hated Zionists. Our security cooperation has been to please the United States, not out of any desire for real peace.
The State of Palestine will include Hamas in its government. As soon as we get our recognition, Hamas and Fatah can resume their Intrafada and their squabbles as we have in the past. The chances for real democracy and real freedom in the state of Palestine is extraordinarily small. But that's fine, because since 1948, our real goal has never been to establish a state but to destroy one. Once admitted to the United Nations, we believe that the world will back us on all of our demands. In fact, our declaration of a state will lead to perpetual war and misery for the people I pretend to love.
A key focus of negotiations will be reaching a just solution for Palestinian refugees based on our purposeful misinterpretation of Resolution 194, which the General Assembly passed in 1948. Of course, that resolution is not binding; it says that Jerusalem (as far as Bethlehem) would be an international city, and the very phrase that we pretend means we can overrun Israel with millions of Arabs can also be interpreted to mean that Jews can live in the West Bank where they lived before 1948. However, we have see the International Court of Justice ignore international law in our favor in the past, as well as the UN becoming a tool that the Arab League can control vis a vis Middle East issues, so we will rely on this continuing.
"Palestine" would be negotiating from the position of one United Nations member whose territory is militarily occupied by another, however, and not as a vanquished people ready to accept whatever terms are put in front of us. The fact that Palestinian Arabs have consistently backed tyrants and dictators like Nasser, Arafat, and Saddam Hussein should not impact our political strength. We just ask the world to forget our history of embracing terror and choosing war instead of peace.
We call on all friendly, peace-loving nations to believe our lies and our revisionist history. We want them to believe that somehow a unilateral move will lead to peace, even though it will do the opposite. We want the international community to forget that we tore up the idea of compromise so many times and instead tell them that they "promised" us a state six decades ago - a state we rejected while that Jews embraced it. Only if we get this combined scheme of an independent "Palestine" and a push to move millions of Arabs into Israel, destroying the Jewish state, will we have fulfilled the wishes that our first leader and my personal hero, the Mufti of Jerusalem, made so clear - to ethnically cleanse all Jews from the Middle East.
(original op-ed here, h/t idea by RB)
UPDATE: Israel Matzav did the same thing, upon the same person's idea.)