24 August '10
We are about to begin — if it doesn’t end before it starts — another round of the endless talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. The sense of unreality pervades; all but the most obtuse observers understand this charade is futile. Mahmoud Abbas threatens to break off talks if Israel doesn’t extend a settlement ban which it has said it won’t extend. The notion that Abbas is ready to surrender those things that he must surrender to obtain a state and make a binding peace deal is laughable. As one of the canniest observers remarks, a Palestinian state becomes reality only if:
… its citizens can renounce once and for all the creeping Islamism that would sooner see them suffering the miseries and oppression of twelfth-century religious and cultural practice than thriving in a modern society; if they can cast off at last the self-strangling mythology of their own victimhood; and if they can shed their century-old yearning to set the blood of their Jewish neighbors flowing in the streets.
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