Peace Is Foundering on the Shoals of Arab Rejectionism

(Algemeiner) Philip Carl Salzman - On Sept. 3, 1947, the UN Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) introduced a detailed proposal to the UN General Assembly for the partition of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state, approved less than three months later by a vote of 33 to 13. Not for the last time, however, a concerted international effort to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict foundered on the shoals of Arab rejectionism. Arab Muslims roundly condemned UN partition - and more broadly the very principle of a Jewish state anywhere in Palestine - striving instead for complete victory. The Arabs acted according to their tradition, refusing compromise with inferiors. Not only did Jews, long a subservient and despised minority in the house of Islam, lack the right to have an independent state in Palestine, but the Arab residents of Palestine had no right to concede it to them. The Arabs eventually changed their rhetoric to a more useful narrative. In this retelling, Israel is responsible for seven decades of mayhem, not the victim of unremitting hostility. That role would now be played by the Arab residents of Palestine. The UN has established a complex bureaucracy devoted solely to their needs. In the end, the victimization narrative hurts Palestinians by obscuring the actual sources of their misery - their failed supremacist ideology, despotic and corrupt leaders, and irrational hate of Jews - preventing the emergence of genuine solutions to a tragic, festering problem. The writer, a professor of anthropology at McGill University, is a fellow at the Middle East Forum.

2017-09-05 00:00:00

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