Are Palestinians destined for eternal misery?

Andrew L. Urban

It was a sad, depressing sight; a Gazan man was leading a donkey-drawn cart along a dusty, broken Gazan street, his son and furniture piled high. The image was short lived in the news report, but we have seen this scene in various configurations over the years. This is Gaza life, after billions of dollars in foreign aid. Donkey carts. In 21st century Gaza.

Up the proverbial road in Qatar, the billionaire leadership of this wretched strip of god’s earth are moved about in air conditioned limousines, from one five star hotel to the next. Ah, that’s where the money went…. There, and to build the ‘Gaza underground’, as safe haven and weapons storage for the Hamas terrorists. How that has helped the population is not immediately clear … And Hezbolla’s tunnel system inside Israel territory, discovered in 2018, is hundreds of kilometres long and more sophisticated than the Hamas tunnel system.

Not only has Hamas deprived their Palestinian brethren of a decent standard of living, they use them as human shields. Callous doesn’t quite cover it. And this is not just a post October 7 state of affairs. It is the very nature of the whole Palestinian experience. Which is why the hapless Palestinian population, herded into hatred of Israel by its leadership, will never emerge from a standard of living symbolised by that poor donkey on the road. The West Bank is no better. Discontent festers.

The victimhood narrative lives on. The years wear on …

Tethered to the hatred of Zionists, jews and the American-flavoured West, the Palestinian population is oppressed by its own leadership for their own purposes. Power and wealth. So long as that jew hatred is fed, the leadership remains safe, shielded by it. The hatred spews out of pro-Palestinian protesters in Australia, too, unaware of their political impotence.

Hamas “is composed of self-serving, violent extremists who prioritize armed struggle over effective governance and the welfare of Palestinians. There is no question that eliminating Hamas would be good for Palestinians, Israel, the Middle East, and the United States,” writes Audrey Kurth Cronin in the July/August edition of Foreign Affairs, just published.

What to do? How to do it?

All sorts of people in politics (eg Foreign Minister Penny Wong), some well intentioned, some badly informed, talk up a two state solution. That notion is as unattainable as it is ignorant – certainly meaningless without the precondition of Palestinians changing their ‘death to Israel’ spots. Starting with the cessation of teaching their children to hate jews, and the payments to adults for killing them.

That’s part and parcel of what Daniel Pipes calls Palestinian rejectionism. This is “characterized by the negation of Jews, Judaism, Zionism, and Israel. It explains the Palestinians’ enduring goal of genocide, their refusal to take yes for an answer, their unwillingness to seek improved living circumstances, and their determination to defame the Jewish state.” Or ‘how Palestinians are their own worst enemy.’

Meanwhile, Zionist conciliation is “characterized by the attempt to win Palestinian acceptance not by defeating Israel’s enemy, but by enriching and placating it.” Pipes argues against this anomalous Zionist approach, advocating instead the traditional method of ending a war—through victory: Palestinians give up, Israel wins.

Daniel Pipes

In his new book, Israel Victory: How Zionists Win Acceptance and Palestinians Get Liberated,* Daniel Pipes, a prominent historian and commentator on Middle Eastern affairs, offers a radical way to reconciliation, challenging current orthodoxy: “The Palestinian-Israeli conflict will come to an acceptable conclusion only with a Palestinian sense of defeat. This book provides a roadmap for achieving victory with minimal violence and maximal messaging, ultimately benefiting both Israelis and Palestinians.” In other words, Palestinians must accept that their anti-Israel cause is defeated. That turn-around in sentiment does not look likely, certainly under the current leadership. The trough of power, influence and wealth is too accessible. But perhaps the notion should be made visible to Palestinians and argued as the only realistic option to persuade them (along with the West) that otherwise they are destined for eternal misery.

In the book, “Pipes draws lessons from past ‘peace process’ failures, delves into the universal nature of defeat and victory, and offers practical advice on how Israel can win through minimal violence and maximal messaging. Both sides need an Israel Victory to break with entrenched, outdated mentalities. For Israel, it means acceptance, especially among Muslims and on the global Left. For the Palestinians, Israel Victory means liberation from a destructive obsession, enabling them finally to build a polity, economy, society, and culture worthy of their skills and ambitions.”

It is surely preferable and no more unrealistic than the Palestinian hope of wiping Israel off the map.

*Israel Victory: How Zionists Win Acceptance and Palestinians Get Liberated (Wicked Son, an imprint of Post Hill Press) by Daniel Pipes. He is President of the Middle East Forum, a Philadelphia-based think tank, founded in 1994 by Daniel Pipes, which promotes American interests in the Middle East and protects Western values from Middle Eastern threats.





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