What the enemies of Israel learned from the 20th-century fascists.
A recent poll commissioned by The Israel Project (TIP) found that “[a] majority of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza view the two-state solution as a precursor to one state – a Palestinian state." According to the poll, which was conducted by Stanley Greenberg of Greenberg, Quinlan & Rosner Research, “Palestinians have not reconciled themselves to the long term existence of the Jewish State.”
The poll points out that “[a]lthough 23% accept the statement that 'Israel has a permanent right to exist as a homeland for the Jewish people,' two-thirds agreed with the statement, 'over time Palestinians must work to get back all the land for a Palestinian State.'" Sixty percent of the Palestinians were surprisingly honest with the interviewers, making it clear to the pollsters that “the real goal should be to start with two-states but then move it to all being one Palestinian State.”
Anyone who was more honest and realistic than President Obama and his clique, the Israeli political Left, and most of the European Union officials, would discern the strong irredentist tendencies among the Arabs and the Islamists. For the so-called Palestinian “secularist” of the Fatah variety as much as for the Islamist Hamas, virtually all the land now controlled by Israel belongs to the Waqf -- the Muslim religious endowment. In addition, lands that Islam has lost (such as Israel and Spain) must be reconquered. The duty of the faithful is to regain control of lost lands and establish Sharia (Islamic law) as the law of the land. Furthermore, the Islamic ummah (nation) must continually expand. According to Islamic teachings, the earth belongs to Allah, and any part of the earth that does not presently follow Sharia, must be made to do so – by force if necessary.
President Obama, the State Department, and a large segment of academia and the media, refuse to see the Arab-Israel conflict as a religious one. They fail to recognize a fundamental reality, which is that in the Muslim world, there is no separation between mosque and state. Most of the Arab world adheres to Sharia law – which, in addition to setting the path for how a Muslim lives on a daily basis, also proscribes accommodation with non-Muslims and non-Arab political entities. This is one of the reasons why the 40 million largely Muslim but non-Arab Kurds do not have an independent political state, and why Israel as a Jewish state is not accepted as legitimate in the Arab Middle East. This is a reality the progressives in the West refuse to accept.
German Nazism and Italian Fascism of the 1920s and 1930s were racist ideologies that attracted and inspired the Arabs. The Baath party that would take root in Syria and Iraq was spawned from these totalitarian systems. Baathists were drawn to the repressiveness of Nazism and Fascism rather than to the Western democracies of the U.S., Britain, and France. The Arab political elites, including those in the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, aligned themselves with these extremist worldviews and, during WW II, worked with Nazi Germany.
Yaser Arafat, who founded Fatah in 1959 in Cairo, was heavily influenced by the nationalist and Islamist teachings of Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. Arafat drew inspiration from Hitler’s incremental conquest of Europe. Arafat agreed to sign on to the Oslo Accords, which he regarded as a “trojan horse,” because he saw Oslo as an opportunity to take advantage of the West’s appeasement tendencies. As the Nazis gained the Sudetenland, so Arafat hoped to gain Israel – piece by piece.
For Hitler, much like Mahmud Abbas, Chairman of Fatah and the Palestinian Authority (PA), the solution for Czechoslovakia was a two-state solution. The 3.2 million Sudeten-Germans and the section of Czechoslovakia in which they lived were to become part of the German Third Reich. Hitler incited Konrad Henlein, leader of the Sudeten-Germans Peoples Party, to employ terror against the democratic Czechoslovak state. Anticipating the chaos that the Sudeten-Germans would cause and the inability of the Prague government to control it, Hitler demanded that German troops occupy the Sudetenland (Abbas would likewise demand militarization of the West Bank, thus exposing Netanyahu’s rhetoric of a demilitarized West Bank as empty). Hitler further demanded that the areas of Czechoslovakia where Magyars and Poles were a majority should be returned to Hungary and Poland respectively.
No doubt Abu Mazen (Mahmud Abbas) or his successors would eventually demand the annexation of the Galilee in northern Israel to the Palestinian state by virtue of it being a majority Arab-populated region. The area between Tiberias and Hadera (the "Triangle"), which has an Arab majority, would then seek to join the Palestinian state. Like the Sudeten-Germans in Czechoslovakia, its people would engage in terror against the Jewish state with active help from the Palestinian state.
The U.S., Russia, the U.N., and the E.U. would, no doubt, consider the demands of the Arab-Palestinians legitimate, if for no other reason than to stem Arab anger and aggression -- which is exactly what was done in Munich in 1938. With Mussolini of Italy as the mediator, the four powers: Germany, France, Britain, and Italy (The Soviet Union and, more importantly, Czechoslovakia were not invited) agreed that the Sudetenland should be annexed to Germany. Moreover, the government of Czechoslovakia was warned by Britain and France that if it rejected this solution, it would have to fight Germany on its own. This would very likely be the stance the U.S., Russia, the U.N., and the E.U. would take with regard to Israel.
It is inconceivable to clear-minded people that the Palestinians would ever be content with a tiny state that would require Israel’s consent for a land bridge between Gaza and the West Bank (in itself a risky proposition for Israel). Furthermore, this is only possible under the assumption that Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza would make peace with each other. If they do not, then a West Bank-based Palestinian state would have no outlet to sea. This would stifle commerce and, given the lack of natural resources, the Ramallah-based Palestinian State would be an economic basket-case and a welfare burden on the international community.
President Obama is sure to give Israel security and diplomatic guarantees, but the democracies in 1938 made a similar commitment to Czechoslovakia -- and we know how quickly those commitments were abrogated. Hitler’s Mein Kampf laid bare his intentions. Thus, our original poll statement: “over time Palestinians must work to get back all the land for a Palestinian State...” is the truest expression of Palestinian intentions. If Israel seeks to avoid the fate of 1938 Czechoslovakia, it must convince itself and its allies that it is premature to speak of a Palestinian state and a two-state solution until such time as the Palestinians have managed to make peace among themselves. They must also demonstrate that they have taught their children the virtues of peace and are willing (through extensive remedial education) to accept by deeds rather than by words Israel’s rightful and permanent reality as the sovereign homeland of the Jewish people.