Reader Asks: What Is
Your Official Position
10 January, 2003]
was wondering what your official position on the creation of a Palestinian
can be no doubt that most of the Arab leaders in the Middle East are
allow Islamist fundamentalism to grow within Arab society like a cancer.
suppress women's rights (in varying and different ways, depending on
whether the regime in question is secular or fundamentalist) and curtail
due process, civil liberties and freedom of the press.
seems that Israel is the only country in the region that can rightfully
call itself a liberal democracy.
there can be no doubt that the Palestinian people have been subjected to a
great injustice since the creation of the Republic of Israel. They have
been displaced, humiliated, bombed, tortured, and deprived of fundamental
civil and human rights by successive Israeli administrations through the
Israeli security forces.
no-one can deny the evil of suicide bombings and the tragedy of Israelis
murdered in the course of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the following
hypothesis would seem to make sense and indeed resonate positively with
many people: if an independent Palestinian state were to be established,
extremist elements such as Islamic Jihad would lose most of their support
from among the Palestinian people. Not only that, they would lose most of
their popularity in general since they would no longer be able to claim to
be freedom fighters. Any talk of “pushing the Jews into the sea” would
be seen for what it is: anti-Semitic fanaticism.
best thing for the Middle East at the moment would be for the creation of
an independent and democratic Palestinian republic alongside an
independent and democratic Israel.
would conduct trade, interact as equal partners and work together to
establish real security for both peoples. And i don't think that the
Israeli government can use the issue of security as a pretext to subvert
such efforts. Israel, if I'm correct, is the fourth most powerful country
in the world, in military terms. It has nuclear, chemical and biological
weapons, a state-of-the-art conventional arsenal, and a substantial,
I'm being naive. But many Israeli citizens see that continuing the
occupation of Palestinian lands can only lead to more violence in which
both peoples suffer.
for your thoughtful letter.
let me clarify something: Emperor’s Clothes does not have official
positions. What you see is what you get: we arrive at conclusions based on
research and analysis, and we change our minds when we think we were
wrong. As a case in point, Emperor’s Clothes will now publish my article
Is our Land and the Jews our Dogs”:
Anti-Semitism, Misinformation, and the Whitewashing of the Palestinian
this article I discuss how my recent research caused me to change my mind:
I now believe that the Palestinian movement has always been racist.
me begin by pointing out where we agree. I quote you:
“Arab leaders in the Middle-East are anti-Semitic thugs”;
“They allow Islamist fundamentalism to grow within Arab society
like a cancer”;
“They suppress women’s rights…and curtail due process, civil
liberties, and freedom of the press”;
“It seems that Israel is the only country in the region that can
rightfully call itself a liberal democracy.”
far you and I agree.
also write that, “there can be no doubt that the Palestinian people have
been subjected to a great injustice since the creation of the Republic of
Israel.” Here I partly agree. I believe that innocent Palestinians have
indeed suffered and I consider this a tragedy. But you blame it on Israel.
That's where we begin to differ. I now think that Arab leaders bear the
lion’s share of the guilt.
hypothesize that “…if an independent Palestinian state were to be
established, extremist elements such as Islamic Jihad would lose most of
their support from among the Palestinian people.”
hypothesis presumes there is an existing organizational alternative to the
anti-Semitic thugs among the Palestinian leadership. And indeed, based on
Western media coverage, it is reasonable to think Arafat’s PLO is a
secular alternative to the anti-Semitic fundamentalists and fascists among
I have been studying this media theme and the problem is, *it isn't true*.
It is a story fabricated to sell the world the idea that creating a
Palestinian state is reasonable and Israeli policies unjust. I was once
sold on those notions myself, but I now think that for Israel to allow
such a state next door would be a grave mistake, possibly tantamount to
explain why I changed my position on these questions in the article I
mentioned above. It can be
let me know what you think.
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