Saturday, October 2, 2010

Chait Calls Abbas & Fayyad "Blessedly Moderate"

Over at The New Republic, Jonathan Chait ponders the question why Palestinians won't adopt non-violence.

Chait does so in response to Robert Wright of The New York Times who made the modest suggestion that it might be in the interests of Palestinians to adopt the ways of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

While Chait agrees that it would be "fantastic" if the Palestinians turned a new leaf but that such a proposition is predicated on the assumption that Palestinians support a two state solution. So far so good. But here's where Chait goes wrong:

And this isn't a crazy or inherently hateful view. From the Palestinian perspective, Israel is a colonial state that was suddenly dropped on their head as a result of European crimes. Most Palestinians seem to think, like Helen Thomas, said that the fair solution is for the Jews to go back to Europe.

Chait, however, ignores that the 1947 UN Partition Plan which established the State of Israel also established a new Arab state. Hence the term partition. Yet the Arab states rejected it and sought to destroy the Jewish state. The only thing that was dropped on the heads of the Palestinians was the stupidity of their leaders in not accepting Israel wholeheartedly.

As for implementing Helen Thomas' migration reforms the problem here is that 70% of Israeli Jews living in Israel were born in Israel. The Palestinians cannot live as if it were 1948.

Chait adds that the "current West Bank leadership is blessedly moderate -- and Israelis are fools to not to try to cut a deal with it."

There is nothing either blessed or moderate about Mahmoud Abbas or Salam Fayyad.

If Abbas and Fayyad were "blessedly moderate" then they would not permit garbage like this to go over the airwaves of the Palestinian Authority state run television suggesting "all mothers should sacrifice their child for Palestine."

There's something deeply wrong with Palestinian civil society when a mother's highest ambition for her child is that he become a martyr or a shahed instead of being a doctor or a lawyer.

And what exactly makes Chait think Abbas and Fayyad want a deal with Israel. They would be seen as collaborators. Surely if Abbas and Fayyad were to make such a deal they would be signing their death warrants. As we approach October 6th, it is worth remembering that Abbas and Fayyad bear no resemblance to Anwar Sadat.

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