Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Who would've thought? Mahmoud Abbas’s time-machine politics dooms peace (again) - by Jonathan S. Tobin

...In theory, those who still hold to that belief might be right. But Israelis and Palestinians don’t live in a theoretical world in which dividing adjacent land into states coexisting peacefully is the obvious answer to their problems. They live in the real world, where the only Palestinian leaders are the Islamists of Hamas, who still seek the deaths of Jews, and the “moderates” of Fatah led by Abbas, who is selling his people a fairy tale about Canaanites who will somehow use a historical time machine to expel the descendants of Joshua.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
13 August '19..

It turns out that the events of 1967 in which Israel took possession of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and reunited Jerusalem isn’t the only historical event that Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas wishes to erase from the pages of history. Nor is the reversal of the verdict of 1948, when the Jews regained sovereignty over part of their ancient homeland, or 1917, when the Balfour Declaration set the Jews on a path towards statehood, the only other items on his counter-factual wish list. It turns out that Abbas wants to go back a lot further than that in making his demands.

His real problem is with the biblical book of Joshua.

That’s right. Rather than simply go back to the 19th century, his latest speech revealed that the new starting point for the Palestinian quest for “justice” is some time in the 13th century BCE. That’s the approximate date historians give to when the tribes of Israel began the conquest of the land of Canaan they had been promised when they left Egypt a generation beforehand.

That is the clear implication of a speech Abbas gave this week while visiting a Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank, during which he declared that the Jewish interlopers in the country would eventually be expelled, and that not a brick of their “settlements” would eventually be left standing.

“They will be in the dustbins of history, and they will remember that this land is for its people, its residents and the Canaanites who were here 5,000 years ago. We are the Canaanites,” he declared.

The breathtaking scope of his boasts will be dismissed by those who view faith in the ultimate success of the peace process with the Palestinians as a kind of religion that is impervious to all contrary proof.

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