From David Remnick's analysis in The New Yorker.
March 17, 2002 3:32 PM   Subscribe

From David Remnick's analysis in The New Yorker. Faisal Husseini, a decided moderate among Yasir Arafat's leadership ranks, gave an interview not long before he died in which he compared Oslo to a Trojan horse, an intermediate, tactical step leading to the elimination of Israel. He said, "If you are asking me as a Pan-Arab nationalist what are the Palestinian borders according to the higher strategy, I will immediately reply: 'From the river to the sea' "—that is, from the Jordan to the Mediterranean.
posted by semmi (7 comments total)

And the reality today is that Israel not only talks about the opposite, but has worked for the last 30 years to make it a reality. If you're trying to make the Palestinians look like they can't be trusted, you must acknowledge that Israel is just as wrong for creating "facts on the ground" through the occupation to achieve the opposite and also cannot be trusted. The only difference is that the injustice Husseini allegedly talks about is one that Israel has already created.
posted by laz-e-boy at 8:42 PM on March 17, 2002

Here is the Benny Morris piece in the Guardian where he effectively recants his faith in the Palestinian position.

I don't believe that Arafat and his colleagues mean or want peace - only a staggered chipping away at the Jewish state - and I don't believe that a permanent two-state solution will emerge. I don't believe that Arafat is constitutionally capable of agreeing, really agreeing, to a solution in which the Palestinians get 22-25% of the land (a West Bank-Gaza state) and Israel the remaining 75-78%, or of signing away the "right of return". He is incapable of looking his refugee constituencies in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Gaza in the eye and telling them: "I have signed away your birthright, your hope, your dream."

And he probably doesn't want to. Ultimately, I believe, the balance of military force or the demography of Palestine, meaning the discrepant national birth rates, will determine the country's future, and either Palestine will become a Jewish state, without a substantial Arab minority, or it will become an Arab state, with a gradually diminishing Jewish minority. Or it will become a nuclear wasteland, a home to neither people.

posted by dhartung at 9:40 PM on March 17, 2002

It is very hard to keep an ethnically/religiously pure state going. Just ask all the others who have tried and failed.

I wonder what would happen if all the Palestinian refugees just converted to Judaism. Now THAT would be a strategy!
posted by chaz at 9:58 PM on March 17, 2002

In the bathroom the other day, whilst reading this article, I vowed to give up reading news reportage on Israel forever. I tried to get riled up about the phrase "adamantly and foolishly" applied to Palestinian's rejection of partition plans, and couldn't even muster that. I realized that this whole disgusting, revolting mess is never going to be fixed in my lifetime, unless of course we're obliterated in WW3. Compared to listening to horrid nationalist and racist rationalizations for murder for the rest of our lives, nuclear annihilation sounds kind of great.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 10:47 PM on March 17, 2002

Careful what you wish for, RJ.
posted by lbergstr at 10:59 PM on March 17, 2002

Let me second that, RJ -- think positive, let's set a different agenda. "The discussion would focus on why the global community and its various elements should have a stake in sustainable development and sustainable livelihoods."
posted by sheauga at 11:20 PM on March 17, 2002

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