The Economist writes what we've been saying for several years now, that the Arab world has far higher priorities than the Palestinian issue.
This has contributed to a more general sense of unease among the Palestinians. Officials in other parts of the Arab world talk more about Iran’s meddling, the wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and their own domestic economic and political troubles. Such issues seem more pressing to their people. And besides, many Arabs are resigned to the stalemate in the peace process. Mr Netanyahu appears intransigent; Palestinian leaders are seen as divided, ineffective and corrupt.The most telling part of the article is the very end:
Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, still makes the rounds in Arab capitals—and foreign leaders still profess their support. But the Palestinians are aware of their diminished status. In a recent poll 78% of them said their cause was no longer the top Arab priority, and 59% accused Arab states of allying themselves with Israel against Iran. The amount of aid flowing from Arab countries to the PA has fallen by well over half in recent years. Funds from the West have also declined.
What really stirs Arab emotions are scenes of Israelis killing Palestinians. Violence over the past year has left dozens of Israelis and more than 200 Palestinians dead. Most Palestinians, according to polls, back a return to an armed intifada (uprising). With the Arab world focused elsewhere, America in the throes of a presidential race and progress towards a two-state solution halted, they may see no other way to capture the world’s attention.I don't think that The Economist quite realizes the truth of that last sentence.
The Palestinians are faced with declining support from their fellow Arabs, who are increasingly impatient with their lack of unity and apparent lack of caring about their own people, not to mention their complaints about how terrible their situation is when much of the Arab world that doesn't get the headlines has it far worse.
But instead of getting the message that they had better start to think seriously about peace while they can, the Palestinians always act as if the goal isn't a state - but to get themselves back on top of the news cycle.
The Economist has unwittingly revealed that Palestinians prefer war and terrorism to peace - because violence is where they gain sympathy. The price of hundreds or thousands dead is small compared to Palestinian Arab priorities, which are completely opposite what a real people who want a real state would assert.
This article shows that it is not only the Arab world that sees the truth about the selfish, forever entitled, whining Palestinians. The West knows this about them deep down as well. But the West is too heavily invested in the discredited memes that Abbas is a moderate, that Israel is intransigent, that "occupation" is what causes terrorism, and a litany of other Palestinian lies that have gained a foothold in the media, NGOs and academia. It is too good a story - a David and Goliath fantasy - to throw out based on mere facts.
Amazingly, the Arab world has woken up to the illusion of eternal Palestinian victimhood faster than the supposedly enlightened West. This is largely because the Arab world feels the consequences when attention and funding is diverted from places they are truly needed, like Syria and Iraq and Yemen, and instead wasted on yet more Palestinian gimmicks that only put a real solution further out of reach.
The Arab world shares with Israel the desire for stability, for a peace that can be counted on (whether official or not,) for war against terror and for a united front against the true regional villain, Iran. Compared to that, Palestinian demands before even talking with Israel are so obviously petty that Arab patience has worn very thin.
Palestinians see that they are losing support but instead of seeing what the real problems are, they are focused on how to make themselves appear relevant again. And they only have two tricks.
One is to gain more international recognition in world bodies that they then burn by placing themselves at the center at the expense of whatever good the organization had previously done. Everyone sees that for what it is, and you just know that UNESCO's leaders (for example) are fuming at how that organization has been subverted. Every cause from women's issues to children's issues to even cancer is simply another opportunity to bash Israel, and every one of those causes then loses support as a result of Palestinian selfishness.
The second trick is violence, whether it is the threat of another intifada or another war in Gaza.
One day very soon, a prominent Arab leader - probably from the Gulf - will say out loud what they have been saying privately for years, that Palestinians have been hijacking the world's attention to the detriment of everyone, not least the Palestinian Arabs themselves.
The Palestinians will respond by resorting to the gimmicks that have worked in the past - such as "Jerusalem is under attack" or "our children are being killed."
And the Arabs will simply respond that there are far more Muslims worshipping at Al Aqsa Mosque today than at any time it was under Jordanian control. That fewer Palestinians have been killed in 70 years than the number of Arabs killed by other Arabs in any given year. That the "genocide" that they claim they are suffering is somehow going in reverse.
The public solidarity with the puerile Palestinians is ending. The question is whether the Palestinians can learn to grow up before their cause disappears from Arab radar, and then from Western priorities as well.
We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.