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Unwanted but useful Palestinians

Updated: Mar 30

The land we call Palestine is not a land of Arabs it has been inhabited since time immemorial by the Jews, Christians and Muslims together and therefore belongs to them all.

We make the mistake of thinking that this land is exclusively Muslim and Israel is exclusively Jewish, which is not true. The Israeli part of this land has a significant Muslim democratic citizenry whilst the other part is exclusively Arab Muslim with the presence of a large number of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

The problem is that Muslim theologists claim that once a land has been Muslim for no matter how brief a time, it remains a right of Muslims to occupy that land for all of eternity. Therefore the Muslims by their theological compulsions cannot tolerate Jews, Christians or any other non-believer on this land.

This approach worked well when Islam was on the ascendant, and the Arabs sprang onto a napping world. Now Islam is in decline and its core has been weakening ever since the collapse of the Mughal Empire in 1858 and the Ottoman Empire in 1922.

Islam has witnessed a brief resurgence due to various factors like the birth of Pakistan, the power of Arab Gulf oil riches and the formation of the OIC. However, this is a blip in the declining trend.

The Muslim world along with the Communists etc. has always acted in concert with the Palestinian Arab cause. But all that has changed with factors like the Iranian revolution, the Iran-Iraq war, the invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent Gulf wars, the 9/11 attack on America and the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.

The near economic and social collapse of Pakistan and the decay in Turkey have changed the power equation significantly against Islam as a force.


Probably the greatest shift has been triggered by the disintegration of the USSR, causing the loss of the greatest military, political and economic patron of the militant anti-Israel Arab nations.

Arabs after losing all the wars against Israel have grudgingly given up their fantasy of destroying Israel. Only the Iranians and their proxies, the Syrians and the Palestinian militia more or less continue to pursue their fantasy of never making peace and continue in their attempts to destroy Israel.

Other than these countries and groups, every Arab country, the West and Israel are exhausted by the intransigence of the dozens of disunited Palestinian factions who fight one another more than they fight Israel.

Arab governments and leaders have given up on the Palestinians considering the issue a cancer that one has to learn to live with. Why have the other Arab nations mostly given up on Palestinians?

  • The Muslims of Palestine were offered a state separate from the Jewish people in 1936, by the Peel Commission, but the Muslims rejected it.

  • Offered a state in 1947 via the UN Partition Plan, the Muslims of Palestine rejected it.

  • Again the Arabs of Palestine were offered an independent state in 1967 after Israel conquered and occupied the Gaza, Sinai peninsular and the West Bank of the Jordan River. The Muslims of Palestine turned it down.

  • At the 2000 Camp David conference American President Bill Clinton, placed on the table a proposal based on UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, very close to the Palestinian demands. But the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat rejected the offer from the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak

  • From 2006 to 2008, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority met 36 times to break the impasse but the Palestinians turned down every reasonable proposal for establishing a permanent state for the Muslims of Palestine as they wished. However, the Palestinians were not able to or unwilling to make peace.

Palestinians have a rather bad reputation, for turning against their hosts and supporters. Take two examples.

  1. Palestinian refugees turned against their host Jordan, and tried by violence to overthrow the legitimate government. The 1970-71 Black September attempted takeover of Jordan resulted in 25,000 Palestinians being massacred by troops led by future Pakistani leader Brigadier Zia-ul-Haq. They were then expelled to Lebanon, a country which they successfully ruined.

  2. Palestinian refugees living in Kuwait supported Sadam Hussein of Iraq in his invasion and occupation of their host Kuwait. As a result, the Palestinians have no place in the hearts, minds and lands of the Kuwaiti people.

Arab leaders may have given up on the Palestinians, but their Muslim populations have not. Muslims tend to unite behind other Muslims irrespective of merit or chances of success. They are willing to readily indulge in societal violence. This is a matter of concern for leaders and governments and they cannot ignore the pressure of the mobs. So world and Arab leaders have to indulge in sabre rattling and threatening action against Israel, even take token action that amounts to nothing.

The Temple Mount - Jerusalem

Every festering problem can also be exploited.

The global oil and gas lobby, and the arms industry, love the conflict and the possibility to make money. Islamic radicals relish a cause they can champion. United Nations Security Council members China and Russia love the opportunity to put pressure by causing maximum discomfiture and lowering America's global standing.

Almost 40% of the time of the United Nations and huge resources are spent on fruitlessly deliberating the Israel-Palestinian issue.

Hardcore Jewish factions within Israel are using the conflict to enhance their power and realisation of their dream of rebuilding their Temple of Jerusalem destroyed long ago on the very site where one of Islam's holiest places known as the Al-Aqṣā Mosque stands.


What is likely to happen now?

The Palestinian Arabs currently live in two parts, Gaza and the West Bank. Israel will take all necessary steps to depopulate Gaza of Arabs.

We might get a reminder from history. Rember the Rohingya Muslims.

Backed by clerics and funded by Muslims from across the world, the Rohingyas took up arms against the people and government of Myanmar to try and achieve their political and religious goals. This attracted severe retribution from the Myanmar military, locals, and militant Buddhist monks and the Rohingya became both stateless and homeless.

Globally, there are 2.3 million Rohingya, almost all of them refugees. 900,000 of them are in Bangladesh, 500,000 in Pakistan, 200,000 in Saudi Arabia, 150,000 in Malaysia and 40,000 in India etc. where they have no chance of attaining any legal status. About 100,000 internally displaced Rohingya have been left behind in Myanmar and remain interned in squalid refugee camps.

The people of Gaza could face a somewhat similar situation. Israel after levelling the land of North Gaza, intends to uproot Hamas and shovel off the residents to South Gaza.

Palestinians might emigrate to other lands that might be willing to accept them, or possibly shift to the West Bank. For all the protests and demands by the world community for a ceasefire, there is hardly any country in the world that is willing to accept Palestinian refugees. Palestine is too hot a potato to handle. Fellow Muslim member nations of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will have to take them as Europe and America will not take them.

A further terrible future awaits Gazans because their political, military and religious leaders in pursuit of their own place in 'Janat' (heaven) push ordinary Gazans towards relentless war.

If the Palestinian leaders act like statesmen accept the two-state solution, and adopt a 'live and let live' approach, they can have Janat for their people without having them die for an unwinnable cause.


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