Palestinains panic over fence

Steven den Beste:

"As Israel continues to build its security fence along the border of the West Bank, there is rising nervousness approaching panic among the Palestinians and their Arab supporters elsewhere. They hate the idea of the fence, and there's a good reason why.

"They do not have the ability to prevent Israel from completing it, which means that the only way to prevent it from being finished is either to offer Israel positive incentives to quit, or to get outsiders to pressure the Israelis to quit. And when it comes to "outsiders", the list of those whose opinions about the wall the Israelis would actually care about only has one entry: the United States.


"The Palestinian problem has been a tumor in the middle-east for decades, one which corrupt and incompetent leaders of other Arab nations have used to distract their own people. Israel made a convenient enemy and scapegoat. The Arabs even tried several times to invade Israel but were beaten every time (though not necessarily as easily as some might think). The last attempt was in 1973, after which two things happened which changed the situation forever: America bought off the Egyptians and Jordanians, and Israel developed a nuclear arsenal. Thereafter there was no chance at all of destroying Israel by direct military operations, and even if there was, Israel would have used its nukes as it died.


"The Palestinian goal has always been a one state solution, that one state being 'Palestine' and reaching all the way to the sea, ruled by a Palestinian majority with a small and declining number of Jewish citizens. Jews in such a Palestinian-dominated state would be treated the way whites were in Zimbabwe, if not even worse.


"All efforts to prevent invasion of Iraq and the downfall of Saddam failed, and Saddam ended up being captured while hiding in a cesspit. The fall of Saddam's government deprived the Palestinian Authority and the militants of much of their financial support, overt and covert, and the Anglo-American operation there and other actions in the 'War on Terror' made other Arab leaders much less enthusiastic about supporting the Intifada. Much of the international crackdown on fundraising and money laundering which was intended to harm al Qaeda also harmed the Palestinians.


"...the first two paragraphs of the Guardian report on Arafat's interview contain two monstrous lies. The first is that Arafat has devoted the past 30 years to achieving a state in the West Bank and Gaza. He's actually devoted the past 30 years to achieving a state comprising the area we currently call 'Israel.'

"The other monstrous lie is that time is running out for the two-state solution. In fact, the exact opposite is true: time is running out for the Palestinian one-state solution. Israel is about to unilaterally implement a two-state solution, and it is Arafat who is running out of time. Once the wall is complete and Israel disengages from the West Bank, there will be no hope that the Palestinians could eventually take Israel back. And there is a very high chance, approaching certainty, that the Palestinian interfaction power struggle would turn violent and lead to an extremely bloody Palestinian civil war similar to the one that took place in Lebanon.

"The old strategy of making incremental gains against Israel over a period of years is about to fail. I think that the decision to put up the wall around the West Bank was a brilliant stroke by the Sharon government, because it offers a way for Israel to 'win' without cooperation by the Palestinians, even though that win would be partial.


"Arafat has denounced Sharon and claims that Sharon is 'not serious about peace.' Of course, Sharon is looking for peace for Israel and damned well doesn't care if the Palestinians end up killing each other. What Arafat is actually worried about is the fact that Sharon has found a way to wrap the situation up in a way which is moderately satisfactory for Israel, without Palestinian consent and without Palestinian cooperation. Arafat does want peace, but the only peace he wants for Israelis is the peace of the grave. Now he sees his last hope of achieving that vanishing in months when the wall is completed."

Read the whole thing.


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