Superficial researchers point to good relations between Jews, Muslims, and Christians in the Ottoman days as proof that relations went sour with the advent of Zionism. That is incorrect. Ottoman rule, like any totalitarianism, suppressed all groups, so none hoped to dominate the others. When competition is impossible, groups cooperate, or at least co-exist without great violence. Replacing totalitarian Ottoman rule with the relatively weak British occupation gave both Jews and Muslims a hope of prevailing. Therefore, they reverted to the normal competition that occurs between groups. In the absence of external pressure, nationalism flares, and it flared in Palestine. Similar developments took place in the Arab countries with no Zionists. Common Jews and Arabs co-existed very amicably in Egypt until the 1920s. Attributing Egyptian hostility toward local Jews to Zionist actions in Palestine would be erroneous. Nationalist Egyptians expressed similar hostility to Arab Christians and foreign citizens. Though Zionism clearly molded Jews into enemies of Egypt, Egyptian nationalism—like Palestinian or any other nationalism—actively searched for enemies, and would have found the Jews anyway. The fact that Arabs targeted the non-Zionist Jewish masses proves that Zionism was irrelevant to Arab xenophobia. Counterintuitive as that sounds, totalitarianism ensures internal peace. Freedom offers one or several groups a chance to establish their hegemony and dominate others; groups generally jump on such chances. Homogenous societies endure freedom because they lack identifiable groups and the potential for xenophobia. Multicultural societies, when left free, almost inevitably erupt. The violence subsides only after one group establishes indisputable hegemony or exterminates the others. Today, Palestinian Arabs fight the Jews only because the Jews gave them a hope of success. A harsh policy, leaving the Arabs no hope of domination or a nation-state of their own, would quickly quash their nationalist aspirations and establish lasting peace.

Today, the ultra-left embrace the Arabs, though without reciprocity. Their relations have been hateful on the Arab side from the beginning. Socialists welcomed Arabs into Jewish trade unions in 1920s—in vain. Arabs even rejected Jewish help in establishing their own trade unions. At that time, the level of Arab nationalism was much lower than now and the issue of Jewish sovereignty over Palestine seemed remote. As in other countries, socialists in Israel were torn between internationalism and commitment to national workers, eventually opting for the latter. Thus the socialists pressed Jewish entrepreneurs to hire only Jewish workers, ostensibly to turn Jews into a working-class nation, but probably to cut down on Jewish unemployment, without regard to Arab needs.

The Arabs’ hatred of intruders is not unique. Xenophobia is a powerful evolutionary trait, which preserves groups. Imagine European Jews fleeing to sparsely populated Siberia and claiming statehood there; the Russians would have resisted the Jews just as the Arabs did. Russians didn’t even accept the Jews living lowly among them, but permitted Jews to settle only in the Russian Empire’s western lands. The communists returned to ethnic segregation by moving the Jews to Siberia. After the window of unrestricted immigration closed in America, entrance was refused even to Jewish refugees; imagine the American reaction if European Jews had streamed there, demanding a Jewish state in New York. Israel refuses admittance to the Darfur refugees the Jews are so fond of saving on paper; so why imagine the Arabs should have welcomed Jewish refugees? Admit it, Jews moved to create a state in the Middle East because we had no chances of carving a state for ourselves in Europe. Arabs are perfectly right when they say that Europeans got rid of the Jews at Arab expense. Europeans supported a Jewish state in Palestine not for any historical or religious reasons, or else they won’t be pushing Israel to surrender Judea and Jerusalem to the Arabs.