Readers in Council,
The Japan Times,
5-4, Shibaura 4-chome,
Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0023
Since the recent Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip there have been many images available of jubilant Palestinians singing, waving
firearms and flags, to celebrate their reclaimed soil. I understand the importance of these so-called “disengagement” moves by Israel to the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority because sovereignty in the Gaza Strip is an important plank in their platform for statehood.
But as usual, Palestinian pronouncements, repeated in the media, are quite misleading. I cannot agree that the retreat of Jewish settlers and military represents the return of freedom - or even the dawn of it - to the Gaza Strip in particular or to the Palestinian people in general. The historical facts are forgotten or disguised because they do not serve the political whims of the moment.
The Gaza Strip was never Palestinian land to begin with. It was Egyptian land. Israel took it from Egypt through victory in warfare. The same is true of the West Bank. It was never Palestinian land. It was Jordanian land, lost to Israel through defeat in warfare. The Israelis are not and never have been occupiers of Palestinian lands, because those lands were sovereign
territory of Egypt and Jordan, properly lost through war. So tough luck.
So then, who were the Palestinians? For the most part, agrarian serfs on the land of feudal, absentee Ottoman landowners in places like Cairo, Amman, and Baghdad. Fellow Arabs, or fellow Muslims are the traditional worst enemy of the Palestinians, not Jewish Israelis. But a perspective like this is never aired because it’s a brave new world we live in. But I may be wrong.
Printed on Sunday, September 25, 2005 as “Real enemy has not been Israel.”
I am adamant about this point, but it earns me no friends. Arabs are their own worst enemies. Arab militants and terrorists spend more time killing their own than the Israeli Jews do. And still they blame the Jews for it - which some might say is a symptom of their pathology. Arabs are their own worst enemy. Arab terrorists habitually kill within their own communities and ethnic groups. Maybe Pakistanis or Egyptians blame America for terrorist violence, but deliberately ignoring that the perpetrators were religious Arabs. Strange.