10 December 2012

Palestine's strangely stubborn state of mind?

I think you all should read the three articles penned by Brian Goldfarb on the subject of the recent UN vote, recognizing Palestine as a non-member state with observer status.

Aside of frenetic lack of coherent response* (if I may use such a convoluted definition) from Israeli confused leadership, the whole deed doesn't bring Palestinians a state, contradicts the letter of Oslo agreement**, but tickles their ego. It also allows the newly hatched non-state to be a somewhat more potent irritant on the international and, especially, on the PR scenes. Some legal moves are also expected, but I wouldn't be overly concerned with that, seeing as the lawyers... oh well.

The only beef I have with the last article linked above, the one by Emanuele Ottolenghi, is with his apparent*** lack of understanding of what he calls "stubborn state of mind". The explanation of this apparent stubbornness is very simple:

Palestinians, or, at least, the part of them that is (ostensibly) represented by the Palestinian Authority, e.g. the so called West Bank, are not interested in any peace accord. Indeed, any semblance of a peace accord, followed by withdrawal of IDF and, no less important, GSS (or Shin Bet in the vernacular), will mean a death sentence to the currently ruling Palestinian elite.

Everyone who remembers the deathly pallor of Arafat's face when he was confronted in Camp David by the American pressure on one side and the fairly generous Israeli proposal of eventual settlement, knows too well the reasons for Arafat's "discomfiture". The late**** old weasel knew only too well that his life expectancy after signing a peace agreement with Israel will be measured by a very short stick. He was seeing the knives of the fanatics being drawn, especially after withdrawal of the above mentioned IDF and GSS...

And the Arafat's popularity and ability to control the situation in Gaza and West Bank was immeasurably higher than that of the waning Abbas and his corrupt PA. Abbas knows very well that Hamas cells are waiting for IDF to leave, and that the knives will come out the first night after that.

As for the current status quo: yes, some of the PA leaders may squirm at the thought that the much hated IDF is protecting them, but they love the comparative stability, the uninterrupted flow of financial assistance from the West, occasionally seeded by a few petrodollars from the rich brethren in the South, the uncontrolled corruption. All this will become a sweet memory after the peace accord, and possibly a very short-lived memory at that...

So why would Abbas and his minions sign what amounts to the end of their well-oiled careers, not to mention the possible end of their lives?

Be fools to...

(*) That eventually came down to declaration of some (future) new housing construction on the outskirts of Jerusalem, raising hackles of many Western governments (so who is the winner after all?).

(**) Which, in turn, raises hackles of our leaders, although on many occasions they have publicly declared the Oslo accord being dead and void... go figure them Levantines...

(***) I strongly suspect that Emanuele Ottolenghi knows very well the reason(s) for Palestinian stubbornness.

(****) This may be a questionable statement, after all his brethren are not absolutely sure he is dead, the fact is that they took him out recently to check...


Brian Goldfarb said...

"Everyone who remembers the deathly pallor of Arafat's face when he was confronted in Camp David by the American pressure on one side and the fairly generous Israeli proposal of eventual settlement, knows too well the reasons for Arafat's "discomfiture"." You know, Snoopy, that hadn't occurred to me. I'd assumed that, despite the Saudi Prince telling him that was the best deal he could expect; indeed, it was all that the Palestinians were ever going to get, it was because he's already planned the Second Intifada aimed at the old one state solution.

Now you're telling us that it was because he felt that a settlement with Israel, however generous, was a death threat to him, literally.

Oh for a time machine, to go back and get the Israelis to do it differently, the day after the '67 war ended (that's the only bit I wouldn't want to change: without destroying the Arab powers immediate military machines, there would have been no hope of a settlement - they had to see that a military solution wasn't on).

"If wishes were horses, beggars would ride" - old Yiddish proverb

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Arafat's conundrum was common knowledge at the time both in the Palestinian and Israeli streets.

As for the military victory: on one hand there wasn't a single decisive victory, the local wars being stopped by the powers who matter before the wars' logical completion - meaning unconditional surrender, followed by a stable peace agreement.

Of course, the vacillation of the Israeli government in 67 didn't help matters too much.

Sara said...

I think they will join all the other thugs want it.