A Palestinian-American Responds

My recent post, How Palestinians Alienate Americans and Undermine Prospects for a Two-State Solution, garnered a comment on Facebook, and it’s sufficiently important and eloquent to reproduce here.  Its author is Nader Hasan, a Palestinian-American, an accomplished Virginia lawyer and family man, a very dear friend for nearly two decades, and one of the most honorable human beings I’ve been privileged to know.

Kendrick, nice piece but I disagree. After my visits to the occupied territories, including 3 weeks this summer and 3 times last year, I do not believe that the majority of the Palestinian population calls for the destruction of Israel any longer, or even the eventual destruction… Yes, there are still a few old die-hards who will chant “down with Israel” because that’s all they know, the same who believe Arafat was poisoned… But my conversations with Palestinians provide that the Palestinian view towards Americans, in general, is changing for the better. (I think they really do believe now, with shock, that most Americans are ignorant to the conflict and have no idea, so they are not as mad – electing Obama, with the middle name Hussein, didn’t hurt either and clearly blew their minds) but, yes, they are losing hope for the two-state solution when one state is disappearing with continued settlements and the US can’t do anything about it… The 20-40 yr olds are tired and worn out, do not care about a nation any longer, and now say, “sure, take all the land, call it all Israel, and we shall be Israelis… we just want to travel and have options for education and have real life experiences.. rather than be confined.”  And Kendrick, until you travel through the Calandia checkpoint, you do not realize that the West Bank and Gaza are literally two huge prisons. So giving up the hope for a Palestinian state in exchange for freedom is an easy sell.

But then they ask the question, “since Israel is a democracy, we will have equal rights, correct?” Unfortunately, the reply is, “No. You must be Jewish or you must leave.”

What? Not even Palestinian reservations like we provided the Native American Indians? I guess the lure of alcohol and gambling probably won’t attract them to that idea, although it worked in Jericho for a while.

I like Rabin’s son’s idea, the Israeli Peace Initiative. Makes sense. True path to peace. As an American, it is in our interests to see a Palestinian state created.. Don’t care about the borders… MOST IMPORTANT – this will undermine terrorist recruitment against USA. How? Terrorists will no longer be able to manipulate this conflict by telling Muslim kids that that the US support of Israel and its continued settlements proves that the US is at war with Islam and is on a biblical path to have all of Israel (river to river) returned to the Jewish people. It’s bs, I know we Americans laugh at that pitch, but imagine if you were ignorant and living in the Middle East. It’s an easy sell, especially after the war in Iraq.

K, love you, bro, always. Daniel is always in my thoughts and prayers. Peace be with you.

“Do or do not. There is no try.” Yoda

Readers of my blog know well my steadfast support for and love of Israel, naturally not least because my beloved son Daniel is Israeli.  Now readers of my blog will know of my abiding respect and affection for Nader Hasan.  I cannot write about what I perceive as Palestinian missteps, distortions, and abominations without the image of my friend Nader Hasan squarely before me, chastening me with his humanity, forcing me to qualify my notions, and softening my rhetoric.

In a different context, I wrote the following:

How deeply I would wish for every liberal to love a conservative, for every conservative to love a liberal. Without this very human dialectic, we’re deeply ignorant. We never gain any insight into how the other person thinks, what buttons send them spiraling into pre-rational realms, how precisely they are able to hear us but not listen to us, and vice versa.

How deeply I would wish for every Jew to love just one Muslim, and for every Muslim to love just one Jew.  Then there would truly be peace.

I do not agree with everything Nader said in his reply, but I respect enormously his honorable forthrightness, his sincerity in engaging, and his intelligent devotion to a path that yields peace.  The details of my disagreement, then, become inconsequential.  Love you bro.



4 Responses to A Palestinian-American Responds

  1. Thelma says:

    Very nice, K.

  2. Nader says:

    How deeply I wish every Israeli to love one Palestinian, and every Palestinian to love one Israeli.
    I love many of both.
    I hope my reply is not misinterpreted. Although religion is a part of the conflict, preservation of identity is the true issue, arguably on both sides. But I dont understand. If we dont support a Palestinian state, and Israel is a purely jewish state, then what do you suggest we do with all of the Palestinians?

    • We assuredly do support a Palestinian state, as I said in my post. We just marvel, as the sober jest goes in Israel, at how Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

      The Jewish character of Israel is more complicated. For profound historical reasons — the Holocaust and the global persistence of vicious anti-Semitism — there must be a Jewish state. There must be a place where Jews know, with permanent certainty, they can never be scapegoated and persecuted because they are Jews. If Israel were inundated with returning Palestinians, and in 10 or 20 or 50 or a 100 years, there were more Palestinians than Jews in Israel, then Jews would face yet again the vulnerability of minority status, and all that that status has yielded historically. While it doesn’t get much play, the record of Muslim countries regarding their Jewish populations is abysmal. The persecutions, pogroms, and expulsions of Jews in the modern era (in nearly every Arab and most Muslim countries) are a stain on Muslim culture, and a sad backward step from earlier Muslim cultures that eclipsed Christian nations in tolerance and enlightenment. (As you know brother, Saladin is one of my handful of heroes.)

      So yes, Israel must be a Jewish state — hopefully living peacefully alongside a viable Palestinian state with no lingering baggage about Israel’s right to exist, and sufficiently interdependent economically to make Muslims, Jews, Christians, Israelis, and Palestinians in the region committed foremost to prosperity and peace in their shared region.

  3. End the Unjust Arab Occupation of Jewish Land

    NO PALESTINIAN STATE – No land concessions R7.

    Imagine that the various people who settled in the United States for the past 300 years decided one day that they one to parcel the United States into an independent State just for them, would the American public go for it. The Answer is absolutely NO.

    The situation in Israel today is no different. The Arabs there are not Palestinians, there is no such Arab nation as Palestine or Palestinian people.

    Europeans countries today are consisting of numerous people from other countries. Would the Europeans people cede part of their country to set up another State in their midst. The answer is absolutely NO.

    Archeological excavations and historical data is the best proof Israel belongs to the Jewish Nation and non-other.

    All the Arabs in Israel and surrounding areas are from the various Arab nations, such as Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon and other Arab nations.

    Transfer all Arabs from Israel to Jewish Land and Homes confiscated by Arab Countries.

    Prominent PLO Arab says there are no ‘Palestinians’ and no “Palestine”

    PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein admitted in a March 31, 1977 interview with a Dutch newspaper Trouw.

    “The Palestinian people do not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism. ”

    The Qur’an 17:104 – states the land belongs to the Jewish people

    If the historic documents, comments written by eyewitnesses and declarations by the most authoritative Arab scholars are still not enough, let us quote the most important source for Muslim Arabs:
    “And thereafter we [Allah] said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land. And when the last warning will come to pass, we will gather you together in a mingled crowd’.”.
    YUSUFALI: And We said thereafter to the Children of Israel, “Dwell securely in the land (of promise)”: but when the second of the warnings came to pass, We gathered you together in a mingled crowd.
    PICKTHAL: And We said unto the Children of Israel after him: Dwell in the land; but when the promise of the Hereafter cometh to pass We shall bring you as a crowd gathered out of various nations.
    SHAKIR: And We said to the Israelites after him: Dwell in the land: and when the promise of the next life shall come to pass, we will bring you both together in judgment.
    – Qur’an 17:104 –
    Any sincere Muslim must recognize the Land they call “Palestine” as the Jewish Homeland, according to the book considered by Muslims to be the most sacred word and Allah’s ultimate revelation.

    Any building of housing in The Greater Israel is the right and duty of the Israeli government. There is no such a thing as occupied territory. It is the land of Israel for over 4,000 years.

    Sequence of historical events, agreements and a non-broken series of treaties and resolutions, as laid out by the San Remo Resolution, the League of Nations and the United Nations, gives the Jewish People title to the city of Jerusalem and the rest of Israel totaling approximately 45,000 square miles, as mandated by the League of Nations in July of 1922. The process began at San Remo, Italy, when the four Principal Allied Powers of World War I – Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan – agreed to create a Jewish national home in what is now the Land of Israel. (You might as well break apart Syria which was mandated at the same time).

    YJ Draiman.

    20 Years of Research Reveals Jerusalem Belongs to Jews

    (IsraelNN.com) Jacques Gauthier, a non-Jewish Canadian lawyer who spent 20 years researching the legal status of Jerusalem, has concluded: “Jerusalem belongs to the Jews, by international law.”.

    Gauthier has written a doctoral dissertation on the topic of Jerusalem and its legal history, based on international treaties and resolutions of the past 90 years. The dissertation runs some 1,300 pages, with 3,000 footnotes. Gauthier had to present his thesis to a world-famous Jewish historian and two leading international lawyers – the Jewish one of whom has represented the Palestinian Authority on numerous occasions.
    Gauthier’s main point, as summarized by Israpundit editor Ted Belman, is that a non-broken series of treaties and resolutions, as laid out by the San Remo Resolution, the League of Nations and the United Nations, gives the Jewish People title to the city of Jerusalem. The process began at San Remo, Italy, when the four Principal Allied Powers of World War I – Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan – agreed to create a Jewish national home in what is now the Land of Israel.

    We must unleash the wrath of G-D against the enemies of Israel and those collaborating with the enemy.
    End the Unjust Arab Occupation of Jewish Land

    Bible, Zechariah 1:14 Thus says the L-RD of hosts, “I am exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and Zion.” Jerusalem is mentioned hundreds of times in the Jewish Bible, NOT once in the Koran. Psalm 135:12 “He gave their land as a heritage to Israel His people.” Thousands of years ago, G-D foretold in Bible the present-day murderous hate for Israel. Psalm 83 They have said, “Come and let us wipe them out as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more. For they have conspired together with one mind; against You they make a covenant”. The Bible makes it clear that the war is against G-D.

    An interesting questionnaire for Palestinian Advocates

    If you are so sure “Palestine, the country, goes back through most of recorded history,” I expect you to be able to answer a basic questions about that country of Palestine:
    1. When was it founded and by whom?
    2. What were its borders?
    3. What was its capital?
    4. What were its major cities?
    5. What constituted the basis of its economy?
    6. What was its form of government?
    7. Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?
    8. Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence, at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?
    9. What was the language of the country of Palestine ?
    10. What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine ?
    11. What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history and tell what was the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the US dollar, German mark, GB pound, Japanese yen, or Chinese Yuan on that date.
    12. And, finally, since there is no such country today, what caused its demise and when did it occur?
    You are lamenting the “low sinking” of a “once proud” nation.
    Please tell me, when exactly was that “nation” proud and what was it so proud of?

    ???? Do the Palestinian Arabs knot that their Koran states in The Qur’an 17:104 – states the land belongs to the Jewish people – “And thereafter we [Allah] said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land.”

    Here is the least sarcastic question of all: If the people that are mistakenly called “Palestinians” are anything but generic Arabs collected from all over

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