The Palestinian struggle against Israel is a
political-cum-military campaign rooted in the culture-code of a particular
community and civilization. Thus, the public and visible Israeli-Palestinian
diplomatic process provides only an external exposure of a concealed and complex
array of Islamic notions and precedents, cultural characteristics of the Muslim
East, and rhetorical devices suited to a revolutionary Palestinian idiom. The
Palestinians seek victory, not peace, in this long and brutal fight against the
Jews and the State of Israel.
There is no foundation for mutual and satisfactory
Israel-PLO accommodation inasmuch as Palestinism is diametrically opposed to
Zionism, just like Western democracy is juxtaposed to Muslim tyranny. Such
generalized cultural and political factors derive from the specific history and
mentality of the Palestinians as Oriental Muslims and Arabs. With absolute
Islamic faith, endurance and extremism as indelible features of character and
politics, the Palestinians are unable and unwilling to accept the legitimacy and
viability of a Jewish state in "Palestine".
This is a zero-sum game but one that is driven not only by
modern nationalist ideology and contemporary political grievances, but by a
durable ancient memory, identity, and lexicon. As such, the PLO demand for a
state is no more than a rhetorical mantra for the more fundamental demand for
the annihilation of Israel and its Jews. This is the way to understand the
incompatibility between Israel and the PLO, the gravity of the Palestinian
menace to Israel, and the need for a radical re-evaluation of the necessary
Israeli policy response.