He starts out by stating
The Palestinians who were forced out of their homes in 1948 were not regarded by Israel as refugees. That would have implied that Palestine was their country, to which they would have the right to return. This was not the way the Israeli authorities saw itSince most of those Arabs that found themselves not in their homes as a result of an aggressive war launched by the Arabs of Mandate Palestine which intended to eradicate the Jews there and prevent a UN decision to establish a Jewish state were actually still in the territory of the former Palestine Mandate, they were less refugees than internally displaced persons.
In fact he does mention them but gets it wrong:
the ‘present absentees’ and ‘internal infiltrators’: Palestinians who never left Palestine but who had left their villages temporarily to stay in another part of Palestine.
Judea and Samaria and even Transjordan are parts of the Palestine Mandate.
And let us not forget the several Jewish refugees that were cared for by UNRWA until 1952.
Shehadeh notes, too:
Arab Jews who were being absorbed into the new country at the same time were not called refugees either. They came through maabarot (transits), as though by reaching Israel they were passing through the gates of heaven; in Hebrew they were said to be ‘making aliya’, ‘ascending’. Nor were they seen as mere ‘immigrants’: they were returning home after two thousand years of longing.
Continuing to read his 'history' we see this:
By 1987 the number of mukharebeen [wasmukharebeen is what you call a naughty child in Arabic – anta mukhareb, ‘you are a spoiler.’] had greatly increased in the Occupied Territories. Most of us were spoilers. We used every non-violent method and some violent ones to show that we’d had enough of occupation
Arab terror, violence, mainly directed at civilian targets, was started immediately and in fact, had restarted with the founding of the PLO in 1964. Its charter that year defines Zionism so:
Article 19: Zionism is a colonialist movement in its inception, aggressive and expansionist in its goal, racist in its configurations, and fascist in its means and aims. Israel, in its capacity as the spearhead of this destructive movement and as the pillar of colonialism, is a permanent source of tension and turmoil in the Middle East...and therefore,
Article 16: The liberation of Palestine, from an international viewpoint, is a defensive act necessitated by the demands of self-defenseThey just switch things around.
How to achieve 'liberation'? By an
...upbringing of the Palestinian individual in an Arab and revolutionary fashion, the undertaking of all means of forging consciousness and training the Palestinians, in order to acquaint him profoundly spiritually and materially with his land, and prepare him for the conflict and armed struggle
That's in Article 7, even in the 1968 version.
And it's important to highlight that in Article 24 of the 1964 original version, the PLO
...does not exercise any regional sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, in the Gaza Strip or the Himmah area.
That is crucial for understanding the whole mirage of Palestinianism.
Some more inanities he fobs off:
- It was the non-violent uprising of 1987, waged inside the Occupied Territories, that forced Israel to the negotiating table.
- the role those of us living under Israeli rule had played in the civil struggle
- Israeli laws were imported into the Occupied Territories and applied exclusively to the settlers. There had to be separate and unequal development – apartheid – if the Jewish settlements were to flourish.
- After 47 years of Israeli rule Jerusalem is organised, run and designed for the sole benefit of Israeli residents, particularly settlers in and around Arab East Jerusalem, with a shrinking ghetto assigned to disenfranchised Palestinian residents.
- The wish to entrench its virtual acquisition of a state sometimes manifests itself in physical terms: for example, the construction in Ramallah of a million-dollar presidential palace for visiting dignitaries who come to pay homage to the putative head of a state yet to be born.
- What can be done to end this conflict? I would argue for a two-pronged approach. Israel must be made to realise that the failure to apply international law will not last for ever and that occupation will begin to exact an economic price; but it also needs to see the benefits it can derive from making peace.
And then, at the end, he writes:
In 1993...before the Oslo deal was signed, young Palestinians were saying that they would fight Israel to the last day of their lives. But once the deal was signed and began to offer a glimmer of hope the tone changed. You heard them say: Yikhribbeit el hjar, ‘to hell with stone-throwing’. Reminded of their earlier position they said in their defence that they wanted a better future and a chance to live in peace with the Israelis. Prominent among those who went through this transformation and put their faith in the peace process was the Fatah leader, Marwan Barghouti, in his early thirties at the time, who is now serving several life sentences for allegedly leading attacks against Israel.
"Alleged"? In open court, after he was arrested by Israel Defense Forces in 2002 in Ramallah, he was tried and convicted on charges of murder, stemming from attacks carried out by the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, and sentenced to five life sentences. Marwan Barghouti refused to present a defense to the charges brought against him, maintaining throughout that the trial was illegal and illegitimate.