is afraid of Palestine?
August 13, 2001
might think that Israel's worst nightmare is the establishment
of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. Such a state
would endanger Israel strategically. It would impede Israel's
defense, especially in a ground battle. Everyone knows how
hopelessly narrow the Israeli territory would be. Militarily,
it would be suicide.
so one might be led to think. Yet nothing could be further
from the truth. A Palestinian state is indeed a headache,
but not the Israelis'. It is Arafat who has the most to lose
in such an event.
In fact, the worst thing Arafat can do to Israel is not
to declare an independent state. The reason is that a
Palestinian declaration of independence would mark the end
of the Palestinian national struggle. It would be the equivalent
of Mandela declaring independence in Gauteng or Mpumalanga,
leaving the rest of South Africa to the whites.
not setting up a Palestinian state, Arafat effectively achieves
a strategic goal: it will force Israel into a state of apartheid.
Slowly, the suffering of the Palestinian people will become
apparent to everyone. Their lack of human rights will become
a burning issue.
The Palestinian population, which doubles every 17 years,
will labour under Israeli restrictions and brutality, until
it becomes self-evident that the international community must
intervene. As Arab influence increases in the West, especially
in the US, the media will increasingly cast the Palestinians
in the role of the victim and the Israelis in the role as
villain. This is virtually inevitable because of the inflation
that has occurred in the Jewish victim status.
One cannot purport to be victims and send F-16s to shell civilians.
And one should not underestimate the power of the media. Think
of the impact of Fiddler on the Roof or Shindler's List on
the minds of European and American voters and decision makers.
As soon as the Palestinians begin manage their image in the
West, the tide will turn. The process has already begun.
Arafat, on the other hand, decide to declare a state, three
things are bound to occur: First, he will irretrievably lose
all claims to areas within the Green Line. Second, Palestinian
rejectionists like Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, currently
operating from neighbouring countries, will be asked to leave
by the local governments. They will be asked to continue their
fight against Israel from Palestine. Lastly, he will lose
the plight of the Palestinian refugees. In the event of a
Palestinian state, they will then have a country to return
As long as Palestine does not yet exist, the refugees' only
address is Israel.
if Israel withdraws unilaterally, this will not solve the
problem. By withdrawing without an agreement, Israel will
cause chaos to erupt in the territories. Palestinians will
be barred from participating in the Israeli economy. Palestinian
standard of living will drop and security czars will rule
a cantonised Palestine. At some point, a Palestinian leader
with a vision like Mandela will appear. As soon as that happens,
Israel is finished. Politically, economically, morally.
is what the discussion at Durban Conference on Racism boils
down to. If Zionism is racism then the whole project of Israel
is racist and should be stopped. Not by abolishing Israel,
but by delegitimising Zionism.
Again countries that spoke out when the rest of the world
was silent are beginning to sound the alarms. Peace-loving
states like Norway and Denmark are proposing to enact sanctions
against Israel. In the case of South Africa, sanctions is
what lead to a wide-scale flight of investors in the 1980s.
In the end, the government had no choice but to ease the race
laws that had oppressed the black and coloured populations
since the enactment of legalised apartheid in 1948.
has no doubt realised this. He is making sure that it becomes
impossible for Israel to implement a two-state solution. This
can easily be achieved by a mixture of rejection of Israel's
offers and a covert support of terrorism.
So if a Palestinian state is Arafat's nightmare, what should
Israel do? If Israel is intent on protecting itself against
the trap of apartheid, it should act immediately to make Arafat
an offer he cannot refuse. This will entail an evacuation
of the settlements and the erection of a Palestinian state
with East Jerusalem as its capital. It will entail a comprehensive
and historic solution to the Palestinian refugee problem.
Only then can Israel rest assured that the Palestinians will
be duty bound by their promises to accept the peace deal.
Thereby they will aid us in preserving Israel's Jewish nature
and rescue us from impending moral bankruptcy.
© 2001-2002 Brit