The Role of Allah in Palestinian Views of the Future

Most Palestinians are convinced with absolute confidence that Israel will eventually be vanquished and that 7 million Israeli Jews will be removed from Israel. Why is this so you may wonder? 1) First there is the belief that God is on the side of the Muslims and that this is the reason for the historical success in conquest by Muslim imperialists. 2) Second there is the belief that the entire land of Israel is Islamic Waqf, an inalienable charitable endowment under Islamic law. 3) Third there is the belief that Israel is a Muslim land and will therefore “inevitably” revert to Muslim rule. 4) Fourth there is the belief that the entire world will eventually be conquered by Muslims. 5) Fifth there is the belief that all human beings will eventually convert to Islam. 6) Sixth, there is the view that Zionism is in violation of the determinist trajectory of expansionist-imperialist Islamic salvation history. 7) Seventh there is the view that the Jews will support the false messianic figure of the Dajjal who will be defeated by Jesus and the Jews will thus inevitably be defeated as well. 8) Eight there is the belief that “Islamic justice” will prevail over “the Jews”. In sum, Palestinian Muslims believe with absolute certainty that it is completely inevitable that Israel will cease to exist at some point and so Palestinians only have to show perseverance and steadfastness (Arabic: sumud) in hastening Israel’s demise.

The problem with the two-state messianists is that they disregard how deep-seated those views are in Palestinian society and that they are in fact shared by the Palestinian leadership itself. Those who believe that the PLO/PA could negotiate and sign an end-of-claims final status agreement are therefore completely shut off from the stark discursive realities of Palestinian society. Any Palestinian leader who would do such a thing would be immediately branded a traitor and would undoubtedly be promptly assassinated by his own bodyguards. Furthermore, there is absolutely no will to conclude such an agreement in the Palestinian leadership despite entirely insincerely claiming to want to do so in diplomatic communication. 

Of course, it needs to be emphasized that there is more than one way to interpret the diverse world religion of Islam and that in contrast most Muslims have long theologically reconciled themselves with Spain and Portugal not being under Muslim control despite formerly being so. However, the Palestinian consensus is rather uniform and politically quite rigid and completely incompatible with any kind of end-of-claims final status agreement. The extent to which the Palestinian leadership in recent decades has intentionally and deliberately fashioned the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a religious one simply cannot be underestimated. The Palestinian media and the Palestinian system of education systematically describe the conflict as an existential, religious zero sum conflict that will inevitably end with the removal of all the Jews from the land of Israel. Since there is nowhere to deport Israeli Jewry is the only method to get rid of the Jews to exterminate them. This was the plan in 1947 and has remained the plan ever since. If the PA had wanted to prepare its people for a two-state peace in order to build popular support for such a decision it could have done so but instead has been doing the very opposite. In fact, the PA/PLO has created an extremist discursive reality where it would be entirely impossible and be considered absolutely treasonous for the Palestinian leadership to conclude an end-of-claims final status agreement with Israel. The two-state messianists completely disregard those stark societal and discursive realities of Palestinian society.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization.

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