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Monday, November 02, 2009

The Number One Paradox of the Middle East

Barry Rubin explains the Number One Paradox of the Middle East.
At the center of this stands the Number One Paradox of the issue, in some ways of all Middle Eastern politics: Why is it that although the Palestinians complain that they are suffering from a horrible occupation and not having a state of their own they are not in any hurry to make a peace agreement, end the “occupation,” and get a state.

The main answer is that the dominant Palestinian view is still the desire to win a total victory and wipe Israel off the map. The back-up stance is that any peace agreement must not block the continued pursuit of that goal. And the back-up position to that is to reject strong security guarantees, recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, an unmilitarized Palestinian state, settlement of Palestinian refugees in Palestine, territorial compromise or exchanges, and indeed any concession whatsoever.

There are two implications of this:

--The Palestinians are at fault for the failure to achieve peace.

--There isn’t going to be any Israel-Palestinian peace in the near- or even medium-term future.

If you understand the preceding 176 words then you understand the issue comprehensively.
I would say that the paradox becomes a lot easier to understand when one considers that the 'Palestinians' don't live in a truly democratic regime and have been manipulated for decades by their political and religious 'leaders,' and by the Arab countries. If the 'Palestinians' were given free choice, they might choose to compromise with Israel, or maybe even to live under Israeli rule. Look how many of them are trying to escape from Judea and Samaria into Jerusalem to make sure that they are under Israeli rule when the music stops playing. Of course, it would take a generation or two without incitement for the 'Palestinians' to even be capable of exercising free choice.

Meanwhile, the 'Palestinian' leadership continues its paradoxical behavior. It complains about suffering, while continuing to hold out for maximalist demands that no Israeli government will ever be able to grant. The 'Palestinian' leadership hopes to sacrifice its 'people' for the sake of jihad and for the sake of the destruction of the Jewish state. It's not the 'Palestinian' leadership that's suffering. It's the 'Palestinian' people.

What Rubin refers to as the 'dominant Palestinian view' is certainly the view of the 'Palestinian' leadership. Whether ordinary 'Palestinians' support that view is unfortunately irrelevant. They continue to play along with it.

Read the whole thing.


At 3:25 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - ordinary Palestinians or least the most educated of them are even more extreme and hardline than the leaders. There is no moderate tendency for peace and co-existence with Israel among the Palestinian masses. It doesn't exist. What is striking is a "peace camp" unlike that which has existed for decades in Israel is non-existent on the Palestinian side. The lesson of Israel's experience with the Arab regimes is that peace has to built with the people - not with the regimes. That is the only way to be sure it will really last. Israel must not make the mistake with the Palestinians that it made with Egypt and Jordan.

So for the foreseeable future, there will be no formal peace agreement with the Palestinians.

At 5:51 PM, Blogger Kae Gregory said...

I have to slap my forehead every time this subject comes up. If it were about the land, the Pals would have taken the land the first, second, third, forth and so on, times it was offered to them. The only successful peace proposal that would possibly satisfy them would be something like this; Give them everything that belongs to the Jews - land, homes, skills, technology, economy, military, and oh by the way, kill all of the Jews, and its a done deal.


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