By FRANKLYN RYCKAERT
Franklin Ryckaert here argues that “Israel is here to stay” and suggests that the Palestinians would do well to accept whatever little land Israel is ready to offer them.
“The only realistic choice for the Palestinians
is to accept a rump state or no state at all.”
— Franklyn Ryckaert
All the peoples of the world are descendants of invaders. That is a fact. Europe originally belonged to the Neanderthals. To do “justice” to everyone, we would need to remove all peoples everywhere from all the places they now live in and relocate them somewhere else. This is just not feasible.
To hope that the former “Palestine” should be handed back intact to the present-day Palestinians is as unrealistic as hoping that Australia will be given back to the Australian Aboriginals or America to the native American Indians. This is neither realistic nor possible. Dream on.
I’m not going to justify Israel’s injustices and crimes here. All I want to say to the Palestinians is that they have the choice between a little mini-state with some hope of happiness or no state at all — without any hope of happiness. It is a choice between reality or illusion.
This is the reality you Palestinians have to face:
(1) Accept the existence of Israel as a “Jewish state”. Why not accept the idea of an ethnic state? What’s the problem?
(2) Accept a Palestinian state on the West Bank. The major Jewish settlement blocks here will go to Israel in exchange for other territory from Israel which will be given to the Palestinians in compensation — in a negotiated and fully agreed upon swap.
(3) Gaza will be part of that Palestinian state, connected to the West Bank by a special road.
(4) The capital of Palestine will be in East Jerusalem. The Jewish holy places of Jerusalem will be part of Israel. The Dome of the Rock will go to Palestine, but will be accessible to Jews for Jewish religious ceremonies.
(5) The Palestinian state will be demilitarized so as not become a security threat to Israel, like Hamas controlled Gaza became.
(6) Israel and the international community will render financial help to develop the new Palestinian state.
(7) Since the new Palestinian state will be too small for all the 12 million Palestinians who have grown from the original 1.4 million, the majority of the Palestinians in the diaspora will have to stay where they are. They will not be allowed to return en masse to the new Palestine.
All this is acceptable to all reasonable Israelis, to America, and to the majority of the international community. This is the only reality you can hope to get. It is not “historical justice”, it is a pragmatic solution — the best you can get IF you are realistic.
If you refuse to accept reality, if you keep on dreaming about your illusion of “liberating all Palestine”, you will get nothing. Nothing but continuous suffering. The Jews will build more and more settlements on the West Bank and will drive you into ever smaller “Bantustans” where you will vegetate in poverty. New intifadas and spectacular terrorist attacks will be met with harsh suppression and accomplish nothing.
So the choice is yours!
— § —
I am talking in practical, not theoretical terms. The Israelis would never agree to “repatriate” to their countries of origin, no matter what august international body should demand that. Israel has been recognized by the United Nations. So the only realistic choice for the Palestinians is to accept a rump state or no state at all.
We cannot compare the situation in Europe with Israel/Palestine. Muslims in Europe have no legal right to stay there if they are unwanted. Many went there as “guest workers”, like the Turks to Germany. Or they entered Europe as “refugees”. Their presence was always assumed to be temporary. Apart from this, they have no historical claims on Europe as the Jews have on Palestine — not without some justification.
After all, Jews once lived in the Holy Land, but Africans were never a part of Europe.
— § —
In demanding a Palestinian state, the Palestinians are not being realistic. To obtain that state, the very least they would need is the full support — both moral and military — of other Arab or non-Arab Muslim states. They would need solidarity. This they lack.
Consider that “legendary Arab Leader” Jamal Abdul Nasser was happy to make peace with Israel because it suited Egypt. Jordan did the same. Neither Egypt nor Jordan rallied round he Palestinians and gave them the unflinching support they might have done.
In addition, Israel has open relations with Turkey and secret relations with Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states and Morocco. The other Arab states are too weak to be a nuisance to Israel. No Muslim state, not even Iran, is really interested in waging a war with Israel for the sake of the Palestinians, about whose fate they don’t really care that much — beyond the occasional rhetoric.
So that leaves the Palestinians all alone against the army of Israel with its 160,000 soldiers, 4,170 tanks, 684 aircrafts and 26 per cent of the Jewish population with active reserve status. A hopeless situation, it would seem. A handful of pygmies against an army of giants. Of course, the Palestinians can always throw stones and shout “Allahu Akbar!” if they wish. Will throwing stones and shouting religious slogans liberate Palestine? I doubt it.
So let’s have some realism.
— § —
Let’s get back to basics. What is the realistic choice facing the Palestinians? Under the present conditions — i.e. a Jewish state infinitely more powerful than the Palestinians and unwilling to abolish itself — the Palestinians have only one choice: either a rump state or no state at all. The third choice often mentioned, generally presented as just and fair in international as well as natural law, is of course the repatriation of the Jewish invaders and occupiers to their countries of origin. For most of them, this would involve sending them back to Europe or Russia. This is not realistic and will not happen. They won’t want to go. And who can force them?
The only international legal body that could demand the Jews to repatriate would be the United Nations. This is most unlikely to occur, given that the UN was the first official body to recognize the existence of Israel. Whether the UN was created by the Rothschilds or not, or was not entitled to “give away land that did not belong to it”, is totally irrelevant to this debate, which is about realistic possibilities.
As for the settlements on the West Bank being “illegal”, if Israel would make an agreement with the Palestinians that the major settlement blocks go to Israel in exchange for other land of Israel, then the UN would accept that, and thus those settlements would become legal too.
It is all a question of the realism of power: realpolitik. Moral “principles” don’t enter into it. The world doesn’t function according to moral principles. In the struggle for existence in a red-in-tooth-in-claw world, might is right. The victors write the history books and the winners call the shots. That’s how it is.
Whether the Jews are “God’s Chosen People” or not, and whether the Holocaust is a fraud or not, the Jews have a state of their own in Palestine right now. They are not going to give that up. They are there to stay.
As for the Jewish historical claim on Palestine being “ridiculous”, well yes, it is partly ridiculous, but it’s also partly justified. The Jews once had a state in Palestine. That is an historical fact. True, that state existed roughly 2000 years ago, which is the ridiculous part of it.
If the Jews have managed to get back a country they lost 2000 years ago, then there is nothing to stop the descendants of the present-day Palestinians trying to get back Palestine 2000 years from now. Ultimately, all conquered lands are taken by force and can only be kept by force. They cannot be kept if there is weakness.
My advice to the Palestinians? Make peace while you can. Better a rump state than no state at all.