By Valerie Greenfeld
As Israel celebrates 70 years of independence, Palestinian protest and mayhem have become increasingly violent. Hamas, an ally of Iran, is paying Palestinians, who are hurling burning tires, catapulting rocks, and flying kite-bombs attempting to destroy the border fence and the land beyond that is protecting Israel from the Gaza Strip. The annual Palestinian commemoration of the naqaba, or “catastrophe,” ignites Palestinian rage based on the historical fact that Israel exists. This political public relations protest called “The Great March of Return” serves to teach the next generation of Palestinians the false narrative that “returning” to Israel is their “inalienable right.” Even though 97% of Palestinians have never even seen the villages where they demand to “return” because the 4th, 5th, and 6th generations depended on those who chose to immigrate during the war of independence, as it is common during war. But it is uncommon for the 5th generations to claim ownership of a land their forefathers abandoned.
Why is the demand for return so important to the Arab countries and the Palestinians? What does it mean for the Jewish State? After centuries of persecution and suffering, the survival of the Jewish people required a homeland to provide a safe haven from rampant anti-Semitism. Following the Holocaust, the British reluctantly released the land of Israel to the Jews. In the process of building a Jewish nation, the Law of Return invited Jews from around the world to come home. As David Ben Gurion declared Israel’s statehood, thousands of Palestinians fled Israel as they became aware that coordinated attacks by five Arab countries was imminent.
Simultaneously, generations of Jews who lived in Libya, Morocco, Yemen, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, and Algeria for thousands of years were tortured and killed as a part of coordinated anti-Zionist protests.
History proves that Arab nations persecuted their Jewish neighbors, stealing their property, endangering their lives with pogroms, causing over a million Jews to flee their homes in Arab countries for Israel.
Israel invited the 700,000 Arab refugees to return; however, they declined because they did not want to live in a Jewish State. Shortly thereafter, they demanded citizenship in perpetuity, which is absurd and unprecedented. The U.N. passed Resolution 194, giving the option to Palestinian refugees to return to Israel, or be compensated for their property. No UN resolution demanded equity for the Jews forced from their homes in Arab nations. The UN recommended a partition of land with three Jewish sections and four Arab sections and an international capital in Jerusalem. But the Arabs said no.
Again, the UN overstepped its boundaries — the Partition Plan and Resolution 194 both violated the General Assembly UN Charter and Israel’s right to state sovereignty — to make their own laws on their own land.
Still today, Jordanians, Iranians, Iraqis, Saudis, and Gazans of Palestinian descent does not make them Palestinian. Still, they claim to have no home. Of the 22 Arab States, not one country welcomes the Palestinian people. Rejected, ostracized, and abandoned, they are denied entry or are forced out by their own brethren, an issue for which they deserve sympathy, but which by no means should render them Israel’s responsibility. Recent U.N. Resolutions declared a Palestinian state; but a declaration does not make a state. Services have not been provided to Palestinians in Gaza, except by the Israelis, and even humanitarian goods are stolen by Hamas to build terror tunnels.
Arab countries are complicit in the collective suffering of Palestinians in the name of political expediency. Imagine if Israel treated the Palestinians as the Arab nations have, how differently the world would react. Instead, the UN has publicly indicted Israel in the court of public opinion claiming Israel’s lack of human rights. Let’s examine historical facts:
To prolong the Palestinian chess game against Israel’s ‘right of return,’ the 1959 Arab League Decree #1547 disallowed Palestinians from becoming citizens of Arab countries. As a violation of Article 7 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, it was passed in order “to preserve the Palestinian entity and Palestinian identity.” Prolonging Palestinian refugee status serves as a public relations thorn in the side of Israel. Even though Palestinian rights are of no concern to the Arabs, the goal was and continues to be: maintain the conflict by blaming Israel.
In 2005, following the elimination of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship, Iraqi Palestinians were tortured, abducted, and expelled by Iraqis. Over 15,000 Palestinians were “stranded in the desert between Iraq and Syria,” and the Arabs cared not for their people. Kuwait kicked out 40,000 Palestinians in 1991, and later, Libya and Egypt forced 30,000 to abandon their homes. Arab nations also “banned Palestinians from entering their countries because they are involved in terror groups.”
The Hashemite King was the sole Arab leader to allow the Palestinians shelter. “Many West Bankers, were actually Jordanian royal subjects, before 1968, and until at least 1994, they were living under their ‘rightful king,’ in merely the “East Bank” of their so-called country when they were by all means, Jordanians.” Shortly, thereafter, even Jordan disallowed Palestinians to enter without a visa — while informing the refugees that visas are no longer issued. As of 2014, between 2.1 and 3.2 million Palestinians live in Jordan, many without government services or citizenship. Arab nations watch Palestinians suffering without essential humanitarian supplies.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS), boldly exemplifies the majority of Arab attitudes:
“It is about time the Palestinians take the proposals and agree to come to the negotiation table or shut up and stop complaining. The Palestinian issue is not a top priority for the Saudi government. There are much more urgent and important issues to deal with — Iran.”
Nevertheless, Arabs seek to maintain the status quo for two reasons: The promise that Palestinians will change the demographic scales by procreating terrorists in Israel. Secondly, the Palestinian culture of corruption, destruction, abduction, expulsion, torture, terror, rejection, and abandonment by their own people taught them that there is no better place to live in the Middle East than Israel.
While living in Israel isn’t perfect, everyone enjoys freedom, human rights, opportunities for employment, and basic necessities. Arabs are represented in the Knesset, have the right to work under fair and democratic rule of law, and most are prospering. While it is not politically correct to admit, in Israel, Arabs are tasting the good life like nowhere else in the Middle East.
And still, the world accuses Israel of being an apartheid state.
Valerie Greenfeld is the author of Backyard Jihad: How Parents Can Detect the Invisible Threat of Radicalization order the book at www.backyardjihad.com John D. Calvin contributed to this report.