لا يوجد هناك "فلسطين"
بعد قرن من الصراع يستحق
الفلسطينيون وضعاً أفضل, إنهم
يستحقون أن يكونوا أمة. ولكن بعد
قرن من الصراع فإنهم يواجهون
أصعب اختبار لهم منذ العام 1948
there is no Palestine
ships of state are headed directly toward each other at
an average rate of 75 deaths per month.
first ship, which we will call I., has many captains and
no rudder. It is slowly but inexorably sinking from the
corrosive effects of corruption, callousness and
exhaustion. The second ship, which we will call P., has
two full crews, each in full mutiny against the other.
It is sinking at a somewhat faster rate, unable to feed
its passengers, unable to alter its fate.
your matriculation, answer the following question,
showing your work: What is the probability that both
ships will sink before they next have a chance to
credit: Arab leaders have been speaking of creating an
independent Palestine for more than a century. Four of
the last five Israeli prime ministers have endorsed the
concept and spoken of fostering it. The world community
recognizes that there should be such a state. So does
President George W. Bush. And a billion Muslims believe
that there must be such a state.
is there no Palestine?
Israelis cannot decide what they want.
have shown that a clear majority of Israelis wants to
see an end to the occupation. But history - and the
craters of Katyushas and Qassams - indicates that a
clear majority of Israelis, and an absolute majority of
their leaders, are unwilling to take the potentially
catastrophic risks of ending the occupation unilaterally.
of the Palestinians' ultimate intentions, and fearful of
the social consequences of expelling West Bank settlers,
the public shows little inclination to seek a diplomatic
no longer want to pay the price of occupation, but we
have become convinced that the price of ending it will
be far higher.
Palestinians cannot decide what they want.
decades, the Palestinians had no need to decide what
they wanted. Israel shunned their representatives,
dismissed their aspirations, settled their lands,
imprisoned and otherwise hunted down their leaders.
occupation was more than simply the address for all
complaints, the explanation for all disappointments, the
diagnosis for all pain. It was also the excuse for
indefinitely delaying debate over the character of a
future independent Palestine.
be able to move toward statehood, Palestinians must
decide how they themselves stand on the bedrock issues
of the conflict. Fundamentally, they must decide if they
wish to make a final peace with Israel, or press for a
Palestine to supplant it.
neither side is willing to abide by peace agreements.
side has banks of researchers assembling evidence that
the other side consistently violates the explicit terms
of signed peace accords. The evidence, on both sides, is
we are, all of us, better at vengeance than we are at
both sides, it is the first rule of politics: Peace is
politically dangerous, if not lethal. War, or at least
talk of war, is the safer default setting.
is similar to, but not the same as:
we love our extremists too much.
sides exhibit a sentimental attachment and quiet
fondness for those in their midst who take the exact
actions and promulgate the exact policies that act to
foil a two-state solution.
the policies of both sides play directly into the hands
of extremists on the other.
is Hamas because of Israel. And no group in the Holy
Land has done more to bolster the Israeli far right than
the Muslim world wants its Palestinians to suffer.
Muslim world grants the Palestinians fortunes in lip
service, and little else of value. The Palestinians are
much more valuable to Muslim leaders abroad as valiant
symbols of victimhood, channeling anger toward Israel.
the West now sees them as terrorists.
in large part to its own exposure to suicide terror, the
West has changed its definition of Palestinian
resistance, from defense of the innocent, to targeting
of the innocent.
Arafat lied to them.
Yasser Arafat was signing agreements with Israel, he was
letting his people know in hints and winks and
exhortations that they would in the end have everything
they wanted. Refugees would return to their homes in
Israel proper. Jerusalem's Old City would return to
Muslim sovereignty. The armed struggle would tip the
is also the lie inherent in the rule of corruption that
Arafat fostered, sapping critical resources, undermining
public confidence, and crippling efforts at responsive
they cannot stop themselves.
is no one to put an end to civil war. There is no
spiritual authority, there is no governmental authority,
there is no military authority.
some of the best people in Palestine are leaving.
because some of the people who cannot leave, cannot
think about anything else.
each side takes it for granted that it is clearly,
morally, objectively in the right, and that the other
side is nothing but wrong.
fool's paradise turns out to be better than no paradise
because the Holy Land is the world capital of wishful
down, both sides secretly believe that they will get
what they have wanted all along, whether it's Greater
Israel or Greater Palestine, complete sovereignty over
Jerusalem or the right of return.
a century of struggle, the Palestinians deserve better.
The Palestinians deserve a nation. But after a century
of struggle, they now face their worst test since 1948.
ship of state needs a painful refitting, and a radical
and perhaps terrifying change of course. As a people,
the Palestinians are now facing their matriculation. If
they can address their long list of problems head on,
they can return to the path of independence. But skip
the problems, or get the problems wrong, and Palestinian
nationhood may be just one more dream ground into the
dust in Gaza.
لهذه المقالات لا يعني أنها
تعبر عن وجهة نظر المركز كلياً
من حق الزائر الكريم أن ينقل وأن ينشر كل ما يعجبه من موقعنا . معزواً إلينا ، أو غير معزو .ـ