While Israeli politicians continue to debate the merits of the “two-state solution,” their Palestinian interlocutors have long moved beyond that model for the solution of the Middle East conflict.
For Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the idea of a “greater Palestine” – that would stretch from “the river to the sea” – is now an official policy.
If this policy had until now been elucidated verbally in Arabic, by “minor” government officials – allowing the PA to say that they had been speaking out of turn or voicing personal opinions – it has now taken on a much more official persona.
In a series of videos and images discovered and released by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), the PA's official propaganda ministry has made clear that when the PA says “Palestinian state,” it means not just Ramallah and Jenin, but also Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Beersheva.
The change, said PMW, apparently took effect on May 7; since then, all broadcasts on official PA TV discussing the Arab-Israeli conflict have stressed the need for PA Arabs to “return to their homes.”
In May 1948, tens of thousands of Arabs fled the nascent State of Israel upon instruction of the leaders of the seven Arab countries that attacked the day-old country – who told the Arabs that they could return to their homes and reap the spoils of the defeated Jews, once they were “thrown into the sea.”
With Israel winning its independence and surviving, the hapless Arabs were forced into refugee camps by their Arab hosts, and have been left there to languish since, with children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren “preserved” as political hammers with which to beat Israel over the head.
It is the descendants of these Arabs that the PA is demanding be repatriated to no longer extant villages. What will become of the Jews living there is not mentioned, but the PA insists that any political solution “must reverse the damage of the 'Nakba,'” the name the PA uses to describe the flight of Arabs from Israel in 1948.
Besides the videos, official groups associated with the PA government have been releasing a steady stream of posts on social media portraying all of “Palestine” as the goal of PA negotiators.
In the past, PA officials have expressed such sentiments as well – but on their personal social media feeds. The new policy has them portraying these policies in the name of the Ramallah government.
Commenting on the videos, PMW officials said that the maps shown are de riguer for Fatah and other terrorist groups, who have long dismissed talk of a side-by-side Palestine and Israel.
Now, it appears that the PA government itself has adopted this view officially. “There can be no doubt now that this is their version of the 'two state solution,'” PMW said.