Master of the obvious

Posted: Apr 20, 2002 12:00 AM
Someone raised the objection to my last column that its main point -- that Arab nations stand in solidarity against Israel in its conflict with Palestinians -- is too obvious even to mention. Hmmm. I happen to think it's abundantly obvious that abortion is wrong, but many don't agree. Paradoxically, sometimes people (even a majority) are blind to the obvious -- and so it needs to be said. The friendly objector then suggested that a more interesting column would be to examine why "the Palestinians hate the Jews with such white heat. Are the Jews 'only' protecting themselves, or are they indeed denying the Palestinians their human dignity and their right to self-determination?" OK, I'll take the bait, even though, as I've written before, this rallying cry for self-determination is a bit of a stretch, considering that no Arab nation left to its own devices is free. And protests about human dignity are hard to swallow from a people whose leadership devalues life to the point of sending its youth to their sacrificial deaths. But before we can answer the question, we need to know how the Palestinians define their right of self-determination. The Palestinian Authority's main beef with Israel is not her "occupation" of the West Bank and Gaza, but Israel's very right to exist. We keep hearing that Israel is not shown on Palestinian maps and that the Palestinians teach their children that Israel is illegitimate. So their position -- that their right to self-determination is impossible as long as Israel exists -- is obvious, right? Another relevant fact bearing repetition is that the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was formed in 1964, three years before Israel acquired the "occupied territories" in a defensive war. If Israel didn't have that land, what was driving the Palestinians? What was the significance of the "L" in "PLO?" From what or whom were they seeking liberation? The best place to find the answer is the PLO's Charter, where their grievances and goals are clearly articulated. Read it for yourself, and you will discover that the Palestinian leadership believes that among other things: -- "The Palestinian Arab people alone have legitimate right to their homeland" (all of Palestine); -- The existence of the state of Israel in Palestine is itself "Zionist Occupation." -- "It is a national obligation to provide every Palestinian with a revolutionary Arab upbringing, and to instill in him a profound spiritual and material familiarity with his homeland and a readiness for armed struggle and for the sacrifice of his material possessions and his life, for the recovery of his homeland. All available educational means and means of guidance must be enlisted to that end, until the liberation is achieved." (This one explains a lot, doesn't it?) -- "Armed struggle is the only way of liberating Palestine, and is thus strategic, not tactical." -- "Commando action constitutes the nucleus of the Palestinian popular war of liberation." -- "The destiny of the Arab nation, indeed the continued existence of the Arabs, depends of the fate of the Palestinian cause." -- "The liberation of Palestine is a national obligation for the Arabs. It is their duty to repel the Zionist and imperialist invasion of the greater Arab homeland and to liquidate the Zionist presence in Palestine." -- "The Partition of Palestine, which took place in 1947, and the establishment of Israel, are fundamentally invalid." -- "The Palestinian Arab people, expressing themselves through armed revolution, reject all alternatives to the total liberation of Palestine." So, regardless of whatever else may drive Palestinian antipathy toward Israel, the immediate root cause is Israel's existence itself. Realization of this obvious truth has profound implications. It means that until the PLO rescinds its Charter, it remains dedicated to the violent extermination of Israel, not just the "occupied territories." If you were Israel's prime minister, would you surrender the "occupied territories" to the Palestinians, knowing that they will use those strategically critical lands to launch further attacks against you until their complete goal is achieved? If a gang of hoodlums attacked you with weapons, and in the process of beating their fannies you were able to confiscate their weapons, would you return those weapons so they could attack you again -- especially if you knew that their gang charter required them to continue attacking you until you existed no more? Of course you wouldn't, unless you're a complete idiot. So it's a stupid question -- a no-brainer -- one for which the answer is embarrassingly obvious. Then, why is it, my fellow colleagues in discernment, that half the world apparently fails to grasp it?