Nakba Day - Refusing To Recognize The Nation State Of The Jewish People
This weekend, Israeli Arabs and Palestinians took to the streets to protest the existence of the state of Israel. Clashes with IDF forces resulted in deaths and injuries, as Israeli troops tried to quell the riots.
In an alleged terrorist attack on Israeli citizens in Tel Aviv, a truck driven by an Israeli Arab crashed into pedestrians and cars, killing one person and injuring more than a dozen others.
Clashes also occurred on the northern border with Syria and Lebanon, as Palestinians and Druze tried to cross into Israel, resulting in the deaths of several protestors. IDF forces also clashed with Palestinians in Gaza, in the West Bank, and in Jerusalem.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians joined in protests throughout the world.
The occasion is Nakba Day, the day of “catastrophe” for Arab and Palestinian communities in the Middle East, who are protesting the League of Nations decision on May 15, 1948, to establish the modern state of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people.
In a cabinet meeting this weekend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated: “I regret that there are extremists among Israeli Arabs and in neighboring countries who have turned the day in which the State of Israel was established, the day on which the Israeli democracy was established, into a day of incitement, violence and rage. There is no place for this; for denying the existence of the State of Israel; No to extremism and no to violence. The opposite is true.”
For two years now, since Netanyahu became Prime Minister of the State of Israel for the second time in his political career, he has entreated the international community to recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. During his tenure, he has also spent much time laboring over the fact that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has not wanted to enter into direct negotiations with Israel, except during a brief period last year. Abbas has also been unwilling to recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people.
During Nakba demonstrations, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has called on Moslems in Gaza to pray for the end of Israel. This coincides with the Hamas charter which calls for Israel’s destruction. Now that Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank have reconciled and signed a unity agreement, the new government they form can be expected to follow in the footsteps of Hamas -- no recognition of Israel.
In the meantime, over 150 countries throughout the world have recognized and supported the establishment of a Palestinian state. In September, Abbas plans to go before the UN General Assembly, unilaterally declaring statehood, hoping to take future peace negotiations out of the hands of American brokers, and into the hands of international diplomats within the UN, Quartet and EU. If the UN officially recognizes Palestinian statehood this paves the way for direct negotiations between “Palestine” and Israel, which would give the Palestinians equal footing, diplomatically, in a land they do not possess, except in their own verbal decrees.
In this kind of environment, Hamas says it will accept, for a limited time only, a Palestinian state on the land beyond the 1967 Green Line. This is spelled out in the Arab Peace Initiative. This would include all of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria). A Hamas-Fatah government would agree to a temporary cessation of violence against Israel. They would also allow Palestinian negotiators to enter into a temporary peace agreement with Israel, until, at which time, the unified government felt Israel was weak enough to go to war against the Jewish state. Then they would look to occupy all of the territory that is currently the Jewish homeland. These are the intentions of both Hamas and Fatah whether clearly stated publicly or not.
This is a plan that Abbas is willing to accept for the Palestinian people, along with solving the so-called Palestinian “refugee” problem. Recently, Abbas reiterated that the “refugees” must be able to return to their homes in Israel in any negotiated peace settlement.
In 1948, rather than accepting a two-state solution, the Arab world went to war against Israel. They told Israeli Arabs to flee Palestine, and most did. The Arab nations lost that battle, dubbed “Israel’s War of Independence”. Now, the children of that generation want to return to the area. What is the goal of these Palestinians who today live in Lebanon, Jordan, Gaza, the West Bank, and in other parts of the world? They do not want to enjoy the privileges of their own independent state in the West Bank and Gaza. A majority of these “refugees” want to use the keys given to them by their ancestors and take over Jewish property in Israel which they continue to claim belongs solely to them. If they do not recognize the state of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, then as they lay claim to homes and apartments in the land, would they not be expected to try and expel the Jews?
Currently, Netanyahu is being pressured by the international community to offer more concessions to the Palestinians, through a new diplomatic initiative he is supposed to spell out before Congress and AIPAC, in the coming days. Pressure is mounting, again, from the U.S. Administration as well as Europe, to get Netanyahu and Abbas back to the peace negotiating table no matter what turmoil is going on in the Middle East. Upheaval in Arab countries; clashes on Israel’s borders; uprisings in the West Bank and Gaza; riots on the streets of Israeli neighborhoods; demonstrations throughout Israel, the Middle East and the world are, supposedly, all because these two men haven’t achieved peace. This is what many leaders in the global community believe.
The question is, what can Israel offer the Palestinians that would satisfy their appetite when the Palestinians have already declared their intentions? Whether it is step-by-step, accepting the partial plan of Palestinian statehood on part of the land, pushing Israeli communities back to the Green Line; or, whether it is the intention of taking the whole land by peace or by war, it is clear what they want. Yet, it is still not clear to the international community what the aspirations are of the Palestinian people.
In fact, American and European diplomats are looking to find a way of accepting a unified Palestinian government even without the stipulation by the Quartet that Israel be recognized by Hamas. Abbas has provided an answer for them. If the international community will accept that the newly formed Hamas-Fatah government will consist of technocrats, and not political leaders, then there won’t be a problem. In other words, because these technocrats would simply be figureheads, not involved in political negotiations with Israel, and not involved in violent force against Israel, this would pave the way for the international community to accept the Palestinian unity government.
Independently, Abbas could keep pretending that he wants to negotiate with Israel; the international community could take ownership of the peace process; and, Hamas could keep launching rockets on Israel’s southern communities. Riots, violent demonstrations, terrorist attacks, and flotilla wars against Israel could continue in the name of “freedom fighters” who are just trying to help the Palestinians lay claim to their state. The new Palestinian unity government could distance itself from these more radical elements within their society, who they would claim they have no control over.
This way, all parties would be content except Israel. The Jewish state would know no peace; have no defensible borders; and the very survival of the country would be at stake.
If today’s Nakba demonstrations are any indication, there is no love lost between Israel, the Palestinians, and neighboring Arab countries. As time goes on, Israel should be distancing itself from a failed process of peace that is only bringing more violence to its borders and within its society. Proving that it has the ability to defend itself when provoked by rage and incitement, Israel must unify as the nation state of the Jewish people; and, along with pro-Israel supporters throughout the world, stand strong in the face of growing adversity, worldwide.
“Why do the nations rage and the people plot a vain thing?” Psalm 2:1
Ms. Haves is a news analyst, reporting on political, diplomatic, military and spiritual issues in Israel and the nations.
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Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright ©1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.