Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 12, 2004 / 23 Sivan, 5764

The pattern of Palestinian rejectionism

By Yossi Klein Halevi

http://www.jewishworldreview.com | The tragedy of the International Court's ruling on the security fence isn't only its depressing predictability, a politicization that undermines the hope for a global system of justice. Nor is the tragedy only that Israel's right to self-defense has been branded illegitimate, while the criminals remain uncensured.


Perhaps the worst consequence of the ruling is that it will reinforce Palestinians' faith in their own innocence and victimization, and preclude a self-examination of their responsibility in maintaining the conflict. That suicidal self-pity has led Palestinians from one historic calamity to another, and is precisely the reason why Israel is now building the fence.



Printer Friendly Version

Email this article


        Palestinian political history follows a depressingly predicable pattern. First, a peace offer is presented by the international community, to which the mainstream Zionist leadership says yes, while all factions of the Palestinian leadership say no. Then the Palestinians opt for war and pay a bitter price for their failed attempt at politicide. Finally, the Palestinians protest the injustice of their defeat which, after all, was supposed to be the fate of the Jews.


From the Palestinian perspective, there have always been compelling reasons for rejecting each of the compromises that could have resolved this conflict in a two-state solution. The UN partition plan, Palestinians still argue, offered the Jews a state on a majority of territory though they were only a minority of the population. The argument ignores the fact that 62 percent of the Jewish state envisioned by partition would have consisted of desert, while the Palestinians were offered the most fertile land. The argument is even more absurd because the Palestinians, and the Arab world generally, would have rejected Jewish statehood in any form.

Donate to JWR


As for the Camp David offer, Palestinians argue that it would have left them with a series of non-contiguous cantons, not a real state. Yet a few months after Camp David, Palestinians rejected the offer of a contiguous West Bank under the Clinton Proposal and at Taba. The reason for that Palestinian rejection was, and remains, their refusal to waive the demand for refugee return to pre-67 Israel - that is, to accept the Israeli offer to cede the results of the 1967 war in exchange for a Palestinian acceptance of the results of the 1948 war.


The end result of each Palestinian rejection was that history moved on, and the map of potential Palestine that remained to be negotiated invariably shrank.


Under the Peel Commission, the Palestinians would have received 80% of the territory between the river and the sea; under the 1947 UN partition plan, 45%; under Camp David, around 20%.


And now, thanks to the latest Palestinian miscalculation, the fence is establishing a new border, in which a future Palestine will lose at least 10% of the West Bank, including east Jerusalem - all territories it could have possessed had the Palestinian leadership negotiated in good faith.


Only a people convinced it can do no wrong because all right is on its side can fail to ask itself why it repeatedly brings disaster on itself. Where are the anguished Palestinian voices demanding an accounting from their leadership for the self-imposed wound of the fence? Where is the debate about whether four years of suicide bombings were a wise response to the Israeli offer of Palestinian statehood - let alone a debate about the moral and spiritual consequences of turning Palestinian Islam into a satanic cult?


During the first intifada, Israeli society underwent a profound, and necessary, self-confrontation. For the first time, non-leftist Israelis conceded that the Palestinians have a grievance and a case, and that, by not offering the Palestinians any option besides continued occupation, we shared at least partial responsibility for the conflict.


The result was that a majority of Israelis came to see the conflict as a struggle between two legitimate national movements, and that partition wasn't only politically necessary but morally compelling.


Rather than undergoing a similar process, though, Palestinian society has regressed even further into a culture of denial that rejects the most minimal truths of Jewish history and Jewish rights to this land.


This intifada should have been the Palestinians' moment of self-confrontation. Yet Palestinians still refuse to take the most minimal responsibility for their share of the disaster.


In almost every political conversation I've had with Palestinians who aren't political leaders, I've heard a variation of the following: "You and me, we're little people. We could make peace, but the 'big ones' on both sides don't want it. The leaders only care about their seats."


I used to be charmed by those words, imagining they contained hope for reconciliation. In fact, they explain why reconciliation eludes us. By passing the blame to others, Palestinians absolve themselves of responsibility for change, incapable of challenging those who speak in their name.


If Palestinians continue to replace self-examination with self-pity, it's because their avoidance mechanisms are reinforced by the international community, whose sympathy for Palestinian suffering becomes support for Palestinian intransigence.


I had hoped that the fence would force the Palestinians to finally face some painful truths about the conflict. The fence, after all, confronts Palestinians with a constant, tangible reminder of the consequences of rejectionism. It marks the literal limits of the politics of terror.


Yet in choosing to judge Israel rather than the Palestinian leadership, the International Court legitimizes Palestinian self-pity and sabotages the possibility of change. That is a disaster for the moral health of Palestinian society, and for the possibility of reconciliation in the Middle East.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Yossi Klein Halevi is the Israel correspondent for the New Republic and the author of "Memoirs of a Jewish Extremist (Little, Brown) and, most recently, of "At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden: A Jew's Search for G-d with Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land." He is an associate fellow at the Shalem Center and a contributing editor to its magazine, Azure. Comment by clicking here.



© 2004, Yossi Klein Halevi