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Although a vote in the Palestinians’ favor is unlikely, the point is that violence, being an effective public-relations implement, is likely to erupt in any case. One of the leitmotifs in this debate, for instance, is how best to navigate the presence of Hamas, which controls Gaza. One keeps hearing that Hamas doesn’t “recognize” Israel’s right to exist, but this statement implies that their attitude is merely one of agnosticism. On the contrary, the question of existence has elicited a much more forthright answer from the “Islamic Resistance Movement,” namely, that the terrorist group is dedicated to the immolation and absorption of Israel into a mini-caliphate. Ever since George Habash, the late founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, realized in the sixties that terrorism pays, the “international community” has shelled out the dividends. Hijacking planes and murdering Olympians got the PLO non-voting “observer status” at the UN. So we must ask: what would a few more bodies get them, especially at this opportune time of Arab renaissance and global anti-Israel sentiment?
To be sure, this was Yasser Arafat’s preferred method, and it worked beautifully after the Camp David and Taba summits. Last year, Mahmoud Zahar, a Hamas leader, told university students that Arafat ordered “military operations” when he felt the negotiations weren’t going his way. Is there any other group in the world that could essentially cancel peace negotations, walk away without making a counter-offer, begin a terrorist campaign immediately, and still have most of the “international community” on its side? Launching the Second Intifada seemed only to prove to the world that Arafat and his camp were still the victims. Violence works for the Palestinians. When the world rewards malevolence, it ought to expect to get more of it.
So the stars could be aligning for another episode of madness and terrorism followed by lots of shoulder-shrugging over why the “peace process” hasn’t worked. Will there be a Third Intifada? There’s something so foreboding in the air I almost don’t want to give an answer.
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