Palestinians ask if it’s time to push for a one-state solution


abbasFor nearly three decades, governments around the world have insisted that the best way to end the most intractable conflict in the Middle East is to trade land for peace, creating an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

But these days, as Palestinians see prospects for the so-called two-state solution disintegrating, a growing number are mulling over a provocative alternative: a single binational state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean.

The notion is the equivalent of a demographic Trojan horse, forcing Israel either to give Arab residents full voting rights — and jeopardize the Jewish identity upon which Israel was created in 1948 — or risk becoming an apartheid state under permanent sanction by the rest of the world.

U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry warned of the risk Wednesday in what he described as a “fundamental reality” for the two sides to consider: “If the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic — it cannot be both — and it won’t ever really be at peace.”

For Palestinians, the renewed calls to consider a one-state solution come as the peace process is at one of its lowest ebbs. Negotiations have been mothballed for three years, Israeli settlements in the West Bank are under steady expansion, and there are continuing calls by Israeli politicians to annex part of the West Bank.

President-elect Donald Trump’s victory and the prominence of patrons of the Israeli settlements in his close circle of advisors have only compounded the skepticism. A December public opinion poll found that two-thirds of Palestinians believe a two-state solution is no longer feasible.

The alternative, many argue, is an invitation to Israel to swallow Palestine.

“Many people support the idea,” said Mustafa Barghouti, a Palestinian legislator and a former candidate for president. “If the two-state solution is physically unattainable, we have only one option: A struggle to gain full and equal democratic rights in one state, in the land of historic Palestine.”

Once limited to small groups of politically independent weekly protesters against Israel’s military occupation, the idea is now being widely discussed. Palestinian intellectuals, businessmen and political officials who long championed the two-state solution are starting to strategize about what some argue is an already existing one-state reality.

“Because of the lack of a political horizon, the inability of the sides to sit down together, because of the reality on the ground of expanding settlements and road checkpoints, people started to believe that the two-state solution is dead,’’ said Bashar Azzeh, a youth activist and marketing director at the Wassel Group, a Palestinian logistics company.

“Some people are saying: Let’s demand full human and civil rights rather than national rights; then maybe the international community will listen to us.’’

In Al Birah, Ramallah’s twin city, the municipal soccer stadium sits on a ridge just a few hundred yards from the red-roofed homes of the Israeli settlement of Psagot on the opposite hilltop. Wasfi Nawajah, a coach in a warm-up suit, complained that his southern West Bank village had no permits to build a gym, while the neighboring Israeli settlement was free to build sports facilities and expand.

“The Palestinians are only suffering from the peace process. The situation is tough. Many people are losing hope,’’ Nawajah said.

A poll this month by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found a nearly 10-percentage-point jump over the last three months of Palestinians who say the two-state solution is no longer viable. Support for a one-state solution has advanced in the same period to 36% from 32%.

“This is a major change, a significant erosion in the viability of the two-state solution,’’ Khalil Shikaki, the director of the polling center, said in a lecture at the Jerusalem Press Club. “Today, we don’t have majority support for the two-state solution. What has gone up is support for the one-state solution.’’

Slackening support can be found in Israel as well as in the incoming U.S. administration. Donald Trump’s nomination of David Friedman, a longtime patron of the Israeli settlement of Beit El, suggests the new administration might no longer champion negotiations toward a Palestinian state as did previous U.S. presidents.

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who advocates annexation of 60% of the West Bank and “autonomy on steroids” for Palestinians in the remaining areas, in November declared the end of “the era” of the Palestinian state.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently told CBS’ “60 Minutes” that he remains committed to “two states for two peoples,’’ but when he was asked by an Israeli journalist on the eve of the 2015 election whether he expected the creation of a Palestinian state on his watch, he said no. The prime minister and his aides say Israel needs to reach security agreements with surrounding Arab governments before a peace deal with the Palestinians.

Most in Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud Party and Bennett’s pro-settler Jewish Home party have never given up on the contention that Israel has a historical and even divine right to all of the biblical land of Israel. For larger swaths of Israel’s population, ending Israel’s occupation of the West Bank is seen as a security risk too big to take.

A one-state campaign would mark a sea change in strategy for the Palestinian leadership, which has been pushing for Palestinian statehood alongside Israel since the early 1990s. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has staked his political career on a nonviolent campaign to negotiate for a Palestinian state and has given no signs that he’s about to change. At a recent convention of his political party, Fatah, the dominant political force in the West Bank, there was no discussion of a shift in official strategy.

“We still believe that the two-state solution is the best solution,’’ said a senior Palestinian official who was not authorized to speak openly on policy. “However, if Israel chooses to annex, that’s the end of the West Bank. Once the idea of a two-state solution is over, the only thing you have left is one state.”

The notion of a single binational state — which would have roughly equal numbers of Arabs and Jews — has long been an anathema to many Israeli Jews because it would mean a radical makeover of Israel’s identity as a “Jewish state.’’

“It would mean the end of Zionism,’’ said the senior Palestinian official.

Israel’s Arab minority already accounts for 20% of the country’s population. Arab Israelis make up about 15% of the parliament, but because parties representing them don’t join government coalitions, only one Arab has ever served as a Cabinet minister. There has been only a single Arab on Israel’s Supreme Court.

In recent years, demographers have projected that the total number of Palestinians in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip will eventually surpass that of the Jewish population. On Thursday, the Palestinian statistics bureau said demographic parity would be reached by the end of 2017.

Though Israel’s leading demographers generally concur with the Palestinian numbers, Yoram Ettinger, a former diplomat from the Likud Party, has called those projections “demographic scaremongering” aimed at spreading “faintheartedness and fatalism” among Jews. He and some others contend the estimates of Palestinian population are inflated and the projections are incorrect; in fact, they say, Arab birthrates are declining and Jewish rates are increasing.

A binational state, many Palestinians believe, presents a new opportunity to pressure Israelis who fear becoming a minority in their own homeland. They envision waging a campaign evoking black South Africans’ struggle against white majority rule that would tarnish Israel’s democratic credentials.

“The meaning of a state in all of the occupied territories can have two alternatives,” Ziad Abuzayyad, a former Palestinian minister, told Israel Radio this month. “Either Israel becomes an apartheid state that ignores the Arabs, or it will give rights to the residents there and there will be a binational state. You decide.”

Sam Bahour, an American Palestinian businessman, has argued that Palestinians must focus their energy on a campaign to gain more economic, movement and water rights, while not giving up on the possibility of establishing a separate Palestinian state at some point in the future.

“The thinking is very logical that we have reached a dead end on the practicality of two states, so people are reaching to think for alternatives,’’ he said in an interview. “No one has articulated what people are talking about in coffee shops into a political program. I don’t think [one-state] is political thinking; it’s frustration thinking.”

Indeed, Palestinian officials are reluctant to officially jettison support for a two-state solution because the idea still has the support of the international community. In recent years, the United Nations and international bodies have recognized a “state of Palestine” in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

For most Palestinians, that remains the dream. But many like Samer Abd al-Kareem Omar say they are willing to part with the dream of an independent state if it means economic prosperity, physical security and equality.

In a cafe full of water-pipe smoke across from Al Birah, Omar, a 40-year-old computer teacher, said his family lost several acres of agricultural land to the construction of Israel’s West Bank barrier. Omar traverses military checkpoints daily. For him, a single “undeclared state” already exists, he said.

“The two peoples live together. What is wrong with living on equal footing? This is the ideal situation,’’ he said. “People need to look after their future and their personal interests—national claims are not everything.”




35 responses to “Palestinians ask if it’s time to push for a one-state solution”

    1. MekensehParty Avatar

      … the rainbow

      1. HebAlba Avatar

        …very revealing

  1. MekensehParty Avatar

    70 years of fighting to go back to a solution that was presented back then under much better circumstances (no fanatics on any of the two sides in the 1940s).
    I think it’s too late. Better fight it out to the bitter end. And bitter it will be
    Happy 2017 to all the fighters in the region from the popcorn factory. Please keep us entertained in 2017 just as in 2016

    1. HebAlba Avatar

      Keep yourself entertained with obsessive popcorn.
      (no fanatics on any of the two sides in the 1940s) is the biggest joke i have read.
      Itszhak Shamir Lehi – The Stern Group;
      “Stern also proposed recruiting some 40,000 Jews from occupied Europe to invade Palestine with German support to oust the British. On 11 January 1941, Vice Admiral Ralf von der Marwitz, the German Naval attaché in Turkey, filed a report (the “Ankara document”) conveying an offer by Lehi to “actively take part in the war on Germany’s side” against the British, in return for German support for “the establishment of the historic Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, bound by a treaty with the German Reich.”

      1. man-o-war Avatar

        I’m pretty sure the King David hotel terrorist attack occurred in the “1940’s”

          1. Rudy1947 Avatar

            Then again it pushed the British out and Israel became a state. Even then, the Brits and Israel would collaborate against the Egyptians and would supply Israel with military equipment.

          2. 5thDrawer Avatar

            … In a guilt complex they needn’t have had? They ignored the one Jewish but British member of Parliament at the time … and allowed the ‘plan’ which was ‘agreed upon’, but not followed, to ‘carry on’ in that parliament … and therein lie the guilty ones, not all Brits.
            Not all Jews either. Everything since has been to obfuscate the truth of all the matters.
            SO, as history enlightens us now, this ‘new’ and rather more modern thought has merit. in that it can happen much more peacefully over time – and possibly in a much shorter one, than the thinking on dividing and blatant thefts of farmlands – which more often fed the people of ALL the ‘religions’. And they all need something ‘modern’, other than bigger weapons pushing humanity to the brink.

          3. Rudy1947 Avatar

            That is the biggest collection of garbage outside a refuge dump.

          4. 5thDrawer Avatar

            Seems to be enough to go around these days, for sure. :-))

          5. Rudy1947 Avatar

            My comment wasn’t meant to funny or relate to the compost industry.

          6. 5thDrawer Avatar

            Ah. Well, then why notice mine? No-one else did.

          7. 5thDrawer Avatar

            BUT … here’s one you should enjoy … really …
            Interesting ‘older’ guy … seen a few things over ‘time’ … head probably very clear. :-))

          8. HebAlba Avatar

            Zionoia always his booklet not far..blabla garbage..
            Palestinians were aware from the very beginning about Zionists idiologie but were powerless.

          9. * “From late 1919, Arab attacks on Jewish settlements became more frequent and relentless, particularly in the Jordan Valley and the Galile.
            * “As early as 1920, Palestine Arab opposition to Zionism and desire for self-government led to a threat to public security. … three days of rioting in Jerusalem, in which Arab mobs fell upon Jews with sticks, stones and knives. The Arab Police either adopted a passive attitude or joined in the riots. British troops were called out, the police were disarmed and order was finally reestablished. As a result of these disturbances, five Jews and four Arabs were killed and 211 Jews and 21 Arabs were wounded.”
            * “1 March 1920 In an attack by large numbers of Arabs from the village of Halsa, eight Jews were killed …”
            * In April 1920 Arabs rioted against Jews during the Nebi Musa festival.
            * On May 1st, 1921 “Arabs of Jaffa murderously attacked Jewish inhabitants of the town and Arab raids were made on five Jewish rural settlements; the disorders were suppressed by the police and military forces. Forty-seven Jews were killed and 146 wounded, mostly by Arabs … The hostility shown towards the Jews during the riots was shared by Arabs of all classes; Moslem and Christian Arabs …”
            * “On May Day, 1921, Arab mobs attacked Jewish residents of Jaffa and stormed the Zionist Immigration Center, killing 13 persons. Again the military forces had to be summoned to replace the unreliable Arab police. The disorders, however, spread. On the 3rd May Hebrew colonies at Kafr Saba and Ain Hal were looted. On the 5th May the village of Petah Tiqvah was attacked by several thousand armed Arabs in semi-military formation, and was saved from destruction only by the arrival of several squadrons of cavalry. On the 6th May Arabs besieged Haderah and attempted an attack on Rehovoth. In these disorders 47 Jews were killed and 146 wounded, mostly by Arabs, and 48 Arabs were killed and 73 wounded, mostly by police and military action.”
            * In 1929 general anti-Jewish riots spread throughout Palestine. From August 23rd to the 29th, “murderous attacks were made on the Jews in various parts of the country. The most violent attacks were those against the old established Jewish communities at Hebron and Safed; there were also attacks in Jerusalem and Jaffa and against several Jewish rural settlements. There was little retaliation by Jews, of whom 133 were killed and 339 wounded.

Britain had to rush troops up from Egypt to restore order. The survivors of the Hebron massacre fled the city having their property and land confiscated by Arabs. Another account reads, “… Arabs armed with knives and clubs invaded the new city of Jerusalem and began a massacre of the Jews. On the following day more than 60 Jews were killed at Hebron, and in the succeeding days a number of Jewish colonies were attacked. The police had to open fire to prevent outrages in Nablus and Jaffa, and Arabs attacked the Jewish quarter in Safed, killing or wounding 45 persons. In all, 133 Jews were killed and 339 wounded, and six Jewish colonies were destroyed. There were 116 reported Arab deaths, many of them as a result of police and military activities.”
            * “The period between 1929 and 1936 was marked by periodic violence. In August 1930, there was a minor Arab outbreak at Nablus. The years 1930 and 1931 saw a series of terrorist murders of Jews. Agrarian crime was endemic and the Arabs attempted to take into their own hands the prevention of illegal Jewish immigration. In October 1931, Arab demonstrations and riots directed against the Government, as well as against the Jews, took place in Jerusalem, Jaffa, Haifa and Babes. In the course of these and related incidents, 24 civilians were killed and 204 wounded.
            * “By July [1938] the Arab gangs had become thoroughly organized and their activities co-ordinated. Rebel courts were set up by which many loyal Arabs and a number of Jews who had been abducted were tried and executed in the following months … the Old City of Jerusalem became a rallying point of bandits from which acts of violence, murder, and intimidation were organized and perpetrated freely and with impunity.”
            * For almost three years (1936-39) there was a general Arab uprising resulted in many Jews being murdered and beaten including yet another massacre of 20 Jews in Tiberius.

          10. The Brits sure didnt’ mind …

            Loftus also spoke about another prominent member of the Brotherhood, Haj Mohammad Effendi Amin al-Husayni, who was both the organization’s representative in Palestine and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem (a position that was appointed by the British, while Palestine was under British occupation, 1917-48). Before becoming Grand Mufti in 1921, al-Husayni had been a principal organizer of the 1920 “Bloody Passover” massacre of Jews who were praying at Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall.

            While the Grand Mufti’s Nazi connection is widely known, his rise to power was British-Zionist handiwork. Though himself a Jew, Sir Herbert Samuel, the British High Commissioner of the Palestine Mandate and a Zionist (his appointment as High Commissioner was welcomed by the Zionists at the time), appointed al-Husayni in spite of vigorous protests from most Palestinian Arabs, as well as from Jewish settlers.

            Following a failed attempt to create a pro-Nazi uprising in Iraq, the Grand Mufti fled to Europe to organize Arab forces disguised as SS divisions for the Third Reich. Though a war criminal, the Grand Mufti and his troops were spirited away from prosecution in Egypt by the British secret service, Loftus noted.[3]


          11. You’re cutting and pasting nonsense from a blogger, he isn’t even a historian, pathetic.

          12. Quit being such a hypocrite.

            Your first comments here on YaLibnan were all copy-paste.

            Sand is a historian, yet you called him a ‘film historian’.

            Larouche’s background is certainly more valid than yours.

            The article I copy-pasted from has a detailed bibliography and is not an opinion. The Brits supporting/aiding the Mufti was/is a fact.

            You are not interested in the truth, only in taking one side and supporting it with endless propaganda.

          13. Sand is a film historian, yes if you want to know about alternative endings to Casablanca referance Sand.

            Go back to your idiot hypothesis that Abbas is a Massad agent

          14. Sand exposes the Jewish people fallacy. You don’t like it, it’s okay but your insinuation that he’s a ‘film historian’ is silly. Based on your comments, I see that you know nothing about the origins of the Hebrews and how Pharisaism (know today as Judaism) came to be.

            Where do you read me write that Abbas is a Mossad agent?

          15. He is a film historian you idiot.

          16. No matter who exposes fact, you will find something to negate: that he’s a film historian, a leftist, this or that. Get real.

    2. Get your facts straight. What solution? The (atheist) Zionists never intended to give any of the lands they stole. Besides, the draft for the mandate of Palestine was set (and confirmed) by the League of Nations in 1922, decades before the illegitimate creation of Israel to control the ME on the pretext of a land for Jews. The Palestinians were played, duped, betrayed and kicked to the side. Be a man for once in your life and talk of things the way they are.

  2. Unfortunately, this does make sense. And it will preserve the Palestinian entity/people from within a single state. It’s about time the Palestinians realized they are the only ones that can solve their own issue – the Arab governments don’t give a rats ass about 1, 2 or 3 state solutions. This should have happened 43 years ago right after the 73 war.

  3. Arab-American historian and Princeton University professor, Philip Hitti, testifying before the Anglo-American Committee in 1946, “There is no such thing as ‘Palestine’ in history, absolutely not.” And so, if there was no “Palestine” in the pre-1948 Arab consciousness, there was no Palestinian people.
    There is no such thing as an Arab “Palestinian.” Before Israel’s statehood in 1948, the name “Palestinian” meant a Jewish person living in that land, not an Arab. The word Palestinian became associated with Arabs only later, when Yasser Arafat artificially created a new so-called nation of Arab “Palestinians,” many of whom came from and have direct relatives in neighboring countries, such as Jordan or Egypt. By 1948 enough Jewish people had returned to the land to establish the modern Jewish state of Israel. So all the world should know that there never was a “Palestinian Arab” state, nor even a “Palestinian Arab” people. They should know that all the Arabs living in the Israeli territories came from neighboring Arab states.
    There is no such country as Palestine. ‘Palestine’ is a term the Zionists invented. There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria. ‘Palestine’ is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it.” – Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, Syrian Arab leader
    “There is no such thing as a Palestinian people, there is no Palestinian entity, there is only Syria. You are an integral part of the Syrian people, Palestine is an integral part of Syria. Therefore it is we, the Syrian authorities, who are the true representatives of the Palestinian people.” – Syrian dictator Hafez Assad to the PLO leader Yassir Arafat
    “There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not.” – Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian
    “It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria.” – Representative of Saudi Arabia at the United Nations
    “Palestine and Jordan are one…” -King Abdullah in 1948
    “The truth is that Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan.” – King Hussein of Jordan, in 1981
    Jordanians, for decades, were avid proponents of the ‘Jordan is Palestine’ position. They used that position as justification for the annexation of Judea and Samaria, arguing that Palestine was one single, indivisible unit, and that Jordan was the legitimate governing body of Palestine…
    “We are the government of Palestine, the army of Palestine and the refugees of Palestine.” -Prime Minister of Jordan, Hazza’ al-Majali, 23 August 1959
    “Palestine is Jordan and Jordan is Palestine; there is one people and one land, with one history and one and the same fate.” -Prince Hassan, brother of King Hussein, addressing the Jordanian National Assembly, 2 February 1970
    “Jordan is not just another Arab state with regard to Palestine, but rather, Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan in terms of territory, national identity, sufferings, hopes and aspirations.” -Jordanian Minister of Agriculture, 24 September 1980
    As “Palestinian” politician Zouhair Moussein told the Dutch newspaper Trouw in 1977 (Israel Matzav):
    “The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism.
    “For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jersusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan. There are no differences between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. We are all part of one nation. It is only for political reasons that we carefully underline our Palestinian identity… yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel.”

    1. Based on your premise that one must one a historian to be right, most of the sources you listed are not historians.

      Besides, the Hebrews were black/dark-skinned people. How do you explain that they came back white few thousands years later? Super mutation/evolution I presume. (laughing)

      1. Do you have picures of them, not. The tile in ancient Israel show a non-black race. Even Egyptian pictures more often that not show a light skin race.

        1. Not sure what you mean by ‘picture’ but ancient artifacts show it:

          Israelites never stepped foot in Egypt where they were allegedly enslaves. That is nothing but religious fallacies.

          1. Who is this supposed to be?

  4. Some say the “Palestinian people” have a proud 4000-year history; others say 10,000 years, 30,000 years, and even –don’t laugh- 200,000 years, which makes the Neanderthals pretty young people compared to the “mysterious Palestinians”. But although Arab historians do not agree on the “insignificant” details like the age of the “Palestinian people”, they do agree that this people is incredibly ancient-far more ancient than Jews, Romans or Greeks.

    In the glorious history of the “Palestinian people”, there is only one “small” problem; nobody in history ever found them.

    In 721 BCE, Assyria conquered the Kingdom of Israel. This is a historical fact nobody denies. Of course, the “Palestinian people” heroically fought against the aggressors and caused them heavy losses? Well, not exactly. Not a single Assyrian Chronicle, not even a single clay tablet, mentions this noble people. Could it be that hundreds of thousands of “Palestinians” were heroically fighting the Assyrian invaders – and these invaders did not even notice it? At the same time, those same Assyrian Chronicles are full of reports about the battles with the Israelis. So, Assyrians very well found Israelis, but did not notice any “Palestinians”?

    Well, Assyrians did not notice any “Palestinian people”. Most probably, because the King Sargon II was a Zionist. And what about Babylonians? The same mystery awaits us when we start reading the Babylonian Chronicles about the conquest of the Kingdom of Judah between 597 and 582 BCE. Jews are there at every second page. And “Palestinians”? There is not a word about them. Babylonians did not find them, either.

    But of course Persians found “Palestinians” and left to us the detailed description of this wonderful people, of its rich culture, interesting habits, language…? Alas. They did not. The Persian Chronicles are telling us about Jews, about how Cyrus granted them the permission to return to Jerusalem, about how Persian satraps ruled in Judah and Israel… But about the “Palestinians” – not a word.

    What makes the “quest to find Palestinians” even more amusing is that Alexander the Great passed all along the coast of Palestine from Tyre to Gaza in 332 – but did not find a single “Palestinian”: only Jews.

    Where the heck did the “Palestinians” hide?

  5. We consider Palestine as part of Arab Syria, as it has never been separated from it at any time. We are connected with it by national, religious, linguistic, natural, economic and geographical bonds.” (First Congress of Muslim-Christian Associations, February 1919)

    The representative of the Arab Higher Committee to the United Nations submitted a statement to the General Assembly in May 1947 that said,

    “Palestine was part of the Province of Syria,” and that, “politically, the Arabs of Palestine were not independent in the sense of forming a separate political entity.”

    In 1937, a local Arab leader, Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, told the Peel Commission, which ultimately suggested the partition of Palestine:

    “There is no such country as Palestine! ‘Palestine’ is a term the Zionists invented! There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria.”

    “Palestine and Transjordan are one.”

    King Abdullah, Arab League meeting in Cairo,12 April 1948

    So the Arabs in the 1940s did not notice any “Palestinians”. Moreover, they did not “notice” any “Palestine” either!

    Ok. In the 40s, the Arab politicians did not find any “Palestinian people”. It’s no surprise; nobody could find them.

    But maybe they “found” this mysterious “Palestinian people” later? They did not.

    Yasser ArafatSyrian President Hafez Assad addressing the Palestinian leader, the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), President of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and “Father of the Palestinian People” Yasser Arafat, explained to him:

    “You do not represent Palestine as much as we do. Never forget this one point: There is no such thing as a Palestinian people, there is no Palestinian entity, there is only Syria. You are an integral part of the Syrian people, Palestine is an integral part of Syria. Therefore it is we, the Syrian authorities, who are the true representatives of the Palestinian people.”

    Of course, the Palestinian leader, “Father of the Palestinian People” and so on, rejected these insinuations with indignation and… Actually, no, he did not.

    Moreover, Arafat himself made a definitive and unequivocal statement along the same lines as late as 1993, when he declared that,

    “The question of borders doesn’t interest us… From the Arab standpoint, we mustn’t talk about borders. Palestine is nothing but a drop in an enormous ocean. Our nation is the Arabic nation that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea and beyond it…The P.L.O. is fighting Israel in the name of Pan-Arabism. What you call “Jordan” is nothing more than Palestine.”

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