The Faded Palestinian Issue

(Washington Times) Victor Davis Hanson - Given that the U.S. channels much of its Palestinian aid through third-party UN organizations, U.S. aid may exceed $700 million per year. But the entire Middle East has radically changed - and along with it the role and image of the Palestinians. Iran is the greatest supporter of Palestinian armed resistance, while the so-called "moderate" Sunni autocracies despise Iran. Moreover, the terrorist bloodlettings perpetrated by Islamic State and al-Qaeda have discredited terror as a legitimate means to an end in the eyes of the Arab world, despite previous support for Palestinian terrorists. Israel was founded in 1948. Palestinian rhetoric that they would push the Jews into the sea is by now stale. There have been seven decades of failed intifadas and suicide bombing campaigns, along with full-scale Arab-Israeli wars. Around the time Israel was created, 13 million German-speakers were ethnically cleansed from East Prussia and Eastern Europe. Seven decades later, the grandchildren of refugees do not replay World War II. "Prussians" do not talk about reclaiming their ancestral homelands in present-day Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. German-speaking youth do not demand a "right of return" to their grandparents' homes to the east. Since the Palestinian proclamation of independence in 1988, there have been only two "presidents": Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas. Neither has allowed open and transparent elections. A Palestinian president gets power by seizing it. He loses it only by dying in office. Over the same period, Israel has elected seven different prime ministers from a variety of political parties. Polls show that less than 20% of Americans support the Palestinian cause. Many U.S. citizens are tired of subsidizing those who claim that they do not like their U.S. benefactors. It finally may be time for the Palestinian factions to fund their own causes. The writer is a historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

2018-01-12 00:00:00

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