"It bothers me when Palestinians use these two terms interchangeably."But it doesn't remain that way for long. Pretty soon he is reminding us (as if we needed reminding) that there are anti-Zionist Jews. He doesn't like when people substitute "Jew" for "Israeli," but only because he is reminded of American Jews who have "nothing to do with the occupiers and the state of Israel, or would be anti-Zionist and share with Palestinians their aspiration to be rid of the Israeli occupation." Not, presumably, because there are simply Jews who don't hold Israeli citizenship.
He then makes the connection to the Israeli citizenship controversy and the already discussed recognition demand, but eventually he gets to the real meat of why he doesn't like the equating of the two terms:
"The attempts to blur these differences certainly play into the hands of those trying to describe every anti-Israeli action or statement as anti-Semitic."Oh! Of course. How convenient it would be if we could just pretend that the many anti-Semitic things that the Palestinians do and say in their media have nothing at all to do with Israel, and it's just some creative directing by their Pr departments. I'm sure that would be very convenient for Mr. Kuttab and his fellow Palestinians, wouldn't it?
"Palestinians have rejected, and will continue to do so, equating the two terms, for a variety of reasons. Palestinian nationalists insist that the Arab-Israeli conflict is a political national struggle and not a religious one."I think Mr. Kuttab is speaking for the Palestinians here, and is mistaken in doing so. Hamas, for instance, certainly considers this conflict to be a religious one, and (lest we forget) they did win the majority of the votes in 2006. And are we simply supposed to forget about the clerics all over Palestine who use religious terms in their arguments? Let's not forget either that the suffering inflicted on the Palestinians by Israel is treated very differently than the suffering inflicted on them by their fellow Arabs. If this really has nothing to do with religion, then why the dichotomy?
And then Mr. Kuttab says something really interesting:
"And although Palestinians have recognised Israelis within the 1967 borders, they totally refuse the concept that Jews have a biblical right to the land of historic Palestine or beyond."Now on the one hand this is a strawman because only extremist elements in Israel believe that Jews have a "right to the land" in the sense that they and they alone have a Biblical right to possess it. What is more widespread and acceptable is the belief that Jews have the right to live in their historical and biblical homeland. And that is what the Palestinians reject, along with the entire Jewish history there. They have done their level best to deny the truth that the Jews were ever in Palestine before 1880, and have destroyed evidence to try and convince others to do the same.
If they only have a problem with Israel and the occupation and not Jews, then why would they do that, Mr. Kuttab? When Jordan mistreated them, did they try and erase Jordanian history? How about Lebanon's or Yemen's?
Let's move on. Kuttab claims that:
"By ramming the Jewishness of Israel down the throat of Palestinians, the Israeli leadership is harming the attempts by Jews around the world to distance themselves from the political state of Israel even if they support it ethnically, culturally and emotionally."First of all, why is that Israel's problem, exactly? If people are too dumb to realize that an American citizen who happens to be Jewish is not one and the same as Israel, then why should Israel have to kowtow to them? Especially when, as we have explained in the past, it is that same "Jewishness" of Israel (and the Palestinian refusal to accept it) that is the real core of this conflict. It is precisely because the Palestinians won't accept the Jewishness of Israel (despite all of Mr. Kuttab's explanations) that they won't make peace with it either. They have proven this in the past.
Finally, Mr. Kuttab concludes with a veiled threat:
"This will have much longer negative effects on world Jewry than on Palestinians. I hope they will realise this dangerous move and will act to stop it before it is too late."I think Matt said it best in the thread when he said that "if people around the world punish innocent Jews for perceived Israeli crimes, that is the fault of neither the innocent Jews nor the Israelis. People are responsible for their own actions." Not that this isn't the favorite talking point of the anti-Semite and the Palestinian supporter, it's the perfect way to blame the victim. I expected better from Mr. Kuttab.