Defining Israel as a Jewish state is something that arouses concern, according to Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit who spoke to the Al Arabiya network on Monday.
Aboul Gheit feared for the fate of Israeli Arabs in the case that the UN approves a decision to define Israel as a Jewish state. “Would they give them all the citizens rights that they deserve? Would they remain a minority or could it be that they would be deported?” Aboul Gheit said in the Al Arabiya report. — Jerusalem Post
[As an aside, there’s a bit of hypocrisy here. While the Egyptian constitution calls for the protection of religious and other minorities, in practice this is not realized. Discrimination against Christian Copts and members of the Bahai faith are widespread and ignored by authorities.]
Aboul Gheit isn’t the only one. Our ‘partner’ Mahmoud Abbas also worries about the danger posed by an explicitly Jewish state:
Abbas said that in recent meetings with leaders of the Jewish community in the US, he made it clear that the Palestinians would not recognize Israel as a Jewish state. “I told them that this is their business and that they are free to call themselves whatever they want,” Abbas said. “But [I told them] you can’t expect us to accept this.”
Abbas said that by raising the issue of Israel’s right to be a Jewish state, Netanyahu was seeking to “strip” Israeli-Arabs of their rights and turn them into illegal citizens. He said that Netanyahu’s goal was also to block any chance of Palestinian “refugees” from returning to their original homes inside Israel.
On the face of it, the charge is ridiculous. After all, Israel has defined itself as a Jewish state since its founding. And during that time Israel’s Arab minority has had full civil rights, if not the national rights that they demand. When Meir Kahane’s Kach party advocated the transfer of Arabs out of Israel — including Israeli Arabs who did not agree to follow the seven Noachide Laws (which would preclude terrorism) — his party was categorized as ‘racist and undemocratic’ and banned from participating in the 1988 election.
So is this just the usual Arab delegitimization of Israel? Yes, in part, but something else is going on here that is worthy of note. It’s what I call ‘political projection’.
Here’s an explanation of the psychological concept of projection:
According to Sigmund Freud, projection is a psychological defense mechanism whereby one “projects” one’s own undesirable thoughts, motivations, desires, and feelings onto someone else. Emotions or excitations which the ego tries to ward off are “spit out” and then felt as being outside the ego…perceived in another person… To understand the process, consider a person in a couple who has thoughts of infidelity. Instead of dealing with these undesirable thoughts consciously, they unconsciously project these feelings onto the other person, and begin to think that the other has thoughts of infidelity and may be having an affair.
Sound familiar? It should. In fact, I would say that you can often tell what the Arabs want to do to the Jews by what they claim the Jews are doing to them.
They accuse Israel of being a racist, apartheid state, of ethnic cleansing, even of genocide. But think about Arab attitudes, their leadership and their behavior.
To modify a famous remark by Tip O’Neill, in the Arab world all politics is ethnic and religious. Ethnic cleansing is the rule rather than the exception. When the Jordanians captured Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem in 1948, all the Jews living their were driven out at gunpoint. Does anybody doubt that one of the conditions for the state of ‘Palestine’ will be that it will not have Jews living in it?
The part about the ‘refugees‘ is interesting. It seems as though Abbas believes that there is some chance that Israel can be forced to permit the entry of millions of hostile claimants to ‘Palestinian nationality’, although everyone knows that this would be suicidal.
But not only do the Palestinians project on the Jews their own bloody designs, they also do the reverse — they usurp themes from Jewish history and apply them to themselves. In this story, ‘return’ makes sense.
According to them the ‘nakba‘ can be compared to the Holocaust (President Obama believes this one), there was a great Palestinian civilization that goes back centuries, and the descendants of former inhabitants have a right of return. They spend a great deal of energy trying to deny Jewish provenance in the land — Arafat claimed that there never was a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount — and inventing their own (including a ridiculous theory that Palestinian Arabs are the descendants of biblical Canaanites).
The realities of Palestinian Arab history, from the recent beginnings of nationalism in the 1920’s through their self-definition as a ‘people’ after 1967, and all along the effort to prevent the assimilation of the refugees or the amelioration of their condition, as well as the embrace of murder and terrorism (even suicide terrorism) as a preferred tactic — all this is ignored, as is the true nature of their racist founding fathers, al-Husseini and Arafat.
The Palestinian Arabs, despite everything they say about their culture, have only managed to define themselves in opposition to the Jews.
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