The Right to Exist


One of the catch phrases of conservative Israeli politicians is that the Palestinians refuse to accept Israel’s right to exist. Netanyahu in his recent trip to Washington, DC to meet with President Obama was saying the same thing, while at the same time talking about the “Jewish State” (as opposed to a multi-cultural democratic state) and refusing to even address a possible two state solution. And as we all know, without a two state solution, Israel is left with the options of ethnic cleansing or apartheid.

So where is the Israeli government’s acknowledgment of the Palestinians’ right to exits? Just look at the basic statistics: In 1920 in the British Mandate over Palestine, the population of the area was 78% Muslim, 11% Jewish and 10% Christian. At the end of the Mandate in 1945 in Jerusalem, for example, land ownership was 84% Arab (Christian and Muslim) and 2% Jewish. Flash forward to 2006 and of Israel’s 7 million people, 77% were Jews, but only 18.5% were Arabs. I don’t think these numbers are perfect, but you get the picture.

Clearly, Netanyahu and the Israeli state as reflected in the numbers, like Hamas, does not respect the other side’s right to exist.



Filed under Essays

4 responses to “The Right to Exist

  1. There’s an inherent problem with this argument.

    Firstly, the Israeli people lawfully purchased the land from the Palestinians, starting in the early 1900’s.

    Second, the Palestinians refusal to accept the fact that the land was lawfully purchased, giving controlling right to the Israeli people, has never been accepted.

    Third, Israel is an internationally recognised sovereign nation, starting in 1968.

    Fourth, as a condition of socio-cultural hypocrisy, the other Arab nations do not care about the Palestinian people; until there is an issue involving Israel. If the Palestinians are noteworthy individuals of Arab descent, why oh why do the other Arab nations refuse them citizenship, rights, protection, etc. and force Palestinians into the “refugee” condition?

    Egypt, UAE, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, Kuwait … none of them want anything to do with Palestinians. Even within “their own kind” they are considered, blankly, to be problem people, fanatics, anarchist lunatics … the last phrase given to me by two gentlemen from Kuwait that I met two weeks ago.

    Follow the money, find the BS: the Palestinians have no money, no tangible value, no commodified use, so …

  2. eric

    There’s a wonderful poem by Taha Mohammed Ali about how the money trail bypasses the Palestinian people. It is called, “Thrombosis in the Veins of Petroleum”:


    When I was a child
    I fell into the abyss
    but didn’t die;
    I drowned in the pond
    when I was young,
    but did not die;
    and now, God help us—
    one of my habits is running
    into battalions of land mines
    along the border,
    as my songs
    and the days of my youth
    are dispersed:
    here a flower,
    there a scream;
    and yet,
    I do not die!

    They butchered me
    on the doorstep
    like a lamb for the feast—
    in the veins of petroleum;
    In God’s name
    they slit my throat
    from ear to ear
    a thousand times,
    and each time
    my dripping blood would swing
    back and forth
    like the feet of a man
    hanged from a gallows,
    and come to rest,
    a large, crimson mallow
    a beacon
    to guide ships
    and mark
    the site of palaces
    and embassies.
    And tomorrow,
    God help us—
    the phone won’t ring
    in a brothel or castle,
    and not in a single Gulf Emirate,
    except to offer a new prescription
    for my extermination.
    But …
    just as the mallow tells us,
    and as the borders know,
    I won’t die! I will not die!!
    I’ll linger on—a piece of shrapnel
    the size of a penknife
    lodged in the neck;
    I’ll remain—
    a blood stain
    the size of a cloud
    on the shirt of this world!

  3. ReWrite

    amazing poem!

  4. ReWrite

    Actually have a different summary/take on the poem than you… I think he is saying that no matter what one does to the Palestinians they aren’t doing to die… any they will be a stain/a clot/a thorn in the side of those that try to stop them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s