Let’s look at this paragraph and try to guess who wrote it:
Israelis and Palestinians involved in the talks on borders, an issue considered to be relatively “easy,” say there is a big gap between the reports on the talks’ progress and the reality around the negotiating table. It seems Olmert’s representatives expect Mahmoud Abbas to allocate to Israel larger pieces of territory than those Ehud Barak and Bill Clinton discussed with Yasser Arafat in 2000. This means that after seven and a half years of struggle, thousands of dead, tens of thousands injured and enormous economic losses, a weak Palestinian president is being asked to surrender principles that a powerful leader would not dare give up.
The author is clearly sympathetic with the Palestinian ‘struggle’. If he said this to me, I would point out that while some of this struggle is comprised of guerrilla warfare against the IDF, a great deal of it took the form of murder by terrorism — hundreds of Israeli civilians were killed since 2000, in suicide bombings, shootings, stabbings, rocket and mortar attacks, etc.
I would point out that the offer made by Barak and Clinton in 2000 was really quite extraordinary — despite Arafat’s lies — and represented a huge compromise by Israel, a compromise whose implementation would have almost torn the state apart, forcing the relocation of more than 100,000 Jews, the loss of Judaism’s most holy sites, etc.
If that wouldn’t have been a sacrifice for peace, I don’t know what would count as such, and I would have contrasted that willingness to sacrifice with the hard line taken by Yasser Arafat, who began the ‘struggle’ our writer mentions (I would have used the word ‘war’) in response to this offer of peace.
The writer says that Arafat would not give up his ‘principles’. The use of the word ‘principle’ in connection with Arafat makes me gag, but I would have pointed out that the ‘principles’ which Arafat would not give up were primarily the right of ‘return’ and complete sovereignty over Jerusalem, and not arguments over borders.
The writer suggests that Arafat would not ‘dare’ to accept Israel’s offer. This is always the Palestinian line, that they would like to have peace but the ‘extremists’ won’t let them. But Arafat proved that he was the extremist when he paid and commanded terrorists while the ‘peace’ talks were going on and when he funded the huge Karine A arms shipment.
The writer seems to be saying that by virtue of their ‘struggle’, the Palestinians today deserve a better deal than they were offered in 2000! They’ve struggled so hard, how can we offer them less than they’ve earned?
OK, so who wrote this? Who thinks that Palestinians should be compensated for their hard work and sacrifices in murdering Israelis?
None other than Akiva Eldar, Diplomatic Affairs Analyst for the great Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz. Eldar’s bio says that he majored in Economics, Political Science, and Psychology. He must have been asleep in Psychology class when they discussed the phenomenon of abuse victims identifying with their abusers.