Forget About Ali Baba and Sinbad

The ongoing saga of denying non-Arab nationhood.

Gerald A. Honigman

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Have you heard about the 1002nd Arabian Nights tale, "Abu Alaa and the Tightening Screws"?

Well, his story really begins, for those non-Arabians reading these tales, when Israel's Yitzchak Rabin shook hands with Yasser Arafat, at President Bill Clinton's prompting.
"If Jews can have a state, then why not Catholics, or Protestants, or Hindus, and such?"
Predictably, Israel got non-stop barbarism for each unilateral, concrete concession it was pressured to make. A similar scenario would take place bit later at Camp David and Taba when Clinton, seeking to salvage his stained reputation, made Israel's Ehud Barak an offer he couldn't refuse. And Barak offered to give away the store.

At the time of the 1990s "Oslo Peace Accord," Ahmed Qurei' (Abu Alaa) was one of Arafat's chief marionettes. A translation by the highly respected Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) on July 3, 2003 included an interview with Abu Alaa. When asked about the Arabs' problem with having the word "Jewish" placed in front of the words "State of Israel" at the summit leading up to the evolution of the current Roadmap, here was his response: "What is the meaning of a Jewish state? Do we say... Sunni state... Shi'ite state... Christian state? These are definitions that will bring... turmoil."

It is not unusual to hear critics of Israel, even some academics, proclaim, "If Jews can have a state, then why not Catholics, or Protestants, or Hindus, and such?" a la Alaa.

Now think about this for a minute. Someone from England is English, from Poland is Polish, from Ireland is Irish, and so forth. Indeed, while there are other ways of describing nationality or ethnicity, the addition of the suffix "-ish" denotes this as well. That's how Webster's Collegiate Dictionary primarily defines it. So, what's Abu Alaa's problem here?

It's really very simple. Arafat confirmed, by refusing the Taba offer, that it makes no difference how big Israel is, but that Israel is. How dare Jews want in one tiny, resurrected state what Arabs have created almost two dozen of for themselves, mostly by conquering and forcibly Arabizing non-Arab peoples? Taba is now the Arabs' starting point for negotiations.

In the Arab vision of justice, virtually the entire region is "purely Arab patrimony." Hence, the millions of dead or subjugated Kurds, Copts, Berbers, black African Sudanese, native Jews, and so forth. To paraphrase Dr. Boutros Boutros Ghali, Egypt's Uncle Tom Coptic Foreign Minister, 'If you want to gain acceptance, you must consent to Arabization.'

If the Abu Alaas of the world admit that Jews are a nation or a people, then it makes Arab rejection of their national movement - Zionism - more difficult to defend; i.e., how could Arabs demand a twenty-second state for themselves, and a second one in "Palestine" (Jordan was carved out of the lion's share of the land), while denying Jews their one?

When the Roman historian, Tacitus, wrote the following amid the Jews' struggle for independence against their imperial Roman conquerors, ask yourselves if he was only referring to a religion or to a people who coincidentally had specific religious beliefs. Tacitus and other contemporary Roman historians, like Dio Cassius, wrote extensively on this topic, and I quote them frequently to those who babble as Abu Alaa does:
Taba is now the Arabs' starting point for negotiations.

Titus was appointed by his father to complete the subjugation of Judaea... he commanded three legions in Judaea itself.... To these he added the twelfth from Syria and the third and twenty-second from Alexandria.... [A]mongst his allies were a band of Arabs, formidable in themselves and harboring towards the Jews the bitter animosity usually subsisting between neighboring nations (Vol. II, Book V, The Works of Tacitus)

So, Abu Alaa's tale is the ongoing saga of Arabs denying everyone in "their" region even a minuscule portion of the very same rights they demand for themselves. That's what the Anfal Campaign was against Kurds in Iraq; what Ismet Cherif Vanly wrote about in his book, The Syrian Mein Kampf Against the Kurds, (Amsterdam, 1968); what Arab genocide in Darfur and the Sudan is about; along with murder and intimidation of Copts in Egypt, Berbers in North Africa, and what's left of native Jews in "their " lands.

On October 31, 2007, the Associated Press wrote of Abu Alaa - now Arab chief negotiator at yet another American President's attempt to improve his legacy by consenting to traditional State Department Arabist arm-twisting of Jews - "raising the stakes" prior to the proposed gang-up-on-the-Jews "peace" summit at Annapolis.

Since Ehud Olmert and the Israeli leadership are now incapable of responding to Abbas, Querei' and all the other State Department alleged Arab good cops properly, let me propose the following Israeli response to Abu Alaa's modern Arabian tale:

No nation is obligated to take part in its own suicide, despite what Czechoslovakia was forced to do by its "friends" via Munich in 1938. Israel is not obligated to withdraw to UN-imposed 1949 armistice lines, which made it nine miles wide in parts and a constant invitation to be attacked. Those lines merely marked the point where invading Arab armies were stopped after the rebirth of Israel in 1948 on roughly 11% of the original 1920 Palestinian Mandate created after the collapse of the Ottoman Turkish Empire, which ruled it for four centuries. After the Arab attempt on Israel's life in 1967, UN Resolution 242 made this quite clear. Israel was to get "secure and recognized borders" - not armistice lines - in return for any withdrawal from territories it came to occupy in a defensive war, and this was to be done in the context of real peace treaties, not hudna-type ceasefires. All of the resolution's final architects, quotes from Presidents Johnson and Reagan, Secretary of State Shultz, and others demonstrate this well.

Regardless of State Department Arabist attempts to bury the facts over the years (by some of the same folks who fought Israel's very rebirth), Israel must hold its ground and demand that Judea does not once again become Judenrein, and seek a fair territorial compromise on that "West Bank."

Arabs are already controlling most of the original territory just in Jordan alone. All of Gaza has since been handed over - with Arab mortars and rockets constantly launched from there against Israel anyway. (This occurred under Fatah's watch as well as Hamas's, for those bent on excusing the good cops.) Much of the "West Bank" is now also under Arab control , courtesy of the one-sided concessions of Oslo.
Israel must hold its ground and demand that Judea does not once again become Judenrein.

There will be no timetable for the creation of Arab state no. 22. As Arabs show themselves true partners for a true peace - not their well known hudna games - then more steps can be taken towards that Arab goal.

No nation would consent to being a partner with another whose school text books, maps, television and radio stations, children's camps, religious leaders, and so forth are unrelenting in calling for the other partner's destruction. All of this was supposed to change as of the Oslo Accords. None of it did. And Mahmoud Abbas, Abu Alaa and Co. insist that they will flood a minuscule Israel, after it withdraws to the '49 armistice lines, with millions of jihadist alleged refugees.

Recall Abu Alaa's problem with a "Jewish" Israel. The Arab leopard does not change its spot on this "purely Arab patrimony" issue. And it won't after Annapolis 2007, either.

The Jews will once again be pressured to cave in to the Arabs' post-‘67 destruction-in-stages plans, courtesy of their American friends. Munich 2007.

Hopefully, Israel will quickly snap out of its stupor and have its own say at how this latest tale of the Arabian Nights will end.