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Peace, Peace, When There Is No Peace
A Mind Can Be A Terrible Thing To Warp
Israel - Middle East
Sunday, November 25, 2001
Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter Editor

That was the lament of the prophet Jeremiah when he wrote; “They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” [Jeremiah 6:14] So desperate were the Jews for peace at that time that he repeated his wail again in Jeremiah 8:11.

The Apostle Paul wrote, speaking of the last days and in relation to Israel, “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” [1 Thessalonians 5:3].

Interestingly, Jeremiah’s lament captures the spirit, and Paul captures the letter, of what is currently being called the ‘Middle East peace process.’

Since the Oslo Agreement of 1993, Israelis have been told that there was a peace agreement between themselves and the Palestinians, based on the signed promise of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat. But like Jeremiah, they lament of “peace, peace, when there is no peace’.

And if one thumbs through the texts of a Palestinian child’s school textbooks, one finds Paul’s warning of the last days, “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.”

At least, that is what the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace found after reviewing 58 textbooks being used by the Palestinian Authority school system.

Despite the fact the Palestinians live right next door – indeed, right on top – of Israel, there is no mention of Israel and no mention of its right to exist – a cornerstone issue in the Oslo Agreement.

Instead, the texts refer to “lands within the Green Line;” the “interior” or “1948” lands. An interesting omission, given the circumstances.

The concept of peace with Israel is entirely missing from Palestinian texts – and consequently – from the education and vocabulary of a generation of young Palestinian adults.

The texts refer to the struggle for the liberation of Palestine as a military one, with prisoners in Israeli jails referred to as ‘prisoners of war’. Odd terms for criminals serving time in prisons administered by peace partners, one might argue.

Israeli-Arabs, who hold Israeli citizenship because they did not flee in advance of the 1948 Arab invasion of the fledgling state of Israel are referred to as ‘Palestinians of the interior’.

The texts say that Palestine stretches from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Palestinian schoolchildren are taught that Jerusalem belongs to them alone.

All the holy places are referred to as Christian or Muslim, with Jewish holy places referred to as Muslim holy places that the Jews have attempted to Judaize – like the Temple Mount, the Western Wall and the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

There are no references that link Israel or the Jews to any historical connection with the ‘interior’. Palestinian maps make no reference to Israel, presenting Israel instead as Palestine.

Jews are referred to in the texts as greedy, barbaric and tricky, and insinuate that Jews cannot be trusted to live up to agreements like the Muslims can.

A grade 7 National Education Homework assignment says, “Mention the attitude of the Ottoman State toward the greedy ambition of the Jews regarding Palestine.” Another 7th grade textbook makes note of “the attempt to Judaize some of the Moslem religious places such as the Machpela Cave [Abraham’s Tomb] and the Mosque of Bilal Bin Rabbah.

The Western Wall of the Temple of Solomon is, to Palestinian children, the al-Buraq Wall. These children are taught that the Jews are attempting to control the al-Buraq Wall.

[al-Buraq was Mohammed’s donkey. The wall is so named because Mohammed allegedly tied it there. Mohammed lived in the 8th century AD. The wall of Solomon’s Temple to which the burro was tied had stood for 1800 years before Mohammed ever rode into town]

Agreements like the Oslo Accord, the various agreements that came thereafter, the Madrid Conference, the numerous signed accords like the ones signed at Camp David, the peace offerings, the land handovers and water agreements signed by Arafat and the Israelis are completely absent from the texts of Palestinian schoolchildren.

In Grade 11, Palestinian teens learn that Palestine “suffers from dangerous and destructive problems such as the robbery of land where spoils have been distributed by occupation among the settlers, the military bases . . . and the robbery of ground and surface water of which nothing has been left, except for drops for domestic consumption or agriculture.”

Nowhere are they taught of the 1920 San Remo Conference at which Israel was granted a portion of what had become “Palestine” only three years before when Lord Allenby and the British captured it from the Ottoman Empire in WWI.

They aren’t taught that under the Ottoman Empire, the entire region had been known as Lower Syria, or that “Palestine” under the Ottomans had, since 1517, included what is today Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and part of Libya.

They don’t learn that the same British Mandate that created the truncated Palestine that includes Israel also created those modern Arab states, or that the West Bank was part of Jordan until 1967.

They don’t learn that during the 1930’s Arab separatists vehemently opposed any entity called “Palestine” because they opposed Britain’s right to administer it.

They don’t learn that there was no such recognized ‘people of Palestine’ until the Jordanians refused to repatriate them to Jordan after Jordan lost the West Bank to Israel in the 1967 Six Days War, or that the term was invented out of whole cloth.

They also don’t learn that the entire Arab Middle East was created by the same cartographers, at the same San Remo Conference that created what they now believe to be their “land of Palestine.”

And they are never taught that, if Israel’s claim was invalid, then so were the national claims of the other Arab states, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Lebanon, to their national borders. They are never taught that, prior to 1917, anything that wasn’t “Palestine” was considered to be part of Arabia.

They don’t learn that those Jordanians who did return to Jordan were put into concentration camps called refugee camps to be used as political tools by Jordan to get back the land they had lost.

As a consequence of the propaganda that continues to pass for education under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority, anyone under the age of thirty believes that Israel must be destroyed before there can be a Palestinian state.

So when Yasser Arafat promises peace, there will be no peace. The Israelis who believe those promises will find, as will the UN and the rest of the world, that, “when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.”

Exactly as Paul said when he penned the words 1900 years ago that sum up the political situation today, as if he were reading from current newspaper article. Or from a Palestinian 7th grade textbook.

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