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Friday, April 01, 2011

Wishful thinking?

Time's Joe Klein reports on the March 15 movement, which is meant to capitalize on what happened in Egypt in February through the use of non-violent methods.
The young Palestinians don't seem as pragmatic as all that; they are somewhere beyond wildly idealistic. "The goal is to liberate the minds of our people," says Najwan Berekdar, an Israeli-born Arab who is a women's-rights activist. "We want to get past all the old identities—Fatah, Hamas, religious, secular, Israeli and Palestinian Arab —and create a mass nonviolent movement." Berekdar has touched on an idea that might prove truly threatening to Israelis: a "one state" movement uniting Palestinians on both sides of the current border. But the young Palestinians have not focused on anything so specific. Their current political plan is to go back to the future—to achieve Palestinian unity by resurrecting and holding elections for a body called the Palestinian National Council, which took a backseat after the Oslo accords created the Palestinian Authority and its parliamentary component. This seems rather abstruse—the basic rule for people-power movements is, Organize first, bureaucratize later — and it would be easy to dismiss these young people as hopelessly naive but for two factors. The first is that they've seized the Palestinian version of a suddenly valuable international brand: the Tahrir Square revolution. "We cannot discount their importance," a prominent Israeli official told me. "Not after what happened in Egypt."
Read the whole thing.

I don't believe this will happen for a number of reasons. First, to date, the 'Palestinians' have always defined 'non-violence' as including stone throwing. We all know that stone throwing is violent.

Second, for nearly all Israelis, a 'one-state solution' is a non-starter (unless there were to be a mass exodus of Arabs first). That's even more true on the Left than on the Right. The problem with Israel's Left is that they don't want to live with Israel's Right - and especially the religious population - either. But that doesn't mean that they're willing to have one state, only that they're willing to give more for a 'Palestinian state' to prevent the religious and the Right from having the territory.

Third, once you get off the 'one-state solution' you come back to the same problem you've had for the last 20 years: Israel is negotiating with itself. The 'Palestinians' have never made a single concession, and because of the harsh backlash that got out when they talked about trying, they're not likely to make any concessions in the foreseeable future. I don't see any concessions from March 15 yet either.

Fourth, the 'Palestinians' have been indoctrinated with violence for the last seventeen years. Note that most of the heroes of the group that Klein describes have spent substantial time in the US. They're an elite and they're not representative of the 'Palestinian street.' In the best case, they might be good 'community organizers.' But they aren't in a position to mobilize the 'Palestinian' masses. Remember the last time a group from abroad tried to take over the 'Palestinians' (Arafat and his gang from Tunis)? That didn't work out too well, did it?

I've been hearing stories of a non-violent 'Palestinian' movement that's going to cause problems for our security forces at least since I made aliya in 1991. It's not going to happen.

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At 12:14 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

There's the elephant in the room no one mentions: Hamas. Its not going to agree to go away quietly just so the Palestinians can be united against Israel in the future.

Its not going to happen.


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