The Israeli media are full of worried commentaries warning about the “tsunami” of world-wide support for Palestinian efforts to secure UN recognition of a state in the fictional 1967 “borders.”
Never mind that these borders “have no basis in history, law, or fact,” and never mind that by rewarding the Palestinians for their refusal to work for the achievement of a negotiated solution, the UN would undermine numerous resolutions and agreements that it previously endorsed as binding.
One has to acknowledge that the Palestinians have accomplished no mean feat: they have managed to convince much of the world that fact-based rational views and considerations should count for nothing when it comes to the Palestinian narrative of oppression and victimhood. They also have managed to convince much of the world that this saddest of all narratives can have a fairy-tale happy ending: if the “international community” steps in to resolve the Palestinian plight, peace and harmony will prevail in the Middle East and beyond.
Back in the real world, the past few weeks have provided plenty of evidence that grimly illustrates what kind of peace and harmony the “international community” is going to promote by endorsing the Palestinian strategy to get what they want without negotiations.
For starters, there is the already impressively long “List of Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel, 2011” which is readily available at Wikipedia. At the time of this writing, this list was updated until April 8, and it included the attack on a school bus for which Hamas proudly took credit, reporting that this “operation left two Israeli settlers injured, one of them […] in a critical condition.”
This is just one of many examples demonstrating that, as far as Hamas is concerned, all of Israel is populated by “settlers” – who of course all make legitimate targets for the noble Islamic resistance.
And there is every reason to expect that Hamas would remain a major force in the Palestinian state that so many around the world are eager to endorse.
The most recent Palestinian polls published in March indicate that in elections, Hamas would garner 26 percent of the votes, and when it comes to measuring the popularity of political figures, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh beats the Western favorite Salam Fayyad by four percentage points.
Unfortunately, the ideology of jihadist Jew-hatred that is so eloquently expressed in the Hamas Charter also continues to have considerable support among Palestinians.
In the wake of the gruesome murder of the Fogel family in Itamar, the Israeli media reported that for the first time, many Palestinians seemed ready to condemn the attack unequivocally, but a recent poll also showed that a third of the Palestinians viewed the slaughter of a sleeping family with approval.
That depressing result is hardly surprising given the ongoing incitement that is widespread and often officially endorsed in the Palestinian public sphere.
A particularly dispiriting recent example is the award of an official festive plaque by the Palestinian Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs to the family of Hamas suicide-bomb mastermind Abbas Al-Sayed to mark the anniversary of the Passover massacre at the Park Hotel in Netanya on March 27, 2002.
Western pundits and politicians may be transfixed by Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and his dedicated efforts to build the institutional infrastructure for a Palestinian state, but polls show consistently that Fayyad cannot be regarded as a popular politician. At the same time, it is clear that despite its dismal record in Gaza, Hamas and its vicious ideology of anti-Jewish violence remain popular with up to a third of Palestinians.
Another conveniently overlooked fact is the often repeated assertion by Palestinian officials that until there is a “just” resolution for the millions of Palestinians who are classified with international approval as “refugees”, the Palestinians will feel justified to engage in “armed struggle” against Israel.
Indeed, it is quite revealing that, while Palestinian officials claim to be ready for statehood and travel the world to collect endorsements for their state, they haven’t yet shown any interest whatsoever in the “refugee camps” under their own jurisdiction.
The residents of these camps live among Palestinians in Palestinian-administered territories where everything is supposedly ready for statehood. But the residents of the “refugee camps” have been told for more than six decades that they have a non-negotiable “right to return” to the places where their grandparents were born, outside of the 1967 “borders” of the state of Palestine that the world is so eager to see established. Even the most “moderate” Palestinian leaders continue to uphold this fiction – and there is no reason to think this will change once the UN votes to “recognize” a Palestinian state.
So Palestinian activists have no reason to worry: even UN recognition of a Palestinian state wouldn’t put an end to campaigns that demand rights without obligations for the Palestinians.