Arab American group’s inflammatory rhetoric
Myron Kaplan: A panel at the annual conference of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in Washington, D.C. proposed, in effect, a no-Jews solution.
On Sept. 22, an event was telecast to potentially millions by Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN) that could fan the flames of hatred against Jews and Israel. C-SPAN is a repeat offender in such circumstances, as has been documented by CAMERA.
The event was a part of the annual conference of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) in Washington, D.C. The first key session was a one-and-a-half-hour panel discussion, “One State or Two State Solution: What’s Best for the Palestinians?”
The panel’s judgment, in effect, was that what’s best for the Palestinian Arabs is the elimination of all Jews from the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the River Jordan. The four Palestinian American panelists rejected the two-state solution, characterizing it as unjust while advocating either a Palestinian-dominated one-state solution or all-out resistance to the presence of Jews in the entirety of what is now Israel and the West Bank.
But the one-state solution would be unviable for Jews, given the predilections of Muslim Arab pluralities.
At 35 minutes into the discussion, California-born panelist Noura Erakat, a professor of law and a human rights attorney, unleashed a racist diatribe, unquestioned by the other three panelists, likening Israeli “settler colonization” — by which she means the presence of any Jews between the Sea and the River Jordan — to a cancer, charging that either the two-state solution or the one-state solution is like “using Tylenol to address the cancer … instead of chemo. … The thing we need to do is remove the cancer. … If we admit that the West Bank is occupied, we have to admit that Tel Aviv and Haifa are occupied as well as Jerusalem.”
Thus the panel’s solution is, in effect, a no-Jews solution.
ADC bills itself as “the largest Arab American grassroots civil rights organization in the United States” while presenting itself as a unity group of Christian and Muslim Arabs, and this is reflected in the makeup of the Sept. 22 panel. ADC often portrays Israel as the prime enemy of Middle East Arabs, Muslims and Christians alike.
But this falsehood is contradicted by realities, including that Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the actual number of indigenous Christians has increased in recent years while various Arab countries have laws barring Palestinians from citizenship and various professions. Meanwhile, several Middle East countries are engaged in intra-communal upheaval with Shiite and Sunni Muslims regularly killing each other.
ADC’s problematic history includes falsely characterizing Israel as an “apartheid state” and Zionism as racist, and praising terrorist entities Hamas and Hezbollah. ADC’s extremism is exemplified by a 2014 false pernicious charge — “Israel is committing a massacre in Palestine … brought on by Israel’s U.S.-sanctioned illegal occupation of Palestine,” which was documented in the Washington Times and Huffington Post.
The panel wrongly charges, “There are upwards of 600,000 Israeli settlers moving illegally into Palestinian land. They represent the greatest obstacle to the creation of a Palestinian state and realization of a two state solution.” Additionally, “[Palestinians] are removed from their homes and displaced to create new settlements. … We have to embark on a process of settler decolonization. … Israel is a settler colony.”
First, it is untrue that the establishment of Jewish communities in the West Bank displaces Palestinians. These communities, comprising less than six percent of the West Bank, have been built essentially exclusively on property that was state land under Ottoman, British, Jordanian and now Israeli administration, or property purchased from private owners.
Second, the legal right of the Jewish people to reconstitute their own state in their ancestral homeland was granted by the Allied Powers of World War I at the 1920 San Remo conference. And the Jewish presence in the territory was recognized as legitimate in the Mandate for Palestine adopted by the League of Nations in 1922, which provided for the establishment of a Jewish state in the Jewish people’s ancient homeland.
Third, during the period 1948-1967, when Jewish communities were absent from the West Bank, a state of hostilities existed against the Jewish state based on the desire to destroy Israel. So, the settlements issue as a major obstacle to a peace agreement is a bogus one.
Likewise, reflecting ADC’s positions, the panel expounds on the “occupation” myth: “All of Palestine is occupied,” it charged. “You don’t just say the West Bank is occupied and the Gaza Strip is occupied. All of Palestine, all of it is occupied.”
However, the reality is that Jews have continuously lived in their ancestral home in the Holy Land, including Jerusalem. In 1948, the re-establishment of the Jewish nation of Israel, with the capacity of caring for Jewish refugees, was supported by the United Nations.
Israel sought to accommodate the Arabs, but was immediately rebuffed by Arab armies that attempted to annihilate the Jewish state. Thereafter, Arab forces attacked, or gathered to attack, Israel several times in order to destroy it. Jews cannot be deemed to occupy their own rightful country, including the West Bank (Judea and Samaria).
Israel is the obligatory and legal military occupational authority of the West Bank, having taken the territory from Jordanian occupation in self-defense in the 1967 Six Day War. But the land is not “Palestinian.” It is disputed. Hence the need for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
Obviously, reliable information about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not to be expected from groups such as ADC, peddling hate and propaganda, and sometimes aided and abetted by C-SPAN. PJC
Myron Kaplan is a senior research analyst for CAMERA, the 65,000-member Boston-based Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.