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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Sydney Morning Herald Opinion: "A Palestinian State? No Chance"

The Australian newspaper The Sydney Morning Herald published an opinion piece which should be read world-wide: it shows why the Palestinians should never have a state.

We stand back and ask that this be read in its entirety, because it makes more sense than all the people who keep saying that those subhumans deserve a state of their own.

A sovereign Palestine? No chance

The level of conflict between the Palestinian parties simmers just below the level of civil war, even as the spoils keep shrinking. The open wound inspires strong reactions among millions of people around the world with no direct stake in the problem.

For the sake of reality, let's put aside whatever views and prejudices you may hold on the Palestinian question. Put aside any animosity about grasping Jews or murderous Arabs. Put aside the Holocaust, and Muslim anti-Semitism. Put aside hopes and judgements. Simply look at what has happened on the ground. Stripped of all emotion and prejudice, right and wrong, one reality becomes clear: there is no chance of a sovereign, autonomous Palestinian state. Not within our lifetimes. No chance. None.

Not only won't there be a sovereign Palestinian state, there can't be.

It's no longer viable. At every historic juncture since Israel was created in 1948, rhetoric has taken precedence over pragmatism in the Arab world. As a result, every one of these historic junctions has resulted, without exception, in material defeat for the Palestinians.

Compare this fenced-off community of today with 20 years ago, before the intifadas. The Palestinian workforce was integrated into the Israeli economy, with relatively free movement into Israel. Education and health systems were built, universities opened, local governments were functioning, corruption was minimal, and life expectancy had soared from 47 under Arab rule to 68. Then came Yasser Arafat and Fatah.

"Fatah is the mafia," Abu Toameh told me. "It is responsible for most of the anarchy on the West Bank. Fatah is a monster." Nor does he think much of Hamas, though he thinks it is much less corrupt, much more competent, and more pragmatic. He believes the West erred shockingly in trusting and subsiding Fatah and has now mishandled the transition to Hamas.

"But on the Muslim side, the message has always been 'No', and 'No', and 'No'. They quote the Koran: God is on the side of the patient . . .

"And what is the West Bank now? It is six Arab cities, two refugee camps, 150 villages. A series of cantons, with no economic base. And Gaza? An awful place."

A well-reasoned argument, no?

Check out the closing line:

Sixty years of years of "No" has put an end to a sovereign Palestinian state, indefinitely. This pawn has been sacrificed in a much larger game.

Classic. Simply classic. And sensical.

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