With President Obama coming to Israel soon, let me ask what some consider a rhetorical question- do the Palestinians actually deserve a state of their own? Obama and most of the international community think they do. Yet if we take a closer look at the situation there are serious issues which should not be ignored. For example, would it be a peaceful, productive neighbor with Israel? This can best be answered by reviewing some guiding principles of the PLO and Fatah, which is the dominant political party of which Mahmoud Abbas is chairman.
From the PLO charter:
Article 19: "….establishment of the State of Israel is entirely illegal…"
Article 20: "….Jews do not constitute a single nation with an identity of its own…"
From the Fatah charter:
Article 12: "…complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic,
political, military and cultural existence."
Article 17: "Armed public revolution is the inevitable method to liberating Palestine."
Article 19: "The struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished, and
Palestine is completely liberated."
Do these statements reflect goals of a peaceful and productive neighbor?
It's important to understand when they use the term "Palestine," it includes Israel. In other words, both organizations refuse to acknowledge Israel's existence, and see Judea and Samaria and the all the land upon which Israel exists as a single state of "Palestine." This reflects adherence to the uncompromising extremist Islamic view that any land once controlled by Muslims is seen as forever belonging to them. Abandoning the claim for said land is equal to blasphemy.
The failure to understand this by far too many has fostered unrealistic expectations of compromise by Islamist extremists. This applies to most world leaders, including President Obama.
Also noteworthy is the official emblem of the PLO and Fatah, which contains a map that blots out Israel completely and shows the entire land area in green, the official color of Islam.
While one can argue about its proposed borders, most of the international community supports a two-state solution. However, based on the quotes from both Palestinian organizations, it's clear they do not. Instead, their goal is one state called Palestine, with no state of Israel, period.
Let's go back in time for a moment to 1947, when the United Nations voted on the original two-state solution, which created the modern state of Israel. Did the Jews have a charter containing vitriolic statements similar to those in the charters of the PLO and Fatah? Suppose the Jews had published a document calling for the "complete liberation" of Arab Islamic existence in the partitioned Arab state? Suppose they referred to the creation of the Arab state as "entirely illegal?" Under such conditions would the United Nations have approved the partition granting the Jews their own state? Moreover, with such views, would they have deserved their own state?
The answer to these questions is clearly "no." Yet the world community doesn't seem to have a problem approving a state for the Palestinians, in spite of their clear zeal for Israel's destruction. What's wrong with this picture?
Let's not forget it was the Arabs who rejected the UN resolution of 1947 which partitioned two states. Why? Because it included the creation of Israel.
Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly said he "will never accept Israel as a Jewish state." Couple this with the referenced quotes from the PLO and Fatah charters, and what has changed since '47?
Some might suggest the contemporary demand by the Palestinians for a two-state solution means they accept Israel's right to exist. Not so. The reality is the Arabs have been unsuccessful in eliminating Israel militarily, but their lust to see it disappear hasn't diminished. They've simply changed tactics by demanding they be given statehood, which they refused in 1947 because it meant they would have to accept the existence of Israel. Today, in spite of this continued refusal, the UN vote last November 29, upgrading their status to that of a "non-member state," demonstrates that the international community is solidly behind the Palestinians.
As a result of the vote, Palestine sits in the same auditorium with Israel, in spite of the fact it's leader Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party are committed to its destruction.
Let me pose a hypothetical question: Suppose France's constitution called for the destruction of England, or America's constitution called for the destruction of Mexico? Would the UN sit in silent acquiescence of such a situation? Yet a blind eye is turned to the venomous agenda of the Palestinians, with no demand they renounce their goal of Israel's destruction. At a minimum this is unfair. In reality, it's hypocritical, bordering on anti-Semitism.
At this point again I return to the original question - whether the Palestinians deserve their own state? The answer should be obvious. The operative term is "should."
Dan Calic is a writer, historian and speaker. See additional articles on his Facebook page