While it’s true the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity, their “friends” don’t do them any favors either. From the conspiracy theorists ranting about the “Israel Lobby” to “peace studies” intellectuals who inevitably turn out to be vicious anti-Semites to the proudly ignorant activists who debase the Civil Rights movement and the struggle against South African apartheid by using those terms in vain, pro-Palestinian advocates have been manifestly unable to mount a serious intellectual argument for their cause. And failed Prime Minister Salam Fayyad seems to know it.
Reuters interviewed the hapless technocrat, and he couched his failure in terms more sensible than his allies ever offer:
Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said on Tuesday the Palestinians may have “lost the argument” on the international stage for an independent state but cautioned that continued Israeli occupation was unsustainable….
He also warned his administration’s future was clouded by severe financial strains and said the Palestinians had failed to galvanize a distracted world behind their cause.
“I think we are losing the argument, if we have not already lost the argument. But that doesn’t make our position wrong,” said the former World Bank economist, a political independent who has had strong support amongst Western powers.
Yes, they are losing the argument, and have been for quite some time. Statehood in the real world is not something you’re granted for pitching a fit and kicking dirt at the United Nations. The toxic mix of cowards and criminals who make up the “flotilla” movement won’t convince anyone you’re ready to be treated like a responsible actor on the world stage. And brainwashing young minds to hate your “peace partners” isn’t the strongest case for independence.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which exists to keep poor Palestinians penned up in refugee camps to radicalize instead of educate them, has contributed its own acid to the steady corrosion of the prospects for a peaceful settlement. And never permitting, let alone encouraging, a sense of moral responsibility on the part of the Palestinians is the opposite of being pro-Palestinian–it shows, as Bret Stephens pointed out in his review of Peter Beinart’s new book, “an unwitting, but profound, contempt” for the Palestinians by assigning them “no moral agency.”
Fayyad seems to understand that a myopic focus on Israel keeps people talking about Israel. But it would behoove the Palestinians and their defenders to talk a bit about the Palestinians and their cause. Is there a case for Palestinian statehood? I’m sure there is, but Fayyad may now understand that the global left cannot be relied upon to make it.