Palestinian Magical Thinking

Its alliance with the U.S., despite the utter lack of warmth from the current administration, remains strong at its core, reflected in cooperation on myriad levels, both military and economic.

Israel is forging ahead in constructing positive relationships with the emergent powers of India and China.  It maintains very close and warm relations with Canada, Australia, Germany and other important western players.  None of this is under threat from the automatic majority the Palestinians enjoy at the UN because of the Arab and Muslim blocs of states.

So Palestinian optimism regarding  the model for defeating Israel is hard to understand. But then  the faith placed in the previous approaches noted above also made little apparent sense.

What we are in for now is a period in which the current chimera will need to be played out.  On the bright side, this means that a return to large-scale political violence is unlikely.  The Palestinians were defeated heavily in the 2000-4 period, and there is little energy for a return to war.

The Palestinian elite and their children live comfortable and privileged lives in Ramallah and elsewhere in the region and beyond it.  Combining this with diplomatic and political activity can be pleasant and rewarding.  Combining it with military activity, by contrast, could be harmful and has already been proven not to work.

So expect more furious and pathos-filled denunciations of Israeli crimes from various UN committees largely staffed by the representatives of sundry dictatorships.

Expect Saeb Erekat and the others to come up with yet more inventive reasons as to why Islam and Arabic are "indigenous" to Jerusalem while Judaism and Hebrew represent foreign implants.  And so on, and so forth.

And at the end of all this, expect more failure, more bewilderment and a pause until the next alternative to a negotiated peace is stumbled upon.  This is the nature of the  magical thinking that lies at the core of Palestinian Arab politics.

This politics, in its various manifestations, exists to reverse the verdict of the war of 1948. It has no other purpose.

Its  credo was perfectly rendered in the words of the Moroccan scholar Abdallah Laroui, as quoted by Fouad Ajami: “On a certain day everything would be obliterated and instantaneously reconstructed and the new inhabitants would leave, as if by magic, the land they had despoiled; in this way will justice be dispensed to the victims, on that day when the presence of God shall again make itself felt.’

The language is elegant. The message is one of politicide and destruction. For as long as this credo remains at the root of Palestinian politics, peace between Israelis and Palestinians will remain unachievable. All else is mere detail.