Saturday, February 21, 2004

The basic problem
Excellent post by Shai. A must read. It is his reaction to an article by a mainstream Palestinian journalist, that appeared in the Jpost.

If mainstream Palestinian thinking truly sees building a settlement outpost as equivalent to blowing up a bus, then there's no hope for progress. Settlements can be evacuated; the children murdered on the bus can never be brought back. If you can't see this essential difference then there's not much point talking to you.

And this brand of moral equivalence has led the Palestinians to shoot themselves in the foot. There is a majority -- albeit a slim one -- in Israel that supports withdrawing from the Territories. But this support has become eroded over the years by Palestinian suicide bombing. By supporting suicide bombings (and poll after poll indicate that the majority of Palestinians do), the Palestinians effectively undermined the Israelis who were sympathetic to their cause.

Worse, by sticking to this line that settlements=terror, the Palis ensure that their fears become self-fulfilling. Israeli support for the government's hard line against the Palestinians (and by extension in support of the settlements) is a direct result of the Palestinians' war of terror.

You really should read the lot.