Op-Ed: Palestine? Beware the Snake Oil Salesman
Paul Larudee - one of the founders of the Free Gaza and Free Palestine Movements and an organizer in the International Solidarity Movement (ISM)- has made some incredibly misleading statements in his latest article "The Palestine Liberation Movement is not about Anti- Semitism" - published in Dissident Voice on 23 May.
Having studied linguistics and earned a PhD - Larudee should be the first person to understand that the written language is one of the prime means of communication between humans and requires precision in its use to avoid ambiguity and misunderstanding.
Larudee has in his choice of words created a false and misleading impression of the Palestinian cause that bears no relationship to the conflict between Jews and Arabs that has remained unresolved for the last 130 years in relation to the former territory called Palestine.
"The Palestinian cause has nothing to do with Jews...
Larudee: The Palestinian cause has nothing to do with Jews...
Hamas exposes the falsity of Larudee's claim - as the Hamas Covenant makes clear in article 15:
"The day that enemies usurp part of Moslem land, Jihad becomes the individual duty of every Moslem. In face of the Jews' usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised."
The PLO also discredits Larudee's statement - as article 20 of its Charter explicitly states:
" Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitutes statehood. Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong"
Jew-hatred permeates the "Palestinian cause" - and Larudee's attempt to whitewash this pernicious conduct is specious and false.
Whom is Larudee trying to fool and for what purpose?
Larudee further states:
" It (the Palestinian cause) has everything to do with the expulsion of Palestinians from their land and with denial of their right to sovereignty, to self-determination and above all their Right to Return. It does not matter who expelled them. It is their land and they have the right to return. It does not matter who denies their existence. They have a right to return."
Larudee's claim that "Palestine" belonged to the "Palestinians", that it is their land, that they were denied the right to sovereignty and self determination and have the right to return there is not borne out by the historical record.
Palestine had belonged to the Ottoman Empire for 400 years - forming a very small part of the territories lost by Turkey to the Allied Powers in World War 1.
The Arabs were offered self determination and sovereignty in 99.99% of such conquered territories by the Allied Powers - whilst the Jewish National Home was to be reconstituted in the biblical and ancient homeland of the Jewish people within the remaining 0.01% - then called Palestine.
The civil and religious rights of the non-Jewish communities in Palestine were not to be prejudiced - but the Arab residents of Palestine rejected this decision of the Allied Powers and subsequently the League of Nations
Indeed the territory set aside for the Jewish National Home in 1920 was to be further restricted to just one-quarter of Palestine in 1922 - whilst the remaining three-quarters was to become an exclusively Arab state that is today called Jordan.
This minuscule area left for Jewish self-determination was earmarked to be further emasculated when the United Nations recommended its partition into Jewish and Arab states in 1947 - which the Arabs also rejected.
Larudee's use of the term "Palestinians" is not inadvertent or unintentional but serves to mask his support for the Arab claim to sovereignty in the entirety of former Palestine to the exclusion of all its other non-Arab residents
The term "Palestininans" was only defined for the first time in 1964 when the PLO Charter proclaimed:
"The Palestinians are those Arab citizens who were living normally in Palestine up to 1947, whether they remained or were expelled. Every child who was born to a Palestinian Arab father after this date, whether in Palestine or outside, is a Palestinian."
The operative words are "Arab citizens" - disqualifying any non- Arab citizens from being classified as "Palestinians"
Larudee's claim that Palestine belongs to the Palestinians underscores his support for this racist and exclusivist claim by the PLO - negating the decisions supporting Jewish claims that had been recognized by the League of Nations in 1922, the Peel Commision in 1937 and the United Nations in 1947.
The PLO claim to sovereignty in all of Palestine continues to be the major obstacle to ending the conflict between Jews and Arabs.
Larudee has every right to support this spurious claim - but it continues to plague the "Palestinian cause" and prolong the resolution of the long running conflict between Arabs and Jews.
Larudee pleads to remove anti- Semitism from the discussion of Palestinian rights.
He should be encouraging Hamas and the PLO to remove their overt declarations of unabashed Jew hatred from their respective Charters as an essential first step.
Hopefully the removal of these vile provisions could lead to the end of a conflict that could and should have been resolved in 1947 or in the following 20 years when sovereignty for Palestinian Arabs in Palestine was denied by their Arab brethren.
The last thing the "Palestinian cause" needs is snake oil salesmen peddling false claims - a sure prescription for continuing disaster.