Wednesday, June 15, 2005
January 22, 1939 - The more things change...
I have long held that there is a common denominator in the Arab side of the Israel-Arab conflict: the fact that Arabs do not want Jews to own land in the Middle East.
It is not that they don't want any Jews there, because historically there have been Jews in Arab lands. It is simply that they cannot abide Jews owning land in the area, no matter how legally it is acquired. I believe this is because the Arab Muslim psyche is so heavily invested in the idea that Jews are weak dhimmis, as they acted this way for centuries, and this was some sort of validation of the supremacy of Islam. But for whatever reason, land is the single factor that can explain every Arab action vis a vis Israel since the beginning of modern Zionism. It explains 1948, it explains 1973, it explains Camp David (where Sadat said that he'd rather have war than lose a single grain of sand of the Sinai), it explains the Intifada, the infamous "stages" plan of Arafat, and it explains the entire existence of the Palestinian people as the pawns they became and remain. It also explains the existence of Hamas and Hezbollah.
This fact must be recognized and addressed before any real peace can occur. And, frankly, this would require a complete turnaround of a century of Arab opinion and incitement, something that will not occur any time soon.
Read between the lines: At this point in time, Jews only lived on land they legally bought.
Every single "demand" of the Arabs mean the same thing: Jews should not own land in then-Palestine.
And the doubletalk at the end of the article is well-known to anyone who follows the news: Only when Jews no longer own land will Palestine have "tranquility" again. As in today, those the Arabs declare to be enemies don't actually have to do anything to cause problems - they just have to exist, and when Arabs riot as they did in the early 1930s, it is the fault of the Jews for owning land.
SoccerDad brings this up to date:
The PA passed legislation in 1998 making Israeli ownership of Palestinian real estate a "harm to national security" that constitutes a "crime of high treason" punishable by death. 33 The murders of five Palestinian land dealers who sold property to Israelis indicated that the Palestinian Authority was not simply using rhetoric.
And an even more egregious example happened quite recently:
The Greek Orthodox church in the holy land, already mired in financial and political scandal, has been accused of secretly selling off a prime Arab area of Jerusalem's old city to Jewish settlers.
The Palestinian prime minister, Ahmed Qureia, has ordered an investigation of the sale of land and buildings in Omar Ibn al-Hitab square, next to the Jaffa Gate, a sensitive area because its future is uncertain in any negotiated settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Mr Qureia said he suspected the deal was part of a broader strategy by Jewish groups to buy up property and force Arabs out, "all with the goal of making Jerusalem Jewish".
"It is dangerous and a clear indication of the Israeli plan that targets the holy city," he said.
Notice that no one is accusing Jews of buying the land illegally...just the fact that Jews want to buy land in Jerusalem is enough to drive Arabs crazy.
How can anyone think that a true peace is possible when Arabs clearly do not accept the idea of Jews owning or buying the tiniest bit of land in the area?