Rubin Reports

Who's to Blame? In Media, Palestinians Avoid Responsibility

The presentation of the Palestinian Authority’s arguments is pitiful. Take, for example, the December 25, 2013 New York Times op-ed by Ali Jarbawi:

These days, life appears to be going along as normal for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Appearances can be deceptive, however. Prior to the 1987 intifada, too, things appeared to be normal — until they exploded, much to everyone’s surprise. But no one should be surprised if a new intifada erupts in the next few months. Many experts, even those within the Israeli security apparatus, like the former Mossad chief, Meir Dagan, are predicting it.

This is supposed to be the victimization argument: even if Palestinians refused the UN Partition Plan (1947) and Camp David (2000) and don’t even pay their electricity bills, they are nonetheless eternal victims. Their problems are never coupled with their actions.

In reality, Mossad chief Meir Dagan did not predict an intifada. He said it was possible that an intifada could occur — but that it may also not happen. The Mossad report actually said it was quite possible that an intifada would not occur. Dagan was misquoted above.

More from Jarbawi:

We Palestinians are living through the worst situation in years. And, despite surface appearances of normal, mundane, routine everyday life under occupation, four significant factors have begun to interact that may disrupt the seemingly stable status quo.

Indeed, it is true that the Palestinians’ conditions have not improved over time, despite having received billions of dollars in aid, much of which Hamas stole or wasted. If they are truly at their worst point in 50 years, the blame is due to decisions made by Palestinian rulers, negotiators, and terrorists.

The first, and most potent [factor], is the collapse of any hope that the occupation will ever end and Palestinians will attain their freedom and independence. This hope had allowed Palestinians to endure the daily injustices of occupation in the expectation of a better future. It is this same hope that led them to support negotiations with Israel and the idea of a two-state solution.

The Palestinians’ strategic mistake was to think that conceding 78 percent of the land of historical Palestine in 1993 would be enough.

This is an extremely selective view of the events of the past half-century. Note the subtlety: as the author is in fact hinting that the Palestinians should have demanded a one-state solution. The peace negotiations of 1993-2000 were based on the premise that there would be a two-state solution.

It didn’t occur to them that Israel wanted to split this remaining land with them, leaving them with — in the best of cases — a state of leftovers.

And the price that is being demanded for this state is so exorbitant that the Palestinian Authority cannot sell it, nor can the Palestinians accept it.

In fact, the “exorbitant” price for the Palestinians consisted of the recognition of a Jewish state and the cessation of terrorist attacks on Israel. Yet in the previous month alone, there were at least five murderous attacks on Israelis, a bomb on a bus within Israel, a border attack against Israel from Gaza, and the — especially creative — effort by a member of the PA security forces who had requested to be treated for an eye injury in Israel, intending to use that humanitarian gesture as an opportunity to commit a terror attack on an Israeli hospital.

Every day, there are verbal attacks on Israel as well. Israel is only offered real peace as a propaganda measure:

The promised Palestinian state will be nothing but a shadow entity completely ruled by Israel.

Remember that if the Gaza Strip is being included in the 22 percent allegedly offered to the Palestinians, Gaza is not controlled by the PA. Therefore the PA has no authority to be negotiating about Gaza. Hamas is not ready to accept Israel under any conditions.

An op-ed by Ahmad Tibi in The Hill — a publication widely read by Congressional staff — claims that in the negotiations on a two-state solution, Israel is subjecting Palestinians to “‘Jim Crow’ treatment.” Tibi’s claim is that the problem is not one of conflict between two national groups, but of systematic racism in which Palestinians are always the victim. Yet since 1994, Palestinians have had self-government and have voted to determine who would rule in the West Bank and Gaza.

After two decades of Palestinian self-rule, including its own armed forces and economy, and after having received billions of dollars in aid, the Palestinians, Tibi is arguing, have not been responsible for ruling themselves.

In a recent poll, two-thirds of Jewish Israelis agreed that they would hear the Palestinian narrative in school. Can you imagine the opposite? Of course not. Some years ago, I actually lectured at a Palestinian university, and my affiliation was omitted from the syllabus.

Despite 50 years of cross-border terrorist attacks against Israel, missiles fired at Israel, attempts to boycott Israel, and failure to pay Israel for providing electricity to the Palestinian territories, the New York Times article claims:

The Authority’s financial insolvency is creating more problems for Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, especially the young.

If a PA government that has existed for two decades wants a situation in which stability is impossible, how can the virtual state of war be blamed on Israelis? Note that when Israel withdrew from the settlements in 2005, the equipment that was left was either stolen or destroyed by Palestinians, not used for prosperity. And who started the rocket wars?

For 50 years, Palestinian attacks and victims have been boasted about.

The basic construction of the argument is this: We fought and attacked Israelis, and yet throughout the years, only the Israelis were responsible for our suffering.

If the PA cannot credit Israel with any good act, how can the PA make peace with Israel? How credible can it be?

After two decades of self-rule, Palestinian public figures can say that Israelis don’t want peace, and that Jews subject Palestinian to Jim Crow treatment. Israelis and Jews say nothing of the kind. Yet are condemned as horrible oppressors and racists. What a pathetic presentation by the Palestinian side.