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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Arab analyst realizes that Arabs didn't allow "Palestine" from 1948-67

Something dawns on Bakir Oweida in the middle of an Al Arabiya op-ed about the "Nakba":

The West Bank and the Gaza Strip were under the sovereignty of two Arab states, so wasn’t it possible to declare a Palestinian state with its capital as Jerusalem? Yes. It was possible to do so but there was no will. Perhaps some would also say that international will wouldn’t have allowed this to happen just like it wouldn’t currently allow establishing an independent Palestinian state. However, I think all this aims to justify a dereliction that nothing could ever justify.
Well, well, well. An Arab notices a glimmer of truth.

It is doubtful that Oweida is brave enough to go further down that path. For example, to ask why the original 1964 PLO charter explicitly excluded the West Bank and Gaza from its desired homeland.
This Organization does not exercise any territorial sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or in the Himmah Area. Its activities will be on the national popular level in the liberational, organizational, political and financial fields.
If the PLO didn't want a state on those lands before 1967, why should the Arab states have given it to them?

But that brings up the deeper question: why didn't the PLO want a state in the West Bank and Gaza, part of what they today claim as "historic Palestine"?

Why did they then only want land that wasn't "occupied"?

The answer, as anyone who has ever perused newspapers before 1967 knows, is that the PLO and the Arab states all shared the same goal, destroying Israel. No one cared about a "Palestinian state" and the Palestinian issue was only created as a means to create world pressure on Israel. It never had anything to do with Palestinian nationalism.

If Oweida would bother to do some more research, he would realize that the PLO was originally an Egyptian creation. It changed after 1967 when Fatah took it over. Fatah's number one goal in its charter is "Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.

Today, the PLO is still not interested in a state. If it was, it would have one. Even if a Palestinian Arab state would be created tomorrow in all the territories, the battle wouldn't be over - the battlefield would just shift to Israel itself, as the Palestinian Arabs would then demand "right to return" to a state that they never lived in, a swath of land between Gaza and the West Bank that would divide Israel in half, the right to build an army that could threaten Israel itself, and they would create new border disputes (as Hezbollah did) to keep their people good and angry.

If Mr. Oweida would honestly look at the history of the "nakba," he would see how Arab nations have been the ones perpetuating the misery and statelessness of Palestinian Arabs - and he would realize that if a Palestinian Arab state would suddenly appear, most Arab states would not hesitate to kick out the millions of Palestinian Arabs they have been barely tolerating for 66 years.

Not too many Arabs are willing to notice all of these obvious truths, let alone say them out loud. Maybe Mr. Oweida will find the bravery to research his topic a little further.