“They say that Fatah has asked them to recognize Israel’s right to exist, and this is a big deception,” Dahlan said. “For the 1,000th time, I want to reaffirm that we are not asking Hamas to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Rather we are asking Hamas not to do so, because Fatah never recognized Israel’s right to exist.”
This was not a helpful statement, at least not to the peace-processors in Washington and in Europe, and to their diminishing band of confederates in Israel and the Palestinian territories. But Dahlan’s comment helps buttress the main argument of Benny Morris’s new book, “One State, Two States .” Morris, a professor of history at Ben-Gurion University in Israel, argues that Arab rejectionism is so profound a force that only the terminally obtuse could believe that Palestinians will ever acquiesce to a state comprised solely of the West Bank and Gaza.
Does it serve a useful purpose for the US to pretend that the Arabs will ever really accept Israel? Does the fiction help keep the conflict more manageable? I personally do not like the dishonesty of diplomats pretending there is something called a "peace process". It confuses some fraction of the American population and I suspect, even worse, it confuses a fraction of our leadership. So does it help in some way?
The Palestinians and Israeli Jews have incompatible claims. These claims will last as long as both groups exist in that strip of land bounded by the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. The long term battle will be fought demographically and possibly technologically (smuggled nukes). Israel needs to isolate its population from the Arab population with walls. But Israeli Arabs might in the long run become an internal demographic threat too.
A lot of writing gets done about Israel and the Arabs. But I've mostly lost interest. Both sides are unfair. The Israelis have more power and so they have more ability to be unfair. The Israelis make mistakes in handling the Arabs. You can click thru and read what some of those mistakes have been if you are curious. But mostly after watching the conflict for many years I'm bored with it. I just wish the coverage was more blunt and honest.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2009 May 24 09:32 AM MidEast Arabs Versus Israelis|