WHERE IS THE PALES­TINIAN ALIYAH?

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT&ANALYSIS -

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.”

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