King's Evangelical Divinity School

18 February 2012

Part of the Problem: They Keep Saying "No"

On several occasions this blog has suggested the Palestinians have had somewhat of a raw deal. Yet much of the blame lies firmly with the Palestinians' leaders (see my comments here, here and here). Thus the Israel-bashers harm their own cause by ignoring how many of the Palestinian leaders, inept and often driven by hatred, are themselves responsible for a great deal of the situation the wider Palestinian people find themselves in. I'm reminded of the aid industry to Africa which, by ignoring systemic abuse whereby elites cream off the top, has resulted in the poorest parts of the continent remaining aid-dependent for decades. Ignoring one aspect of a situation merely compounds the problem.

Part of the problem is that Palestinian leaders keep saying no. They've said it regardless of the deal on offer since early in the twentieth century. Is this because these leaders are driven by unrealism, a desire for all the land, or perhaps an inability to approach the issue pragmatically? In an interesting article exploring the long history of Palestinians saying no proposed divisions of the land, Jack Schwartzwald believes that Palestinian leaders have been driven by an ideology which seeks to eradicate any Jewish national expression in Judaism's ancestral homeland. But, he argues, this is systematic of a wider Islamist intolerance towards non-Muslims across the Middle East. It's an interesting article, well worth a read, and can be found here.

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