WHERE IS THE PALESTINIAN ALIYAH?
A blogger asks why more diaspora Palestinians don’t move back home: “From following articles by Palestinian Arabs in the West decrying Israeli ‘crimes’ and pretending to yearn for their land, one is struck by a simple fact: most, if not all of them, live quite comfortably outside ‘Palestine’. From universities in the US and the UK they rail about ‘justice’ and the suffering of their people — but none of them seem to want to actually move to ‘Palestine’. It’s not like it is so hard. Even if Israel limits immigration, there is no shortage of ways to get in from Jordan. Tens of thousands of opportunistic Jordanians did exactly that during the early Oslo years as it appeared that the economy in the West Bank was poised to leapfrog Jordan’s. It is instructive to compare the early ideological Zionists, many of whom risked their lives for a very uncertain future in Palestine (even before Herzl) and today’s ‘settlers’ who do the same, with today’s ideological Palestinian Arab nationalists who are quite happy to pontificate from afar. The lives of the early Zionists were no more secure in Palestine than in the West. It was far from clear that they would be able to build a homeland successfully. Yet they sacrificed themselves for an idea that they believed strongly in… Palestinian Arabs have hijacked the terminology of the Jews (‘diaspora’, for example) but they have always suffered from a black hole at the centre of their ideology: their most passionate nationalists were either terrorists or lived outside Palestine altogether, with no desire to build the land.”