Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Partners for Progressive Israel and its decision to print the PLO emblem with the no-Israel map - by Stephen M. Flatow

It’s more than about a map. Entire generations of Palestinian-Arab children have been raised on an image with a powerful message: All of Palestine belongs to the Arabs. None of it belongs to the Jews.

Stephen M. Flatow..
31 August '20..

Partners for Progressive Israel, a left-of-center group that is part of the American Zionist Movement, is in the midst of a 12-session “digital excursion to Israel and Palestine.” Session No. 3, which was held this past week, consisted of virtual meetings with officials of the Palestinian Authority.

The Partners’ official program booklet, describing the contents of the sessions, includes a photo or illustration for each one. For the session with the P.A. meetings, the booklet reprinted the official logo of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which is the parent body of the P.A. The emblem features a map of all of Israel, emblazoned with the words “Palestine From the River to the Sea.”

Why does that matter?

Here’s why. Beginning in the mid-1970s, Israeli left-wing activists started pushing the idea called “the two-state solution.” The premise is that Israel would withdraw to the nine-mile-wide 1949 armistice lines, or “Auschwitz lines” in the memorable words of the diplomat Abba Eban, and a sovereign state of “Palestine” would be established in the vacated areas. The argument is that if the Palestinian Arabs are given their own state in those territories, then they will live in peace with Israel.

The major obstacle to the proposal is that Palestinian-Arab spokesman keeps saying that they will not be satisfied with a state in the territories, but will continue to regard all of Israel as “occupied Palestine” and will fight to “liberate” Palestine.

That’s what makes it so hard to convince a majority of Israelis to support creating a Palestinian state. Most Israelis see the evidence before their eyes, and they don’t believe that the Palestinian Arabs will live in peace. They see the bombings and the shootings—the way Palestinian society glorifies the bombers and the shooters. They hear the speeches calling for jihad and blood. Their blood.

And they see the maps.

By now, the Israeli news media has widely publicized images of the map that appears on the PLO’s letterhead, on the walls in P.A. offices and, most of all, in textbooks in P.A. schools. A map that shows all of Israel as “occupied Palestine.”

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