Friday, March 10, 2006

What do the Palestinians actually want?

An interesting opinion piece by Martin Sherman explores the Palestinian intentions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the peace-process. This opinion is useful because as a result of a combination of political correctness and wishful thinking, these points are rarely brought up. There is of course the 'Phased Plan' as adopted by the PLO in 1974, this was even referred to by Yasser Arafat as late as 1998.
Below are excerpts....
In principle, there are two countervailing hypotheses by which to account for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. According to prevailing conventional wisdom, the fuel of the conflict is the lack of Palestinian self-determination, and all the Palestinians want is to establish a state for themselves.
There is, however, an alternative proposition, diametrically opposed to the former – and which in light of the deeds and declarations of the Palestinians themselves - appears the more plausible.
According to this alternative explanation, the fuel of the conflict is not the lack of Palestinian self-determination but the existence of Jewish self-determination – thus, as long as Jewish self-determination continues, so will the conflict.
Moreover, according to the alternative explanation, the goal of the Palestinians is not to establish a state for themselves but to dismantle a state for others - the Jews.
The question which now must be addressed is: Which of these two alternative hypotheses has the greater explanatory power?
The answer seems to be unequivocally in favor of the latter – for it provides eminently plausible explanations for a range of events that the former is totally unable to account for.

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