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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.