The Guardian’s Simon Tisdall devoted most of his column (A mirage of peace? Joe Biden ventures back into Middle East’s shifting sands) discussing the ‘new’ Middle East that the US president will be visiting next month.
Tisdall mentions the “growing security and economic alignment between Israel and the Arab states” which he characterises as among “the most spectacular” regional shifts, that includes the Abraham Accords, as well as the recent creation of a regional air defence alliance between Israel and its Arab neighbors to deter Iranian missile and drone attacks. This rapprochement, he observes, is “fuelled by shared concern about Tehran’s presumed nuclear weapons ambitions” and may eventually include the nomralisation of relations between Israel Saudi Arabia.
After several paragraphs in which Tisdall discusses matters somehwat peripheral to new Israeli-Arab relations, he ends his piece thusly:
But it’s the Palestinians who stand to lose most from a partial, highly selective “peace in our time”. Abandoned by Arab allies, manipulated by Iran, patronised by the US, ignored by wartime Europe, divided among themselves and preyed upon by the Israeli state, the cause of Palestinian independence has never looked bleaker.
Times are changing. But Palestine’s betrayal is timeless.
Tisdall has it completely backwards.
The fact that many of Israel’s Arab neighbors have finally, after seven decades, decided to finally abandon their futile and self-defeating war against the Jewish state does not represent a “betrayal” of the Palestinians.
Rather, it should serve as a lesson to the Palestinians on the folly and destructiveness of their own path – that of terrorism, rejectionism, lawfare, BDS, demonisation, conspiracism and antisemitism – and the need to embark on a truly revolutionary embrace of co-existence and negotiations with Israel, liberalism and democracy at home – a break from the Manichean framing of their struggle with the Jewish state.
Shany Mor, writing in the new Israeli journal, State of Tel Aviv, about the consequences of the 2nd Intifada, twenty years after s savage Palestinian suicide bombing of a Passover Seder in Netanya that killed 30, which marked a major turning point in Israeli views of the peace process and Palestinian intentions, observes the following:
It is gutting to realize that in 2000 [twenty years after the Netanya attack] there were no significant dissenting voices to the Palestinians’ decision to refuse peace with Israel and instead launch a violent campaign of suicidal terrorism, where suicide was not just a means, but something of a metaphor for the whole endeavor.
It’s depressing to realize that even now, two decades after the climax of that campaign, there is still no significant voice – not even an unpopular voice of dissent – to articulate why, or even that, it was a mistake.
And it is maddening that in the broader community of pro-Palestinian activism in the West, this view is simply non-existent.
Quite the opposite: The idea that the final defeat of Israel is near if we just wish for it hard enough has never had more purchase on the pro-Palestinian intellectual discourse. With each glossy new report accusing Israel of being an inherently criminal enterprise; with each gushing proclamation of the “new” idea of a possible one-state solution (which is neither a solution, nor new, nor possible), the path to liberation grows longer and more treacherous.
Times are indeed changing in the Middle East, but the failure of Palestinians and their advocates in the West to engage in anything resembling genuine self-reflection about the efficacy of their ‘liberation strategy’ is timeless.