Two New Palestinian MythsBy David Singer
Two new Arab myths have surfaced in the past week to complicate attempts by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to procure the resumption of the long-stalled negotiations between Israel and the PLO.
The first myth can be directly attributed to Mustafa Barghouti -- a presidential candidate for the now defunct Palestinian National Authority -- who was roundly defeated by Mahmoud Abbas when elections were last held in January 2005.
Interviewed by Arab American News (AAN), Mr. Barghouti was asked the following question:
Mr Barghouti gave this remarkable answer:
"Not new, but this achievement was very important from a symbolic standpoint, it also eliminated any Israeli claim that the West Bank and Jerusalem are disputed territory. Now they are part of an occupied Palestinian state..."
This is arrant nonsense.
According to Mr Barghouti, there is apparently no need for further negotiations to determine the sovereignty of these areas -- only a timetable for Israel to hand them over to the State of Palestine and to arrange for the uprooting of all 500,000 Jews presently living there.
If you believe this myth -- then you accept that
1. United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 are no longer of any relevance.
2. The 1948 armistice line is wiped off the map and negotiations to establish secure and recognised boundaries for the State of Israel can be shredded.
3. Article 80 of the United Nations Charter has become a footnote in history.
4. The Jewish claim to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in Palestine -- including the West Bank and Jerusalem --- as conferred by the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, is an anachronism.
6. The United Nations decision has unreservedly endorsed the PLO's stated policies of ethnic cleansing and apartheid in denying Jews any rights of residency or citizenship in the State of Palestine.
7. General Assembly Resolutions of the United Nations create binding obligations in international law.
Kerry's planned fortnightly shuttle from America to Jerusalem and Ramallah appears to be a waste of time unless this latest myth is quickly nipped in the bud.
President Abbas needs to immediately repudiate Mr. Barghouti's statement.
If Abbas refuses, Kerry should start to shuttle between world capitols seeking declarations unequivocally disavowing any support for the Barghouti myth.
Simultaneously with the Baghouti myth comes the news that the cornerstone for yet another myth: a new museum of "Palestinian culture, history and society" has been laid in Bir Zeit near Ramallah.
This will be no ordinary museum -- as project manager Omar al-Qattan reportedly explained:
Palestinian culture minister Siham Barghuti told AFP that the initiative was:
The "museum" seems set to become the new repository for perpetuating the fiction of the existence of an indigenous "Palestinian people" or the "Palestinians" going back at least 3000 years to the Canaanites.
Featured exhibits in the museum will certainly not include:
• The Mandate for Palestine 1922 that made no mention of the "Palestinians" or the "Palestinian people" -- but pointedly only included the then Arab population of Palestine among the "existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine" and called for "safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion"
• The report of the Peel Commission 1937 which again omitted any mention of a Palestinian people -- but contained this statement which was accepted by the Jews but rejected by the Arabs:
• Resolution 181 of the United Nations General Assembly dated 29 November 1947 which was also silent in acknowledging the existence of a Palestinian people -- but proposed the following recommendation that was again rejected by the Arab population of Palestine:
Jesus the Jew will no doubt be prominently featured as Jesus the Palestinian. Archeological relics will be conspicuously absent.
Until fact replaces Arab fiction and self-delusion, the conflict between Jews and Arabs will assuredly continue.
FOLLOW US ON