Planet Palestine

Mustafa Barghouti (r) smiles as irrepressable Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh tells a joke at a press conference in Gaza, March 2007.

Mustafa Barghouti (r) smiles as irrepressable Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh tells a joke at a press conference in Gaza, March 2007.

Mustafa Barghouti (not to be confused with convicted multiple murderer and possible next Palestinian President Marwan Barghouti), a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, lives on another planet.

In an op-ed written for the NY Times, Barghouti talks about freedom and non-violence like a 1960’s civil rights activist instead of a representative of a people which practically invented terrorism as its political strategy.

Through decades of occupation and dispossession, 90 percent of the Palestinian struggle has been nonviolent, with the vast majority of Palestinians supporting this method of struggle. Today, growing numbers of Palestinians are participating in organized nonviolent resistance.

Apparently on Planet Palestine, Hamas — whose charter calls for the murder of Jews and whose leader called for the ‘liberation’ of “all Palestine” just this Monday —  did not win a majority in the last Palestinian election. On Planet Palestine, it’s not the case that in 2007, 70% of Palestinian Muslims viewed suicide bombing as sometimes or often justified (Pew survey, 7/24/07) or that 77% of Palestinians say that “the rights and needs of the Palestinian people cannot be taken care of as long as the state of Israel exists” (Pew survey, 6/27/07). Planet Palestine is different from Earth.

On Earth there’s been violent terrorism against Jews by Palestinian Arabs since the early 20th century — long before the ‘occupation’ of Judea, Samaria, East Jerusalem and Gaza, and even before there was a Jewish state. I would like to know — Barghouti must have explained it to the Times’ fact-checkers — exactly what he defines as the ‘struggle’ which has been 90% nonviolent. Where is the ‘vast majority’ he mentions?

In the face of European and American inaction, it is crucial that we continue to revive our culture of collective activism by vigorously and nonviolently resisting Israel’s domination over us.

Translation: because Europe and the US cannot force Israel to make even more suicidal concessions than the near-surrender offered by Ehud Olmert in 2008 and Barak/Clinton in 2000 — concessions, like the ‘right of return’ that would be the end of Israel — then the Palestinians will continue to ‘resist’.

These are actions that every man, woman and child can take. The nonviolent movement is being built in the villages of Jayyous, Bilin and Naalin where Israel’s segregation wall threatens to erase productive village life.

Good one, bringing in the word ‘segregation’ along with ‘freedom’ and ‘nonviolence’. But what happens in Bil’in and Na’alin is not like what happened at lunch-counters and bus stations in the Alabama of the 1960’s. What happens there is that Palestinian ‘activists’, using extreme left-wing Israelis and foreigners as shields, try to physically destroy the barrier which was built in order to ‘segregate’ murderous terrorists on the other side of it from Israel, while Israeli police and soldiers try to stop them without killing them. This ‘nonviolent’ activity usually includes stones and firebombs.

Interestingly, Barghouti seems to have gotten the idea for his bad analogy from our President, of all people!

President Obama, perhaps unwittingly, encouraged this effort when he called for Palestinian nonviolence in his Cairo speech. “Palestinians,” he said, “must abandon violence. … For centuries, black people in America suffered…the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals at the center of America’s founding.”

The problem is that Palestinian goals — goals that are set forth in the founding documents of the main Palestinian political organizations, Fatah and Hamas, are somewhat different from those of black people in America. They are to destroy a state, to liquidate its people, to kill them and take their property and occupy their homes. Barghouti lies,

The demise of the two-state solution will only lead to a new struggle for equal rights, within one state. Israel, which tragically favors supremacy rather than integration with its Palestinian neighbors, will have brought the new struggle on itself by relentlessly pushing the settlement enterprise. No one can say it was not warned.

This is a lie because the inability to obtain a two-state solution has nothing to do with settlements. Israel has shown over and over that it is prepared to uproot its people in the name of peace. Olmert offered the Palestinians 97% of Judea and Samaria plus land swaps, the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem and sovereignty over the Temple Mount… and they refused to take it.

Barghouti says that the struggle is about ‘equal rights’. So ask him if he agrees to recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people. Ask him why the Palestinian Authority did not accept Olmert’s offer, or Barak and Clinton’s before that. What else did they want?

It is not a given that the demise of the two-state solution will be a disaster for the Jews. It could turn out to be a disaster for the Arabs, the second nakba that they fear so much.  Barghouti writes that “there comes a time when people cannot take injustice any more…” This applies to the Jews as well as the Palestinian Arabs.

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One Response to “Planet Palestine”

  1. Shalom Freedman says:

    The other side of this mendacity is the contribution of the NY Times. It persistently distorts the views and actions of the Palestinians, tilting always in the view that they are innocent victims. The ‘Times’ loves any story which taints Israel and gives minor negative events in Israel ‘headline’ status. Once they had Abe Rosenthal and William Safire who were corrective voices. Now they have no one who really speaks for or understands the situation of Israel. A shame and a disgrace.