Imagine that in 1948, the Jews who survived the terrible genocide perpetrated by the Nazis hadn’t created the separate nation of Israel but had instead simply gone to Palestine to settle peacefully among the local population. What a different world we would have today!
At the time, the entire world was very sympathetic to and full of compassion for the Jewish people because of what they had endured. The world was, in fact, “pro-Semitic” then, including the Arabic people, who are the Jews’ direct brothers since both groups are Semitic peoples. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semitic)
Knowing this, we can understand that no Arab could possibly be anti-Semitic, despite the much-propagated media lie to the contrary.
Beyond doubt, before the creation of Israel, the Palestinian people would have been ready to welcome all the Jewish survivors to their country, where Jews already made up three percent of the population and had lived happily among the Arabic people for centuries. This Jewish minority was highly respected and was perfectly integrated into the Muslim society.
What happened after World War II was both tragic and unnecessary. At first, many Jews emigrated there peacefully from Europe. Then some fanatical Zionists initiated the creation of a purely Jewish state that stole land and houses from the Arabic people, forcing more than a million of them into exile in a monstrous ethnic cleansing episode.
Imagine that this terrible crime had never been committed. The Palestinians would have welcomed Jews from around the world, since Muslims have great respect for Jews, described in the Koran as People of the Book (referring to the Bible). The Shoa [Holocaust] survivors would have brought with them to Palestine their enormous scientific and intellectual knowledge, and today we would have a rich country called Palestine that would be approximately 30 percent Jewish. Those Jews would now form part of a democratically elected government, and there would be no war there, nor any refugees – and no concentration camps like Gaza. September 11 wouldn’t have happened and we’d have no ‘war against terror.’ Just imagine…
Then consider the reality: Israel today is very similar to – yet even worse than – the South Africa of the apartheid era. It’s a racist state that accepts only Jewish immigrants, denies equal rights to non-Jews living there and forbids members of other religions to attempt the conversion of its Jews. Its fanatical orthodox Jews even consider all non-Jews to be inferior human beings called “gentiles,” who, according to the orthodox religious books, are just good enough to be slaves.
Following the great example set by Mahatma Gandhi, I recently launched an initiative called “Be a Jewish Gandhi,” which promotes the adoption of Palestinian orphans by Israeli couples, who would agree to raise the adopted children as Muslims. But it looks as though Israeli law makes it illegal for Jews to adopt non-Jewish children! Can we imagine anything more racist?
It’s not too late to create peace between these Semitic brothers, but every new war crime like the Gaza massacre makes it more difficult. The solution is very simple: as usual, only love – not war – can save humanity. A two-state solution is not the solution, for it’s perpetuating a terrible apartheid. Those who lost their land, homes and children will never be able to forgive and live side by side with their tormentors.
The hatred in this region will never end unless something drastic happens, since the only solution would be something that creates a truly deep and sincere reconciliation. Such reconciliation can only be accomplished if the victims are first recognized as victims, then integrated into a new entity – and with huge monetary compensation for their suffering. This means the creation of a unique, new state of Palestine, in which, as in South Africa, two groups of people – in this case, Palestinians and Jews – could live peacefully side by side and share their combined financial and human resources. This huge new Palestinian nation could become very rich, since so much money is now wasted on non-productive military expenditures.
Of course, creating this new nation would involve giving back to the Palestinians every parcel of land and every house that has been stolen from them – or the equivalent in monetary compensation if that property has been destroyed – plus additional financial compensation for each person killed and for the years of exile. And of course there would have to be a guarantee that all the exiled Palestinians can return home safely.
Then, surely, the Semitic Palestinians would forgive their Jewish brothers and live peacefully together with them forever. There is more than enough land in Palestine to create room for everybody, but only forgiveness and compassion can make it possible.
The Israelis are refusing to allow the Palestinian refugees to return mainly because they’re afraid of becoming a minority. But only those who don’t trust the majority are afraid of being a minority, as the pro-apartheid white supremacists were in South Africa for so long. Today’s South Africa is the proof that peaceful co-existence works. The national reconciliation in that country wrought by great human beings like Nelson Mandela was a success. Just as whites in South Africa no longer feel threatened living among a black majority, there’s no reason for Jews to fear living among an Arabic majority in a peaceful country where everyone would enjoy the same equal rights. After all, that would be a much less dangerous situation than being surrounded by hundreds of millions of hostile Arabic people!
The international community, the United Nations and all superpowers should force Israel to accept this solution – if necessary, by putting in place, as they did for South Africa, a total economic embargo against Israel until the solution is accepted. They should also send troops to protect the defenseless Palestinian people in the Gaza concentration camp, who are in danger of being exterminated in a genocide that will forever make the Israelis look as bad as the Nazis. This genocide will trigger a worldwide wave of what is called ‘anti-Semitism,’ but which will in fact be hatred directed against Jewish people.
The Israeli Law of Return, if applied equally to Palestinians and Jews worldwide, would permit the creation of a very rich country. It would also solve the problem of the hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers who built houses in the Palestinian territories, since they would be able to stay where they are. The returning Palestinians could go back to their homes and lands in Israel. And Jerusalem would be the capital that both Palestinians and Jews cherish.
So it’s not too late to implement this fundamental change – the creation of a new Palestinian state in which all Semitic brothers and sisters can live together peacefully, without drama, bombs, genocide or orphans. Just imagine, as John Lennon sang so beautifully: “You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”
Let’s make the dream of a united Palestine a reality before it’s too late! It’s the only solution.