David Aaronovitch is one of the most sensible commentators out there in the media. In his last article (paywalled at the Times now) on Gaza, he speaks sense in rubbishing the “disproportionate” arguement but then so have many others across the media and the web.
The problem with his article emerges halfway through and rather surprises me.
“In any long-term solution a large section of Hamas’s current support, and a not insignificant part of its membership, would have to be won over to the side of peace.”
This and subsequent passes are problematic as it displays David’s now obvious lack of knowledge about the hatred bred inside Palestinian society. There is no “peace party” in the Palestinian camp – why? Not because of Israel or the West failing to “reach out” or conduct “dialogue” with them – Oslo and Camp David were part of that strategy and failed because the PLO/PA had no intention of making peace but moreover because Palestinian popular opinion did not wish peace. And why would they? They had been raised to believe in a myth of their dispossession (during the course of a war of extermination waged against the Jews) but more importantly, the Israelis (including Israeli Arabs) have been portrayed as wanton murderers, given diabolical influence over the powers of the earth and have every calumny associated with them.
The politics of the Palestinians show no intention toward peace. Does this mean that they are incapable of peace? Perhaps not but the problem is that “peace” is associated with being “pro-Israel” and the terrorists operate on the basis of terror and intimidation.
The long term course is for Israel to rule the Palestinians until they are fit to rule themselves.
David is usually right. But he is wrong about this.