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Barry Rubin: Why Isn’t There Peace

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Posted on February 16 2010 2:49 pm
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by Barry Rubin

I’ve been having a dialogue through correspondence lately with someone describing himself as a moderate Palestinian who lives in the United States. What most impressed me in the exchanges–both from what my interlocutor said and how he described the views of other Palestinians–is the total lack of comprehension on their part—those who live in the West Bank and Gaza Strip along with those who live elsewhere, both moderate and radical–about Israeli positions toward peacemaking that are easily available on the public record.

Among Palestinians, as more broadly with almost all of the public in the Muslim-majority world and a lot of the elite classes in Europe, there exists a mythical Israel, reminiscent of the fabricated antisemitic stereotypes of the past, that has little to do with reality. They believe Israel isn’t interested in peace, doesn’t offer the Palestinians anything, opposes any real Palestinian state, intends to keep the West Bank (until Israel’s withdrawal from all of the Gaza Strip they would have added that territory as well), and is led by intransigent hardliners. Such a conception was comprehensible–if not fully accurate–describing the situation in parts of the 1980s but has nothing to do with the last 20 years.

Read more at Rubin Reports.

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