According to a Thursday report in Al-Monitor, Biden State Department wonk Ned Price claimed at a press conference: “It is a historical fact that Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights after the 1967 war.” Price thus signaled once again that Biden’s handlers plan to take up the Obama administration’s betrayal of Israel and support for the Palestinian jihad in a big way. But the central claim is wrong: contrary to the propaganda that inundates the world every day, Israel did not occupy “Palestinian Territories” in 1967 or at any other time.
Price and his colleagues in the Biden State Department don’t know, or don’t want you to know, that the “West Bank” (that is, Judea and Samaria) and Gaza were part of the original post-World War I Mandate for Palestine, set aside for a Jewish national home. Not only that, but between 1949 and 1967, when they were under Jordanian and Egyptian rule, nothing was ever said about how they were occupied “Palestinian” territory; in fact, there was no mention made of the “Palestinians” at all, as they were not invented until the 1960s, as a rhetorical stick to beat Israel with. After the 1967 war, Israel was occupying land to which only Israel, among all the countries of the world, had any legal claim. Find out more about this in The Palestinian Delusion.
Palestinian spokesmen have again and again made it clear that the Qur’an and Islam in general, not quarrels over various patches of land or occupation or settlements, are what make the Israeli-Palestinian conflict intractable. A Qatari sheikh, Muhammad Al-Muraikhi, stated this plainly on Qatar TV back on January 9, 2009. “We do not treat the Jews as our enemies just because they occupied Palestine,” he explained, “or because they occupied a precious part of our Arab and Islamic world. We will treat the Jews as our enemies even if they return Palestine to us because they are infidels. They rejected Allah and His messengers.”
An Egyptian imam, Muhammad Hussein Ya’qoub, declared eight days after that in a televised sermon that Muslim hatred of Jews had nothing to do with Israel and everything to do with the Qur’an:
If the Jews left Palestine to us, would we start loving them? Of course not. We will never love them. Absolutely not. The Jews are infidels—not because I say so, and not because they are killing Muslims, but because Allah said: “The Jews say that Uzair is the son of Allah, and the Christians say that Christ is the son of Allah. These are the words from their mouths. They imitate the sayings of the disbelievers before. May Allah fight them. How deluded they are.” [Qur’an 9:30] It is Allah who said that they are infidels.
Your belief regarding the Jews should be, first, that they are infidels, and second, that they are enemies. They are enemies not because they occupied Palestine. They would have been enemies even if they did not occupy a thing. Allah said: “You shall find the strongest men in enmity to the disbelievers to be the Jews and the polytheists.” [Qur’an 5:82] Third, you must believe that the Jews will never stop fighting and killing us. They [fight] not for the sake of land and security, as they claim, but for the sake of their religion: “And they will not cease fighting you until they turn you back [from] your religion, if they can.” [Qur’an 2:217] This is it. We must believe that our fighting with the Jews is eternal, and it will not end until the final battle—and this is the fourth point. You must believe that we will fight, defeat, and annihilate them, until not a single Jew remains on the face of the Earth.
Ya’qoub’s peroration was just as chilling:
As for you Jews—the curse of Allah upon you. The curse of Allah upon you, whose ancestors were apes and pigs. You Jews have sown hatred in our hearts, and we have bequeathed it to our children and grandchildren. You will not survive as long as a single one of us remains.
Also on Egyptian television on the same day, January 17, 2009, two other Muslim clerics, Sheik Said Al-Afani and Sheik Muhammad Abd Al-Salam, reiterated that the war against Israel was all about Islamic imperatives. The Jews, said Al-Afani, “are the accursed people, who incurred the wrath of Allah. They are the offspring of snakes and vipers, the slayers of our Prophet Muhammad, whose death was a consequence of his being poisoned by a Jewish woman.”
Contradicting the accepted wisdom in the West, he continued: “Our hatred of them is purely on religious grounds, and not because of the pure, sacred land, which was blessed by Allah, or because of Gaza…not only because of Al-Aqsa and so on. We hate them, first and foremost, because of their enmity towards Allah, and because they slayed our prophets.”
Then Muhammad Abd Al-Salam added: “Let me clarify that it is our duty to hate them, as part of our faith.” To this Al-Afani readily agreed. Al-Salam explained: “People have become confused about this. Some think that it is a territorial or a national issue, or that it has to do with the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, but the issue is much broader—it is a matter of faith. We are obligated to hate them because they are a murderous people, and the enemies of all that is good and of Islam.”
On October 5, 2018, on Not a Neighbor, a program on official Palestinian Authority television, Sharia judge Muhannad Abu Rumi likewise denounced the idea that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is about territory and could thus be subject to negotiations:
People could be deluded or think…that we have no way out with the Jews…. The liberation of this land is a matter of faith, which will happen despite everyone. The Jews leaving this land is a divine decree…. The war is not only over this strip of land, as you all know the Jews want everything and not just a part. They want to subjugate us, and that we be slaves to their command…
A week later, during a Friday sermon at the Islamic Center of South Florida, Imam Hasan Sabri offered a succinct encapsulation of the principle of “Drive them out from where they drove you out” (Qur’an 2:191): “If a land is occupied or plundered, it should be liberated from its occupiers and plunderers, even if this leads to the martyrdom of tens of millions of Muslims.”
Turning to Trump’s offer to the Palestinians, “the Deal of the Century,” Sabri ridiculed the very idea of negotiations: “Take the Palestinian cause, for example. It is not being plotted against with a deal they call ‘the Deal of the Century.’ Why do they call it a ‘deal’? Because whoever is involved in this treason is not a man of principles. These are peddlers, not men with a cause. All they want are positions and jobs. That is why for them, the cause is nothing but a deal, a matter of give and take. For them, it is nothing but a deal.”
To this, Sabri contrasted the “position of a believing Muslim about the Palestinian cause,” which he characterized in this way: “That Palestine in its entirety is Islamic land, and there is no difference between what was occupied in 1948 and 1967. There is no difference between this village or that village, this city or that city. All of it is Islamic waqf land that was occupied by force. The responsibility for it lies with the entire Islamic nation, and the [Palestinians] should benefit from this land. If a land is occupied or plundered, it should be liberated from the occupiers and plunderers, even if this leads to the martyrdom of tens of millions of Muslims. This is the ruling, and there is no room for discussion or concessions.”
Another imam told a Muslim audience in November 2018 that while the struggle against Israel is an Islamic cause, this is best kept hidden for public relations purposes. At a “Workshop for Palestine” hosted by American Muslims for Palestine at the Islamic Center of Union County, New Jersey (ICUCNJ), on November 17, 2018, ICUCNJ Imam Sa’id Elkasaby explained: “Although our cause is Islamic, when we market and present it to people, I believe that it should be presented as a ‘humanitarian cause.’ If I talk to Jews and tell them that my cause is Islamic, they’re out. It’s over. They won’t support me because they’re Jews and I’m a Muslim. The same is true when I tell a Christian that my cause is Islamic. When I tell him that my cause is humanitarian, it means that every human being must acknowledge that truth. I know that I have the right to Palestine, but I want to be supported by everybody—by the Muslims, the Christians, the Chinese, the Sikhs, and the nonreligious. They will all support my cause because all humans will support my cause. I am a human being. I have rights. I own a land. So I present this cause to people…. If we keep telling the Americans that our cause is Islamic, only the Muslims will support us. The non-Muslims will not support us. So I want to generalize the cause so everybody will sympathize with us.”
And here we are. “Palestinians” and their allies told Biden, Price, and the rest that their land was “occupied,” and that all that was involved was a simple land dispute, and they credulously believed. Mission accomplished. The Palestinians’ befuddled American benefactors will start writing checks shortly.