Thursday, November 29, 2012

Daoud Kuttab Makes the Case for Palestine

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. If that's true, then Alan Dershowitz should be extremely flattered that Jordanian propagandist Daoud Kuttab's latest blog post for the Huffington Post is titled The Case for Palestine (a clear reference to Dershowitz's books The Case for Israel and The Case for Peace). Unlike Dershowitz, of course, Kuttab's post is long on lies and half truths and short on facts. Let's go through it, shall we?

Kuttab leads off by declaring that the recent Gaza violence shows that, "the case for an independent state of Palestine has never been so compelling as it is today," and then proceeds to whitewash history:

"Zionists in Palestine rejoiced in 1947, following the UN General Assembly vote for partition into a Jewish and an Arab state. It is ironic that, as rockets from Gaza reach the outskirts of Tel Aviv, those Israelis who celebrated the partition and their descendants do not see the importance of fulfilling the other half of the partition plan.
It is true that Palestinians, who comprised the vast majority of the population and owned an overwhelming share of the land, were unhappy with the partition plan, which awarded them 46 percent of mandatory Palestine. Today, Palestinians are seeking statehood on a mere 22 percent of the territory that had been part of mandatory Palestine until Israel was unilaterally established on areas much larger than those awarded by UN General Assembly Resolution 181 in 1947."
Check out this blatant dishonesty. Kuttab says that Palestinians at the time of partition were "unhappy with the partition plan," because it didn't get enough land, and today they are seeking statehood on much less of the land than was given them in the partition. Not mentioned, of course, is the genocidal war the Palestinians launched after the partition plan was announced, launched not because they didn't get a majority of the land, but because the Jews received any land at all for their state. Incredible that turning down the partition and causing decades of terror and murder have resulted in Palestinians ending up with less land than if they had chosen peace in 1948. Less incredible is Daoud Kuttab's pathetic attempt to whitewash that history and pretend the Palestinians are as innocent as baby lambs.

Next, Kuttab tries his hand at some lawfare:
"Palestine's quest for statehood within the borders of June 4, 1967, falls squarely within international law. The UN Security Council resolved in November of that year that "acquisition of territory by war" is unacceptable. Subsequent Security Council resolutions and international treaties have upheld this principle."
OK...the only thing that principle subscribes is that states cannot acquire territory through war. That has nothing to do with "Palestine's" quest for statehood. Palestine can easily be a state on the territory that the Palestinians governments currently control: Gaza and Area C of the West Bank. There are numerous states that have less territory. But apparently Kuttab, like so many other Palestinian propagandists before him, believes that simply saying "international law" is enough to convince people he's right.

Coming up, Kuttab wants us to take his word on something:
"The Arab League initiative, which was also approved by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, embraces a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, but goes one step further, calling for a "just" and "agreed upon" solution to the thorny Palestinian refugee issue. By accepting the words "agreed upon," Palestinians, Arabs and other Muslim-majority countries have conceded that Israel will not recognize Palestinian refugees' inalienable right to return to their homes. This should allay Israeli fears that the right of return would end Israel's existence as a Jewish state."
Kuttab declares that the words "agreed upon" in the API means that the Arabs accept that Israel will not allow the Palestinians the so called right of return (the fact that no such right of return to one's "home" exists does not seem to prevent Kuttab from calling it "inalienable"). What evidence does Kuttab have to back up this statement? He presents none. I guess we should just take it on faith that "agreed upon" means what Kuttab says it does, rather than what all the other Palestinian leadership says. You know, because Kuttab is such a trustworthy guy.

Kuttab acknowledges the split Palestinian governments, but doesn't seem to consider it to be a problem:
"Abbas will go to New York holding an even more important card. Israel's recent brutal violence in Gaza has united Palestinians who were split along partisan lines. Leaders of Abbas' Fatah faction, which controls the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, and of Gaza-based Hamas have been meeting regularly to implement the Egyptian-Qatari reconciliation plan. Political prisoners from both sides have been released, and a senior Fatah delegation just visited Gaza.

Hamas officials, including Mahmoud Ramahi, the leader of a bloc in the Palestinian National Council, have publicly supported the UN recognition bid. According to Mousa Abu Marzook, Hamas's deputy leader, his movement is not opposed to Abbas' diplomatic initiative."
It's true, this one move Hamas and Fatah happen to agree on. But it wasn't that long ago they were fighting each other. How can a state of "Palestine" exist when it's ruled by two governments? Mr. Kuttab doesn't seem to care!

Now for some quick hits at the end of the piece:
"An independent and free Palestine alongside a safe and secure Israel is a plan upon which the entire world agrees."
This simply isn't true because Hamas and Hezbollah are part of the "entire world," and they don't agree.
"Palestinians have shown that they are willing to accept minor and agreed-upon land swaps, and will be open to creative ideas for solving the problem of Jerusalem, possibly following the parameters set out by U.S. President Bill Clinton at the end of his second term."
 Which Palestinians? Because as we blogged about yesterday, the democratically elected government of the Palestinians (aka Hamas) is preparing for “mobilization and liberation of our land and our Jerusalem,” and also stated that “Palestine as we know it, whose borders were drawn by our heroes from Ras Al-Naqoura to Rafah and from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River.” I guess simply taking all of Jerusalem for themselves could, in the world of Daoud Kuttab, be considered a "creative idea for solving the problem of Jerusalem," so that's not necessarily a complete lie.
"The case for Palestine has never been so clear. A vote for recognition of Palestinian statehood is a vote for peace."
 In my opinion, there is no reason to think an independent Palestinian state would be any less violent, fascist, and apartheid than Gaza today. A vote for recognition of Palestinian statehood is a vote for racism, fascism, and murder. But don't take my word for it. Just ask Vittorio Arrigoni.

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