The Palestinian intifada is over, and the Palestinians have lost.

Discussion in 'Israel and Palestine' started by nycflasher, Jun 18, 2004.

  1. nycflasher
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    nycflasher Active Member

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    Informative article on recent developments in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, from my local Hartford Courant .
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    While no one was looking, something historic happened in the Middle East. The Palestinian intifada is over, and the Palestinians have lost.

    For Israel, the victory is bitter. The last four years of terrorism have killed almost 1,000 Israelis and maimed thousands of others. But Israel has won strategically. The intent of the intifada was to demoralize Israel, destroy its economy, bring it to its knees and thus force it to withdraw and surrender to Palestinian demands, just as Israel withdrew in defeat from southern Lebanon in May 2000.

    That did not happen. Israel's economy was certainly wounded, but it is growing again. Tourism had dwindled to almost nothing at the height of the intifada, but tourists are returning. And the Israelis were never demoralized. They kept living their lives, young people in particular returning to cafes and discos and buses just hours after a horrific bombing. Israelis turned out to be a lot tougher and braver than the Palestinians had imagined.

    The end of the intifada does not mean the end of terrorism. There was terrorism before the intifada and there will be terrorism to come. What has happened, however, is an end to systematic, regular, debilitating, unstoppable terror - terror as a reliable weapon. At the height of the intifada, there were nine suicide attacks in Israel killing 85 Israelis in just one month (March 2002). In the last three months, there have been none.

    The overall level of violence has been reduced by more than 70 percent. How did Israel do it? By ignoring critics and launching a two-pronged campaign of self-defense.

    First, Israel targeted terrorist leaders - attacks hypocritically denounced by Westerners who, at the same time, cheered the hunt for, and demanded the head of, Osama bin Laden. The top echelon of Hamas and other terror groups has been arrested, killed or driven underground. The others are now so afraid of Israeli precision and intelligence - the last Hamas operative to be killed by missile was riding a motorcycle - that they are forced to devote much of their energy to self-protection and concealment.

    Second, the fence. Only about a quarter of the separation fence has been built, but its effect is unmistakable. The northern part is already complete, and attacks into northern Israel have dwindled to almost nothing.

    This success does not just save innocent lives. It changes the strategic equation of the whole conflict.

    Yasser Arafat started the intifada in September 2000, just weeks after he had rejected at Camp David Israel's offer of withdrawal, settlement evacuation, sharing of Jerusalem and establishment of a Palestinian state. Arafat wanted all that, but without having to make peace and recognize a Jewish state. Hence the terror campaign - to force Israel to give it all up unilaterally.

    Arafat failed, spectacularly. The violence did not bring Israel to its knees. Instead, it created chaos, lawlessness and economic disaster in the Palestinian areas. The Palestinians know the ruin that Arafat has brought, and they are beginning to protest it. He promised them blood and victory; he delivered on the blood.

    More important, they have lost their place at the table. Israel is now defining a new equilibrium that will reign for years. The separation fence is unilaterally drawing the line that separates Israelis and Palestinians. The Palestinians were offered the chance to negotiate that frontier at Camp David and chose war instead.

    It is the height of absurdity to launch a terror war against Israel, then demand the right to determine the nature and route of the barrier built to prevent that terror.

    These new strategic realities are not just creating a new equilibrium, they are creating the first hope for peace since Arafat officially tore up the Oslo accords four years ago. Once Israel has withdrawn from Gaza and has completed the fence, terror as a strategic option will be effectively dead. The only way for the Palestinians to achieve statehood and dignity, and to determine the contours of their own state, will be to negotiate a final peace based on genuine coexistence with a Jewish state.

    It could be a year, five years or a generation until the Palestinians come to that realization. The pity is that so many, Arab and Israeli, will have had to die before then.

    Charles Krauthammer is a syndicated writer in Washington.
     
  2. nycflasher
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    nycflasher Active Member

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    Why did Arafat reject the 2000 proposal?
    Because he doesn't recognize the state of Israel, period?
    What a jackass!
     
  3. fishy
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    Interesting but I don't think Palestinian goals were ever really that lofty, they know they can't 'completly destroy Israels economy and bring her to her knees' I remember Marwan Baurgouti had said at the begining of it, when he was still free, that they intended continue the Intefada for 3 or 5 years and then try to renegotiate, I think their trying to wait out the Sharon govt and then try to get back to final negotiations with a more liberal govt, by then both Pal. and Israeli people might be willing to make the painful concessions needed in order to achive something like the Taba/Geneva type settlement..

    Also the main weapon of the Intefada-the suicide bomber: the last one in Israel proper actually originated from the Gaza strip, they hit an industrial park north of the strip, and then there were no more suicieders in Israel, only in the territories, so the militants proved they can penetrate a 'hermetically sealed' Israel, and then quietly suspended the tactic, also hamas has said that the WB wall won't prevent there militants from getting in, it's possible that they will wait for the last brick to be laid of the wall, and then hit again, just to be a pain in the ass, 1 more point-this was the 2nd Intefada, you could say Israel 'won' the first one, only to get a second one when negotiations for a final settlement fail, so there are no clear cut victories for either side in this conflict.
     
  4. nbdysfu
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    nbdysfu Member

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    Oh that's convenient, they planned on stopping as part of their strategy. :rolleyes:

    From the article it sounds like the only places where the attacks are stopping are where the security barriers have been sealed. The Palestinian terrorists continue to blow their load where they still can. Looks more like death throws than an organized retreat. Palestine is a shambles because it is run by a terrorist. Terrorists will continue to attack Israel by launching projectiles over the wall, which the Israelis have already stated they will respond to aggressively and preemptively.
     
  5. Yurt
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    Yurt Gold Member

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    Admittedly, I agree with your stance here. A good quote and a good point.

    He who lives in a yurt..
     
  6. Jule
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    I'm not sure I disagree with the article, but Israel certainly hasnt helped anything from my point of view, which is as an American. Resolving the Isreali-Palestine conflict would go a long way to discredit and dissipate the terrorist threat that we face, and building a fence in the occupied territories does nothing to solve the conflict. And even though Isreal's stopping the suicide wave is a good thing, it comes at the somewhat ironic cost of turning the occupied lands into a big prison and Israel as the nervous jailer. I'm no fan of the Palestinians--when they danced in the streets after 9/11 I was incensed. Ultimately, though, I think Isreal is wrong not to withdraw from all the territory they conquered through war. They have no real military justification for keeping it, and if a fence is still required to keep out the crazies, it ought to be put on a legitimate border. Unfortunately for the U. S., Israel will act in own self-interest (hard for me to complain about that, or rather, I can complain it just doesnt matter) and I wish the Muslim world could see Israel is not an American puppet (or Isreal would be doing close to what I just proposed.)
     
  7. Gaebolg
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    I wonder if we had a group here, like the American Indians (and I use this purely as an example), that behaved like the Palestinians...what would we do? If we had suicide bombings and the average citizen had to face the reality that they may be killed while shopping, etc.
    If we were in the exact same position as Israel, only here, what would we do?
     
  8. nycflasher
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    nycflasher Active Member

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    Give them some land?
     
  9. Gaebolg
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    Gaebolg Guest

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    If they wanted all their land back that we took?
     
  10. Zhukov
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    Zhukov VIP Member

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    We'd wipe them out.
     

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