‘Nationalism’ is the phenomenon of a national or ethnic community desiring self-determination — to live in a state where they are the rulers.
Zionism is certainly a form of nationalism, in which the Jews, finding it impossible to live as second or third-class citizens under regimes either antisemitic themselves or tolerant of antisemitism, sought self-determination. The Jews were happy to accept the 1947 UN partition of what was left of the original Palestine Mandate, because they wanted a state.
The Palestinian Arabs — and the rest of the Arab world — have opposed every partition, from the minimal Peel Commission proposal of 1937, the UN partion of 1947, and the Clinton-Barak offer of 2000. Their ‘nationalism’ is not a desire for self-determination, but exists almost entirely as opposition to the Jewish state on ‘their’ land. Here is Mahmoud al-Zahar of Hamas:
“Palestine means Palestine in its entirety – from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River, from Ras Al-Naqura to Rafah. We cannot give up a single inch of it. Therefore, we will not recognize the Israeli enemy’s [right] to a single inch. — MEMRI
This is not about making a Palestinian state, it’s about negating the Jewish state.
Palestinian actions on the Israel withdrawal from Gaza make this attitude clear. For the first time, Palestinian Arabs had complete control of the Gaza strip. An American (Jewish) donor donated money to buy the greenhouses of the expelled Jewish settlers so that they could be given to the residents intact. Large amounts of money were made available by the EU and others to jump-start the economy in the region.
The response was to destroy everything left standing, to fire mortars at the crossing points between Gaza and Israel, to fire rockets at Sderot and surrounding communities, to use scarce resources to smuggle weapons and explosives from Egypt, to dig tunnels under the border with Israel to kill and kidnap Israeli soldiers, to make it impossible for Gazans to work in Israel or to develop the local economy, to do their best to provoke Israel — in short, to create chaos and make war.
This is not the behavior of a people that desires a state of their own. It is simply an expression of hatred and the wish to destroy, so that they can take what is not theirs.
Well, this is Hamas, after all. What about the ‘moderate’ Palestinians as exemplified by Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas?
Abbas claims that he wants a state alongside Israel, not instead of it as Hamas does. But he insists on the ‘right of return’ to Israel for almost five million descendants of 1948 refugees, something that would end it. He resolutely refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. He does absolutely nothing to suppress Hamas terrorism in the areas he controls, or even the gunmen of Fatah’s own al-Aqsa brigades. And last but not least, he continues to permit the hateful antisemitic incitement against Israel and Jews from every educational, media, and religious organ of the Palestinian Authority that he leads.
Raed Salah is an Arab citizen of Israel who leads the northern branch of the ‘Islamic Movement’. He is the former mayor of the large town of Umm el-Fahm. You could call him a religious nationalist. Here is what he says about Jerusalem:
[Salah] went on to deny any Israeli or Jewish historical claim to the city, denying that there ever existed a Jewish temple on the Temple Mount.
“The claims of the Jews are big lies and they have no right to any speck of dust here,” he said.
And in case there is any doubt of where he is coming from,
During his sermon in Jerusalem’s Wadi Joz neighborhood on February 16 of last year, Salah urged supporters to start a third intifada in order to “save al-Aksa Mosque, free Jerusalem and end the occupation.”
Salah’s speech also attacked Jews, saying, “They want to build their temple at a time when our blood is on their clothes, on their doorsteps, in their food and in their drinks. Our blood has passed from one ‘general terrorist’ to another ‘general terrorist.'”
He also said, “We are not those who ate bread dipped in children’s blood.” — Jerusalem Post
This is the true face of Palestinian ideology, which is not really a form of nationalism but rather an irredentist cult, characterized by a propensity to murder, whose imagery and metaphors are those of blood and death.