April 28, 2004


Why the Palestinians are in such a state: The only way the Palestinians will get any kind of state is if Israel and America inflict it on them. (Mark Steyn, 4/28/04, Jewish World Review)

[I]f Bush did "take my job", it's because [Saeb] Erekat is not up to it. For 10 years, the world has been trying to give a state to the Palestinians and the Palestinians keep tossing obstacles in their path. The latest innovation was a suicide-bomber arrested with explosives bearing HIV-infected blood, the thinking being that anyone who survived would get Aids. Unfortunately, the heat of the explosion kills the virus. But, in his combination of depravity and incompetence, the "Aids bomber" neatly encapsulates the present state of Palestinian "nationalism". The only way the Palestinians will get any kind of state is if Israel and America inflict it on them and eliminate such lethargic middle-men as Mr. Erekat.

So Sharon is withdrawing from Gaza, abandoning the settlements and building a wall. This is bad news for those Palestinians who take a more nuanced approach to Jews - who think that, if you accidentally infect yourself while strapping on the HIV bomb, you should have the right to state-of-the-art treatment from an Israeli hospital. But they'll have to make the best of it. Israel has concluded that, if you can't "live in peace" with your neighbor, the priority is to live.

What a strange world the Middle East is. For 10 years, in northern Iraq, the Kurds have run a pleasant, civilized, pluralist, democratic de facto state, but external realities require them to be denied one de jure. For the same period, in the West Bank and Gaza the Palestinian Authority's thugs, incompetents and bespoke apologists have been lavished with EU aid and transformed their land into an ugly, bankrupt Arafatist squat. But external realities require the world to defer to the "Chairman" as a de jure head of state, lacking merely a state to head.

One of the things that's most notable about this current period is just how quiet Palestine has been. The Palestinian people would certainly appear to be ready to accept a state and get on with life, even if their "leaders" aren't. They don't even seem much bothered by the assassinations of Hamas terror-mongers and one doubts they'll much mind when Sharon assassinates Arafat on Israel's way out the door.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 28, 2004 10:33 AM
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