By Tawfik Hamid, Gatestone Institute—
We must salute Jared Kushner’s attempt to bring a peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. That said, the Palestinians’ unsurprising rejection of the peace offer requires some scrutiny, especially the true causes of the perennial failure to achieve lasting peace.
Without understanding them, every attempt to solve this conflict, every attempt to make true peace in the Middle East, will always fail.
As an insider with a background as both a Muslim and an Arab, please allow me share with you some insight into the problem.
1. The Arab-Israeli conflict is not about borders. It is about the existence of the state of Israel.
In 1947, the United Nations Partition Plan — Resolution 181 — gave the Palestinians and Arabs control over most of the Holy Land. The rejection of the plan by the Arab nations, and their declaration of war against Israel rather than their acceptance of peace, was the first clear indication that the Arabs’ desire was never to provide a state for the Palestinian people, but rather has been from the beginning to erase Israel from the map. This destructive intent is memorialized in the Hamas Charter, which unashamedly asks for the eradication of the State of Israel. This intent is also aligned with the Iranian leaders’ continuous entreaties to destroy Israel. An evaluation of relevant social media commentary in the Arab world demonstrates a genuine desire by many — if not most — of the Arab population to see the destruction of Israel and the killing not just of all Israeli Jews but of all Jews:
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar:
I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “The Jews will fight with you, and you will be given victory over them so that a stone will say, ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew behind me; kill him!’ ” — Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 791
2. The cause of the problem is NOT the land
After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, several Arab nations were created by fiat. The Arab world accepted this without any problem, as these were Muslim-majority countries. Rejecting the state of Israel was related to the fact that it is a Jewish rather than a Muslim country. In fact, on several occasions I have asked Arab Muslims (including raising the point on Aljazeera TV) whether they would continue fighting Israel if its entire population converted to Islam. The answer is a unanimous “NO.” My answer to that is always, “Then the problem has nothing to do with the land, as many claim, but with the Jewishness of the State of Israel.”
3. Delusional way of thinking
Delusions are defined as fixed beliefs that contradict reality. This way of thinking among many in the Arab world impedes any peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. For example, many in the Arab world strongly believe that the Jews are the cause of the economic collapse of nations. This idea is belied by the fact that when the Jewish community was a viable component of Egypt prior to 1952 revolution, the Egyptian economy was in far better condition than it was after President Nasser expelled the Jews from the country. Any rational person can see that if the Jews were the cause of the economic collapse of nations, the economy of Egypt should have improved significantly after they were kicked out of the country. Delusional people do not see (nor do they want to see) such logic
4. Inability of the Arab mind to admit its wrongdoings
Many in the Arab world falsely believe that Israel expelled all Arabs. In fact, there are nearly two million Israeli Arabs who live in Israel as citizens, making up 20% of the population. Many in the Arab world tend to ignore that it was the Arabs who expelled the Jews — in a humiliating way — from countries such as Egypt, Iraq and Algeria. Arabs’ failure to admit their own mistakes and crimes against their Jewish communities adds another obstacle to peaceful resolutions to the problem. Continue Reading….
Dr. Tawfik Hamid, the author of Inside Jihad: How Radical Islam Works, Why It Should Terrify Us, How to Defeat It, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.