The following axioms of Palestinian Arab behavior guarantee that Israel will have little to worry about from them for the foreseeable future:
1. Honor is more important than life, and lost honor can’t be recovered except by violence. Arab propaganda constantly reiterates the propositions that the Jews stole Arab land, committed massacres of Arabs, etc. The perceived loss of honor creates a massive amount of anger and therefore irrationality — especially in young men that have few other outlets for their energy. Hence the attraction of martyrdom, the propensity to target Jewish children, the glorification of terrorists, etc. Violence is seen as entirely justified until honor is recovered.
The focus on violence is self-defeating, because it impedes diplomatic gambits that might actually work. The most effective strategy of the Palestinian Arabs has been to pretend to want peace, an approach that got them the Oslo agreements, a huge defeat for Israel. Arafat squandered much of the gain by ramping up violence in the second Intifada.
If the Palestinians really want to destroy Israel, they should make compromises in negotiations — for example, recognizing Israel as a Jewish state — which they can always go back on later once they have gained concrete benefits. The boundless naivete in the West and the leftish parts of Israeli society will do their work for them. Fortunately, they are psychologically unable to do this.
2. It is always more important to hurt Jews than to help Arabs. One example of this is Hamas’ use of resources to build rockets and terror tunnels instead of sewage treatment facilities and power plants. Another is the specialization of Palestinian universities in politics rather than actual education. And of course the paradigm case is their insistence that the descendants of 1948 refugees must be kept stateless and miserable rather than being resettled.
As a result, Palestinians are kept poor, ignorant and frustrated. They do not like or trust their ‘leadership’, and are not worth much in a national struggle except as cannon fodder. They are constantly told that their problems are a result of ‘occupation’, but they are smart enough to know that this isn’t true.
Palestinian Arabs and Jews have been shown to be closer genetically than, for example, Jews and Europeans. Look what the Jews have done with this material! Palestinians could, too. But they won’t.
3. It is always a high priority for Arabs to hate other Arabs. This is really a general Middle-Eastern problem, not a specifically Palestinian one. Jews suffer from it as well, but it really is hurting the Palestinians. Today Hamas is in big trouble because it put all its eggs in the Muslim Brotherhood basket of Mohammed Morsi; now he’s out, and they are running out of funds. The feud between Hamas vs. Fatah appears insoluble, and now there are more radical groups operating in Gaza and Judea/Samaria that hate both Hamas and Fatah.
I thought hard about posting this. What if they take my advice? I can’t imagine that they will, though. They have been screwing themselves since the 1920’s; why should they stop now?