By Saeb Erekat
We are a nation and a culture that values truth, and this is the truth: we will go to the greatest rhetorical lengths to demonize the Zionist enemy, facts be damned, because nothing is more sacred than our struggle to liberate the land from the yoke of Zionist oppression. The truth is that the truth must serve a higher purpose. If that requires deviating from the truth in flagrant fashion, so be it. Our cause is just, so we are allowed to lie as much as we want.
Once you internalize this principle, the actions of the Palestinian leadership become understandable. I, for example, repeatedly spout the contention that the ancestors of the Palestinians predate all other civilizations in the land, despite the assertions’ manifest and glaring contradiction with the historical and archaeological record – and despite my family’s documented history as arriving in the area from further south on the Arabian Peninsula in the nineteenth century, like many other Bedouin clans. Hardly the Canaanites or Natufians, whoever the hell they were. And I alternate among claiming Palestinian descent from those two nations and from the Philistines, in addition to our being Arabs, who didn’t really get to Palestine in large numbers until about 1500 yeas ago, but so what? Truth must not stand in the way of the Palestinian cause.
This realization makes it easier to place the statements of President Abbas in context, as well. He just told President Trump that Palestinian children are taught values of peace and tolerance, even as Abbas personally ensures that Palestinians who killed Israelis are rewarded financially – and the greater the bloodshed, the higher the monthly stipend. But Abbas’s goal is the liberation of Palestine, so truth will have to take a back seat. That is the harsh truth.
With that understood, many other aspects of Palestinian rhetoric attain a new relevance. Israeli soldiers using Palestinian children for target practice – if that charge helps liberate Palestine, its nonfactual nature is secondary, if significant at all. Israel harvesting Palestinian organs? Using Palestinian blood in matza? Every ill in Palestinian society explained solely as a function of the Occupation? All in the service of a free Palestine, and that makes all the difference.
As you Westerners say, the truth hurts. All we do is make sure that if it doesn’t hurt enough to get you to do what we demand, we can alter it it to be more painful. And that’s the truth.
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