Original Thinking: Palestinian flags over Jerusalem

Let’s not be too downhearted. There are other solutions to a failed two-state paradigm that do not include a one-state answer. These alternatives have simply not been allowed the air and space to germinate and take hold.

Abbas 521 (photo credit: Marc Israël Sellem )
Abbas 521
(photo credit: Marc Israël Sellem )
Mahmoud Abbas said on November 11 that Palestinians “would continue the march until victory when Palestinian flags are hoisted over the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem and its mosques and churches.”
As if this wasn’t bad enough news, notice he did not say anything about synagogues, or Jewish holy places. In case you were wondering, this has nothing to do with his respect for our sacred sites. He hasn’t got any. On the contrary, if we are to believe what official Palestinian TV News is saying.
The Palestine Media Watch NGO of Itamar Marcus exposed an item: The Palestinian Authority has denounced the existence of any Jewish history in Jerusalem. In this report, it claimed that the Jewish Temple “exists only in the minds of radical organizations.”
Not only do they deny Jewish identity to Jerusalem and the land, they actively reject and destroy all evidence and facts placed before them.
Instead, they invent an ancient Palestinian history in its place. The Palestinian Authority, from Abbas down, accuses Israel of stealing Palestinian heritage when confronted with the evidence of our history.
So what hope is there for mutual understanding and recognition? There is none.
What do Palestinian flags flying over Jerusalem mean in real-estate terms? And what are the potentially explosive repercussions of such a move? Would they be hoisted over the Temple Mount, the Western Wall? They have already said they do not recognize such a place.
What about David’s Citadel, or the Hurva Synagogue? Will you be willing to stand in Mamilla and see Palestinian flags flying over the walls of the Old City and Zion Gate? Apparently, those who support the division of Jerusalem would. They naively think this would herald peace.
The battle for real estate comes down to this. Can you see Hadassah University Medical Center-Mount Scopus and the Rockefeller Museum under the sovereignty of a Palestinian Authority? Will Christians, worldwide, tolerate having the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the hands of the Palestinians? Do they care, at all, who are the guardians of their holy shrines? How about the Mount of Olives?
And here’s the clincher. Even if Israel were to be naïve enough to hand over this real estate to Palestinians, will we be able to live with ourselves, will be able to live, when Hamas takes over the feeble Palestinian Authority and rules over these vital assets in the heart of Jerusalem? What would we have sacrificed for peace when that day comes, as it inevitably will? Will we see the Islamic flag, alongside the Palestinian one, flying over sacred Jewish and Christian sites, announcing yet another conquest in their regional and global crusade? At that point we will realize, too late, that our “peace gesture” was, in reality, surrender and submission to their will.
On that day, will the Hebrew University be renamed the Islamic University? Surely it is better to live with their “Nakba” than to perpetrate our own? As if this wasn’t bad enough, in June 2012, an Egyptian cleric close to newly elected President Mohamed Morsi, in an amazing display of Islamic chutzpah, claimed Jerusalem will be the capital of Egypt under Muslim Brotherhood rule.
Safwat Hagazy said on Egyptian religious Annas TV, “Our capital shall not be Cairo, Mecca or Medina. It shall be Jerusalem, with Allah’s will. Our chant will be ‘Millions of martyrs will march towards Jerusalem!’” I wonder what the Palestinians think about this, that their new capital will be overrun by an emerging Egypt? What is meant is that Jerusalem is to be the center of the Islamic global caliphate achieved on the back of the Palestinian movement, even if they have to take it by force. Hagazy proved this by adding, “Yes. We will either pray in Jerusalem, or we will be martyred there!” Masked rioters have already been seen carrying the green Hamas flag through the streets of Jerusalem. Better to give it peacefully to the Palestinians and avoid the bloodshed, we are told. No self-respecting Jew would tolerate this hideous scenario.
All this is not to say we should cease striving for a solution to the Palestinian problem, if only to get them off our backs. It may take the form of a two-state solution. It may take other forms. Clearly, after decades of failure, it will require creative, even original, thinking.
Perhaps a two-state solution is not the answer? Despite the overwhelming opinion that this, and only this, is the only game in town, it is obviously not happening. How can it given our negotiating partner.
Who, on the other side, can deliver a final and permanent peace to us, even if we were to give them everything they want? Who, in fact, speaks for the Palestinians – all the Palestinians? Answer: No one.
So let’s stop dreaming and get real. Let’s not waste time trying to persuade a weak, cowardly, rejectionist and devious leader of a Palestinian minority who, in recent local elections in the West Bank, failed to secure majorities in any of the main towns and cities, including Ramallah, to recognize the Jewish state and live in peace alongside us.
It’s a futile exercise. It’s something he is loath to do. In any case, even if he agreed on a deal he is incapable of delivering any solution.
The Palestinian Arabs, beyond his parochial parish area, have no intention of settling for anything less than the elimination of the Zionist entity.
It is clear, from their public incitement and declarations, that none of them has any desire to live alongside us in peace and harmony.
On the contrary, as we recently witnessed, they really want to kill us.
A people whose bible doesn’t mention Jerusalem once, a people who, when they pray in Jerusalem do so with their backsides facing the Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock, cannot claim Jerusalem as a capital based on religious grounds, despite their protests.
In truth, they want it as a statement of conquest, to plant their flag to displace the Jewish infidel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem. It’s less about having their state. It’s more about destroying our state and planting their victory flag over Jerusalem.
Planting a flag is a sign of sovereignty, but sovereignty over what? A state, or a staging post? Here’s what Yasser Arafat said back in 1993;  "...the Palestinian state is within our grasp. Soon the Palestinian flag will fly on the walls, the minarets and the cathedrals of Jerusalem.
"Since we cannot defeat Israel in war, we do this in stages. We take any and every territory that we can of Palestine, and establish sovereignty there, and we use it as a springboard to take more. When the time comes, we can get the Arab nations to join us for the final blow against Israel.”
Interesting to note that he said this on the same day he signed the Declaration of Principles on the White House lawn with president Bill Clinton and Israel’s Yitzhak Rabin.
Such is the deception of the Palestinians. Can we believe that Mahmoud Abbas, raised in the spirit of Arafat, is any different? Jerusalem is the springboard to the rest of Israel.
Mahmoud Abbas holds to the same desire as Hamas, which recently declared, during its recent missile attacks on Israel: “We are announcing a war against the sons of apes and pigs, which will not end until the flag of Islam is raised in Jerusalem.”
Hamas’s Ismael Haniyeh went further. At an international conference, believe it or not on education, he said, “Israel is a cancerous tumor that must be removed and uprooted.”
So you tell me if flags over Jerusalem will be a sign of peace, or a warning of future provocations and violence? Some people see Palestinian flags flying over Jerusalem as a positive end to conflict. Believe me when I say that this will be no paradise.
They will not be lovely pennants of peace. Rather they will result in hell. These flags will be banners of war, leading to a continuing desire for conquest as expressed by Arab leaders.
It is time for crisis management, not crisis solutions. In politics, as in business, you should only enter into crisis solutions when you are absolutely sure that everyone gathered around the table is ready, honest and capable of delivering a permanent agreement. Do we have that with the Palestinians? Absolutely not.
Given a referendum, the majority of Israelis would readily accept a pragmatic and guaranteed end of conflict agreement. Nobody can claim this to be true of the other side. Crisis solution, therefore, is out of the question when the opposing proponent is a minority representative of a fractious society and has proven to be incapable of uniting his people around him. Hence, crisis management and original alternatives must be the order of the day.
Let’s not be too downhearted. There are other solutions to a failed two-state paradigm that do not include a one-state answer. These alternatives have simply not been allowed the air and space to germinate and take hold.
But time is on their side, and Palestinian and Islamic flags over Jerusalem are certainly not an option.
Barry Shaw is the author of Israel Reclaiming the Narrative. He is also the special consultant of delegitimization issues to The Strategic Dialogue Center at the Netanya Academic College.