Do you read Arab news? You should.
There are peace talks going on. If you read Israel’s press to see how Jews see these talks, you might want to know how Muslims see these talks.
The headlines—and comments—below come from January 7 -9, 2014.
-Dozens of settlers, accompanied by rabbi, storm al-Aqsa Mosque
-IOF forces Jerusalemite to raze his own home
- “Stones of Baked Clay” ... Hope For Liberation & Victory
- In the anniversary of Nakba day: We will [be] back to our land
- The Zionist project must end
-Barghouthi: Kerry's initiative seeks to prolong Israeli occupation
-Futility of current talks between Israel and PA
Palestinian Authority (PA)/Fatah news
-Fatah proposes unity government plan to Hamas
-Abbas discusses peace process with Jordanian king
-Analysis: Why Palestinian leadership is right to engage in peace talks
- Palestinian NGO decries Israeli 'excessive force'
-Analysis: On the 'Jewish State of Israel'
For the first time in months, both the Hamas and Fatah news sites are running headlines about the current round of Arab-Israel peace talks. But the news here is not the same news you see on Israeli sites. There is a significant difference between Arab and Jewish views of this ‘peace’.
In Israel, an informal look at news sites suggests that perhaps 60 per cent (or, 60+ per cent) of headlines present pro-peace features, news and analysis. Most of the pro-peace stories appear to be written by Jews.
Very few articles against ‘peace’ appear in the Israeli press. The overwhelming impression is, as one Leftist recently said, ‘most Israelis want peace.’
But then, the Israeli press is far from objective. Too often, when we see an overwhelming number of stories favouring a single issue, we learn after the fact that editors were working overtime to sell a slanted version of the news.
The Hamas-Fatah sites tell a different tale. Arabs don’t promote a peace with Israel the way Israel’s press promotes a peace with the Arab. If a pro-peace essay does appear on these Arab sites, it’s probably been written by a Westerner (“Analysis: Why Palestinian leadership is right to engage in peace talks”). Then, virtually all essays about the peace talks focus on—or are based upon--only two issues: (1) Palestinian national rights cannot be compromised; and (2) peace with the Occupier (Israel) will not happen unless all Palestinian demands are met.
As you read through the current batch of Israeli and Arab peace-talk essays, you’re going to have to be careful. If you don’t understand what words mean, you are not going to understand what’s happening.
Here is the most important word you must understand: ’Palestine’.
If current stories in the Israeli press are any indicator, ‘Palestine’ is a trick word. It doesn’t mean what Israelis—particularly Leftist Israelis--think it means.
When the United States, the European Union (EU) and virtually all Israeli Leftists speak of a new Arab state to be called ‘Palestine’, they refer specifically to land that is to be surrendered by Israel. Today, that land is called Judea- Samaria. Perhaps land from the Jordan River Valley will be included. Gaza, already under Arab control, is included.
To the US, the EU and Israel Leftists, this is the geography upon which ‘Palestine’ will sit. It will share a border with Israel.
But for the Arab, Palestine does not share a border with Israel. Palestine is Israel.
The Arab use of the word, Palestine, does not conform to the definition used by the US, EU and Israel’s Leftists. The Arab definition that you see in Hamas/Fatah news stories refers to a different ‘Palestine’. It’s a definition which, though different, might actually be more accurate than the one used by Israel and the West.
The Arab use of the word, ‘Palestine’, does not refer to Judea-Samaria, the Jordan River valley or Gaza. It refers to UN Resolution 181. This is the 1947 UN Resolution that outlined how the “Future government of Palestine” would be divided.
The ‘Palestine’ of that 1947 UN Resolution was, essentially, the land-mass of modern 21st Century Israel. The intent of 181 was to divide that Palestine between Jew and Arab.
That Palestine was to become two states—a Jewish state and an Arab state.
But the Arabs didn’t want to share. They attacked. They wanted only one state for that entire Palestine. They intended to remove the Jewish portion of that Palestine.
Nevertheless, that portion of Palestine still remains in Jewish hands. Nevertheless, the Arabs still want it for themselves.
Arab wars against Israel have always aimed to liberate that portion of 1947 Palestine from the Jew. To the Arab, the Jew has ‘occupied’ what Arabs self-define as ‘Arab land’. It’s been that way since 1947. For the Arab, what is today’s Israel is nothing more than occupied Arab land—and the Israel Defense Force (IDF) is the IOF, the Israel Occupation Force (“IOF forces Jerusalemite to raze his own home”).
Westerners, including Israeli Leftists, do not understand this distinction. They should.
When Arabs want to liberate Palestine, they are not talking about Judea-Samaria. They’re talking about that 1947 Palestine. That means that they want all of Israel—Haifa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Acco, etc.
Arabs do not see these peace talks as a prelude to peace. If they sign a Kerry plan (whatever the details), they’ll only get Judea-Samaria and perhaps a portion of the Jordan River valley. Given their goal of getting all of Israel, such a deal would be just another Western attempt to create a NEW Nakba for the Arab—a new national Arab catastrophe (“Barghouthi: Kerry's initiative seeks to prolong Israeli occupation).
In other words, to the Arab, a peace based on receiving just Judea-Samaria will be a disaster.
To the Arab, the 1947 ‘Palestine’ must be Jew-free. That is the only end-game. Any Arab who signs an agreement for a different end-game is a ‘capitulationist’ (“Futility of current talks between Israel and PA”).
This is not outrageous extremism. It is not fantasy. It’s the middle-of-the-road position for the Arab. It’s what you’ll read every day in Hama/Fatah news.