Thursday, June 28, 2007


"A great debate has already begun on the subject of who lost Gaza. Increasingly, one hears that the Israelis did, or the Americans did; that the disaster is the consequence of Israeli policies or American policies, of Israeli harshness and American indifference. It is necessary to insist, therefore, that the primary responsibility for Palestinian actions falls on Palestinians. To believe the opposite is to hold a condescending imperialist view of the Palestinians as the passive objects of others; as nothing but the wretched playthings of power, of circumstances over which they have no control; as people in some way unqualified for history. If the Hamas revolution is anything, however, it is historical action. The Palestinians in Gaza are not only suffering their history; they are also making it, and ruining it.".

- Editorial in THE NEW REPUBLIC.

And the conclusion?

"Those prospects in the near term are, in a word, null. Nothing should be done by Israel that would further foreclose the possibility of peace, but neither should Israeli policy be premised on the imminence of reconciliation. There is violence all around it. And the West Bank is not exactly calm. Hamas flourishes there, too; and so does the secular version of "the armed struggle." The government appointed by Abbas--in defiance of democratic procedure, bless him--includes many modernizers and liberalizers, most especially Salam Fayyad, the new prime minister, but they are not the uncontested heroes of their people. They are fighting the good fight, and they deserve help. But the outcome of the fight is far from clear. And the outcome will not be determined by anybody except the Palestinians themselves. For many decades, the world has clamored for Palestinian self-determination. Well, the clamor can now cease. Palestinian self-determination is here for all the world to see. So is self-determination good news or bad news? It all depends on what is determined."

No comments: