In response to the newest palestinian baby meat cartoon published in the official PA press, Charles said:
“Bad faith” doesn’t even begin to describe this. These blood-crazed degenerates can’t even hold themselves back when their statehood is on the line. This is an official site of the PA; clearly they have nothing but contempt for the “roadmap,” and don’t believe they’ll suffer any consequences as a result of this sick behavior.
Charles is, of course, one thousand percent on the money there. But I'd like to suggest a change in our underlying assumptions that would cast that behavior in a different light. One that actually makes sense. Here it is:
They don't want a state. They don't give a rat's ass about "statehood." That just isn't and never was their agenda
Can we examine some plain old documented history? Alongside the surviving remnants of the Jewish commonwealth, Arabs have lived in "Palestine" since the seventh century. They came with the early Muslim conquerors and they lived there under the Crusaders and the Mamluks. They lived there under the Turks and the British and the Hashemites and the Egyptians. And they never once, in all those centuries, gave themselves a name, distinguished themselves from other Arabs, or made a serious demand for independence or self-determination. Not once, that is, until the Jews started coming back home in substantial numbers at the end of the eighteenth century. Suddenly, "palestinian nationalism" was born.
Even then, did they petition the Turks or the British for statehood? Well, they did try to eject the Brits, but such talk as there was of palestinian independence was mostly on the part of the leaders of the neighboring nations. Those nations, together with the palestinian Arabs themselves, violently rejected the state that was offered them by the U.N. in 1947. And later, did they demand self-determination from the Jordanians or the Egyptians? Did they demonstrate in Amman or Cairo or blow up busses in those cities? No, they did not. When the Palestine Liberation Organization was founded in 1964, its goal was not the establishment of a palestinian state in the West Bank and/or the Gaza Strip. Its goal was the establishment of that state on the dead body of Israel. It still is.
The noises you're hearing today about "statehood" and "self-determination" sound good. They're meant to. And that's all they're meant to do. They're meant to push the buttons of people who salivate to those words and will go to the ends of the earth to translate them into reality, regardless of the merits of the claim. But it's time (way past time) to look beyond the words. It's time to look at behavior. And the reason the palestinians have never, in the immortal words of Abba Eban, missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity, is because they've never had the only opportunity they've ever really wanted. To destroy, utterly and completely, the State of Israel.
Today, we're seeing it play out yet again. And well-intentioned people all over the world are expressing amazement that the palestinians don't learn, that they keep shooting themselves in the foot, that they say and do exactly the wrong thing every time they have a shot at a state of their own. There's really no mystery, folks. They'll keep on doing it. Because a state, alongside and living at peace with Israel, isn't what they want. What they want is for Israel to be gone.
The money, the billions of dollars that were supposed to help build the institutions of a state, where did it go? It went to build up the terror machine. It went for guns and bombs and mortars. It went to fund the destruction of the Jewish State rather than into building a palestinian one. It went to fund what was important -- the goal, not the facade.
In a poll conducted recently by Human Rights International Solidarity institute (HRISI), 84 percent of the palestinian respondents said they would refuse to accept the establishment of a palestinian state in exchange for giving up their "Right to Return" to Israel proper. 84 percent would rather have the right to demographically destroy the State of Israel than to live free in their own country. Similarly, 84 percent said they still hoped to return to their ancestral homes in what is now Israel. And dozens of polls taken over the past several years have yielded similar results.
Put another way, it seems that less than 16 percent of the palestinian Arab population actually wants to live in the new palestinian state. So do they really want a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip? Or do they want Israel? Aren't these polls just words as well? Yes, they are. But which words are consistent with their actions?
Sharon was right last week when he said that Israel can't, shouldn't, doesn't want to rule over the palestinians. As reluctant as I would be to endorse it, he may even be right when he says they should have a (second) state of their own. But he's absolutely right when he says that before that can happen, they have to give up the dream of destroying Israel. That's the crucial step that the "Roadmap" skipped. That's why the "Roadmap" can't possibly lead to peace.
When the palestinians really do want a state of their own, not as a base for their ultimate attack on Israel and not as a public relations ploy to win the sympathy of the guilt-ridden descendants of former imperialists, but when they really want a place to call home and raise their kids and grow old together, then it's now clear that Israel will be more than delighted to assist them in every way possible. Not all of Israel, mind you, but more than enough of it. Ask Imshin. Or Allison. Ask Ariel Sharon.
But until then, the events unfolding in the Middle East will continue to defy common sense and reason unless we adjust our assumptions to more accurately reflect reality. Try it.