Sharon's victory poses a new opportunity for Arab world

Category: World Affairs Topics: Ariel Sharon, Occupation, Palestine Views: 503

By Ray Hanania Feb. 13, 2001 The election of the fanatic Ariel Sharon exposes the truth of the current peace process, that the Israelis do not want peace with the Palestinians and will never return the lands stolen in 1967. We knew they wouldn't return the land stolen in 1948, but many Palestinians who believed in compromise had hoped they would return the lands occupied in the 1967 war. Now that the truth has surfaced and the true Israeli has risen, Palestinians must use this as an opportunity to reorganize themselves and re-evaluate their flawed policies of the past. The rejection of the current peace process by the Israelis allows the Palestinians an opportunity to take the process of negotiations to their real start, which is 1948. We need to return to our initial negotiating position, and that means adding Jaffa, Haifa, the Negev Desert, and Acre among many other cities, to our list of demands. These cities, taken by force in 1947, most before the so-called Arab invasion, must be returned to Palestinian control. Jerusalem should not be divided, but neither should the fanatics in Israel's government control it. The original United Nations proposal called for Jerusalem to be internationalized. Israel must withdraw back to these 1947 partition borders, return the land it stole in 1947, 1948 and again in 1967, and accept the concept that despite many long years of conflict, the truth of a situation cannot be erased. Obviously, the Israelis will refuse. Their justification is not moral or legal, but of might. They are the bullies in the Middle East and the Palestinians are the victims. They are the ones who exploited the compassionate embrace of the Palestinians in the 1920s and 1930s and allowed their greedy children to retard the movement and convert it into one of the most extremist movements in the world today. We don't need to worry about the bigotry of the Western media, anymore either. By rejecting the false premises of the current peace process that Sharon has rejected for us, the anti-Arab Western media can write whatever it wishes about us. It won't change anything. What we do need to do, however, is to reorganize the Arab World. Egypt and Jordan must break their peace accords with Israel. That is the first step toward righting the wrong in the most proper and complete process. Second, the leaders of the Islamic political resistance movement must recognize formally the rights of Christian Arabs and include them as equals, and not as kuffars as they have done in the past. Third, this new alignment can establish a policy that recognizes an ultimate goal of re-establishing Palestine as a secular Democratic State where Christians and Muslims can live together in peace and where Jews, too, can live if they accept the Muslims and Christians as equals. If they refuse, then we don't want them. The Arab World wields great power. They not only have oil, but their sons and daughters have become leaders in the growing computer technology world that we now live. We can apply our strengths together, as one people, again. Revitalizing Arab nationalism and rejecting the selfish factionalism that has divided and weakened the Arab position. Palestine is not about the Palestinians. It is about the Arab World reasserting itself as a dominant force in today's and tomorrow's world. Arab Nationalism, not religious extremism, will bring the Arab World and Arab people to power in the Middle East. Because if you are going to die -- and Palestinians continue to die everyday under Israeli occupation -- you might as well die in the cause of doing something right, rather than as a pauper begging for alms and getting kicked in the face by Israeli fanaticism. Israelis are the fanatics in this world, not the Arabs. And the sooner we recognize that as one people united, the sooner our dream of imposing a fair and just system upon the Middle East will occur. Don't go back to the negotiating table asking for a slice of Jerusalem, or some grains of West Bank lands. Instead, let's all go back to square one, and demand what is right and what is just. Let's see if the Israelis prefer to compromise from that position of strength. (Ray Hanania is a Palestinian American writer based in Chicago. His columns are archived on the web at www.hanania.com) Distributed by the Arab Media Syndicate (C) 2001 Hanania Enterprises Ltd., All Rights Reserved


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