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Clarification re Palestinian ships

Reader comment on item: Bush is rewarding [Palestinian] terrorism

Submitted by John Hadjisky (United States), Jun 25, 2002 at 14:09

The existence of current Palestinian popular opinion supporting violence against Israel and the West does not preclude the possibility that the Palestinians are also pawns of other powers.

While in theory the Palestinians are more independent than they were in 1967 when the Jordanian (I think it was) occupation ended, I get the sense that Palestinian "politics" and public opinion are still heavily influenced by the propaganda of the Arab states that surround it, who are looking out for their national interests, which are not always the same as the Palestinian people's interest. While there are probably some "home grown" Palestinian terror cells, I wonder if they are not matched our outnumbered by terror cells operating in Palestine that are wholly owned subsidiaries of other Arab states. We mainly hear about the acts these cells when they strike at Israel, but I am sure their first order of business was to neutralize any Palestinians that didn't believe in violence.

For example, it can hardly be a coincidence that Palestinian violence increased coincident with Bush's first announcement that he is targeting Iraq. I suspect Iraq is pursuing a conscious policy of promoting unrest in Palestine, in the (hopefully mistaken) hope that it will keep the Bush team distracted. As another example, just as the Syrians arguably now have hegemony over Lebanon, wouldn't it make sense for all the Arab states to attempt a similar hegemony in Palestine? Indeed, the overwhelming popular opinion in favor of violence, which is helping other Arab states but achieving nothing for the Palestinians, seems to me to be evidence that other Arab states have already established a hegemony in the hearts and minds of Palestinians.

Bush may be naive in ignoring the potential for increased violence if a Palestinian democracy were to emerge in the current climate. But that doesn't mean the Palestinians aren't pawns in a much larger game, and Bush is correct to point that out.
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