Means are to be subordinated to aims
In an "Open Letter to Hamas" it was shown, I hope compellingly, that the
maximum possible aim that could be achieved by the Palestinians, was a two
step solution in which the first step would be an independent Palestine
over the West Bank, the Ghaza strip and East Jerusalem, from which the
Jewish settlements would have been dismantled. The first step would then
be that of two independent sovereign states, Palestine and Israel within
the pre-1967 borders.
The problem of the refugees would then be negotiated between the two
states in an improved atmosphere. On no account should a bargain be made
infringing on the right of return of any individual refugee. Obviously,
justice would have it that the right of return of the refugees would not
have to depend on negotiations between the two independent states but
would come together with an independent Palestinian state. However, we are
speaking of the maximum possible and not of the impossible maximum.
The second step would be the voluntary fusion of the two states into a
single democratic and secular state who could be of the federal type and
from which no Israeli would be expelled, and to which each Palestinian
refugee could return, without losing his right for compensations.
However, even such a modest aim as the first step, is totally opposed by
the Israeli leadership. It is therefore necessary to introduce a wedge
between the Israeli people and the Israeli leadership.
Conceptually, this wedge can be introduced by two ways. One is that of
suicide bombers, the other is that of a strategy which will be developed
in coming postings.
ACHIEVEMENTS THROUGH SUICIDE-BOMBINGS
Though a number of organisations sponsoring and organising the suicide
bombings have aims larger than that of steps 1-2, their action are bound
to have consequences concerning those steps.
The continuation of suicide-bombings can have two possible results. It can
reinforce the Israeli people's support to Sharon, it may give him the
pretext he seeks to proceed with a NAKBA2, which is the ethnic cleansing
of the west bank. This could be done either by direct measures of
displacement or by making life almost impossible for the Palestinian
population. What will be the international reaction, and how much will
it affect Sharon's implementation cannot be known with certainty.
The second possible result, is that the continuation of the
suicide-bombing will result in a disaffection of the Israeli population
from Sharon. It may force Sharon to accept the evacuation of the West
Bank. It will not result in the implementation of the right of return of
the Palestinian refugees.
Still, if it can achieve the formation of an independent Israeli state,
if it can lead to the dismantling of all Jewish settlements in the West
Bank, then that strategy cannot be discarded without further studies.
PROS AND CONS OF THE SUICIDE-BOMBING SOLUTION
Let us suppose for a moment that there are numerous ways by which the
Palestinian aspirations can be realised, and that suicide-bombings are one
of the ways. It should be clear that neither the Israeli violent and
barbaric behaviour, nor the Palestinian suicide-bombing facilitates the
move towards step 2, which is the voluntary fusion between the two states
This fusion might be more important for the Palestinians then for the
Israelis. One can understand that an Israeli leadership which does not
care for peace and only cares for its expansionist agenda would not be
adverse to poison as much as possible the atmosphere between the two
people so as to make the second step unconceivable. The barbaric policy of
Israel has for one of its aims to enlarge as much as possible the gap
between the two people.
However, a policy based on a vision of increased cooperation between the
two independent states to the point of developing them in to brotherly
relations, has to be aware that of all solutions to the realisation
of the first step, the one that leaves the least bitterness with the other
party, is the one that offers the greatest possibilities to shorten the
transition between the two steps. If only from this point of view,
the suicide bombings is harmful to the long term interests of the
Palestinian people. The means should be subordinated to the aims,
particularly to the long term aims.
To state that love, rather than hate, can bring peace, is a kind of
motherhhood statement which does not ring right in a situation generating
so much hate. However, to consider it from a strategic point of view can
make sense. I leave this for later.