The “peace process” between Israel and the Arabs, touted as part of a “two
state” plan, failed not because of disagreements over settlements and
boundaries, but because of a basic false assumption: that Palestinianism could
be fulfilled in a Palestinian state alongside Israel. It failed not because
Israel did not give enough, but because nothing would have been
Paradoxically, the more people urged Palestinian statehood as
part of a two-state plan, the less relevant it became. This is because the issue
was not about Palestine, but Palestinianism. This explains why all diplomatic
negotiations and proposals not only did not work, but could not work.
dispute is not over territory, but ideology – Palestinianism, the basis of their
nearly hundred-year war against Zionism and the State of Israel, the national
historic homeland of the Jewish People. For Arabs, Palestinians and most
Muslims, that struggle is jihad against the infidel.
Since a “peace
process” requires Arabs to give up their opposition to a Jewish state, it
contradicts their basic principles and historic mission. While some might make
temporary concessions, the goal is the same. It explains not only why the “peace
process” failed, but why that failure was and is inevitable.
goal of Palestinian nationalism is to wipe out the State of Israel, not to
legitimize its existence.
Any form of Palestinian statehood, therefore,
that accepts Israeli sovereignty in what Muslims believe is land stolen by Jews,
and a presence that defies Muslim supremacy is, by their definition,
That is clearly evident in the PLO Covenant and Hamas
Palestinianism is not an authentic national identity, but a
political construct developed in the mid 1960s as part of the PLO’s terrorist
agenda. “Liberation” did not refer to Judea, Samaria, Gaza and eastern
Jerusalem, which Arabs then controlled, but to Israel
Palestinianism was a way of distinguishing between Arabs and
Jews, and between Arabs who lived in Israel before 1948 and other Arabs. The
terms “Palestinian Arabs,” or “Arab Palestinians” are not foreign or colonial
descriptions; they appear in their own official documents.
convince Palestinian Arabs to change their concept of Palestinian identity and
accept Israel, therefore, means throwing out the struggle to “liberate Palestine
from the Zionists.” It assumes that their struggle is to achieve statehood
alongside Israel, not to replace Israel with an Arab Muslim state.
explains why Palestinian leaders refuse to submit to Western and Israeli offers,
and why making compromises is anathema. Statehood means denying the Nakba
(catastrophe), the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. It means
admitting that everything for which they fought and sacrificed was in
Palestinian statehood means abandoning five million Arabs who live
in 58 UNRWA-sponsored “refugee camps” in Judea, Samaria, Gaza, Lebanon, Syria
and Jordan, and hundreds of thousands living throughout the world who would no
longer be considered “refugees.”
Statehood means giving up “the armed
struggle” against Israel, the heart of Palestinian identity. It means that the
concept of Palestinianism created by Arabs and the PLO, accepted by the UN and
the media, and even by Israeli politicians was a hoax, a fake identity with a
false purpose. It means that their suffering was for naught.
involves taking responsibility and ending incitement and violence, confronting
the myths of “Palestinian archeology,” and “Palestinian society and culture,”
and it requires building authentic nationalism, with just and transparent
It also means, of course, ending the conflict with Jews,
ending the civil war between Islamists and secularists, between tribes and
clans, ending corruption and lawlessness, the establishment of a truly
democratic government. Accepting Israel means an end to the Palestinian
Revolution, a national betrayal, and an Islamic heresy.
In this context,
for Palestinians, Arabs and most Muslims, a “peace process,” the “two-state
solution” that accepts Israel, is a metaphor for defeat.
As long as
massive funding and proposals for solutions are based on establishing a second
(or third) Arab Palestinian state west of the Jordan River they ignore inherent
contradictions, fan the flames of resentment and undermine Israel’s security and
And, as long as Palestinianism can tap into the unlimited
cesspools of Western Jew-hatred and Arab bank accounts the conflict will
continue. Calls to “end the occupation,” and anti-Israel BDS campaigns are not
about artificial armistice lines, and will not stop there.
peace must be regional, involving other Arab countries and the absorption and
integration of Arab “refugees” and their descendants. Based on false and
misleading assumptions, the Oslo agreements actually made real peace impossible
by not linking promises to performance.
We need to return to reality and
leave dreamy visions and hype where they belong. As they say, ein
The writer is a PhD historian, writer and journalist living in