History of recognizing Palestinian rights

'If Israelis don’t make peace with us and recognize Palestinian rights, we will remain, a piece of glass, a thorn and a blazing fire'

Many Israelis apparently believe that if they can deny something, it will simply disappear, vanish. Puff. Well, it may work in a magic show, but it doesn’t in reality, as Israelis know all too well from having dealt with the Palestinians for most of Israel's existence.


The late Mayor of Nazareth Tewfiq Zayed wrote in his poems and once told me that “If the Israelis don’t make peace with us and recognize Palestinian rights, we will remain, a piece of glass, a thorn and a blazing fire.”


Many just brushed Zayed aside because of his Communist Party affiliations. But Zayed told me he had no choice. The Israelis also pretend Palestinians don’t have rights, either, he said.


'Israel's denials'

"Israel’s history is full of these denials. First, they defined their Zionist movement as “a people without a land for a land without a people.”


This phrase was reportedly “coined” by Israel Zangwill. Others assert it was plagiarized (stolen and reformulated) from an earlier slogan attributed to a 17th Century Colonialist British Lord, the Earl of Shaftsbury. That slogan is “A country without a nation for a nation without a country.”


What’s the theft of someone’s ideas or even land by foreign colonialists?


To Zangwill’s credit, though, when he coined the phrase, the Israelis didn’t exist either. Just as many Arabs till this day refuse to recognize Israel, many Israelis also refuse to recognize Palestinians.


Former Milwaukee School Teacher Golda Meyerson (Meir), who later became prime minister, is also alleged to have said that a Palestinian people does not exist.


So who were the Israelis fighting in 1947, before the “Arab armies” (an oxymoron) attacked a year later?


And then they said the land of Palestine didn’t exist either. Maybe the early Zionist pioneers were just fighting the “Arabian entity” back in the first half of the 20th Century.


Golda and her colleagues were not very good teachers. The early Jewish settlers called it Palestine when they were trying to steer Jews from Europe to the Mediterranean coastal strip of land.


'Palestinian refugees don't exist'

Then it was the “Palestinian refugees” don’t exist. “Palestinian owned land” doesn’t exist. Some 400 pre-1948 Palestinian villages don’t exist – which is the only true statement given that, according to the Palestinians who don’t exist, the majority of these 400 Palestinian villages were destroyed by the Haganah during the 1948 war.


It’s a magician’s slip of hand or in this case, “slip of thought.” Somehow, Israel will magically become the dream that Zionism promised the Jewish people.


The one good thing about promises is that they might never happen. But there’s always hope, I guess..


So, why do Israelis keep trying to “deny” things?


And when the denial of thought doesn’t work, the Israelis turn to denial of material.


For many years, Israelis refused to allow Palestinians to call themselves “Palestinians.”


They banned the display of the Palestinian flag. I have no idea how many Palestinian homes, not just in Israel but in the occupied territories, (that Israelis say doesn’t exist) were destroyed simply for displaying the Palestinian national flag.


Israels' problems have expanded way beyond the Palestinians.


Since Israel’s military was forced to leave Lebanon again by Hizbullah, many Palestinians and Arabs and Muslims around the world have celebrated the “great Hizbullah victory” that the Israelis say “doesn’t exist, either.”


And you know Israelis are very touchy about this topic. I’m glad the bombing part of the war is over. But the war itself is not over.


Cell phone images of Nasrallah

Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims around the world have been posting images of Hizbullah's leader Nasrallah, on their cell phones. Israeli soldiers have been angrily destroying the telephones and arresting Palestinians who have these screen savers on their cell phones and even on their laptops.


If Israelis can simply eliminate the images of Nasrallah from their cell phones and laptops, maybe the entire  problem will go away.


When you bury your head in the sand, just hope there is no piece of glass, thorn or fire nearby.


Ray Hanania is an award winning Palestinian American columnist, author and standup comedian.


פרסום ראשון: 08.25.06, 10:26
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