Sunday, June 24, 2007


Fouad Ajami sums up the tragedy now facing the Palestinian people as the battle between Fatah and Hamas unfolds - Brothers to the Bitter End. He describes the legacy bequeathed by Yasser Arafat who refused to compromise with Israel when the opportunity presented itself as well as the part played by the Arab world in what he calls "the Palestinian ruin".

"For decades, Arab society granted the Palestinians everything and nothing at the same time. The Arab states built worlds of their own, had their own priorities, dreaded and loathed the Palestinians as outsiders and agitators, but left them to the illusion that Palestine was an all-consuming Arab concern.

"Now the Palestinians should know better."

He could have added one thing. For decades, the Palestinians hanged their hats on support from those whose primary agenda was to destroy or deligitimise the Jews and their own national aspirations. Starting with Adolph Hitler himself, who entertained the Palestinian spiritual leader during the Second World War, to the Soviets who backed the PLO to the Iranian ayatollahs and to the extreme radical right and left of the West, all of them have taken the Palestinians through a deadly dance and to a point of ruin which is what their society faces today.

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