It would be an extreme rejection of what is politically correct to claim that the Palestinians are not a people. Palestinian intellectuals expressed a sense of nationhood about a century ago. Most governments of the world are willing to grant them statehood. Doubters may point to the incomplete process of nation-building seen in the conflict between power holders in the West Bank and Gaza, and the continued dominance of extended families. However, every nation is a work in process. The United States was not really one nation until some decades after the Civil War. It has been at least 2,500 years since Jews created a history going backwards to mythic founders. Our national landmarks have been noted by others since then, but Israelis are still making themselves after waves of migration from exotic sources. Arab spring is emphasizing what we have known about our neighbors. A number of European nations are unmaking themselves as a result of migrations.
What we can say about the incompleteness of God''s handiwork on the people called Palestinians is that they still lack the gene or the organ that allows political acumen.
Nonsense, you say. Look at their success with most governments represented in the United Nations.
Not enough. Look at their failure in dealing with the country most important to them.
Palestinians who are citizens of Israel have not learned how other minorities maximize their opportunities, i.e., by going along with dominant political parties. The Palestinians of Israel vote overwhelmingly for parties that reject, protest, and deliver nothing. The Palestinians of East Jerusalem did not take up Israel''s offer of citizenship, and do not exercise the right of non-citizens to vote in municipal elections. You can see the results in their neighborhoods.
The Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza have not learned the lesson of the weak alongside the powerful. When was the last time Canada or Mexico threatened the United States? Palestinians of Gaza and the West Bank are even more dependent on Israel. The great majority of imports come through Israel, including electricity and fuel. Israeli currency is their medium of exchange. Import duties collected for them by Israel represent a major portion of their resources. And Israel has responded with force to provocations as recently as last week.
And the Palestinian responses?
A repeated declaration of independence, not yet matched by any success on the ground.
Currently there is an on-again, off-again threat to demand recognition and membership by the United Nations. It will take a while to see how this plays out. Without Israel''s cooperation, it is unlikely to produce anything more than the PLO''s first declaration of statehood in 1988.
If the direct approach to the United Nations is not enough to assure Israel''s disinclination to cooperate, even more assurance of antagonism comes from the repeated insistence of the West Bank leadership that their state could not have any Jewish settlements. http://www.jpost.com/
Mahmoud Abbas et al may not have gone so far as to say no Jews, but the Israeli population does not notice the distinction. Palestinian reluctance to recognize Israel as a Jewish state adds to the distrust, and the concern that whatever the Palestinians demand now is only a step in a program to eliminate Israel altogether.
The insistence of Palestinian religious and political leaders that Jews have no historic claim to religious sites in Jerusalem adds to a conclusion that Palestinians lack a basic sense of what politics is all about. http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=65919
Benny Morris is an Israeli historian who initially made a reputation by debunking the simplistic Zionist view of 1948. His The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949, published in 1988, conceded that not all the refugees resulted from Arab armies urging them to leave temporarily so they could return and claim Jewish property after a military victory. Substantial numbers were forced out by Jewish fighters.
Israeli rightists who are still criticizing the early Morris fail to read what he has written recently. In a piece entitled, "Eliminating Israel," published last month, he deals with Muslim religious doctrine and current public opinion. Eighty percent of the Palestinians polled agreed that it is the duty of all Muslims to participate in jihad to eradicate Israel. One percent thought that Jerusalem should be Israel''s capital; 92 percent said it should be Palestine''s capital. Only 3 percent thought the city could serve as the capital of two states.
"Perhaps the international quartet that is currently prodding Israel and the Palestinians to restart negotiations should take this poll, and what it tells us, into account when considering Netanyahu''s fears regarding the Palestinian leadership''s real aims in pressing on with its intention to unilaterally declare independence and obtain international endorsement of Palestinian statehood in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, along the 1967 borders. Abbas''s people, if this poll is to be believed, clearly regard this diplomatic initiative only as part of “stage one,” and nothing more." http://www.israelunitycoalition.org/news/?p=7000
Compromise/Go along in order to get along/You roll my log and I''ll roll your log are ways of expressing the essence of politics. Israel made decent offers in 2000 and 2008, against the background of earlier efforts to be accommodating with respect to a British proposal in 1937 and the United Nations partition of 1947. Palestinian leaders, with strong popular support, have consistently said no.
God should apologize for having left out the parts that permit political wisdom, and remind Palestinians of another essence of politics: you don''t get until you say yes.