TOO LATE FOR A PEACEABLE SOLUTION
By Boris Shusteff
We welcome the Jews to live as dhimmis, but the rule in this
land and in all the Muslim countries must be the rule of Allah...
(Sermon on PA TV, 7/6/01). (1)
The Jews have always tried to coexist with the Arabs. Devoid of a state they were forced to live under a dhimmi status in the Moslem ruled countries. When the modern Zionism was born the socialist-minded Zionist leaders believed that they would peacefully share the land of Eretz Yisrael with the Arabs. More and more Jews would come to Eretz Yisrael and they would eventually constitute the majority of the population. The Arabs would gladly embrace the innovations and the life improvements brought by the Jews and would happily live in the Jewish state.
The reality was absolutely different. The Arabs did not embrace their "saviors." They watched with astonishment and envy how the "newcomers" were transforming the barren land into an oasis. The idyllic dreams of the socialist Zionists regarding the Arabs never materialized. The Jews did not understand the Arabs; the Arabs did not understand the Jews. They knew each other´s languages, but they were unable to bridge the differences in their respective mentalities.
For the Arabs the Jews were the dhimmi people. In the master-slave relationship that they were used to, the dhimmis were not supposed to become the masters. The Jews on their part were unable to understand that even their very small "victory" - another dunam of land that was sold to them by the Arabs as a wasteland and transformed into a garden, was another mortal blow for the Arabs. The children of Islam felt that through these victories the Jews emphasized the Arab inferiority. The Arab world was stagnating for many centuries and it was unacceptable for the Arabs that the Jews were the ones to bring them "progress." They did not need this progress and they did not need the Jews.
The Arab hostility towards the Jews was not born with Sharon´s visit to the Temple Mount, it was not born in 1964 with the creation of the PLO, and it was not born in 1948 with the establishment of Israel. It was always present and simply started to grow from the day that the Arabs realized that the Jewish state is inevitable. Interestingly, the Arabs knew that the Jewish state would come into existence even before the Jews themselves started to speak about it. At the time when no Zionist leaders, with the exception of Zeev Zhabotinsky, spoke about the creation of the Jewish state, the Arabs where discussing its "dangers."
Prior to Israel´s creation the Jewish leaders desperately
tried to convince the Arabs to accept the Jews. On September 15,
1947 a secret meeting was held in London between Abba Eban and
David Horovitz, the Jewish Agencies liaison officers with the
United Nations Special Commission on Palestine and Abd al-Rahman
Azzam, Secretary-General of the Arab League. The transcript of
their talks might be taken for a transcript of talks between
Shimon Peres and Yossi Beilin, and Nabil Shaat and Abu Mazen. The
same topics, the same arguments, the same issues. Eban and
Horovitz then, as well as Peres quiet recently, even said
"that the Jewish state to be was very interested in being
integrated into processes of regional development and in certain
conditions would be glad ´to joining with the Arab States in a
The Jewish eloquence was in vain. Azzam told them that the Arabs "resented [Zionism´s] very presence as an alien organism, which had come without their consent, and which refused to be assimilated to their way of life" (2). The next fifty-four years have been a non-stop reminder to the Jews of this Arab position. NOTHING has changed since. Zionism is still an alien organism to the Arabs. The Jews come to Israel without the Arab consent.
Azzam explained that the Arabs would never accept the Jews. He said:
"[For the Arabs] you are not a fact at all - you are a temporary phenomenon. Centuries ago the Crusaders established themselves in our midst against our will, and in 200 years we ejected them. This was because we never made the mistake of accepting them as fact." (2).
The Arab leader told the truth to the Jewish leaders. They simply did not want to listen to him. The "Jews- Crusaders" motif and the readiness to wait as long as needed is constantly instilled in the Arabs by their leaders. In an interview on December 13, 1981 with the al-Rai al Amm (Kuwait) Hafez Assad said,
"We view the matter from the perspective of the future of the nation and not that of the next few hours, months or years Let us go back to the crusader invasion. Although they fought us for 200 years, we did not surrender or capitulate. They too [like Israel] were a big power and scored victories, while we had been defeated. After 200 years, however, we triumphed. Why are we now expected either to score a decisive victory in approximately thirty years or completely surrender?" (2)
Twenty more years passed and one of the Palestinian Arab "moderates" Faysal al-Husseini continued the theme. In the last interview before his death on June 24, 2001 he told the Egyptian "Al- Arabi, "We distinguish the strategic, long-term goals from the political phased goals, which we are compelled to temporarily accept due to international pressure. If you are asking me what are the Palestinian borders according to the higher strategy, I will immediately reply: ´from the river to the sea.´ Palestine in its entirety is an Arab land, the land of the Arab nation, a land no one can sell or buy, and it is impossible to remain silent while someone is stealing it, even if this requires time and even [if it means paying] a high price" (3).
It is time to ask all those who keep deceiving themselves saying that it is possible through negotiations to achieve peace with the Arabs. Can they explain which of the above excerpts from the statements of the Arab leaders makes them so optimistic? Is it not clear that there is no common ground whatsoever between the Arab position and even the most defeatist Jewish position? Is it not clear that the Arabs are ready to wait infinitely long since they "view the matter from the perspective of the future of the nation and not that of the next few hours, months or years?"
Where did the appeasers find any hints that the Arabs would agree to give them something? Do they not understand that the Arabs will not "accept them as a fact?" How can the Jews deceive themselves hoping that the Arabs voluntarily through negotiations will agree to the Jewish state in "Palestine [that is] in its entirety an Arab land, the land [that] no one can sell or buy?"
The Arabs gave the answer to the Jewish peace overtures long ago. Azzam made it crystal clear in 1947 when he told Eban and Horovitz,
"You will achieve nothing with talk of compromise and peace. You may perhaps achieve something by force of your arms. We will try to rout you. I am not sure that we will succeed, but we will try. We succeeded in expelling the Crusaders, but lost Spain and Persia and may lose Palestine. But it is too late for a peaceable solution You speak of the Middle East. For us there is no such concept; for us there is only concept of the Arab world. For us there is only one test, the test of strength. In any case, the problem is likely to be solved only by force of arms" (2).
It was too late for a peaceable solution in 1947. It is definitely too late today as the Arab hatred towards the Jews has increased exponentially. Nothing will be achieved with talk of compromise and peace. For Arabs there is only one test - the test of strength. The problem can be solved only by force of arms.
1. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). A Friday Sermon on PA TV: "... We Must Educate our Children on the Love of Jihad..." 7/10/01. www.memri.org
2. Efraim Karsh. Fabricating Israeli History: The ´New Historians.´ Frank Cass &Co. Ltd., London, Portland (Or), 1997.
3. MEMRI. Faysal Al-Husseiny in his Last Interview: "The Oslo Accords Were Trojan Horse; The Strategic Goal is the Liberation of Palestine from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] sea" 7/2/01. http://www.memri.org
12 July 2001
Boris Shusteff is an engineer. He is also a research associate with the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.