While completing their final preparations to attack Iraq, the leaders of the coalition promised two things to the world: to preserve the territorial integrity of Iraq and to achieve peace in the Middle East. The former meant that Kurds, once again, would be denied their right of self-determination; the latter implies granting the right of self-determination to Arabs occupying Gaza, Judea, and Samaria.
Here’s an inevitable question: According to what logic must the ancient Kurdish people be forever denied a country of their own, while concentrated efforts of so many countries and international organizations have been directed, year after year, decade after decade, at promoting Arafat’s terrorist organization to nationhood, at Israel’s expense? If someone can provide an answer that does not, explicitly or implicitly, refer to anti-Semitism, I’d love to hear it.
And while I am waiting, most probably in vain, for such an answer, I will ask another question, even more intriguing: Why have all those massive efforts resulted in exactly nothing? Why do the so-called “Palestinians”, despite every attempt by Israel’s enemies to turn them into a nation, remain what they have always been since their inception in 1964 — a terrorist organization?
Until the Six Day War in 1967, the term “Palestinian” meant a Jew living anywhere “between the river and the sea”. Successful efforts of Arab propaganda resulted in an Orwellian switch of the definition. Today’s “Palestinians” are simply Arabs who came from anywhere at all and settled on the land that belongs to Israel. This hardly makes them a people. However, the lack of common ethnic origin alone can hardly be used as a compelling argument against their right to a nation of their own. Nor does it explain the utter failure of all attempts to create such a nation. After all, the American people lack ethnic commonality to a much greater extent than Arabs calling themselves “Palestinians”, and yet even the stupidest enemy of the United States would never deny that Americans are very much a people.
Apparently, there is a powerful factor at work that unites proud descendants of those who crossed the ocean on the Mayflower 15 generations ago with those who flock into the United States today from Mexico City, Minsk or Madras, hoping to eventually receive a Green Card. That factor is known as the “American dream” — a vague term that applies to a vast spectrum of good things not really common outside the United States, from the freedom of speech and religion to a very real opportunity for everyone to earn a decent living for themselves and a bright future for their children.
Israel, also being a country of immigrants, although in a very different manner than the United States, has a uniting idea of its own. The “Israeli dream” is called Zionism. I will prudently abstain from any attempt to define it. Suffice it to say that Zionism manages to unite even those Jews who are unable to agree on the true meaning of the term.
Does it mean that “Palestine” is impossible due to the lack of a “Palestinian dream”? Most certainly not. If the “Palestinian dream” didn’t exist, it could be invented. The problem is much worse. The “Palestinian dream” does exist, and Arabs do not make a secret of it: they dream of Israel’s destruction.
Today, as they did in Golda Meir’s time, Arabs hate Jews more than they love their own children. Unfortunately, this is not a colorful metaphor. This is an exact description of the horrible reality of the Middle East. The intensity of Arab hatred of Jews exceeds the limits of human imagination. Arab mothers proudly send their children to die in exchange for a chance to murder a few Jews — in the street, on a bus, at a restaurant…
I can’t forget the short documentary shown last year in the news: a mother says good-bye to her son. Her farewell is terse and unemotional. She knows her son isn’t coming back: that’s how it’s been planned. She shares her most cherished dream with the reporters surrounding her: she has nine more children; she hopes they will all follow in their elder brother’s footsteps. The shaheed-to-be is dressed in a military uniform and armed with an M-16. He is lanky and somewhat clumsy, like a teenager who grew up too fast and hasn’t learned yet to be comfortable with his new body. He seems to be camera-shy and the final kiss he plants on his mother’s cheek comes out a bit awkward. His tense smile is shy and, I have to admit to myself, not devoid of charm. In a different setting, he could’ve been mistaken for a Jewish teenager. He is about to walk out of the frame and go to a nearby yeshiva. There, he will open fire and kill five students before someone shoots him dead.
One should never underestimate the “Palestinian dream”. Inspired by it, Islamic “martyrs” will shed much Jewish blood. But it shouldn’t be overestimated either, for it encompasses nothing positive, nothing constructive. It is devoted solely to murder and destruction. It is incapable of creating anything but a terrorist organization. To put it bluntly, the “Palestinians” do not want independence. They do not want a country for themselves. They want to fulfill the mandate handed to them by the Arab world — the mandate to destroy Israel. That’s why they never vied for independence until the Arab defeat in 1967. That’s why in 2000, when their state was brought to them at Camp David as a surprise gift, they responded with a new round of war. That’s why today, in the Kafkaesque context of the “roadmap”, they substitute hudna for peace and bluntly refuse to confront terrorist organizations on “their” territory: those organizations are as inseparable from the “Palestinian” Authority as barber-shop-neat puppet Mahmoud Abbas is from his perennially unwashed handler Yasser Arafat.
Building a nation requires genius. In one of Pushkin’s less known works, Mozart and Salieri, Salieri bitterly admits that Mozart was a genius while he himself is not, because “genius and evil are two things incompatible.” This inherent incompatibility explains why there is no “Palestine” today, nor will there be one in any foreseeable future. Attempts by the international community to create a “Palestinian” state can and do hurt Israel in many very real ways. But “Palestine” will forever remain an insincere and, therefore, unrealized dream of anti-Semites.Yashiko Sagamori is a New York-based IT consultant.