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The tomb of Palestinian liberation Mahmoud Abbas is unable to secure peace

A Palestinian security guard watches over a mural Yasser Arafat (Mahmud HAMS / AFP / Getty)

A Palestinian security guard watches over a mural Yasser Arafat (Mahmud HAMS / AFP / Getty)


December 9, 2023   7 mins

Ramallah is a dusty city built, you soon realise, around a fort. This is the Mukataa, or the “headquarters”, separated from the streets by walls and watchtowers. Mandate officials, Jordanian officers and the IDF have all been based here — running prisons, courts and successive occupations. 

Today, it is the sealed-off seat of the Palestinian Authority, and the only part you can see from the road is a mausoleum. Cubic, like the Kaaba in Mecca but in Jerusalem stone, this is Yasser Arafat’s tomb. Framed by glass, water and an honour guard, it is unremarkable for a Middle Eastern leader. Apart from one thing: the constant reminders, from the signs or guides, that this mausoleum is temporary. The entire edifice, facing Jerusalem, is built on train tracks, a symbolic reference to what is hoped will be Palestine’s eventual liberation and Arafat’s reburial on the holy mount.

This mausoleum was opened in 2007 by his successor Mahmoud Abbas, the second President of his half-state, the Palestinian Authority, and the fourth secretary of his movement, the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. Solemn, even surly, Abbas swore to the crowds that day that “we will continue the path of the martyred President Yasser Arafat to be reburied in Jerusalem, which he loved
”        

But despite the commonality of their aims, the contrast between how the two ran the Mukataa could not be greater. Arafat withered away in his besieged basement bunker between cans of gasoline and AK-47s, his intifada in ruins. Abbas, in his political twilight, uses it to greet a non-stop delegation of diplomats and NGOs. His Ramallah is uneasy, but MacBooks still open in its cafĂ©s, while Gaza is in ruins. Such disparity speaks to the biggest question in Palestinian politics. Is the way forward, as Arafat finally decided, one of violence — or that of Abbas, one of negotiation? 

Initially, they had offered the same answer. When Abbas, a refugee from Galilee, first met Arafat in Qatar in 1961, the two were of one mind about revolutionary struggle: neither relying on Arab patrons nor swallowing their ideologies, the Palestinians themselves had to become the main force of their liberation. The museum in the Mukataa documents what happened next. Fatah, their party, entered the refugee camps, slowly at first, then rapidly as posters announced the resistance’s arrival. Despite the huge Arab defeats of 1967 and 1973, a myth emerged: that out of shame came honour, thanks to the PLO campaign, forcing Israel to accept it had to negotiate with the Palestinians themselves.

In 2000, as President Clinton fretted about his legacy and convened the fateful Camp David summit between the parties, it seemed to Western diplomats as if Arafat and Abbas had almost won. Exiled to Tunis, after Ariel Sharon expelled the PLO from Lebanon, the legitimacy they had gathered and the revolt they had inspired in the First Intifada meant Israel had not only negotiated with them, but brought them back to run Gaza and the main towns of the West Bank. Arafat had triumphed in rebellion; Abbas, the architect of the secret talks and the Oslo Process, in negotiation. All they needed to do was sign on the dotted line.

But this was not how it looked to many Palestinian intellectuals, who feared the PLO had fallen into a trap. In New York, Edward Said denounced the Oslo Accords as “an instrument of Arab surrender”. In the territories themselves, the corruption and oppression the Mukataa was seen to personify meant Arafat was increasingly seen as a dictator rather than a defender. The Islamist Hamas started to gain on the nationalist Fatah, launching its own terror campaign to derail the peace process. Unrest stirred.

Recollections differ about what happened at Camp David. Israeli and American diplomats believe they presented a generous final offer to the Palestinian team, which Arafat vetoed, instead resorting to violence from the Mukataa. Palestinian negotiators such as Ghaif al-Omari claim that nothing approaching final terms were presented, with Arafat undecided and his team fissured between old and young. In this telling, Abbas and Ahmed Querei, the elders, became intransigent, suspicious that the juniors, such as Mohammed Dahlan, were trying to seal a deal and take the credit. 

What is clear, however, is that in that moment of compromise, Arafat became obsessed with Jerusalem, insisting that Israel had no rights to the holy mount, as King Solomon’s Temple was in Nablus. He rejected Clinton’s essential proposal: that everything above ground (both Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock) would be Palestinian, while everything below ground and the Wailing Wall would be Israeli.

His motivation is a matter of speculation. Was it the four years that Arafat spent in the Old City, living in the Israeli-bulldozed medieval warren of the Murghabi district under the golden glint of the Haram al-Sharif? Or a sense that, if he failed to liberate the third holiest site in Islam, he would always be viewed as a compromiser and not Saladin? Or, as Saeb Erekat, a Palestinian politician and negotiator at Camp David, believed, was it a moral claim — that Arafat simply could not accept Israel had any right to it? 

The truth is that, whatever thoughts there were beneath his keffiyeh, there was nothing remarkable about Arafat’s refusal to compromise. So central is the Temple Mount to Judaism that it is often overlooked how important what they call the Haram al-Sharif is for Palestinians, a people whose very essence of nationhood is bound to the idea of being the defenders of Al-Aqsa. But this intransigence shocked and infuriated the US President. “You are leading your people and the region to catastrophe,” a frustrated Clinton is said to have exclaimed.

Camp David failed in July. That autumn, protesting Israeli Prime Minister Barak’s willingness to trade it for peace, Arafat’s old enemy Ariel Sharon chose to visit what he called the Temple Mount. Rioting erupted. And very soon it was apparent these were more than days of rage. Even now, Palestinian officials remain divided about how the intifada truly exploded. One side stresses that Arafat was being overtaken by events — the visit of Sharon, the sudden riots, spontaneous lynching — and decided to go along with it, thinking a bit of violence would mean better terms, while others see him as more forcefully encouraging it once it began.

The reality, however, hardly mattered, given Arafat would soon decide to fight the intifada from the Mukataa. Instead of forcing a return to the negotiating table, his soldiers, such as Marwan Barghouti’s Tanzim and the Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade, were soon launching suicide bombings inside Israel. First quietly then loudly, Abbas opposed this — viewing the war as a disaster for Palestine.

Dying in his bunker, Arafat was consumed with the idea that King Solomon’s Kingdom was never in Palestine, but in Yemen. By 2003, it was obvious he had dug his political tomb. Yet few recognised he had also buried the Palestinian state for a generation, trapping the West Bank in the kind of “joint-rule” hawkish Israeli strategists always wanted. Nor was it clear that, by personifying the Palestinian resistance, only Arafat could have made peace.

You do not have to visit the walls of the Mukataa to realise that Abbas is the inheritor of Arafat’s tomb. That Abbas, the man who heroically denounced violence amid the disaster of the intifada and worked to end it with Israel and the United States, has not been able to escape his legacy. This applies both to Palestine’s territory and its expansion. After all, Abbas is unable to agree a new proposal, because he knows that, unlike Arafat, he has had no legitimacy to sign one. Those by his side in 2005 remember a man overwhelmed, bunkering down. 

And yet, there is a strand of continuity in the politics of Abbas, stretching back to the heady days of the PLO in Lebanon. From the mid-Seventies, Palestinian politics were divided between rationalists, who saw the future involving some kind of accommodation with Israel, and radicals, who would accept none. Arafat flitted and played with the two. But Abbas was squarely rationalist.

This remains true to this day. Rationally, he knows he never had the power to lead a successful intifada against Israel. Rationally, he knows he has never had the legitimacy to sign a peace accord, whose compromises vast swathes of the nation would see as a betrayal. And rationally, ever since he lost Gaza to Hamas in 2007, he has decided that the best course of action is to simply hold on. 

This logic has turned the Mukataa from what was once a symbol of revolution into a symbol of an authoritarian Arab regime in miniature: a system tied together by corruption, where no elections have been held since 2005. Fatah, in turn, is now widely derided as an empty card-carrying shell — like the Ba’ath party in Syria or the old Eastern bloc. Across the West Bank, the system is largely outright despised.

Abbas, in his twilight, has never been weaker but also never more central. At night in Ramallah, there are protests, but things are still quiet. At night in Gaza, there is the thunder of bombs. Never in Palestinian history has the contrast between violence and negotiation been so stark. No longer between Abbas and Arafat, the contrast is between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. This appears hard to see from a distance, but October 7 was the start of a new war for Jerusalem, launched “in defence of the Al-Aqsa mosque”. Named “Operation Al Aqsa Floods”, Hamas’s massacre was only the latest offensive in what they see as an unending one, to stop the Jews “erecting their alleged temple on the ruins of the shrine of our Prophet Mohammed”.   

Hamas sought, on October 7, not only to start a war with Israel but to detonate the West Bank. Their leaders dreamed that with mass hostage-taking they could bring Israeli society to its knees and force the release of all Palestinian prisoners — grabbing in one jubilant swoop the ownership of the Palestinian cause from the PLO. Opinion is divided among Palestinian analysts over their successes. All agree Hamas’s popularity is soaring in the West Bank, with crowds chanting its slogans even in the heart of Ramallah. But opinions differ over whether or not tensions in the West Bank actually threaten the Mukataa. 

Abbas’s response has mostly been silent. Rationally, he believes the best strategy is to avoid tempting a possible intifada or Israeli action against him. But behind this muted response to the bloodshed, the Mukataa believe that Hamas has led the Palestinian people — with the destruction of Gaza City and now Khan Younis — into the greatest disaster of their history since 1948. Massacres are not new to the land, but never before has a city been levelled in the entire conflict. “Hamas entered a battle and the result was the complete destruction of Gaza. To blindly follow slogans to satisfy an illusion and the result is the destruction of the Palestinian people.” These were the words of Abbas a decade ago, but they could have been said yesterday. “I am responsible for the people and I will not allow their destruction to happen again.”

This is the crux of Palestinian politics. Hamas believes only violence can force the liberation of Al-Aqsa. Abbas believes only negotiations and the international community can. Hamas sees him as a corrupt collaborator. Abbas sees himself as protecting his people from what Gazans call the Israeli “monster” and guarding the mechanism that will eventually deliver a Palestinian state. Meanwhile, Western and Arab diplomats have come to see him as an intransigent obstacle to any progress towards a “two-state solution”. The tragedy, however, is that with the Palestinian people now so divided, the only man who could have made peace on behalf of all of them is buried in the Mukataa.   


Ben Judah is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, and the author of ‘This is London’.

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David McKee
David McKee
7 months ago

It’s a sad and tragic story, and Ben tells it in a way we can easily understand. It ignores the twists and turns in Israeli politics of course.

What this story should do is cure us of the childish temptation to wonder who are the goodies and the baddies. (Although it’s hard to see what constructive action Hamas has ever done, so I reckon putting them out of business for good would do everyone a favour.)

B Stern
B Stern
7 months ago
Reply to  David McKee

The beginning of the end was when Hamas took over Gaza. Arafat’s failure at Camp David sent the Palestinians down a bad path but Abbas could have saved things. I believe that Abbas intended to negotiate with the Israelis and then have a referendum among the Palestinians to approve the deal. This would have given Abbas the ability to sign it. However, the only deal that would have been approved would have been a deal that humiliated the Jews. Eventually Abbas realized the Jews would never sign such a deal. Hamas offers everything to the Palestinians; throw the Jews into the sea, conquer Palestine from the river to the sea, and no negotiations. Abbas offers, at best, a negotiation that requires compromise.This all explains Abbas’ refusal to negotiate for a long time. When Hamas took over half the territory all was lost for the possibility of negotiations. Abbas refused to fight Hamas, instead choosing to fight Israel.

Francisco Javier Bernal
Francisco Javier Bernal
6 months ago
Reply to  B Stern

As the great Israeli statesman Abba Eban said, “The [Palestinians] never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”
Just as the British before them did, the Israelis fell into the same deceptively logical trap of thinking that Arabs would be happy with a rising economic tide that lifted all boats.
Instead, Arab shame at seeing Jews do better economically than they did on the same land and with the same resources caused them to not be grateful, but to want to exterminate all the Jews. Now that Israel intends to replace all Palestinian workers with migrants from outside the region, Arabs are going to be, once again, left behind in the dust.

Mike Fraser
Mike Fraser
7 months ago
Reply to  David McKee

The enemy of my enemy is my friend! Which could leave Abbas talking with Israel, once Hamas is crushed for its OCT 7 abomination, and public desire for repeats.

Doug Israel
Doug Israel
7 months ago
Reply to  Mike Fraser

Israel will never talk to Abbas, the 88 year old lauder of murderers. That ship sailed many many years ago.

Alan Kaufman
Alan Kaufman
7 months ago

Since the Koran says zero — null, bupkis, rien — about Jerusalem, when did it take on this ridiculous obsession. I mean, Jerusalem is literally not even mentioned in the Koran.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
7 months ago
Reply to  Alan Kaufman

Bupkis ? That’s a new one on me.

Mike Fraser
Mike Fraser
7 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

its nothing:-

B Stern
B Stern
7 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

It’s yiddish for gar nicht.

Philip Crowley
Philip Crowley
7 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Bobkes is Yiddish for rubbish or nothing.

a bill
a bill
7 months ago
Reply to  Alan Kaufman

True.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
7 months ago

Well the truth is that the Palestinians have never missed the chance to miss an opportunity. Just consider 1948. The Israelis didn’t get what they wanted from partition but accepted it; what did the Arabs do, launch their armies to destroy Israel and throw its inhabitants into the sea. The fact is that the Palestinians could have had a state many times over. It might not have had everything they wanted but so what. They would have had peace and economic growth and prosperity. But what actually happened: Hamas used billions of dollars in international aid to build an armed camp with tunnels and rockets, while leaving their people impoverished. As for the West Bank, the PLO is so corrupt that the place is a disaster. Untl the Palestinians are prepared to accept that they can’t have everything and in fact they can’t have anything close to what they want, and that Israel is there to stay, they will lead desolate lives. Simply put the Palestinians are their own worst ennemies.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
7 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

October 7 has nullified the idea of the two-state solution. It’s over. Somehow, Jordan is going to have to absorb the Palestinians. So perhaps, Hamas solved its own problem?

Last edited 7 months ago by Cathy Carron
mike otter
mike otter
7 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Lets hope so. now KSA is modernising and the Ba’ath axis is dead palestinians only have Iran as Islam puppeteers. Obvs they are of interest to Putin and Wokists and similar social and sexual deviants, but think the latter is a very fragile alliance of convenience.

Doug Israel
Doug Israel
7 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

The idea of a two state solution died in 2003 or thereabouts. It’s just been walking dead since then. October 7 put a bullet through it’s zombie head.

T Bone
T Bone
7 months ago

PLO is an international Marxist-Leninist operation.  You simply can not develop a “Democracy” out of a poor Theocratic nation-state with an international ideology that’s fundamentally not meant to be contained within a territory. Even Marx knew this.  Leftism can only operate with popular success AFTER a competent, rational and stable territory develops abundance that makes a large percentage of the population generally comfortable. 

Leftism is not a Rich vs Poor ideology.  Its an ideology that divides the comfortable middle class with the uncomfortable middle class.  Its grows through an alliance between ruling class elites promising to make the less comfortable middle class equal with the comfortable class.  It scolds the comfortable class and makes the less comfortable middle class resentful of their neighbor. The ideology gets the less comfortable to view comfortable middle class people as pawns of a wealthy landowner or privileged class. 

But this is a myth because a “privileged class” will exist even in the most “egalitarian society.”  Socialism just produces a larger uncomfortable class with little resource variation between the bulk of the population. Socialism can’t even function until a middle class develops because it requires a stratified middle class that it can pit against each other. 

When the majority of people are poor and no productive middle class exists, the entire commoner society will be in resistance to the ruling class.  That means either societal chaos or the government rules with an iron fist.  It’s simply not suitable climate for Democratic governance

Last edited 7 months ago by T Bone
BradK
BradK
7 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

Your last paragraph is the Democrat blueprint for twenty-first century America. Institute chaos, then offer a totalitarian “solution”.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
7 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

Why is it important to have a democracy? Because we in the West believe that it’s the right thing to do?

Paul MacDonnell
Paul MacDonnell
7 months ago

It’s about legitimacy.

mike otter
mike otter
7 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

Great comment. Marx himself thought revolutions could only be achieved when there was a big enough bourgoisie to act as directors of the proles. He also considered only white ppl could be commies as non whites were inferior. Obviously being strangled at birth would have been the best thing for Marx but i can’t help feeling a little rueful the POS didn’t survive until 1910 to see the Mexicans start the first competent communist revolution.

J. Hale
J. Hale
7 months ago

“Palestinians, a people whose very essence of nationhood is bound to the idea of being the defenders of Al-Aqsa.” When did they ever defend Al-Aqsa? For centuries Al-Aqsa was under the jurisdiction of the Ottoman Empire, then the British, then the Jordanians, then the Israelis. You can’t make peace with crazy people who deny reality and historical facts.

Michael Hallihane
Michael Hallihane
7 months ago

I think this bestows too much power and influence on Arafat who was a symbol and a figurehead but couldn’t do that much and also in Abbas who appears a lame duck. Fatah has lost popular legitimacy as the article reveals. The PA is corrupt and doesn’t inspire loyalty. The growth in popularity of Islamism and Hamas, cultivated by Netanyahu, has been disastrous. Abbas is right on that. Bold leaders are needed. But never has leadership been so sorely lacking.

Last edited 7 months ago by Michael Hallihane
Ardath Blauvelt
Ardath Blauvelt
7 months ago

The crisis of courage and common sense is world wide. Wisdom requires both.

BradK
BradK
7 months ago

Arafat was a KGB puppet. The whole contrived “Palestinian” identity was Soviet propaganda designed to undermine Israel’s sovereignty and security. Palestine was never a nation or state at any point in history and the notion of a Palestinian never existed before 1964.
https://www.jewishpolicycenter.org/2022/04/08/exposing-the-soviet-lie-of-israeli-apartheid/

T Bone
T Bone
7 months ago
Reply to  BradK

I’ll take Baathism for 800, Alex.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
7 months ago
Reply to  BradK

The British Mandate of Palestine predates Israel you do realise? By your logic Israel shouldn’t exist either

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
7 months ago
Reply to  BradK

I read your claim and your link where a similar dismissive denial of the existence of Palestinian is expressed and in both places I see mostly a semantic distraction, or rhetorical trick, at work. What are the Arabs who’ve inhabited the region for centuries–800-plus years–to be called: ancestral squatters, local refugees, or the Nowhere People? You cannot “un-name” them out of existence.
Americans are not one unified ancestral people* either, but a collection of all peoples, varied even before contact between Europeans and Indigenous Americans. And many of the indigenous descendants have been granted some kind of tribal sovereignty, shabby as it usually is.
*Neither are the British, or even the English, while were at it.

Last edited 7 months ago by AJ Mac
Doug Israel
Doug Israel
7 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

They should be called Arabs. This is what they are.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
7 months ago

Confusion, confusion, confusion. Democracy is needed! Bold leaders are needed! With what aim?
For hundreds of years Islam has been the leader and if you are a believer (not me, by the way) you don’t need anything else to lead you.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
7 months ago

Mr. Judah’s look at the recent history and current situation in Palestine makes a strong case for a Palestine that is far from monolithic, either in extremism or in openness to some kind of better way.
Without laying the blame for any enemy atrocities on Netanyahu, I think it’s hard to deny that he has helped to worsen an already bad overall situation–especially in his actions and postures during the years and months that preceded the October 7th Massacre. His scorched-earth approach may win extra short term gains–at a great human cost on both sides–but to the long-term net-disadvantage of Israel.
When the smoke clears and the survivors emerge from the ruins and rubble: some greater, more sincere and determined effort at coexistence must be made. Maybe must is a stretch–I pray it will be made. A great shame that Palestinian leaders from Arafat onwards have not been more willing to take chances on the beginnings of real peace, as unsatisfactory or even insulting as the offered terms may have seemed.
There is no justified way to obliterate an entire city or region. In the case of the US: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Dresden are now (with the benefit of hindsight, free from the pressure of a world war) regarded by most as a mistake in scale and kind, even given what was at stake and how ruthless the Axis powers were.
[“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay’ says the Lord {cites Deuteronomy 32:35}. On the contrary:
‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head’ {modifies Proverbs 25:21-22}
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:19-21; NIV).]

Last edited 7 months ago by AJ Mac
Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
7 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

These wonderful quotes from the Bible are nearly humanly impossible to follow as Giles Fraser showed in one of his essays.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
7 months ago

So is every aspirational high bar of conduct. Emphasis on nearly.

Alan Kaufman
Alan Kaufman
7 months ago

That everyone talks about “who will run Gaza after Hamas” raises the obvious question: if we don’t know who could run it, how could it be part of a state?

Doug Israel
Doug Israel
7 months ago

See the problem is Abbas sees his enemy as the “Israeli monster.” Oslo was premised on the idea that the Palestinian National movement would accept the idea of a Jewish State on some of the territory they insist is theirs. And yet aside from phony words from Arafat, this has never happened. Never for one single minute has it been possible to believe that the Palestinians will willingly end their war on the Jews so long as a sovereign Jewish State exists. Abbas, the “negotiator” runs an entity that lauds murderers, pays them and their families and runs an educational system no different in any way from that of Hamas in Gaza. The reason that the Palestinians face catastrophe is that their national movement is a death cult and the Israeli people are not willing to play the victim any longer.

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
7 months ago

If I were the Israelis, just to d**k with the Palestinians I’d say, “Okay, if Jerusalem is so damned important to you, you can have it, but in exchange we get Mecca.”

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
7 months ago

The arabs of the former Mandate territory have been the pawns of corrupt and self-selected “leaders” (Arafat died with millions in the bank) and the domestic politics of the contiguous arab nations for 80 years. That is their tragedy.

Nathan Ngumi
Nathan Ngumi
7 months ago

Yasser Arafat’s ghost continues to haunt the peace process. With the destruction of Gaza ongoing, peace will be even more elusive. The region will have war for many decades.

Daniel Pennell
Daniel Pennell
7 months ago

Only the complete and absolute destruction of Hamas will break this impasse. Every militant in Gaza must be killed. Every leader outside Gaza must be assassinated.

The Palestinian people need to understand that violence is only going to make things worse and worse for them and so reject Hamas, turn on Hamas.

Israel needs to understand that there can be no further expansion of settlements. Period. And, once Hamas is wiped out, purged from Gaza, it is in Israel’s best interest to rebuild Gaza, provide for the security and services that the rest of the Palestinian’s in Gaza need until a permanent settlement can be reached. I’m sure the Israeli’s do not want that. I am sure that the Palestinian’s do not want that. But, the fact is that in order to keep Hamas or another, similar organization from rising, the Israeli’s need to be on the ground providing security and the need to aid the rest of the Palestinian’s to earn some good will, find people that will snitch on any new terrorist groups, and assure some level of economic success. Israel knows how to take a small state and make it economically productive.

mike otter
mike otter
7 months ago

Brilliant article that is about post 48 Palestine not about goodies or baddies, or catechisms of Islam in relation to Jerusalem, so i think a lot of the BTL stuff misses the point. West bank and Gaza are very easy to contain and if necessary raze. Since Palestine lost the west Negev and Acre/Nazareth in the 40’s they’ve never been a serious strategic threat to Israel & the West. They have remained solely as a proxy weapon for the USSR, Islamists and left wingers in the West, albeit a very rusty, inaccurate weapon with a damaged trigger. IE liable to go off anytimne in any direction lol.

Last edited 7 months ago by mike otter
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
7 months ago

What fantastic choices the Palestinian have.
Follow the PA and watch Israel take advantage of their unwillingness to rock the boat by constantly evicting Palestinians from their land to build ever more Jewish settlements on the West Bank, or copy Hamas violent uprising tactics and watch entire cities be carpet bombed by the IDF in retaliation.

Alan Kaufman
Alan Kaufman
7 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

That’s what happens when you turn down offers of statehood five times. The Arabs in that area deserve no sympathy. They could have had a state 5 times bigger than what is left from all of their failed wars.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
7 months ago
Reply to  Alan Kaufman

You make a simplified claim, as if all the Arabs in that area were a collective You who were all invited to the negotiating table and could have simply “gone Dorothy”, by clicking their heels and chanting “there’s no place like home”.
Aside from that, when sympathy or even empathy cant be mustered, there is still mercy or relenting ruth. Without that, many more of us around the world would be destroyed already too.

Gorka Sillero
Gorka Sillero
7 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Or they could accept that Israel and Jews exist in Israel and stop behaving like animals