The story posted at MEMRI.org shows a realistic assessment of the “Palestinians” and what the writer would do, as he repeatedly says, “if I were Palestinian.”
The summary below is followed by excerpts from the article:
In a February 24, 2020 article headlined “If I Were Palestinian” in the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Egyptian author and journalist Khalid Al-Bari compared the Palestinians’ perception of their cause to the misdiagnosis of a disease, which not only fails to solve the problem but actually aggravates it. He called on them to assess their situation objectively in order to attain a solution that will afford them a dignified life.
In seeking a solution, he said, the Palestinians must take into consideration that Israel is powerful, that the Arab support for the Palestinian cause is not unlimited, and that all those who market old and erroneous solutions to the conflict do not have the Palestinians’ interests at heart. He urged them to give up the idea of armed struggle and self-sacrifice, strive for peace with Israel, and focus on establishing vibrant communities and effective self-government in part of historic Palestine, in order to start living their lives.
Khalid Al-Bari is a brave man. His advice to the Palestinians is to give up their terrorism, to give up the “armed struggle and self-sacrifice” in order to some day – a day that recedes ever further into the future – destroy Israel, but instead, they should “strive for peace” with Israel and establish communities worth living in, not consumed by warfare and distracted by hate, ruled by a succession of colossally corrupt and cruel warlords who have led the Palestinians so far astray, and stolen so much from them. Instead, they must learn to govern themselves successfully (“effective self-government,” mentioned by El-Bari, means democratic rule), and accepting that their state will be only “in part” of historic Palestine. They must learn, in other words, to compromise. For otherwise there is no way out of the dead end of constant warfare against a much more powerful and clever enemy.
A relative of mine had a stomachache during her pregnancy and went to the doctor, who diagnosed a bacterial infection in her liver and told [her family] to give her sweets in order to counter her low sugar levels. Her family… indeed fed her caramel cream in unusually large amounts.
There are two kinds of misdiagnosis, both of them serious. One kind [misidentifies] the reasons for the illness, and you [waste] time getting treated for a disease you do not have, while the real illness spreads through your body. This kind of misdiagnosis is a disaster. The1 second kind is an [even] bigger disaster, because you receive the opposite diagnosis [from the correct one], which not only ignores and neglects the real disease, but actually aggravates it.
The same phenomenon is also common in political diagnoses. We misdiagnose the political disease and treat it in a way that deepens our disregard of [the real problem] or reinforces the factors that caused it, instead of removing them. Sometimes the misdiagnosis is provided by our rivals who openly declare their hostility towards us.
The preferred method for circulating false [political] prescriptions is by alluding to [upholding] ‘national principles,’ namely old prescriptions that were in use hundreds of years ago and have not developed [since then] … The best proof of the bad faith of those who defend ‘national principles’ is that they exempt their friends from [upholding] them. Thus, you find the Ottoman Brotherhood [i.e., the Muslim Brotherhood, which is backed by Turkey] spreading all kinds of political and social ideas, while granting Turkey a permanent exemption from [upholding] them.
As for our relative, we later discovered that she had suffered pain in the right side of her abdomen, beneath the ribs, not because of a liver infection… but due to pre-eclampsia, which developed because she was suffering from undiagnosed diabetes. In this case, the misdiagnosis, along with the large amounts of sugar [she consumed per the doctor’s instructions], aggravated the disease and caused a miscarriage, following which she was also warned that a second pregnancy would be dangerous.
The misdiagnosis of the Palestinian problem, and [the prescription of] ‘national principles’ as a treatment, have likewise done a disservice to the [Palestinian] cause. Turning it into a religious struggle surely reinforces Israel’s claim [over the land], which is supported by the most widely-circulated book of scripture in the world [i.e., the Old Testament], which still, to a great extent, shapes historical memory in the West.
Here one begs to differ. The “struggle” of the Palestinians, or of the Arabs, against Israel, was not “turned into a religious struggle”: it has always been a religious struggle, of Believers against the Infidel Jews, who are described in several dozen Qur’anic verses as the most dangerous and fanatical enemies of Muslims and of Islam. El-Bari’s insistence that in the beginning the “struggle” was not “religious” and even now, is not really religious in nature, is something he needs to insist on, because if he were to admit that it was always a struggle based on the commands in the Qur’an itself, there would be no possibility of persuading Muslim Palestinians to give up such a struggle. It is Khalid Al-Bari who, for the most admirable of reasons, wants to convince the Palestinians, and the world, and even himself, that it never was a “religious” struggle and Is not now.