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David McKee
David McKee
4 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
4 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
3 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 months ago
Reply to  Alan Kaufman

Bupkis ? That’s a new one on me.

Mike Fraser
Mike Fraser
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

its nothing:-

B Stern
B Stern
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

It’s yiddish for gar nicht.

Philip Crowley
Philip Crowley
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Bobkes is Yiddish for rubbish or nothing.

a bill
a bill
4 months ago
Reply to  Alan Kaufman

True.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
4 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
4 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 4 months ago by Cathy Carron
mike otter
mike otter
4 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
4 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
4 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 4 months ago by T Bone
BradK
BradK
4 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
4 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
4 months ago

It’s about legitimacy.

mike otter
mike otter
4 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
4 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
4 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 4 months ago by Michael Hallihane
Ardath Blauvelt
Ardath Blauvelt
4 months ago

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

BradK
BradK
4 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
4 months ago
Reply to  BradK

I’ll take Baathism for 800, Alex.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
4 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
4 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 4 months ago by AJ Mac
Doug Israel
Doug Israel
4 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

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

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
4 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
4 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 4 months ago by AJ Mac
Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
4 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
4 months ago

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

Alan Kaufman
Alan Kaufman
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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 4 months ago by mike otter
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

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