Quotes About "Palestine"

Remember: Israel is bad! Its existence keeps reminding Muslims what a bunch of losers they are.
"There will be no peace until they will love their children more than they hate us."

-Golda Meir-
'If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more ‎violence. If the Jews put ‎down their weapons ‎today, there would be no ‎more Israel'‎

~Benjamin Netanyahu~
"Peace for us means the destruction of Israel. We are preparing for an all out war, a war which will last for generations.

~Yasser Arafat~
"The Palestinian people have no national identity. I, Yasser Arafat, man of destiny, will give them that identity through conflict with Israel."

~ Yasser Arafat ~
"The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel. For our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of Palestinian people, since Arab national interest demand that we posit the existence of a distinct 'Palestinian people' to oppose Zionism".

~ Zahir Muhse'in ~

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Obama and the Mosque

President's endorsement of Ground Zero mosque unwise but consistent with his worldview
By: Eytan Gilboa

Barack Obama's endorsement of the construction of a Muslim community center, including a mosque, two streets away from Ground Zero is commensurate with the president's worldview and his strategy for fighting Islamic terror.

Obama's worldview espouses historic reconciliation between the United States and the Muslims and Arab world; his strategy distinguishes between moderate Islam, which can be engaged in dialogue, and radical and violent Islam, which should be fought.

In order to realize this strategy, Obama delivered reconciliation speeches in Cairo and in Ankara at the beginning of his presidential term; he frequently talks about the need to avoid generalizations that position all Muslims in one anti-American camp.

The plan to establish the Muslim center ignited an emotional controversy. On the one hand we have the Muslims who seek to realize their right for freedom of religion and Jewish Mayor Michael Bloomberg who backed their request; on the other hand we have the victims' families and an overwhelming majority of New Yorkers who object to establishing the center so close to Ground Zero, where radical Muslims demolished the Twin Towers and killed about 3,000 civilians.

At a dinner on the occasion of Ramadan, Obama used the opportunity to take a position and endorsed the plan. After sustaining criticism from all directions he took a step back and attempted to argue that he merely intended to endorse freedom of religion, rather than the specific plan. Yet this clarification is deceptive.

We are not dealing with religious freedom here. Nobody prevents Muslims from building mosques in the US. The problem pertains to the establishment of a Muslim center close to Ground Zero. The families of victims argue that building the mosque would hurt their feelings while most New Yorkers feel the plan rubs salt on their wounds. Had the Muslims offered to build the center in another area of New York, nobody would disapprove.

Obama's strategy utter failure
The war over the mosque erupted a few weeks ahead of the elections for Congress. Obama's Republican rivals were quick to exploit the opportunity and slammed him harshly. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich compared the building of a mosque near Ground Zero to the placement of a Nazi swastika near the Holocaust museum.

Democratic politicians also disapproved of Obama's statements. Why did he step into a confrontation that was local in nature thus far, making a statement that may prompt more voters to shun his party?

The answer has to do with ideological and strategic devotion. This is what Obama thinks, and he usually says what he thinks. His supporters argue that establishing the center in Ground Zero would contribute to the war on Islamic terrorists and al-Qaeda by bringing moderate Muslims closer. Obama's rivals respond that the plan will be interpreted by the radicals and those sitting on the fence as yet another victory in undermining the US.

Thus far, Obama's strategy of wooing the world's Muslims has been an utter failure. Despite the prominent dispute vis-à-vis Israel, the reconciliation speeches, and the warm embrace for America's Muslims community, recent polls in Muslim states showed that hostility towards the US and doubts towards Obama are back to pre-election rates.

In light of the above, the argument that building a mosque near Ground Zero would contribute to the war against al-Qaeda seems unfounded. While the harm to victims' families and New Yorkers is substantial and immediate, the expected strategic outcome is rather questionable. It would have been better for all parties involved to come up with another site that would grant Muslim freedom of worship while being endorsed by the families and New York residents.

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More Quotes About "Palestine"

"There is no such country as Palestine. 'Palestine' is a term the Zionists invented. There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria. 'Palestine' is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it".

- Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, Syrian Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937 -

"There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not".

- Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian, 1946 -

"It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria".

- Representant of Saudi Arabia at the United Nations, 1956 -

Concerning the Holy Land, the chairman of the Syrian Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in February 1919 stated:
"The only Arab domination since the Conquest in 635 c.e. hardly lasted, as such, 22 years".

"There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent (valley of Jezreel, Galilea); not for thirty miles in either direction... One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings. For the sort of solitude to make one dreary, come to Galilee... Nazareth is forlorn... Jericho lies a mouldering ruin... Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and humiliation... untenanted by any living creature... A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds... a silent, mournful expanse... a desolation... We never saw a human being on the whole route... Hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil had almost deserted the country... Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes... desolate and unlovely...".

- Mark Twain, "The Innocents Abroad", 1867 -

"In 1590 a 'simple English visitor' to Jerusalem wrote: 'Nothing there is to bescene but a little of the old walls, which is yet remayning and all the rest is grasse, mosse and weedes much like to a piece of rank or moist grounde'.".

- Gunner Edward Webbe, Palestine Exploration Fund,
Quarterly Statement, p. 86; de Haas, History, p. 338 -

"The land in Palestine is lacking in people to till its fertile soil".

- British archaeologist Thomas Shaw, mid-1700s -

"Palestine is a ruined and desolate land".

- Count Constantine François Volney, XVIII century French author and historian -

"The Arabs themselves cannot be considered but temporary residents. They pitched their tents in its grazing fields or built their places of refuge in its ruined cities. They created nothing in it. Since they were strangers to the land, they never became its masters. The desert wind that brought them hither could one day carry them away without their leaving behind them any sign of their passage through it".

- Comments by Christians concerning the Arabs in Palestine in the 1800s -

"Then we entered the hill district, and our path lay through the clattering bed of an ancient stream, whose brawling waters have rolled away into the past, along with the fierce and turbulent race who once inhabited these savage hills. There may have been cultivation here two thousand years ago. The mountains, or huge stony mounds environing this rough path, have level ridges all the way up to their summits; on these parallel ledges there is still some verdure and soil: when water flowed here, and the country was thronged with that extraordinary population, which, according to the Sacred Histories, was crowded into the region, these mountain steps may have been gardens and vineyards, such as we see now thriving along the hills of the Rhine. Now the district is quite deserted, and you ride among what seem to be so many petrified waterfalls. We saw no animals moving among the stony brakes; scarcely even a dozen little birds in the whole course of the ride".

- William Thackeray in "From Jaffa To Jerusalem", 1844 -

"The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is of a body of population".

- James Finn, British Consul in 1857 -

"The area was underpopulated and remained economically stagnant until the arrival of the first Zionist pioneers in the 1880's, who came to rebuild the Jewish land. The country had remained "The Holy Land" in the religious and historic consciousness of mankind, which associated it with the Bible and the history of the Jewish people. Jewish development of the country also attracted large numbers of other immigrants - both Jewish and Arab. The road leading from Gaza to the north was only a summer track suitable for transport by camels and carts... Houses were all of mud. No windows were anywhere to be seen... The plows used were of wood... The yields were very poor... The sanitary conditions in the village [Yabna] were horrible... Schools did not exist... The rate of infant mortality was very high... The western part, toward the sea, was almost a desert... The villages in this area were few and thinly populated. Many ruins of villages were scattered over the area, as owing to the prevalence of malaria, many villages were deserted by their inhabitants".

- The report of the British Royal Commission, 1913 -

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