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Reader Asks: What Is
Your Official Position
On A
Palestinian State?

Francisco Gil-White Responds

[Posted 10 January, 2003]
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Dear Emperor's Clothes,

I was wondering what your official position on the creation of a Palestinian state is.

There can be no doubt that most of the 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 (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.

It seems that Israel is the only country in the region that can rightfully call itself a liberal democracy.

However, 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.

While 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.

The 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.

They 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, well-trained army.

Perhaps 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.

Luis C. 

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Francisco Gil-White Responds...

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Dear Luis C.,

Thanks for your thoughtful letter.

First, 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 entitled,

“Palestine Is our Land and the Jews our Dogs”: Anti-Semitism, Misinformation, and the Whitewashing of the Palestinian Leadership.
http://emperors-clothes.com/gilwhite/Israel.htm

In 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.

Let me begin by pointing out where we agree. I quote you:

(1)  “Arab leaders in the Middle-East are anti-Semitic thugs”;

(2)  “They allow Islamist fundamentalism to grow within Arab society like a cancer”;

(3)  “They suppress women’s rights…and curtail due process, civil liberties, and freedom of the press”;

(4)  “It seems that Israel is the only country in the region that can rightfully call itself a liberal democracy.”

So far you and I agree.

You 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.

You 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.”

Your 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 the Palestinians.

But 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 committing suicide.

I explain why I changed my position on these questions in the article I mentioned above.  It can be read at
http://emperors-clothes.com/gilwhite/Israel.htm

Please let me know what you think.

All the best,

Francisco J. Gil-White
Deputy Editor
Emperor’s Clothes

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