The Core of the Conflict

What we call the "Peace Process" is a big problem for the other side. Here's why.

Dr. Moshe Dann,

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Since Egypt and Jordan made peace treaties with Israel, why can't the Palestinians? Simply, because Israel's existence did not
Their struggle is not to achieve statehood alongside Israel, but to replace Israel.
contradict theirs.

Pushing a "peace process" that requires Palestinian Arabs to give up their opposition to a Jewish state, the international community can't figure out why it doesn't work. The answer is, the dispute is not over territory, but ideology, Palestinianism, the basis of their nearly hundred years' war against Zionism, the State of Israel as the national historic homeland of the Jewish People. For Arabs, Palestinians, and most Muslims, this struggle is part of a Permanent Revolution against the infidel. 

More than a hundred years ago, Leon Trotsky, brilliant strategist of the Russian Revolution, wrote a seminal work that has guided Marxist revolutionaries ever since: Permanent Revolution. Adapted from Marx and Engels' Address to the General Council of the Communist League, in 1850, Trotsky's theory outlined the principles by which a local, national revolution could expand to become a world-wide revolution.

The idea of Permanent Revolution is based on the belief that revolutionary leaders must not only heed local conditions, but must carry the principles and goals of the revolution beyond, until the entire world is transformed. The revolution does not, cannot end with achievements in one country, but must be exported, and become the basis for international upheaval, overturning decadent regimes, and the establishment of a new order.

The danger of compromise was that it diminished the revolution itself, weakened its ethos, and, in the end, abandoned the principles which gave it strength and purpose. The idea of Permanent Revolution, therefore, was a guarantee of integrity, protector of the grand vision, a guiding light; it was adopted by most national revolutionary movements since.

Without understanding this concept, it is impossible to understand Palestinianism, its historic mission and its leaders. It explains why "the peace process," efforts to impose a Palestinian state (the "two-state" proposal) are doomed to fail. Palestinians don't want such a state; the primary goal of Palestinian nationalism is to wipe out the State of Israel, not permit its existence.

Any form of Palestinian statehood, therefore, that accepts Israeli sovereignty in what they believe is Muslim land stolen by Jews, is, by their definition, heretical. That is clear in both PLO and Hamas Charters.

Palestinianism is not a national identity, but a political construct developed as part of a terrorist agenda when the PLO was formed in 1964. Their struggle is not to achieve statehood alongside Israel, but to replace Israel.

Palestinian identity means the struggle to "liberate Palestine from the Zionists;" it became an international cause that bound Muslims together, as part of Jihad, with much broader implications -- a Permanent Global Islamic Revolution. 

"Two-state" proposals, therefore, with Palestinian statehood as a territorial goal, mean the end of Palestinianism, and an end to the struggle to eradicate Israel.    

This explains why no Palestinian leader will agree to surrender to Western and Zionist interests, and why making compromises is anathema. Statehood means a denial of the Nakba (catastrophe), the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948; it means admitting that everything for which they fought and sacrificed was in vain.

Statehood means abandoning millions of Arabs who live in 58 UNRWA-sponsored "refugee camps" in Judea, Samaria, Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, and those living throughout the world; they will no longer be considered "refugees."  UNRWA will be out of business.

Statehood means "the armed struggle," the crux of Palestinian identity, is over. It means that the concept of Palestinianism created by the PLO, accepted by much of the international community and the media, to "liberate Palestine" is finished, and that their suffering was for naught.

Statehood involves taking responsibility: ending incitement and violence, corruption and lawlessness; and building just and transparent institutions, the establishment of a truly democratic government.

Accepting Israel means an end to the Palestinian Revolution, a national betrayal, and an Islamic heresy.

In this context, for many Palestinians and their supporters, the "Peace Process," is a metaphor for defeat.