Geert Wilders in Tel Aviv

Below is the text of the speech given today in Tel Aviv by Geert Wilders. Update:Thanks to Brian ofLondon for the photo.

Shalom chaveriem,

Let me start by saying that it is with great sadness that I share your grief over the deaths of more than 40 brave Israelis wholost theirlives – many while trying to save others in the great fire near Haifa. My country, the Netherlands, isamongst other countries helping to put down this fire, which is threatening thelivesand property of thousands of your compatriots. I offer my heartfelt condolences to the families of those who perished. My thoughtsare with them.

Israel isan immense source of inspiration for me. When I came to your country for the first timeasa teenager, Ilived here fora year.

Iam notashamed to stand with Israel, but proud. Iam grateful to Israel. I will always defend Israel. Your country is the cradle of Western civilization. We call it the Judeo-Christian civilization with good reason.

Israel is often being treated unfairly. The worldlooksat the plight of the Palestinians in refugee camps inLebanon, Gaza,and other places,and many blame Israel. The UN claims that thereare over 4.7 million Palestinian refugees,and many blame Israel. These voices say the Palestinians should beallowed to return to “Palestine.” But where is Palestine? Many say Israel must solve the problems of Palestine. But is Israel guilty of the plight of the Palestinian refugees?

Myanswer is “No.” TheArableadersare to be blamed -and Islam is to be blamed.Let me first tell you why,and then I will tell you where Palestine can be found.

At the end of World War II, there were 50 million refugees. Today,all the refugee problems dating from before the 1950s have been solved.All, except one – the problem of the Palestinians.

Why did this problem not get solved? The reason is simple: Because theArab countries did notallow it to get solved.And because Islam does notallow it to get solved.
In May 1948, the number of Jews in theArab countries was estimated to be close to 1 million. Today, fewer than 8,000 Jewsareleft in the entireArab world. In 1948, theArab countries forced the Jews outand confiscated their properties. More Jews fled theArab countries thanArabs fled Israel. Whereare the Jewish refugee camps? Thereare none.

So, whyare there refugee camps for Palestinians inareas surrounding Israel? Because the Palestinians were not welcomed in the neighboringArab countries. There was noArab solidarity; the refugees were forced into campsand slums, where many of their descendants still linger today.

Under international definitions the status of refugee or displaced person onlyapplies to first generation refugees. However, the UN makesan exception for Palestinians. Descendants of Palestinian refugeesare granted the same refugee statusas theirancestors. Consequently, the number of so-called Palestinian refugees registered with the UN increased from 711,000 in 1950 to over 4.7 million in 2010. These refugeesare being usedasa demographic weaponagainst Israel.

Instead of blaming the inhospitableArab regimes, many blame Israel.

My friends, the blame should belaid where it belongs: with theArab world. The Jewish refugees built newlives for themselves. They did what millions of refugees have done in the course of history, including, in the 20th century, the Germans who had toleave Sudetenlandand thelands east of the Oderand Neisse rivers, the Hungarians who fled Transsylvania, the Greeks who were ejected from theAegean coast ofAnatolia, the Hindus who fled the Punjab.

With each generation, the resentment of these refugeesand their descendants slowly fadesaway. Time healsall wounds.Acceptance of the new situation is the norm.

Islam, however, conditions Muslims to hate Jews. It isa religious duty to do so. Israel must be destroyed because it is the homeland of the Jews.

Influential Islamic scholars, suchas Muhammad Tantawi, the Grand Imam ofAl-Azhar in Cairo, the most prestigious center of Muslimlearning, call Jews “enemies ofAllah.” Tantawi, who diedlast March, was generally considereda moderate by the Western media and policy makers. But how did this “moderate”addressa delegation of Palestinian Muslims who visited him in 2002?

He urged them to intensify suicideattacksagainst Israelis, stating that every so-called “martyrdom operation”against – I quote – “any Israeli, including children, women,and teenagers, isalegitimateactaccording to [Islamic] religiouslaw,andan Islamic commandment, until the people of Palestine regain theirland.” – end of quote.

Nizar Qabbani, one of the most revered poets in theArab world, praised the madness of those whoare blinded byan ideology of hatred. In his poem Ode to the Intifada, he wrote: “O mad people of Gaza,A thousand greetings to the mad. Theage of political reason haslong departed. So teach us madness.”

Thát is the nature of the Islamic enemies confronting the Jews – sheer madness.

Israel, on the other hand, isa beacon oflight; it islikea Hanukkah menorah whoselights have been kindled ina region that until 1948 was engulfed by darkness.

Friends, Israel is not to blame for the situation in the Middle East. The problem is Islam’s rejection of Israel’s right to exist. Onlylast month, Fatah concluded its convention in Ramallah by declaring its blatant refusal to recognize Israel asa Jewish state.

The problem isalso our Westernleaders’ refusal to understand that Israel is the West’s canary in the coalmine: If the Jewsare denied the right tolive in freedomand peace, soon we will all be denied this right. If thelight of Israel is extinguished, we will all face darkness. If Israel falls, the West falls. That is why weareall Israel.

Butaslongas the West refuses to understand how the Palestiniansare usedasa weaponagainst Israel, it will not beable to see who is truly to blame; it will not beable to see that it is not Israel’s duty to providea Palestinian state – for the simple reason that therealready isa Palestinian stateand that state is Jordan.
Indeed, my friends, Jordan is Palestine. Takealookat the map of this part of the worldafter the collapse of the Ottoman Empire following World War I. Both contemporary Israel and contemporary Jordan were part of the British Mandate of Palestine.

In 1922, the British partitioned Palestine into Cisjordanand Transjordan – thelatter comprising 78 per cent of the territory of Palestine. The British handed that territory over to theirally, the Hashemite strongmanAbdallah ibn Hussein.Abdallah was the son of the emir Hussein binAli, guardian of the Islamic holy city of Mecca. The Hashemites belong to the Quraish tribe – the tribe of Islam founder Muhammad. Theyarea foreign body in Palestine.

In 1946, Transjordan becamean independent state under Hashemite rule. In November 1947, the United Nations proposed to partition the remaining 22 per cent of Palestine. The territory between the Jordan Riverand the sea was divided intoa JewishandanArab part. The Jewish representativesaccepted the UN partition plan, but theArab representatives refused. Inanattempt to “driveall the Jews into the sea,” they began the 1948 war – which theylost.

They took revenge, however, on the Jews in East Jerusalemand the rest of Cisjordan – theancient provinces of Judea and Samaria – held by theArab forces. This entire region was ethnically cleansed ofall Jews. Even the names of Judea and Samaria were wiped off the mapand replaced by the ridiculous term “West Bank.”A river bank of over 40 kilometers wide. I come froma country full of rivers,and there the river banksare onlya few dozen meters wide.

Israel, including Judea and Samaria, has been theland of the Jews since time immemorial. Judea means Land of the Jews. Never in the history of the world has there beenanautonomous state in thearea that was not Jewish. The Diaspora of the Jews, which beganafter their defeat by the Romans inAD 70, did notlead to the departure ofall the Jews from theirancient homeland. Jews had beenliving in the Jordan Valley for centuries until theArab invaders drove them out in 1948, when the provinces of Judea and Samaria were occupied by the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan, whichabbreviated its name to Jordan in 1950.

And until 1967, when Israel regained theancient Jewish heartland of Judea and Samaria, no-one, nota single Islamic scholar or Western politician, ever demanded that there bean independent Palestinian state in the so-called West Bank.
Must Israel tradeland for peace? Should itassign Judea and Samaria toanother Palestinian state -a second one, next to Jordan? My friends,let me be very clear: The conflict in the Middle East is nota conflict over territory, but ratheran ideological battle.

Peopleare mistaken when theyassume that giving up Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalemandletting the Palestinians have it, will end the conflict between Israel and theArabs. In 2005, Israel sacrificed the settlements in Gaza for the sake of peace. Did it get peace?

On the contrary, because the conflict is essentially ideological, the situation worsened. Because the conflict is ideological, territorial concessionsare counterproductive. Ideologies cannot be defeated by concessions. Theyare encouragedand emboldened by it.

Ideologies must be confronted with the iron will never to give in, “never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small,large or petty. ” That is thelesson which the worldlearned from Winston Churchill when he confronted the evil ideology of nazism.

This conflict here in the Middle East is notaboutlandand borders, butabout Islamic jihadism opposing Westernliberty. From the moment that Israel was founded, theArableaders have rejected every partition planand every initiative fora territorial settlement. The Islamic ideology simply does notaccept the concept ofa Jewish state. Neither Hamas nor Fatahare willing to recognize the right of the Jewish people toa state of their own in their historic homeland. No territorial concession on Israel’s part can ever change that.

Israel’s ideological enemies want to wipe Israel outasa nation. They simply deny the Jewish state the right to existand tolive in peace, dignityandliberty.

For the sake of its own survival and security, Israel needs defendable borders.A country that is only 15 kilometers wide is impossible to defend. That is the strategic reason why Jews need to settle Judea and Samaria.

Therefore, the Jewish townsand villages in Judea and Samaria are notan impediment to peace; theyarean expression of the Jewish right to exist in thisland. Theyare tiny outposts of freedom, defying ideological forces which deny not only Israel but the entire West the right tolive in peace, dignityandliberty.

Let us never forget that Islam threatens not just Israel; Islam threatens the entire world. Without Judea and Samaria, Israel cannot protect Jerusalem. The future of the world depends on Jerusalem. If Jerusalem falls,Athensand Rome -and Paris,Londonand Washington – will be next.

Thus, Jerusalem is the main front protecting our common civilization. When the flag of Israel nolonger flies over the walls of Jerusalem, the West will nolonger be free.

However,a peaceful solution mustalso be found for the many Palestinians in the refugee camps inLebanon, Gaza and elsewhere. Each year, hundreds of millions of eurosand dollarsare spent on the Palestinian refugees in international aid.

The financial assistance, however, did not provide the refugeesa new home,a place toliveand builda future for their childrenand grandchildren. It is obvious where this place should be. It should be Palestine, justas,after the Second World War, the obvious place for the German refugees from the East to go to, was Germany. Since Jordan is Palestine, it is the duty of the Jordanian government to welcomeall Palestinian refugees who voluntarily want to settle there.

Until thelate 1980s, Jordan’s Hashemite rulers did not deny that their country was Palestine. They said so on numerous occasions. In 1965, King Hussein said: “Those organizations which seek to differentiate between Palestiniansand Jordaniansare traitors.”Aslateas 1981, Hussein repeated – I quote – “Jordan is Palestineand Palestine is Jordan.”

In March 1971, The Palestine National Council, too, stated that – I quote – “whatlinks Jordan to Palestine isa national bond […] formed, since time immemorial, by historyand culture. The establishment of one political entity in Transjordanandanother in Palestine is illegal.” – end of quote.

By thelate 1970s, however, theArabauthorities began to differentiate between Jordaniansand Palestinians. What was previously considered to be treasonand illegality suddenly became the propagandaline.

In March 1977, PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhseinadmitted ina candid interview in the Dutch newspaper Trouw: – I quote –

“Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak todayabout the existence ofa Palestinian people, sinceArab national interests demand that we posit the existence ofa distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism. For tactical reasons, Jordan, which isa sovereign state with defined borders, cannotlay claim to Haifa and Jaffa, whileasa Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right toall of Palestine, we will not wait evena minute to unite Palestineand Jordan.” – end of quote.

In 1988,as the first Intifada raged, Jordan officially renouncedany claim of sovereignty to the so-called West Bank. In recent years, the Jordanianauthorities have stripped thousands of Palestinians of their Jordanian citizenship. They do so for two reasons.

First, because thealien Hashemite rulers fear that the Palestinians might one day take over their own country.And second, because stripping Palestinians of their Jordanian citizenship supports the falsehood that Jordan is nota part of Palestine.And that, consequently, the Palestinians mustattack Israel if they wanta place of their own.

Byarbitrarily reducing thousands of their citizens to statelessness, the Jordanianauthorities want to force the Palestinians to turn theiraspirations towards the establishment ofanother Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria. This decision isa great injustice committed by the Hashemite rulers of Jordan – this foreign clan which the British installed.

Iam not naïve. Iam not blind to the possibility that if Jordan were to be ruled by the Palestinians, this mightlead to political radicalization in Jordan. However,acontinuation of the present situation will most certainlylead to radicalization. We needa paradigm shift. If we keep thinkingalong the samelinesas we have done so far, no peaceful solution of the Palestinian problem is possible without endangering the existence of Israel and disrupting the social and economic fabric in Judea and Samaria. Resettling millions of Palestinians in these small provinces is simply impossibleand is not going to happen.

To the skeptics, I say: What is thealternative?Leaving the present situationas it is? No, my friends, the world must recognize that there has beenan independent Palestinian state since 1946,and it is the Kingdom of Jordan.

Allowingall Palestinians to voluntarily settle in Jordan isa better way towards peace than the current so-called two-states-approach (in realitya three-states-approach) propagated by the United Nations, the U.S.administration,and governing elitesall over the world. We only wanta democratic non-violent solution for the Palestinian problem. This requires that the Palestinian people should be given the right to voluntarily settle in Jordanand freely elect their own government inAmman. If the present Hashemite King is still as popularas today, he can remain in power. That is for the people of Palestine to decide in real democratic elections.

My friends,let usadopta totally newapproach.Let usacknowledge that Jordan is Palestine.

And to the Western world I say:Let us stand with Israel because the Jews have no other state, while the Palestiniansalready have Jordan.Let us stand with Israelbecause the history of our civilization began here, in thisland, the homeland of the Jews.Let us stand with Israel because the Jewish state needs defendable borders to secure its own survival.Let us stand with Israel because it is the frontline in the battle for the survival of the West.

We must speak the truth. The truth that Jordan is Palestine, the truth that Samaria and Judea are part of Israel, the truth that Jerusalem may not fall, the truth that Israel is the only democracy in a dark and tyrannical region, the truth that Israel is the linchpin of the West.

Of course, I am just a foreign guest and should be modest. Israel is a democracy and I respect every decision which its people and government will make. But I am proud to be hereand grateful for the opportunity to share my thoughtsand beliefs with you.

Because it is here that our civilization is under attack as we speak. It is here that we, men and women of the West, must show our resolve to defend ourselves. It is here that Israel has lit the light of freedom and that Europeans and Americans must help the Israelis to keep that light shining in the darkness. For Israel’s sak eand for the sake of all of us.