Palestinian recognition of Israel, a Jewish state — Why?

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by Neil Godfrey

This post by Monzer Zimmo is found at http://alcanaanite.wordpress.com/2010/09/07/palestinian-recognition-of-israel-a-jewish-state-why/

Monzer Zimmo is a “Palestinian-Canadian living and working in Ottawa, Canada. Monzer is an advocate of resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through the peaceful creation of a bi-national-democratic state on all the territory of historic Palestine, where Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others live together as equal citizens; be and feel safe, secure, and at home.

Why do Benjamin Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman, and other Zionist leaders insist that “without Palestinian recognition that Israel is the state of the Jewish people, there will not be peace”?  They have declared themselves as such.  They enjoy the support of most European nations, United States of America, Canada, Australia, and many other countries in the world that have no problem whatsoever in describing the state of Israel as such.  Many Arab countries – with leaders suffering from near-sighted vision – would have no problem going along with that concept.  Almost every country with significant military, economic, or diplomatic power and influence either fully agrees with the description of the state of Israel as the state of the Jewish people or has no real problem with it.  So, why does the Israeli leadership insist on demanding that recognition from the powerless, penniless Palestinian leadership?

Here are some thoughts in that regard:

Some say that the likes of Netanyahu and Lieberman enjoy humiliating Palestinians.  Insisting on that demand gives the Israeli leadership the opportunity to further add the insult of surrender to the 62-year old injury of the open wound of the Palestinian people.  Gaining such recognition or not is of little relevance.  Continuing to insult the Palestinian people and to humiliate its leadership is what matters to those Israeli leaders; for that is their aphrodisiac.

Some say that the Israeli leadership does not see peace to be in the best interest of their Zionist experiment in Palestine, for peace would bring the Zionist expansionist project to an end.  Therefore, in order to eliminate any chance for peace, Israeli leaders demand that which they know would be impossible for any Palestinian leader to accept, even if he/she were sympathetic to it.  No Palestinian leader would dare even to ask the question, let alone make the decision to grant such recognition.  Therefore, the Zionist leaders would use Palestinian rejection of Israel as the state of the Jewish people to not have peace, blame it on the Palestinians, and continue with their expansionist Zionist project with the strongest military in the Middle East backed by the unconditional support of the United States of America.

Some say that the Zionist leaders wish to extract a final Palestinian declaration of surrender and acceptance of defeat, thereby declaring total victory for the Zionist project.  In spite of the Palestinians’ loss of their country, the ethnic cleansing that never stopped since 1948, the inhumane impoverished conditions under which millions of Palestinians have been living for more than sixty-two years, and the international acquiescence to covering up the Zionist crimes in Palestine, the Palestinian people never accepted defeat and continued their resistance against the Zionist project that sought their annihilation as a people.  A Palestinian recognition of the state of Israel as the state of the Jewish people would give the Zionists their much-needed satisfaction – which they never enjoyed – of a total undisputed victory.

Some say that such Palestinian recognition eliminates the Palestine refugees’ Right of Return that is enshrined in international law, and specified in UN General Assembly Resolution 194 of December 11, 1948.  Paragraph 11 of resolution 194 states that the UN General Assembly “Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.”).  A Palestinian recognition of the state of Israel as the state of the Jewish people would render implementing this long-overdue resolution 194 to be in conflict and inconsistent with such recognition, for none of the Palestine refugees is Jewish.

Some say that the Zionist demand of Palestinian recognition of the state of Israel as the state of the Jewish people would have as much impact on the future as it would on the past.  In addition to accepting that the Zionists were victorious, such a Palestinian recognition would offer a prior tacit approval for any future act that the “Jewish” state would do to protect its “Jewish character” in the future; including further ethnic cleansing of non-Jewish Israeli citizens every time their numbers threaten the solid Jewish majority that would be necessary to maintain that “Jewish character” of the state.  Since virtually all Muslim and Christian Israeli citizens are Palestinians, a Palestinian recognition of the state of Israel as the state of the Jewish people would do away with – or significantly weaken – all citizenship rights those Palestinian-Israelis had, have, or will have in the future.  Such recognition would deal a significant blow to Palestinians’ struggle for equal citizenship rights in their own country, and prepare the grounds for their ethnic cleansing sooner or later.

In addition to all of the above, there is one more explanation for why Zionist leaders demand Palestinian recognition of the state of Israel as the state of the Jewish people.  Zionist leaders know that their state is not legitimate.  They know that they built their state over the fresh ruins of Palestinian society.  They know that their state of Israel was born in sin; ethnic cleansing, murder, terror, deliberate mass killing of civilians, land robbery, etc.  They further know that they are at the height of their power; they enjoy the unconditional military, political, economic, and diplomatic support of the only superpower on the planet Earth.  They also know that the Palestinian leadership is at its lowest point in its history, desperate, powerless, unpopular among its own people, penniless, totally dependent on the Israeli most powerful ally, and incapable of counter balancing the power of the state of Israel; locally, regionally, or internationally.  Taking all of these facts into consideration, Netanyahu and Lieberman and people around them smell blood.  They see in this current Palestinian leadership their best chance to get the most valuable prize of them all; legitimacy.  By extracting such recognition from the Palestinian leadership, the Zionist leaders believe that they would be gaining Palestinian recognition of the legitimacy of the Zionist project, legitimacy of all past Zionist actions, legitimacy for all future Zionist actions against the Palestinian people anywhere, and legitimacy for all future Zionist actions targeting any form of Palestinian resistance or struggle for equality against the exclusionary nature of the Zionist experiment in Palestine.

In demanding that Palestinians recognize the state of Israel to be the state of the Jewish people, the Zionist leadership is seeking from its victims to legitimize its crimes against them.  In this demand, the rapist is seeking from its rape victim to testify in the Court of history that the act of rape was legitimate.  However, regardless of the balance of power, regardless of blockades, regardless of ethnic cleansing, regardless of the volume of suffering, regardless of apartheid, regardless of destruction, regardless of ugly racism, regardless of hourly discrimination, regardless of unspeakable crimes, regardless of any threat, regardless of any fantasy Zionists might harbour, regardless of the divided Palestinian house, and even if Palestinians face total annihilation from the face of the Earth, the Zionist-sought Palestinian recognition to legitimize the Zionist crimes against the Palestinian people will never happen.  Under certain circumstances, Palestinians would have the capacity to forgive the Zionist crimes; but to give them legitimacy… Naaaayyyy!

Monzer Zimmo
Ottawa, Ontario

Hope is the stuff from which life is made!

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Neil Godfrey

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7 thoughts on “Palestinian recognition of Israel, a Jewish state — Why?”

  1. Why do Benjamin Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman, and other Zionist leaders insist that “without Palestinian recognition that Israel is the state of the Jewish people, there will not be peace”?

    Without arguing whether there should be an Israel or who the morally correct party is, I don’t know why he is shocked at the statement. There really isn’t a point in a peace when the sides don’t recognize the others legitimacy. It wouldn’t be a peace but a ceasefire. We have the same situation with North Korea. There wouldn’t be a point for Kim to beg for peace if the U.S. gave it with the option to invade at a later date. That is what he already has. A peace treaty is a recognition of what ever claims and borders and the issues of the war are settled. If the Palestinians won’t accept any leader that would recognize Israel then it’s too early to talk about peace. Give war another go.

  2. Well, I kinda like the idea of a cease-fire as an alternative to “giving war another go”. I think lots of others in the firing line and their loved ones would feel much the same way, don’t you? (I bet even the Koreans on both sides feel the same way.)

    I urge you to read a recent Christian Science Monitor news article that describes the feelings of many Palestinians behind the news headlines: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2010/0902/Why-most-Palestinians-don-t-support-Israeli-Palestinian-talks-or-another-intifada

    I encourage anyone to look at the news behind the news that most westerners are fed through mainstream media — media reporting which is very often little more than reports of state officials, a bit like the way Pravda used to function, only western media act as official mouthpieces on a voluntary basis.

    How many nations recognized the Apartheid State of South Africa some years back? It was the refusal of much of the world to recognize this state as it existed and was constituted that led to its eventual demise. Does America yet recognize Cuba? How many years before they recognized China? Yet the Palestinians are forbidden the same stance towards the state that has dispossessed them?

    How can anyone who claims to be a modern enlightened citizen of the world still condone recognition of a state based on race and religion instead of equality for all races and religions?

    How can anyone who claims to be on the side of international justice and law condone any state that violates UN resolutions and law by expelling the traditional inhabitants from invaded and conquered territory, destroying their farmlands and seizing control of their water, and much more that we have mentioned so often before?

    No, the 1967 invasion of the West Bank was not a war of preemptive “self-defence” as the lying propaganda of the day and since has had many Americans and some other westerners believe.

    Yitzhak Rabin, who served as the Chief of the General Staff for Israel during the war stated: “I do not believe that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent into Sinai on May 14 would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.” Menachem Begin also stated that “The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.” [Gerner, 1944, p.112] Former Chief of Staff of the armed forces, Haim Bar-Lev (a deputy chief during the war) had stated: “the entrance of the Egyptians into Sinai was not a casus belli,” but argued instead that the Egyptian blockade of the Straits of Tiran ultimately caused the war. Major General Mattityahu Peled, the Chief of Logistics for the Armed Forces during the war, said the survival argument was “a bluff which was born and developed only after the war… …”When we spoke of the war in the General Staff, we talked of the political ramifications if we didn’t go to war —what would happen to Israel in the next 25 years. Never of survival today.”[Time Magazine, 1972, 19 June: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,877748,00.html%5D Peled also stated that “To pretend that the Egyptian forces massed on our frontiers were in a position to threaten the existence of Israel constitutes an insult not only to the intelligence of anyone capable of analyzing this sort of situation, but above all an insult to Zahal (Israeli military).”[Gerteiny & Ziegler 2007, p. 142]

    Nothing has changed in Israeli policy since the Zionist movement intended the removal of the Palestinians from the very beginning: http://vridar.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/zionist-founding-fathers-plans-for-transfer-of-the-palestinian-arabs/ and http://vridar.wordpress.com/2010/07/25/redemption-andor-conquest-zionist-yishuv-plans-for-transfer-of-palestinian-arabs-in-the-british-mandate-period/

    Even in the days of Arafat an Arab plan for a recognition of the State of Israel in return for Israel’s withdrawal from the 1967 occupied territories (http://www.mideastweb.org/saudipeace.htm) has been rejected outright by Israel.

    If you can see that the treatment of the Palestinians has been in any way substantively different from the nineteenth treatment of indigenous peoples in America and Australia (ethnic cleansing and genocide) then I would welcome enlightenment. (Someone always goes ballistic when I use the word “genocide” in this context. I use it as it is defined by the UN since 1948: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_on_the_Prevention_and_Punishment_of_the_Crime_of_Genocide)

    I used to play a little clairvoyant game for a number of years. Every time I read or heard on the news of an offer of a peace initiative or proposal of some kind with Israel by either the PLO, Fatah or Hamas, I predicted that within a week I would read of an Israeli attack and slaughter of Palestinians. I was right every time. It got to the point where I felt any such proposal by any Palestinian group was some sort of ‘death wish’ seeking to provoke Israel into launching another raid.

  3. The peace that China had with the U.S. and Cuba has are/were not of a friendly variety. The U.S. refusal to recognize those states could certainly be interpreted as hostile. If they could have toppled those regimes they would have. While we made a no invasion deal with Cuba, our lack of relations is intended to affect in some small way the collapse of Cuba’s communist government. There really isn’t a point to those governments to be any more gracious to than needed so long as we consider them to illegitimate. The Palestinians shouldn’t expect any good will from Israel so long as they refuse to accept the Israeli state. It would be perceived as a very obvious trick. If Zimmo would like to persuade other nations to withdraw recognition of Israel, fine, but asking Israel to agree to peace without getting recognition is silly. It would be like Nixon asking China to do business and oppose Russia with us but we would still support Taiwan as the legitimate Chinese government.
    I’ll look through your links later, ironically my class on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was canceled today. I find trying to figure out the aggrieved parties in old Ottoman territories is like untangling a box full of old Christmas lights.

  4. I don’t know who Zimmo is but I hope he doesn’t have much clout back in Palestine. It’s is one thing for guys in Canada to sit around and fantasize about the end of Israel. but his advice for Palestinians is based on some rather foolish premises. The idea that the Israelis are planing ethnic cleansing for the Palestinian citizen of Israel in ludicrous nonsense. It is a fantasy of war mongers like the PLO and Hamas to trick the people of Palestine to continue flushing away the future of their children on a fools errand. The Palestinians have everything to gain from peace with Israel, but even if they at some point in the far future win there struggle what will it be worth to them? Will all the dead be worth the chance to live in poverty in a Jew free Israel?

    1. The ethnic cleansing is not a nonsense. It has happened, it has been happening since the 1930s, it is continuing to happen daily, it is a reality that is set down in history and in the pains of people living it right now. See my series beginning with http://vridar.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/zionist-founding-fathers-plans-for-transfer-of-the-palestinian-arabs/ that shows what is happening today is a continuation of what was planned from the beginning.

      There is a difference between a State and a People. To call for the end of a State does not equate with calling for the killing of its people. I sometimes wonder if people confuse these two. Many called for the end of the South African Apartheid regime and the Khmer Rouge of Cambodia. It is good to oppose and call for an end to any state that is based on racism and ethnic cleansing.

      It would be helpful if we all understood that this is what is meant by calling for an end to the Zionist state of Israel. Were Israel to transform itself into a respected member of the international community by virtue of restoration of conquered territories and allowing the return of those it has expelled from their homes with due compensation, and put an end to all discrimination based on race and religion, then the world would rejoice at the end of the current Zionist state that is violating daily basic international law, UN resolutions and Geneva conventions. Nothing has changed with Zionism since it began to plan for its occupation of Arab lands and expulsion of Arabs in the nineteenth century.

      What are your sources of information about Palestine and Israel? Do you read respected Palestinian news sources too to learn both sides of the conflict?

      Please do read that link about what ordinary Palestinians feel and want.

      I also want the end of any state that is based on tribal racism and religious exclusivity. Don’t you? What we all want is a state where Jews and Arabs can live in peace with each other with equal rights for all. If that means the end of a state that expels Arabs and seizes their lands and cries foul when they retaliate, then good riddance to such a state.

      Here is the vision: http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/gilad-atzmon-apropos-peace-talks.html

      Now what is wrong with fantasizing an end like that to the Israel we know today?

      I might add that I have met with quite a few Jews and Palestinians over the years, and others who have lived and worked in the West Bank and Gaza. Please do get to know that Palestinians are no different from any other person, you and me, and they want the same things. It is Zionism, a racist imperialist ideology that keeps its adherents trapped within retarded nineteenth century mentalities when racism and imperial conquest were taken for granted, that is the heart of the problem. And it is succeeding because of seventeenth century religious attitudes dominating enough of the public of America to let their US government get away with backing it to the hilt.

      ETA: Another way to understand the human underbelly of the horrors one sometimes reads about: http://vridar.wordpress.com/2006/11/21/against-paranoid-nationalism-searching-for-hope-in-a-shrinking-society-ghassan-hage-pluto-press-2003-review/

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