The reason the Palestinians have not run with the ball is that they are convinced that they have far more to gain by playing for time. On present trends, say the demographers, Palestinians will outnumber Jews in the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River — Israel, the West Bank and Gaza — by 2020. At that point, Israel will cease to exist as a democratic and Jewish state.I don't doubt that one of the driving forces behind the Roadmap is this very datum. The thinking -- what one might call the neoconservative bet -- is that a Palestinian population with its own state, stricter control of extremist parties, a modicum of freedom, and a government of laws might -- might! -- conceivably pacify naturally, occupying itself with the details of running an independent state. No doubt there are many Palestinians for whom there is no greater goal than the success of an independent Palestine. Of course, those who cling to the river-to-the-sea goal of Greater Palestine will be more than happy to see a nascent state fail at just these distracting responsibilities.
Wednesday, September 10, 2003
Roadmap: Den Beste looks at the prospects for the next Palestinian PM, with or without Arafat's exile. He gives a nod to the all-important demography, too, in this quote from Douglas Davis: