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Yes, but...

Reader comment on item: Polls, Palestinians and the Path to Peace

Submitted by Hal (United States), Feb 26, 2003 at 20:45

This is the central truth of the matter, that most Palestinians still look to the day when the Jews are driven out or agree to live in a Muslim state. Doubters should try a thought experiment: If you were a Palestinian nationalist, would you be happy with a ministate in the West Bank and Gaza only, after all those years of struggle? And only 3 years after Hezbollah 'forced' the IDF out of Lebanon?

One problem here is that building a nation-state is inherently brutal, and the Israelis have the misfortune to be doing it in the late 20th and 21st centuries, with much of the world looking on. Older nation-states were able to use force to carve out their territories without the whole world critcizing, or even noticing.

But recognizing that most Palestinians wish Israel gone does not get Israel off the hook of needing to exercise the minimum of brutality in its defense. Israel needs to be strong, yes, but also as pacific and fair as it can. Settlements built and maintained for idealogical reasons are a thorn in the Palestinians' side (and affect those poll numbers). They make Israel weaker, not stronger. ...
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