Occasionally, some Palestinians try to reach out to Israelis and bridge the gaps that have grown between the peoples over the last decades. But when they do, they face threats and abuse. The level of threats was clear when Molotov cocktails were used against a restaurant that hosted Israeli journalists and a Palestinian Authority official earlier this week.According to The Jerusalem Post’s Khaled Abu Toameh, the recent meetings were approved by the leadership of the Palestinian Authority and the PLO. The Palestinian leadership wants to get its message across, including to Israelis, that it opposes US President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century.” The meeting was supposed to show that Palestinians are interested in peace and can talk to Israelis. However there are some in the Palestinian areas and their supporters abroad who reject “normalization” with Israel, or even meeting Israelis. This is part of a larger campaign that seeks to sabotage any coexistence or peace effort. These voices are not interested in Palestinians having a better life, a more viable economy or even statehood. Their goal is solely to tear down, to attack, incite and even murder.There has always been an extremist side to anti-Israel campaigns among Palestinians and their supporters going back to the 1920s. This side is less interested in Palestinians than in opposing Israel. From the time of the Mufti Haj Amin al-Husayni, these groups spent as much time attacking their fellow Palestinians, as they have “Zionists.” This is because their real war is with coexistence and with the members of their own community who seek peace. They want to tear down both Israel and the Palestinians. It is the same motivation behind boycotts of companies that employ Palestinians. They prefer the vulnerable and poor to be unemployed than for them to work for Israel or the so-called “occupation.”The Palestinian Authority plays a dual role when it comes to hosting meetings with Israelis and then quietly collaborating with the incitement against them. While high-level Palestinian officials want to meet Israelis to communicate their views, they know that they will face threats from within their own society for doing so. The Palestinian voices who are open to meeting Israelis understand that if you want to make peace or convince Israel to withdraw from the West Bank then it must be done in the framework of a meeting, not just by violence. Violence has achieved nothing for the Palestinians over the last decade. It has left them divided politically in Gaza and Ramallah and led to more suffering.The committee in Ramallah tasked with interaction with Israeli society is headed by Mohammed al-Madani. He has graciously hosted people over the years. But he has also faced difficulties not only from Palestinians but also Israeli officials who sought to prevent him from entering Israel. This is because on both sides there is agreement among radicals that meetings, coexistence, or even discussion and interaction, is unacceptable. The extremists in both societies not only agree on this but have worked together historically to sabotage anything that looks like even a modicum of coexistence. Groups that seek to bring people together are attacked as “traitors” in Israel and “normalizers” in Palestinian areas. They face both verbal abuse and physical violence. Eventually, most give up because the energy needed to travel and meet people across the divide alongside the threats at home, is too much to bear.The Palestinian Authority today is isolated diplomatically and internationally. It has not received much support, despite its calls for the world to oppose Trump’s plan. It has little to offer the next generation. This should concern some of the duplicitous voices – such as Saeb Erekat and Hanan Ashrawi – who called it a “disgrace” for Israeli journalists to hold meetings in Ramallah.Unfortunately most Israelis and Palestinians today grow up without meeting each other, unlike generations in the past. This has hardened the divisions and also weakened the desire for peace. Incitement and attacks against Palestinians who want to reach out are harming the few courageous voices who would like to open minds about a future that can be different.