For Palestinian Leaders, Israel Has No Place in Any Part of the Land

At a recent summit of the Arab League in Mauritania, the Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki announced that the Palestinians intend to bring a lawsuit against Britain for issuing the Balfour Declaration in November 1917. Although the move has been much derided, Alex Ryvchin argues that it needs to be taken seriously:

Writing in the Guardian, Ian Black called the latest stunt by the Palestinians “a stretch” that has “attracted more ridicule than serious analysis.” But the tenacity of the Palestinians in pursuing their objectives in international forums must not be underestimated, no matter how inconsequential or misguided these attempts ultimately prove to be.

In foreshadowing the lawsuit, the Palestinian foreign minister railed that the British “gave people who don’t belong there something that wasn’t theirs.” In fact, the Balfour Declaration gave nothing to anyone. It simply expressed British support for the idea that the Jews, a people indigenous to the land, should be able to return there to reconstitute their national home if they so desired following the collapse of Ottoman colonial rule.

It was the League of Nations, the predecessor of the United Nations, and not [Arthur Balfour,] a solitary British minister, that recognized the “historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine” and the “grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.” It further encouraged “close settlement by Jews on the land.”

These binding international pronouncements . . . demonstrate that Jewish national rights were recognized long before the Holocaust made the justice of a Jewish homeland not only self-evident but urgent. They also make nonsense of the proposition, often put by Palestinian advocates, that Israel was allowed to be created by the European powers to make others pay for their sins in relation to the destruction of European Jewry.

Boorish and unconscionable as Maliki’s statement was, it had an unintended virtue. It laid bare the true, but often disguised, Palestinian position that Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people has no place in any part of the land. . . . The Palestinian leaders have also demonstrated the extraordinary lengths to which they will go to mire their people in a sense of grievance and entitlement instead of preparing them for the compromises necessary finally to achieve their own state.

Read more at Spectator

More about: Anti-Semitism, Arab League, Balfour Declaration, Israel & Zionism, Palestinian Authority

How to Turn Palestinian Public Opinion Away from Terror

The Palestinian human-rights activist Bassem Eid, responding to the latest survey results of the Palestinian public, writes:

Not coincidentally, support for Hamas is much higher in the West Bank—misgoverned by Hamas’s archrivals, the secular nationalist Fatah, which rules the Palestinian Authority (PA)—than in Gaza, whose population is being actively brutalized by Hamas. Popular support for violence persists despite the devastating impact that following radical leaders and ideologies has historically had on the Palestinian people, as poignantly summed up by Israel’s Abba Eban when he quipped that Arabs, including the Palestinians, “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”

Just as worrying is the role of propaganda and misinformation, which are not unique to the Palestinian context but are pernicious there due to the high stakes involved. Misinformation campaigns, often fueled by Hamas and its allies, have painted violent terrorism as the only path to dignity and rights for Palestinians. Palestinian schoolbooks and public media are rife with anti-Semitic and jihadist content. Hamas’s allies in the West have matched Hamas’s genocidal rhetoric with an equally exterminationist call for the de-normalization and destruction of Israel.

It’s crucial to consider successful examples of de-radicalization from other regional contexts. After September 11, 2001, Saudi Arabia implemented a comprehensive de-radicalization program aimed at rehabilitating extremists through education, psychological intervention, and social reintegration. This program has had successes and offers valuable lessons that could be adapted to the Palestinian context.

Rather than pressure Israel to make concessions, Eid argues, the international community should be pressuring Palestinian leaders—including Fatah—to remove incitement from curricula and stop providing financial rewards to terrorists.

Read more at Newsweek

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Palestinian public opinion