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, September 14, 2010

Theater of the Absurd

In different universe, 'peace process' could well be the stuff of macabre comedy
By Martin Sherman

Obama, after the "pragmatic" Palestinians have repudiated any idea of "historic compromise," any recognition of Jewish national sovereignty: "…so far the talks are moving forward in a constructive way…"

You couldn’t make this stuff up!

In a different universe the recent events regarding the rekindling of the "peace process" could well be the stuff of a macabre comedy, couched and conveyed in deliberately overstated caricature.

But sadly in this universe they portend tragedy.

It has been an almost inconceivable spectacle, beginning with the Israeli prime minister traveling to Washington to express his resolve and commitment to implement a policy that he has repeatedly repudiated – and ridiculed - for over a decade and a half.

Even more astonishing is the fact that he did so not because his earlier criticism was proven unfounded in any way, but despite the fact that it was proven well founded in every way; not because his previous warnings that the policy would herald disaster were proven wrong but despite the fact that they were proven right.

Yet the absurdity does not end here. In the Alice-in-Wonderland world of Middle East politics things get "curiouser and curiouser."

No less astounding than Netanyahu's acquiescence to discuss the implementation of the very policy he correctly predicted would fail, is the identity of the "partner" with whom he assented to do so. The Palestinian negotiation team is led by Mahmoud Abbas, someone who has neither the formal legality (since his terms of office has expired) nor the political legitimacy (since his authority in not recognized by a sizeable segment of the electorate) to do so.

And then enter Hamas. With an impeccable sense of timing, Abbas' radical adversaries carried out two brutal terror attacks on Israelis, dramatically demonstrating that the man Netanyahu has incongruously deemed “my-partner-in-peace” cannot control events in the areas he purports to administer- underscoring both the impotence of the Palestinian "partner" and pointlessness of negotiating with him.

For what would be the value of an agreements reached if there is no guarantee that the Palestinian signatories will be any position to honor or enforce them, even assuming they desire to do so?

Abbas wants to shape Israel
And just to drive home the absurdity and futility of the entire exercise, after explicitly rejecting Netanyahu's call for a "historic compromise," Abbas pronounced categorically that "we won't recognize Israel as a Jewish state," as to do so would "block any chance of Palestinian refugees from returning to their original homes inside Israel."

This was reiterated the very next day by senior Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath, who declared that "The Palestinian Authority will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state," since this "would…prevent Palestinian refugees, who left their homes and villages a number of decades ago, from being granted the right to return to them."

So not only do the Palestinian leaders openly admit that they will never recognize the Jews' right to political sovereignty in the Israel, but by obdurately insisting on the "right of return," they make it quite clear that the only agreement acceptable to them is one that would make the maintenance of such political sovereignty untenable .

Now one might well ask: If Netanyahu is not recognized by his Palestinian interlocutors as representing the Jewish nation-state, precisely in what capacity is he participating in the "process"? But an even more troubling conundrum arises: In what capacity is Abbas doing so? For it seems that he has adopted a trans-national - or at least a trans-frontier - posture, speaking not only for the people he foresees living under the sovereignty of the envisioned Palestinian state, but also for those who he foresees will not!

Indeed, Abbas' demands are not restricted to shaping the future state of Palestine, its character, the extent of its boundaries and the composition of its population (i.e. Judenrein with all the Jewish "settlements" evacuated and all the Jewish settlers expelled.) His demands extend to shaping the character of the State of Israel and to what the composition of its population should be (which à la Abbas is to include millions of non-Jewish Palestinian "refugees.")
In short, the "president" of a yet-to-be-established state - whose term of office has expired and whose legitimacy is contested by a significant portion of those he purports to represent - lays down, as a categorical demand, that for any agreement to be reached literally millions of people from third-party countries must be admitted as citizens - not into the sovereign territory of putative state over which he supposedly will have authority but into the sovereign territory of another state.

Like I said: You couldn’t make this stuff up!

Why help faltering, anti-Israel president?
But perhaps the most macabre aspect of this preposterous tragic-comic spectacle is that it the only conceivable reason for Israel to participate in it at all, is to mollify a floundering US Administration desperate for some indication – any indication - of success to boost its flagging popularity

Now had this been an Administration that had wide spread support across the US, there might have been some justification in reluctantly acquiescing to its behest. Alternatively, had this been an Administration which was favorably disposed towards Israel there might have been some argument for lending it support in a time of distress. But neither of these is true.

On the one hand, the approval rates for the Obama Administration have been dropping like a lead balloon with public support evaporating with each passing week. On the other hand, the Obama Administration been described as arguably "the most anti-Israel Administration in the modern history of the state of Israel."

So what conceivable political rationale is there in Netanyahu embracing a policy that rewards the White House's hostility and hubris and accommodates Israel's humiliation? What is possible political wisdom is there in providing the deeply unpopular incumbent Administration anything that might make it "look good"; anything that could give it any electoral advantage over the far more Israel-friendly Republican Party - especially as the crucial mid-term elections approach?

And if anyone thought that matter could not get any more farcical, they would be wrong. For just recently, Obama issued his latest exhortation for Netanyahu to make another gesture and extend the soon-to-expire building freeze. His reasoning: After the "pragmatic" Palestinians have repudiated any idea of making an "historic compromise" and any recognition of Jewish national sovereignty 60 years after Israel's establishment, was:

"…so far the talks are moving forward in a constructive way, it makes sense to extend that moratorium so long as the talks are moving in a constructive way."

You couldn't make this stuff up! Or have I said that before?
Macabre comedy?
Abbas, Netanyahu and Obama in Washington

Ynet News

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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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