FactsOfIsrael.com News, Comments and Links

<- Back to Main page

July 31, 2002
 Send to Printer    Link to this page
Palestinian Leadership is stupid and vengeful - it currently will not achieve independence

Stefan Sharkansky (Shark Blog) has a great analysis of Palestinian stupidity and hate and how their deliberate murders of unarmed Israeli civilians are basically also killing any chance they have for an independent Palestinian State.

Most of the attacks have not been in the territories, but within the Green Line, including today's bomb at the university. As in most western countries, the Israeli universities foster its society's most liberal elements, and its most vocal and effective peace camp. Today's bomb helped blow up (literally and figuratively) some of the best friends that the Palestinians could ever hope to have (including 10 Israeli Arabs who were wounded).

I propose the following explanations:
1) The Palestinian leadership is either too stupid, vengeful, ignorant or irrational to recognize and act on the obvious as outlined above.
2) The Palestinian aspirations are not limited to the West Bank and Gaza. They continue to maintain the pre-Oslo goal of abolishing Israel after all.
3) The Palestinians are not a monolithic society. Some factions may be satisfied with a West Bank/Gaza state. Others (such as Hamas) want the whole thing.

I would believe that it's all of the above. And where does this leave things? The fallout of (2) is that the mainstream Israeli public will not trust the other side enough to make any concessions, (3) implies that there is nobody who can make a deal on behalf of and rein in the people who commit the violence and (1) implies that there's nobody competent enough to bother to deal with anyway.

Today's murders will only reinforce this perception. The Palestinians have only themselves to thank for attaining the dubious distinction of joining the Hittites, the Picts, the Scythians and the Aztecs as peoples whose descendants live on, but whose countries exist only in the history books.

I copy the full analysis below.

What the Bombing at the Hebrew University means
By Stefan Sharkansky, July 31 2002
http://www.usefulwork.com/shark/
archives/000117.html#000117

The Hamas claimed responsibility for bombing a cafeteria at the Mount Scopus campus of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem today. The bomb killed 7 people and also any remaining hope that the Palestinians will achieve statehood in the foreseeable future, if ever.

The conflict in Israel has lately been positioned in the western media as a conflict about the "illegal settlement and occupation of Palestinian territories", namely the West Bank and Gaza strip. "The bombings are caused by the Israel's illegal occupation", some people say, and if only the occupation would end, then the bombings would stop and everybody will get to live in peace.

We can save for another time a detailed review of the fact that Israel came into possession of the West Bank and Gaza as a result of the 1967 war that it didn't want, didn't start, won, and unsuccessfully tried to sue for peace and return the territories several times already anyway. Or the fact that there was plenty of terrorism before the so-called occupation started. Let's take at face value the implicit Palestinian claims that their thinking has changed, and that they will accept a state in the West Bank and Gaza.

Now put yourself in the mind of a Palestinian strategist. Your goal is no longer to destroy Israel, but to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. In order to accomplish this you need to persuade Israel to withdraw its military from the territories and equally importantly to dismantle the settlements. So what's the best way to persuade Israel to do this?

A thoughtful strategist should quickly grasp the following essential points:
1) Israel has previously traded land for peace. Significantly, an earlier right-wing government, headed by Sharon's mentor Menahem Begin returned all of the Sinai to Egypt and also risked conflict from its own right-wing by dismantling settlements in the Sinai.
2) Israel is a democracy. Government policy reflects public opinion as well as in any other country. The key is to obtain public support for ending the occupation.
3) Most Israelis want to preserve the Jewish character of their country, meaning they do not want to absorb or rule over a territory with an overwhelmingly non-Jewish population.
4) Israel is anything but monolithic in its opinions (ever hear the joke that for every 2 Jews there are 3 opinions?). Some Israelis are firmly in favor of maintaining the settlements for religious or ideological reasons. They will never agree to give them up, but they are a minority and can be outshouted and outvoted. The great majority of the electorate is more attached to Tel-Aviv than to Gaza and Hebron. Many would be open to trading the West Bank and Gaza for a firm belief of achieving peace with its neighbors.
5) Perhaps the biggest objection in the mind of the Israeli swing voter against returning the territories is this: The perception and fear that the Palestinians will never be satisfied only with a state in the West Bank and Gaza. They would only accept such a state as an interim step toward dismantling the rest of Israel.

So based on the above points, it would seem that the logical Palestinian strategy toward achieving the limited goal of a state in West Bank and Gaza is this: Divide and conquer the Israeli electorate. Make war on the settlers and the occupation only, while reassuring the center and the left that they have nothing to lose by withdrawing from the territories. "Stay in Tel Aviv and Netanya where you are safe. We have absolutely no designs on your home", would be the message. "Our only fight is with the settlers in the West Bank and Gaza". The outcome of such a strategy, if it were adopted, should be obvious. The Israeli center and left, which is more interested in building a prosperous society than in holding on to Joseph's tomb, would do the math and make a deal. If the choice is between (a) security in the homeland and (b) sending the sons out to defend the ultra-nationalist religious settlers in downtown Hebron indefinitely, they will take (a). If the Palestinians had in fact adopted the above strategy, I suspect that the whole issue would have been settled and done with years ago.

Clearly that is not what happened. Most of the attacks have not been in the territories, but within the Green Line, including today's bomb at the university. As in most western countries, the Israeli universities foster its society's most liberal elements, and its most vocal and effective peace camp. Today's bomb helped blow up (literally and figuratively) some of the best friends that the Palestinians could ever hope to have (including 10 Israeli Arabs who were wounded).

I propose the following explanations:
1) The Palestinian leadership is either too stupid, vengeful, ignorant or irrational to recognize and act on the obvious as outlined above.
2) The Palestinian aspirations are not limited to the West Bank and Gaza. They continue to maintain the pre-Oslo goal of abolishing Israel after all.
3) The Palestinians are not a monolithic society. Some factions may be satisfied with a West Bank/Gaza state. Others (such as Hamas) want the whole thing.

I would believe that it's all of the above. And where does this leave things? The fallout of (2) is that the mainstream Israeli public will not trust the other side enough to make any concessions, (3) implies that there is nobody who can make a deal on behalf of and rein in the people who commit the violence and (1) implies that there's nobody competent enough to bother to deal with anyway.

Today's murders will only reinforce this perception. The Palestinians have only themselves to thank for attaining the dubious distinction of joining the Hittites, the Picts, the Scythians and the Aztecs as peoples whose descendants live on, but whose countries exist only in the history books.

But what's left, then, for Israel to do to ensure its own security even though it will not have a Palestinian peace partner? I have some thoughts on this, stay tuned.

Posted by Stefan Sharkansky.

Posted by David Melle at July 31, 2002 05:34 PM
Comments
Post a comment 
Name:


Email Address:


URL:


Comments:


Remember info?



Email this entry
Email this entry to (please enter email address):


Your email address:


Message (optional):


Referrers to this Page

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains some copyrighted materials the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.




(According to digits.com)