Why doesn’t Arafat just declare war already? He clearly doesn’t want peace. He wants the Israelis to allow all the Arabs and their progeny to return to the land they were kicked off of 50 years ago, something that Israel would never allow (does the name “Custer” mean anything to you?). He gives all these demagogueric speeches, in Arabic anyway, about Palestinians flags flying over all of Jerusalem someday.
Does he have some brilliant plan I am unaware of or is he just a wuss?
Arafat thinks (and so far he’s been correct) that the longer he holds out, the more he’ll get. He’s now been offered part of Jerusalem (something that was unthinkable only two years ago), 95% of the West Bank, Gaza, a highway to connect the two, etc.
If he can keep holding out, maybe he’ll get more.
Maybe he’ll get the right of return for all Palestinians.
Maybe he’ll get all of the West Bank.
Maybe he’ll get the entire Temple Mount.
Maybe he’ll get Israel to pull back to the 1947 borders (have you ever seen that map? – talk about an unworkable situation).
Maybe he’ll get the entirety of Jerusalem.
Maybe he’ll even get Israel to vote itself out of existance and form a “unified” Palestine.
Some of these sound far fetched? So did compromising on an independent Palestinian state, Jerusalem, the water resources and the Temple Mount, and all that has come to pass.
Arafat knows that once he accepts, he’s stuck with whatever he accepted and he’ll never get an inch more without an outright decleration of war (which he can’t win).
So if he’s just going to use terrorism to extort more and more from the Israelis (and I think that special Palestinian-only highway with no on-off ramps is rather patronizing) why don’t they declare war on him? Or have they only just figured this out and are thus planning to wall off their territory, etc.?
I’ve almost gotten to the point that I would tell the Israeli government to wall off the West Bank and Gaza, and let the Palestinains live in their own country already. It would collapse under its own corruption anyway. Do you think these people could really manage a peaceful nation? Of course not; without hating Israel, what else would keep them together?
BTW - there was no such word as “palestinian” until 1970.
Nothing like a little knee-jerk anti-towelhead spew to brighten one’s day.
Nice catch on the “Palestine” usage, Joel. You beat me to it.
I think BW and Zev have covered your first question pretty well. As to why Israel won’t declare war on the Palestinians, there are a couple reasons I can see:
Most Isralis really do want peace.
There are huge numbers of Palestinians and sympathizers within Israel proper, and a full war would end up being fought in the Israli’s backyards.
Israel, while a major power and able to kick the hell out of most any single group in the Mideast, are nevertheless surrounded by nations sympathetic with the Palestinian cause. The last thing Israel needs is to fight another multi-front war.
Most importantly, IMO, is that a declared war would acknowledge the sovreignty of the Palestinians. Countries only delcare war on other countries. Israel cannot afford to treat (or appear to the world to treat) the Palestinians as an independent nation.
No, I did mean 1970. Arabs who lived in the West Bank before 1967 were Arabs or Jordanians. Those who lived in Gaza were Arabs or Egyptians. The modern term “Palestinian” was first used in U.N. documents in 1970 to describe those who left Israel (from within the Green Line) during the War of Independence (1948) and the Six Day War (1967).
You’re talking about a “nation” where the people are executed for cooperating with Israel. You’re talking about a “nation” where the government has swallowed millions of dollars, yet has nothing to show for it. There are so many factions. Why do you think “Palestine” won’t collapse under its own weight?
(sorry it took so long - they expect me to work here!!)
That is an incorrect statement. Not all residents of the region called Palestine have always been arabs. Not all arabs are Palestinian.
Your disingenuous attempt to discredit the Palestinians by implying that the word was manufactured is just silly. Stop it. There are plenty of ways to discredit folks. Being dishonest is not among the better of these ways.
It seems rather obvious to me that Arafat doesn’t hold power over Palestinian combatants in Israel/Gaza/West Bank.
I question the solidity of any peace treaty reached with him, because I do not believe he has the power to say, “OK, guys. They’ve given us this and this and this, so now give them that and that and stop all violence.”
In a certain sense, it’s like negotiating an end to the L.A. riots with Al Sharpton.