Doubting the Two-State “Solution”

by Joseph S Spoerl (February 2013)

“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”

–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Ever since Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War of June 1967, the official policy of the U.S. government has been to support the so-called “two-state solution” to the Arab-Israeli conflict, by which Israel would vacate the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip so that Palestinian Arabs could establish their own state there, co-existing peacefully beside the Jewish state. Support for this solution has become conventional wisdom in the American and European foreign policy establishments and at the U.N.

The two-state solution would necessarily involve the withdrawal of the Israeli military and police from most of the West Bank. Such a withdrawal would be unthinkable without reliable assurance that a Palestinian state would be both willing and able to deliver peace to its Israeli neighbors. But is such assurance forthcoming, and would it be credible? What would an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank mean for Israel’s security?

Consider first the fact that Hamas won the Palestinian elections fair and square in January 2006, winning 44% of the national vote against 41% for its main rival Fatah.1 (And as recently as December 2012, opinion polls showed Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh defeating Fatah President Mahmoud Abbas 48% to 45%.2) Fatah’s reluctance to cede power to Hamas led to a civil war in 2007 in which Hamas took over the Gaza Strip but not the West Bank. The Palestinian Authority is thus not a unified or functional state. Moreover, the Gaza portion of “Palestine” under Hamas leadership has hardly been a peaceful neighbor to Israel, stubbornly denying Israel’s right to exist3 and periodically launching rockets into Israel by the thousands, forcing Israel to strike back again and again, especially in 2008-9 and again in late 2012.

The Hamas leadership continues to use its official TV station, Al Aqsa TV, to broadcast anti-Semitic rhetoric so overtly genocidal that it has no precedent in world history outside of Nazi Germany. The Hamas Foreign Minister, Mahmoud al-Zahar, for example, on Nov. 5, 2010, gave a public address in which he asserted that the Jews deserved every persecution and expulsion they ever endured, including Hitler’s. “We are no weaker or less honorable than the people who expelled and annihilated the Jews. The day we expel them is drawing near…,” he informed his audience. Then, addressing the Jews: “there is no place for you among us, and you have no future among the nations of the world. You are headed to annihilation.”4 On May 11, 2011, Hamas cleric Yunis al-Astal gave an interview on Al Aqsa TV in which he informed his audience that the Jews were brought to Palestine “for the purpose of the great massacre, by means of which Allah wants to relieve humanity of their evil.”5 On Feb. 28, 2010, the Hamas deputy minister for religious endowments, Abdallah Jarbu, in an interview on Al Aqsa TV, condemned anyone who considers Jews to be human beings, describing them as “foreign bacteria – a microbe unparalleled in the world,” and calling upon Allah “to annihilate this filthy people who have neither religion nor conscience.”6 Thanks to scholars like Robert Wistrich, Andrew Bostom, and Neil Kressel, we know that hatred for Jews is both deeply rooted in the Islamic tradition and prevalent across the Islamic world, not only in the Arab portion of it.7 And scholars like Klaus Gensicke and Jeffrey Herf have demonstrated that Jew-hatred has been a driving force behind the Palestinian Arab national movement from its inception.8

Hamas, like its parent, the Muslim Brotherhood, is driven not only by traditional Islamic Jew-hatred, but also by fervent adherence to Islamic law. Islamic law posits the inalienability of Islamic territory:9 once a piece of land is under Islamic rule, it becomes in perpetuity the property of the Muslim ummah, and Muslims everywhere have a strict personal duty (fard ayn) to fight and kill any infidel invaders or occupiers of it. In the words of The Reliance of the Traveller, a classical manual of Islamic law in the Shafi school of jurisprudence, “…non-Muslim forces entering Muslim lands is a weighty matter that cannot be ignored, but must be met with every effort and struggle to repel them by every possible means.”10 A quick perusal of the scholarship on Islamic law confirms the strictness of the Muslim duty to wage violent jihad against infidel invaders of “Islamic territory.”11 Thus, the Hamas Covenant merely repeats Islamic law when it insists that the land of Palestine is Islamic property in perpetuity (article 11) and that “when the enemy tramples Islamic territory, waging jihad… becomes a personal duty of every Muslim man and Muslim woman” (article 12).12

Hamas, therefore, is not an “extremist” group that has “hijacked” Islam. Its worldview is thoroughly and traditionally Islamic.13 Its goal of destroying Israel has the full sanction of Islamic law behind it. And it is worth reminding ourselves that the same is true of the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is merely the Palestinian branch: its ideology, too, is thoroughly Islamic, and it too is committed to the destruction of Israel.14 For example, on November 22, 2012, the General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian Muhammad Badi, gave a Friday sermon in which he reminded his audience that “Palestine and Jerusalem are sacred Muslim land” and “giving up any part of them…is a great sin…Waging jihad to restore it is a personal duty incumbent upon every Muslim….”15 It comes as no surprise therefore that the Muslim Brotherhood President of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, has called the Jews of Israel “blood-suckers,” “warmongers,” “descendants of apes and pigs,” and insisted that negotiations with them “are a waste of time.” Instead, “we should employ all forms of resistance to them…. [They] must not stand on any Arab or Islamic land. They must be driven out of our countries.”16 Morsi’s advice to Egyptians is that “we should nurse our children on hatred” for Jews and Zionists. Egyptian children “must feed on hatred; hatred must continue;” “the hatred must go on for God and as a form of worshipping Him;” as the New York Times notes, “such defamation of Jews is almost standard stump discourse” in Egypt.17 Indeed, since most Egyptians are conservative Sunni Muslims, they share their President’s hostility to Israel and to Jews: 54% of Egyptians want to annul the peace treaty with Israel, and only 36% wish to maintain it,18 and a whopping 94% of Egyptian Muslims report having a “very unfavorable opinion” of Jews (not of Israelis or Zionists, but of Jews, and not “somewhat unfavorable”, but very unfavorable).19 The Egyptian Muslim legal scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the leading theological authority in the global Muslim Brotherhood20 and the single-most popular preacher in the Muslim world today,21 has taught that all of historic Palestine is the eternal property of the Muslim ummah and that it is an act of apostasy from Islam for any Muslim to support giving up any portion of Palestine to the Zionists.22 (The penalty for apostasy, of course, is death.23) Al-Qaradawi has also asserted that the Jews deserved the punishment inflicted on them by Hitler and will get an equivalent punishment at the hands of the Muslims, Allah willing,24 calling on Allah “to count their numbers and kill them, down to the very last one.”25 This, then, is the world view of those who rule Egypt and the Gaza Strip today, and it is a world view shared widely across the Muslim world.

Now let us return to our question: What would happen if Israel pulled out of the West Bank? We know what happened after Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005: Hamas was given free run of Gaza, with no Israeli checkpoints or military to stop them from organizing, arming themselves, and infiltrating the Fatah security apparatus. In one of the most respected scholarly studies of Hamas, Beverley Milton-Edwards and Stephen Farrell observe that Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza was the indispensable precondition to Hamas’ political and military success there.26 In the West Bank, in contrast, “Israel’s ever-present troops, tanks, helicopters, and snatch squads would never tolerate an overt Hamas armed presence.”27 The fearlessly honest Israeli Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh writes:

Those who think Hamas and other Islamic groups do not have a strong presence in the West Bank are completely detached from reality. True, these groups are lacking in arms and ammunition in the West Bank, but they still enjoy broad public support among Palestinians. For now, security coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is all that is preventing Muslim fundamentalists from taking over the West Bank….An Israeli pullout from any part of the West Bank, under the current circumstances, will undermine the Palestinian Authority and most likely lead to its collapse, paving the way for the radicals to seize control.28

Russia in 1917 and Germany in 1933, like the Gaza Strip in 2007, provide cautionary examples of how ruthless, disciplined, armed minority parties can seize control of governments. The same could easily happen in the West Bank without a strong Israeli security presence there.

So here is Israel’s situation: The world’s only Jewish state, with a population of only a few million, is surrounded by hundreds of millions of people who hate Jews and who wish fervently, based on deeply held religious convictions, to destroy it. Israel gave up the valuable strategic depth afforded by the Sinai peninsula in exchange for peace with Egypt in 1979, but that peace treaty was never accepted by the Egyptian people, pious Muslims that they are. Former President Hosni Mubarak could think of no better defense of that unpopular treaty than by boasting, “We succeeded in compelling the Jews to do what we wanted; we received all our land back, up to the last grain of sand! We have outwitted them, and what have we given them in return? A piece of paper! … We were shrewder than the shrewdest people on earth!”29 Now the Muslim Brotherhood has taken control of Egypt, as its offspring Hamas has taken control of Gaza, and the Israeli peace treaty with Egypt indeed appears increasingly to be little more than a scrap of paper. The U.S. government is foolish enough to continue giving billions in military aid to Egypt, which will use it to prepare for war with Israel, just as the U.S. gives billions in military aid to Pakistan even as it sponsors terrorist attacks against India. The example of Pakistan surely teaches us that U.S. leaders are foolish enough to continue in such policies for decades on end. Israel’s leaders are smart enough to have observed this disturbing pattern.

Looking beyond Egypt to other neighbors of Israel, the Muslim Brotherhood also is the most powerful opposition party in Jordan30 and has deep historical roots in Sunni-majority Syria,31 where the minority Alawite regime is now on the brink of collapse. It is entirely possible that the Muslim Brotherhood could end up controlling both Jordan and Syria. And of course, the genocidal Jew-haters of Hezbollah are firmly in control of Lebanon.

The West Bank is ruled currently by the elderly chain-smoker Mahmoud Abbas, whose term of office expired in January 2009,32 and who thus has a weak claim to constitutional legitimacy. His Prime Minister, Salaam Fayyad, equally geriatric, was appointed, not elected, and his Third Way party won only two seats in the 2006 parliamentary elections.33 The so-called moderates, the Palestinians who are allegedly willing to negotiate with Israel, therefore have a very dubious and fragile position within the Palestinian political system. (And should Abbas die, Palestinian law stipulates that the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council shall take over the powers of the presidency – and the current Speaker is Hamas member Aziz Dweik.34) Moreover, recent opinion polling shows that “only 34 percent of the West Bank and Gaza Arabs accept the idea of two states for two peoples as the solution to the Israel-Arab conflict. The Arabs’ real goal should be to begin with a two-state solution but then have it become one Palestinian state, 66 percent of the West Bank and Gaza Arabs said.”35 (This is precisely the “phased plan” for the destruction of Israel in stages adopted by the PLO in 1974, and, some would argue, never sincerely abandoned by Arafat.36) Israeli Jews have the right to be skeptical of any peace treaty signed by Mahmoud Abbas, since support for such a treaty would be no deeper in Palestinian society than in Egyptian society.

The problems with the “moderate” Palestinian leadership do not end there. The “moderate” Yasser Arafat rejected the peace proposals put to him in the summer and fall of 2000, specifically refusing to give up the Western Wall to Israel, rejecting “the most basic elements of Israeli security needs,” and also refusing to relent on the so-called “right of return” for millions of registered Palestinian refugees.37 In violation of the Oslo accords by which he ostensibly rejected violence against Israel, Arafat then unleashed the deliberate, pre-planned, and exceptionally bloody “Al Aqsa Intifada” in September 2000.38 So much for “peace” talks with Palestinian “moderates.”

In 2007-8, Israeli Prime Minister Olmert had extensive talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas about the outlines of a peace deal. As with Arafat, one of the main sticking points for Abbas was the fate of some five million registered Palestinian refugees: Olmert offered to let 15,000 return to Israel, but Abbas rejected that as inadequate, yet without committing himself to a specific number as a counter-proposal.39 In general, Palestinian discourse on the so-called “right of return” suggests that most Palestinians are reluctant to give up on this “right,” even though it is a deal-breaker with Israel since it means the destruction of Israel by demographic subversion.40 The reluctance of Palestinians to give up on the so-called “right of return” became vividly evident in November 2012 when Abbas said in an interview that he would like to visit his birthplace of Safed, now in Israel, but not to live there. The comment elicited a furious response from Palestinians and other Arabs, who saw it as an abandonment of the right to return to Israel proper, and Abbas was forced to beat a hasty retreat.41

The fact remains that most Palestinians are Sunni Muslims who see the conflict with Israel through the lens of Islamic doctrine and history. As recently as Dec. 31, 2012, the “moderate” Palestinian Authority’s Chief Islamic Judge, Tayseer Al-Tamimi, invoking the memory of Saladin, predicted the imminent liberation of Jerusalem and all of Palestine, saying that the caliphate will be restored and that Jerusalem will be its capital.42 And at a rally held a year ago by the allegedly “secular” and “moderate” Fatah party, the moderator introduced the official Mufti of the Palestinian Authority, Muhammad Hussein, with these words: “Our war with the descendants of apes and pigs (i.e. Jews) is a war of religion and faith. Long live Fatah!” The Mufti then took the podium and obligingly recited a traditional hadith or saying of Muhammad that links the end of time with the extermination of the Jews: “The Hour [of Resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews. The Jew will hide behind stones or trees. Then the stones or trees will call: O Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”43 This type of anti-Jewish rhetoric is deeply rooted in the Islamic tradition, going right back to the Koran and the words and example of Muhammad himself.44

The proponents of a two-state solution tend to argue for it by pointing out that the status quo in the West Bank is not tenable over the long term, with several million Palestinian Arabs hemmed in by travel restrictions, checkpoints, and a large Israeli security presence, not to mention the presence of 500,000 Israeli residents (including those in East Jerusalem) in ever-expanding “settlements” with privileged access to water, roads, and other public services. Indeed, it is not easy or pleasant to be a Palestinian Arab living under such circumstances. But the question is, What is the alternative? From an Israeli security standpoint, and even from the standpoint of Arab living standards, things are even worse in southern Lebanon, Sinai, and the Gaza strip, all of which were once under Israeli occupation. If Israel pulled out of the West Bank and Hamas took over there, conditions would be catastrophic for Arabs and Israelis alike, and very possibly Jordan would be destabilized as well.

The world is filled with problems that cannot be solved but at best managed, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is almost certainly one such problem. Doctors and politicians alike are all too quick to impose “cures” that end up being worse than the diseases they are meant to treat. The much-vilified Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, recently offered the following observation:

“In Egypt the regime has been replaced, in Syria the regime is being shaken and this could also happen in the Palestinian Authority areas… Everyone knows that Hamas could take over the Palestinian authority… It could happen after an agreement; it could happen before an agreement, like it happened in Gaza. Therefore, as opposed to the voices that I have heard recently urging me to run forward, to make concessions and to withdraw, I think that the diplomatic process must be managed responsibly and sagaciously and not in undue haste.”45

It is unfashionable to say anything nice about Mr. Netanyahu, but really, one would be hard-pressed to find wiser words from the multitude of preachers, professors, pundits, and politicians who are so fond of offering unsolicited advice to Israeli prime ministers. 

[1] Beverley Milton-Edwards and Stephen Farrell, Hamas (Cambridge, UK and Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2010), p. 259.

[2] Joshua Mitnick, “Tensions Rise in West Bank After Gaza Battle,” Wall Street Journal, December 19, 2012, p. A13.

[3] Milton-Edwards and Farrell, Hamas, pp. 263-5 and passim. More recently, see Middle East Media Research Institute, Special Dispatch No. 5086, Dec. 10, 2012, “Hamas Leader Khaled Meshal: We Will Not Relinquish An Inch of Palestine, From the River to the Sea”

[4] Middle East Media Research Institute, Special Dispatch No. 3373, Nov. 12, 2010, “Hamas Leader Al-Zahar Justifies Persecution of Jews in History and Promises that Jews ‘Are Headed to Annihilation’”,

[5] Middle East Media Research Institute, Special Dispatch No. 3840, May 16, 2011, “Hamas MP and Cleric Yunis al-Astal: The Jews Were Brought to Palestine For the ‘Great Massacre’ through which Allah Will ‘Relieve Humanity of Their Evil’”,

[6] Middle East Media Research Institute, Special Dispatch No. 2858, Mar. 15, 2010, “On Al-Aqsa TV, Hamas Deputy Minister of Religious Endowments Calls For Jews to be Annihilated, Saying They Are Bacteria, Not Human Beings; Following President Obama’s Election, Said In Friday Sermon: We Must ‘First Check if His Heart is Black or White’”,

[7] Robert S. Wistrich, Muslim Anti-Semitism: A Clear and Present Danger (New York: The American Jewish Committee, 2002). Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism: From Sacred Texts to Solemn History (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2008); Neil J. Kressel, “The Sons of Apes and Pigs:” Muslim Antisemitism and the Conspiracy of Silence (Washington, DC: Potomac Books, 2012).

[8] Jeffrey Herf, Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009); Klaus Gensicke, The Mufti of Jerusalem and the Nazis: The Berlin Years, trans. Alexander Fraser Gunn (London and Portland OR: Vallentine Mitchell, 2011). See also Klaus-Michael Mallmann and Martin Cüppers, “’Elimination of the Jewish National Home in Palestine’: The Einsatzkommando of the Panzer Army Africa, 1942,” Yad Vashem Studies Vol. 35, No. 1 (2007), pp. 111-142, and Joseph S. Spoerl, “Antisemitism in the Arab-Zionist Conflict,” Journal for the Study of Antisemitism (forthcoming).

[9] Benny Morris, Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-1999 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999), p. 39; James Turner Johnson, The Holy War Idea in Western and Islamic Tradition (University Park PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997), p. 151; Michael Bonner, Jihad in Islamic History: Doctrines and Practice (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2006), p. 86.

[10] Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, The Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law, trans. Nuh Ha Mim Keller rev. ed. (Beltsville MD: Amana Publications, 1994), p. 601.

[11] Majid Khadduri, War and Peace in the Law of Islam (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1955), pp. 60, 94; Michael Bonner, Jihad in Islamic History: Doctrines and Practice (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2006), pp. 86, 107; James Turner Johnson, The Holy War Idea in Western and Islamic Traditions (University Park PA: The Pennsylvania University Press, 1997), pp. 150-1; Rudolph Peters, Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam (Princeton: Markus Wiener Publishers, 1996), pp. 3-4; see also the articles on “Jihad” by Rudolph Peters in Mircea Eliade ed., The Encyclopedia of Religion (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co and London: Collier Macmillan Publishers, 1987), Volume 8, and John L. Esposito ed.. The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), pp. 369-373.

[12] Middle East Media Research Institute, Special Dispatch Series No. 1092, Feb. 14, 2006, “The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement – Hamas”

[13] See Joseph S. Spoerl, “Hamas, Islam, and Israel” The Journal of Conflict Studies Vol. 26, No. 1 (2006), pp. 3-15,

[14] Joseph S. Spoerl, “The Worldview of Hasan al-Banna and the Muslim Brotherhood,” The New English Review, December 2012

[15] Middle East Media Research Institute, Special Dispatch N. 5069, Nov. 28, 2012, “Muslim Brotherhood on Operation Pillar Of Defense: Antisemitic Statements, Calls for Jihad Against Israel,”

[16] Middle East Media Research Institute, Special Dispatch No. 5118, Jan. 4, 2013, “Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in 2010: No To Negotiations With The Blood-Sucking, Warmongering ‘Descendants of Apes and Pigs’; Calls to Boycott U.S. Products”

[17] David D. Kirkpatrick, “Morsi’s Slurs Against Jews Raise Doubts,” The New York Times, Jan. 15, 2013, p. A1.

[18] Pew Research Center Global Attitudes Project, April 25, 2011, “U.S. Wins No Friends, End of Treaty with Israel Sought; Egyptians Embrace Revolt Leaders, Religious Parties and Military, As Well”

[19] Pew Research Center Global Attitudes Project, July 21, 2011, “Common Concerns About Islamic Extremism; Muslim-Western Tensions Persist”

[20] Bettina Gräf and Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen, Global Mufti: The Phenomenon of Yusuf al-Qaradawi (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009), pp. 55-83.

[21] Gräf and Skovgaard-Petersen write that Qaradawi “is easily one of the most admired and best-known representatives of Sunni Islam today”; Global Mufti, p. 1. The New York Times has described him as “about the most influential cleric among mainstream Sunni Muslims;” Neil MacFarquhar, “Muslim Scholars Increasingly Debate Unholy War,” The New York Times, Dec. 10, 2004, p. A1.

[22] Yusuf al-Qaradawi, “Ruling on Accepting Compensation for the Land of Palestine,” August 14, 2000,

[23] Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, The Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law, trans. Nuh Ha Mim Keller, rev. ed. (Beltsville, MD: Amana Publications, 1994), pp. 109, 595.

[24] Middle East Media Research Institute, Special Dispatch No. 2277, March 11, 2009, “Scandinavian Islamic Groups Distance Themselves from Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, Following MEMRI Translation of His Statements on Al-Jazeera TV Calling Holocaust ‘Divine Punishment for Jews,’ Warning ‘Allah Willing, The Next Time Will Be At The Hand of the Believers,”

[25] Middle East Media Research Institute, Special Dispatch No. 2183, Jan. 12, 2009, “Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi On Al-Jazeera Incites Against Jews, Arab Regimes, and U.S.; Calls On Muslims to Boycott Starbucks and Others; Says ‘Oh Allah, Take This Oppressive, Jewish, Violent Band of People…And Kill Them, Down to the Very Last One.”

[26] Milton-Edwards and Farrell, Hamas, pp. 246, 283, 289.

[27] Ibid., p. 283.

[28] Khaled Abu Toameh, “Will the West Bank Become the Next Islamic Emirate?”, August 16, 2012, The Gatestone Institute,

[29] Quoted in Efraim Karsh, Palestine Betrayed (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2010), p. 246.

[30] Juan José Escobar Stemmann, “The Crossroads of Muslim Brothers in Jordan,” in Barry Rubin ed. The Muslim Brotherhood: The Organization and Policies of a Global Movement (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 57-71.

[31] Robert G. Rabil, “The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood,” in Rubin ed. The Muslim Brotherhood, pp. 73-88; also Alison Pargeter, The Muslim Brotherhood: The Burden of Tradition (London: SAQI Books, 2010), pp. 61-95.

[32] Khaled Abu Toameh, “Why Abbas Will Never Make Peace With Israel,” July 12, 2012, The Gatestone Institute,

[33] Milton-Edwards and Farrell, Hamas, p. 291

[34] Jonathan Schanzer, “After Abbas,” Foreign Policy, Dec. 13, 2012,

[35] “Poll: Arabs reject two-state solution,” UPI, July 26, 2011, .

[36] Efraim Karsh, Arafat’s War: The Man and His Battle for Israeli Conquest (New York: Grove Press, 2003), pp. 5-6, 46-49, 59-62, 83.

[37] Dennis Ross, The Missing Peace (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004), p. 756. Today, according to the UN, there are five million Palestinian refugees, descendants of the original 700,000 or so who fled Palestine in 1947-8:

[38] Middle East Media Research Institute, Clip No. 3689, Dec. 16, 2012, “Suha Arafat, Widow of Yasser Arafat: The 2000 Intifada Was Premeditated, Planned by Arafat”, of Hamas (N.P.: Tyndale House Publishers, 2010), p. 127.

[39] Bernard Avishai, “A Plan for Peace that Still Could Be,” The New York Times, Feb. 7, 2011.

[40] Yotam Feldner and Aluma Solnik, “Palestinian Thoughts of the Right of Return,” Middle East Media Research Institute, Special Report No. 5, March 30, 2001, Also Middle East Media Research Institute, Special Dispatch No. 5084, Dec. 7, 2012, “Fatah Central Committee Member Jibril Rajoub: Fatah Will Not Lay Down Its Swords Until the Refugees Return, Resistance Is Its Strategic Choice,”

[41] Jodi Rudoren, “Palestinian’s Remark, Seen as Concession, Stirs Uproar,” The New York Times, Nov. 5, 2012, p. A3. Also C. Jacob, Middle East Media Research Institute, Nov. 12, 2012, Inquiry and Analysis Series Report No. 897, “Abbas in Interview On Israeli TV: I Have Right To Visit Safed But Not Live There; Abbas in Interview on Egyptian TV: I Did Not Waive Right of Return, Was Expressing My Private Opinion”

[42] Middle East Media Research Institute, Special Dispatch No. 5121, Jan. 7, 2013, “Palestinian Authority Chief Islamic Judge Tayseer Al-Tamimi Calls to Restore Caliphate, Liberate Jerusalem, Warns of Possible Suit Against U.K. For ‘Crime’ Of Balfour Declaration”,

[43] Palestinian Media Watch, Jan. 9, 2012, “Moderator at Fatah ceremony: ‘Our war with the descendants of the apes and pigs (i.e., Jews) is a war of religion,”

[44] See the Koran 2:65, 5:60, 7:166, on Jews as pigs and monkeys. See also Neil J. Kressel, “The Sons of Pigs and Apes”, pp. 26-33. Muhammad himself addressed the Jews of Medina as “you brothers of monkeys;” see Alfred Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1955), p. 461; cf. 250-1 and 462. The hadith linking the end of time to the extermination of the Jews is Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 4, Bk. 52, No. 176, and Sahih Muslim, Bk. 41, No. 6984-5; see Andrew Bostom, The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism, pp. 229-230 and 232. Since Muhammad possessed isma, or divine immunity from sin and error, his example is normative for Muslims, and the collection of his sayings assembled by the great scholar al-Bukhari (d. 870) “is accorded a rank in Sunni Islam just below that of the Qur’an;” David Cook, Understanding Jihad (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), p. 17. See H.A.R. Gibb, “Isma,” Encyclopedia of Islam (Leiden: Brill, 1954).

[45] Isabel Kershner, “West Bank Clashes Follow Israeli Raid to Arrest Militant,” The New York Times, Jan. 2, 2013, p. A7.

Joseph S. Spoerl is professor of philosophy at Saint Anselm College.

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