The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same
The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same: We can talk about “Roadmaps to Peace” and a “Palestinian State” as much as we want, but real peace IS NOT achievable in the region unless some FUNDAMENTAL problems are dealt with. Those include but are not limited to the “right to return”, some sort of universally accepted plan to deal with terrorist attacks after a Palestinian state is set up, and a guarantee of security for Israel if they allow the Palestinians to have a state.
Then there’s another huge problem — terrorist groups like Islamic Jihad and Hamas that have made it crystal clear that they don’t want peace between Israel and the Palestinians. That’s why the number of terrorist attacks increased last time the Israelis and Palestinians got closer to peace and why there was another attack yesterday. Neither of those groups say that they’ll stop their attacks on Israel if the Palestinians are given a state and thus far the Palestinians have shown absolutely no signs of restraining them.
Some people believe that’s going to change now that the new Palestinian Prime Minister, Mahmoud Abbas has come out against terrorism. Just yesterday he said,
“We denounce terrorism by any party and in all its forms…because we are convinced that such methods do not lend support to a just cause like ours, but rather destroy it,” Abbas said.
“Ending the armed chaos” would be one of the “fundamental missions” of the new government, Abbas added. “There is no place for weapons except in the hands of the government,” he said. “There is only one authority.”
Sounds good right? Well, saying that is one thing and doing something about it is another. Abbas now faces the same dilemma that Arafat once did. I wrote about this back on April 3, 2002…
“Unfortunately, Arafat built his suicide-bombing machine far too well. The reality now is that his people have bought into the idea of suicide bombing, terrorism, and driving the Israelis into the sea to such an extent that Arafat no longer has control over them. Before the last intifada began, Arafat could have gotten the Palestinian State he claims to want and could have handled any unrest that would have developed over the details of the deal. But for whatever reason, perhaps because he feared the terrorist groups in his territory or wanted a better offer, Arafat chose not to take the bargain. Since then things have gotten so out of hand that there would be a civil war if Arafat cut a deal with Israel. Would Arafat win? Maybe, maybe not. Most of his own people would be against him and the terrorist groups that opposed peace would be heavily aided by the surrounding states. A true statesman would cut a deal with Israel and would risk fighting afterwards because it would be the best thing for his people. But Arafat is a terrorist who became a dictator, not a statesman.
So even if Abbas is serious, which is a big “if” by the way, is he going to risk a civil war to disarm Islamic Jihad and Hamas when the majority of his own people, the surrounding states, and probably Arafat are going to be against him? I doubt it. The Palestinians need men like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. But, all they have is old terrorists like Arafat and holocaust deniers like Abbas. In the end, that’s not going to be enough….