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Do the Palestinians Really Want a State as More than Just a Means for Defeating Israel?

Reader comment on item: Why Oslo's Hopes Turned to Dust

Submitted by Avi Sharabi (United States), Sep 12, 2003 at 18:20

Thank you Mr. Pipes for, as usual, an excellent article. I was in high school when Oslo was signed, and I would be among the "hardy band of skeptics" you mention. I'm now in law school, and how unfortunate that we skeptics turned out to be right.

I don't think anything went "wrong" with Oslo - I just don't think anything was ever "right" about it. Arafat was never someone with whom one could negotiate, and the whole process was therefore built on false expectations.

I think your suggestions for the next decade are long overdue. They are the only strategy with any odds of success, however, I question whether the Palestinians (at least the Palestinian leadership and the Arab leaders who back them) really want a state, or whether their demand for one is simply a foothold and a means toward their goal of destroying Israel.

If the latter is the case, impressing upon them that Israel must be accepted would either end the Arab quest for a Palestinian state, or prompt more rhetoric and lies of their acceptance of Israel, leading to yet another failed attempt at a two-state solution.

Based on my understanding of Arab history and culture, I find it difficult to beleive that they genuinely desire a state - Arab nationalism has been rejected by the Arab leadership many times in the past, in favor of a pan-national Arab entity.

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