By Simon Fischler
Today there is a movement aiming to delegitimize the state of Israel, brand her an apartheid nation, boycott her and force upon her a one-state solution.
The people behind this movement are sophisticated in their propaganda and malicious in their intent.
Israel is both the Jewish nation and a democratic state at the same time (the only democracy in the entire Middle East).
All of her citizens have the right to vote -- Israeli Arabs, Bedouin, Druze and Circassians included.
The Arab Muslim population of Israel has far more rights than in any other country in the entire Arab/Muslim world, an indisputable fact. There are thirteen Arab and five Druze members in the Knesset. In Apartheid South Africa black Africans were not allowed to vote at all.
The Arab Israeli population is free to live, work and play where they want in Israel.
The fact that most Israeli Arabs elect to live in discreetly separate villages is a matter more of historical, cultural, tribal and/or religious choice, but under Israeli law, they are legally free to live anywhere.
Israeli Arabs can marry Jewish Israelis.
In Apartheid South Africa black Africans were not allowed to go to white beaches, were not allowed to use white public bathrooms, were not allowed to marry whites, were not allowed to drink from white water fountains, etc.
The black South Africans were totally segregated from the white community by law.
There is nothing like this in Israel.
The Occupied Territories-
In the occupied territories the Palestinian population has the right to vote for their government, and have twice. However, much to the vocal dismay of some misled, left-leaning activists the Palestinian population cannot move about and live their lives as freely as they had in the past.
Why is that?
In the year Two Thousand, at the Taba negotiations Yasser Arafat was offered full peace, including a Palestinian State on 95-97% of the land of Judea and Shomron (or the West-bank as it is wrongfully called by many today), Arab sections of East Jerusalem, the Muslim and Christian quarters of the Old City and all of Gaza.
Yassar Arafat turned this offer of peace down; Arafat turned down the formation of the Palestinian State. He did this because he wanted everything, not just Palestine: he wanted Israel too.
He insisted that Israel accept the unacceptable: the right of return for millions of Palestinian refugees to Israel.
The idea of Israel taking responsibility for a war started by the Arab population of Mandate Palestine and the neighboring Arab states is totally insane. The “refugees” created by this war can be attributed mostly to the Arab nations that started it. It is a known fact, admitted by many Arabs of the time, that they urged the Arab population of Palestine to flee. Here are some quotes.
ON SEPTEMBER 6, 1948, the Beirut Daily Telegraph quoted Emil Ghory, secretary of the Arab Higher Committee (AHC), as saying: "The fact that there are those refugees is the direct consequence of the action of the Arab states in opposing partition and the Jewish state. The Arab states agreed upon this policy unanimously..."
ON APRIL 23, 1948 Jamal Husseini, acting chairman of the Palestine AHC told the UN Security Council, "The Arabs did not want to submit to a truce ... They preferred to abandon their homes, belongings and everything they possessed."
IN THE MARCH 1976 issue of Falastin a-Thaura, then the official journal of the Beirut-based PLO, Mahmud Abbas ("Abu Mazen", now Prime Minister of the West Bank PA), then a PLO spokesman, wrote: "The Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians from the Zionist tyranny but, instead, they abandoned them, forced them to emigrate and to leave their homeland, and threw them into prisons similar to the ghettos in which the Jews used to live."
ON APRIL 9, 1953, the Jordanian daily al-Urdun quoted a refugee, Yunes Ahmed Assad, formerly of Deir Yassin, as saying: "For the flight and fall of the other villages, it is our leaders who are responsible, because of the dissemination of rumours exaggerating Jewish crimes and describing them as atrocities in order to inflame the Arabs ... they instilled fear and terror into the hearts of the Arabs of Palestine until they fled, leaving their homes and property to the enemy."
These are but a few examples of Arab and Palestinians who attested to the fact that the majority of the Arabs fled the new state of Israel because they were told to by their leaders.
There were definitely situations where the newly formed IDF entered and pushed out Arab communities, but in most cases this was a small proportion. With few exceptions, most of these situations were caused by local Arab populations giving refuge to Arab fighters who were attacking Jewish communities, rendering them viable military targets. What you also do not hear about are the atrocities committed by the arabs against Jewish communities during the Israeli War of Independence. There were far more of these!
In fact there were more Jewish refugees created after the Israeli War of Independence when they were robbed of all their lands and possessions and thrown out of Arab countries. There were a total of 900,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries, compared to 700,000 Arab refugees.
We do not hear about the Jewish refugees today because Israel, unlike surrounding Arab nations and North African Muslim countries, opted to follow the UN partition and managed to win its independence. Israel also then settled these refugees instead of keeping them in refugee camps as the Arabs have done.
One must also remember that neither Jordan nor Egypt allowed the Palestinians, whose areas they were occupying, their independence. Jordan occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem (razing the entire Jewish quarter of the Old City during the War of Independence); Egypt the Gaza strip. They easily could have given the Palestinians their independence. In both cases it was easier to keep these supposed Arab brethren locked up in refugee camps, fomenting hate and creating another generation to fight and kill Jews.
Why would the Palestinian leadership want to have their refugees settle in a state that is not theirs?
Why wouldn’t they want to settle their refugees in their newly formed state?
The only reason for this policy is the unquestionably bigoted and monomaniacal intent to destroy the state of Israel; to wipe out the Jews.