|September 7, 2010|
|Audio Excerpt (2:18 Mins)|
|…Mahmoud Abbas’ remarks yesterday that the two top priorities over which he will never compromise are the rights of the refugees and the 1967 borders in that order, which reflect his two broad constituencies: the refugees of ’48 – he is one of them – and when he speaks of the “1967 borders,” in his mind is his second constituency, the Arabs in Judea and Samaria who did not become refugees in 1948 or ’67. In ‘67, they were occupied by Al-Yahud, never made homeless. Since then this has been a major split in the Arab population today referred to as the Ancient Palestinians.
In Arabic, the first group was called those who were “fil harij,” and the second called “fil dakhil,” meaning those “outside” the land and those “inside” the land under Israeli occupation, who had obviously two very different agendas.
In 1967 right after the Six-Day War, there were prominent Arabs in Judea and Samaria with businesses and property and homes who were ready to recognize Israel’s right to exist on condition Israel withdrew from what had been Jordanian-occupied land.
And there was no shortage of Israelis ready for such a deal. I was not an Israeli yet at the time but supported that too. And it was bandied about in media. Right off the bat after the war there was talk of such a state for the Arabs in Judea and Samaria in both Israel and Arab circles in Ramallah in Hevron, in Jericho, etc.
But Arafat and Abbas eventually put a stop to such talk by murdering local leaders who spoke that way; of a state in Yosh only. That was in fact Fatah’s great fear, for that would mean the end of the aspiration of the refugees of 1948 to return to Tsfat, like Abbas, or Lod like George Habash. and Haifa for other Arabs who fled. For decades a state in Yesha was Yasir Arafat’s and Mahmoud Abbas’ worst nightmare…