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Monday, September 26, 2011

Palestinian Arab intellectuals are all against Abbas

Even though Mahmoud Abbas has achieved more popularity than he ever had before in the wake of his vitriolic speech against Israel at the UN, it is hard to ignore that it is difficult to find any Palestinian Arab columnists who support his UN move.

And their objections to him are, invariably, that he is not being intransigent enough.

The themes that they hammer on are pretty consistent: Abbas is giving up on asserting the "rights" of taking over Israel. He is only insisting on "22% of historic Palestine." He is giving up on the option of violent resistance. He is not representing all Palestinian Arabs. His political party is corrupt.

For these people, and the leftist friends they have made, nothing is satisfactory short of the destruction of Israel. Only that would bring the "justice" they claim to crave so much - at the expense of the people they are pretending to help. (By and large, these "intellectuals" live in Western countries)

The Western media ignores the extreme anti-Israel sentiments of these mostly Western-educated commentators. The press will characterize those opposed to Abbas' supposed moderation as Islamists and wild-eyed fanatics, but never will the media notice the people who wear suits and teach in Columbia and Oxford whose views are just as intolerant and bigoted as those of the terrorists. Just read Electronic Intifada or Palestine Telegraph, for example.

So even if, by some miracle, Abbas wakes up and realizes that the only way his people can prosper is by negotiating and compromising with Israel, he will have zero support from the influential Arab intellectuals in the media and academia. Even if there is a peace agreement, there will always be a steady drumbeat for war (in the name of, as always, "human rights" and "justice.")

And as we have seen in Egypt and Turkey, paper agreements can disappear in an instant. All it takes is a single excuse, real or imagined.

Which means that the best possible scenario for peace is still pretty dismal.