Why don’t the Palestinians just give up?

palestine9401

I just got finished reading Max Hastings’ great new book, Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945. The book is a vast panorama of human suffering, including an episode almost forgotten today—the ethnic cleansing of the Germans from eastern Europe and from the German territories of East Prussia and Silesia.   German families were sent out onto the roads in winter with what they could carry on their backs, to survive as best they could.  As many as a million perished.  But after the suffering inflicted on the world by the Nazi regime, few had any sympathy for the plight of German people.

I described this to a friend of mine, and he wondered why the Palestinian people can’t accept defeat as the Germans did.  There are winners and losers in war.  The Palestinian Arabs are the losers.  Why can’t they accept that?   I forget what answer I mumbled in reply, but it wasn’t a good one.

The real answer is that this is not a question for me or my friend to decide.   The Irish were defeated time and time again by the British, but they never accepted defeat and eventually won their independence.  On the other hand they came to accept the partition of Ireland as the price to be paid for peace.   The nation of Poland was wiped off the map not just once, but twice, and the Poles reconstituted themselves as a nation.   The people of Chechnia and Kurdistan fight on for independence even though their causes seem hopeless.

Jewish people created a new Israel thousands of years after the original Israel was destroyed, and Armenian people have a new Armenia thousands of years after the old Armenia vanished.   The question is not whether the Palestinian Arabs have been defeated.  It is whether and when they will accept defeat.

palesarchi

[Added 12/6/12]  While I sympathize with the plight of the Palestinian Arab people, I have no ill will toward the people or nation of Israel.  I don’t think Israel has done anything that many other nations, including the United States, have not done. I hope that someday the people of Israel will be able to live in peace and the people of Arab Palestine will be able to live in peace and freedom. I don’t think this can happen so long as the government of Israel keeps the people of Arab Palestine in a state of perpetual misery and terror while expanding settlements on the West Bank.

Click on Parents Circle Families Forum for the web site of an organization that brings together bereaved Israeli and Palestinian families.

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