June 26, 2007

Is This the End of Palestine?

I hope that "palestine", a manufactured entity which was illegitimately conceived in the first place, which was stolen out from under the feet of indigenous Jews, which had no importance for any Muslim Arab prior to 1967, will finally be relegated to the back alley of Islamic ignorance, blood libel, and Jewicide where the placental remains of its aborted afterbirth will rot in a mouldering plastic baggie. From Is This the End of Palestine?:

So what is Palestine? It is an improvisation from a series of rude facts. Palestine was never anything of especial importance to the Arabs or to the larger orbit of Muslims. Palestine was never even an integral territory of the Ottomans but split up in sanjaks that crossed later post-World War I borders, a geographical and political jumble.

When the 1947 UN Partition Plan for Palestine was passed, envisioning a "Jewish" state and an "Arab" (not, mind you, Palestinian) state, even the idea of a separate Arab realm was met at best with a yawn. Though almost no Arab wanted Jewish sovereignty in any of Palestine, virtually no Arab seemed to crave Arab sovereignty, either. Foreign Arab armies did the fighting against the Haganah, and foreign states sat for the Palestinians at the cease-fire negotiations.

Indeed, from 1949 through 1967, what was the West Bank of Arab Palestine was annexed - yes, annexed - by Jordan, and what was the Gaza Strip was a captive territory of Egypt, unannexed so that Gazans had no rights as Egyptians (whereas the West Bankers had rights as Jordanians). The Palestine Liberation Organization, founded in 1964, was not founded to liberate these territories. It was founded to liberate that part of Palestine held by Israel.

The final fall of Gaza to Hamas puts the whole question of Palestine and the Palestinians into a new perspective. There are now three cohorts of Palestinians between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. (Four, if you count the Palestinian majority under Hashemite rule.)

The most serious near-term danger actually comes from the West Bank. Rockets and more precise weapons aimed at the thickly populated heart and narrow waist of Israel from almost any place in what is now Fatah land would revive both the anxieties and military reflexes of Israel. That is why U.S. policy must not assume that there are facile ways to render the West Bank peaceful. What keeps that area more orderly than Gaza is the presence of Israeli troops.