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In spite of all rumors to the contrary and all machinations at the United Nations, the Palestinian people are really stateless. They have two governing bodies, one in Gaza ruled by Hamas and the other is located in portions of the West Bank ruled by Fatah. In spite of all of the trappings of sovereignty, neither entity seems to be interested in or engaged in state-building.

Their stated, avowed purpose, repeated forcefully, violently and aggressively is to destroy the one stable, democratic, free state that does exist in the immediate area – the State of Israel. With enormous financial aid from the rest of the world both groups prefer to invest in arms, repression, propaganda and other forms of aggression against Israel. They are not really concerned in building a true infrastructure – educationally, economically or governmentally that could serve as a template for creating a viable state of their own.
An educational system built on inciting violence, on demonization and hatred of the “other” will not succeed in producing the necessary leadership, skills, knowledge and commitment necessary to create a viable national state. Any state that will emerge from such a witches’ brew of skewed values and hatred will never be a peaceful neighbor.
The Palestinian street has been educated to vote Hamas and therefore Fatah refuses to hold elections even though they are long overdue. A Hamas state sitting to the west of us is a security threat that no Israeli government can allow or endure. Thus the prospects of a Palestinian state arising under today’s circumstance are truly dim and unlikely. The realities of our situation will, of necessity, trump all of the fantasies of the remaining “peace at any price” advocates in our midst.
I believe that this is true no matter who wins the general election soon to be held here in Israel. I cannot imagine an Israeli government repeating the mistakes of unilateral withdrawal from territories in the Holy Land.  Ehud Barak gave us Hezbollah on our northern border by his flight from the security zone in Lebanon, and Ariel Sharon gave us Hamas in Gaza at our southern border. One would hope that the results emanating from those two badly mistaken policies and actions would prove instructive to all later Israeli governments.
It is so fashionable in today’s secular and practically amoral world to be against Israel - against its people, its products, and its accomplishments. In this regard the Palestinians are apparently convinced that even if they do nothing Israel will somehow disappear, from world pressure and of its own accord.
The Jewish story throughout history is littered with the bones of those who thought that way in the past. They all underestimated Jewish will, tenacity, strength and vitality.  The world has fallen into the same anti-Semitic trap that has cost it so dearly in the past.  Boycotting Israeli products will not bring the Palestinians one step close to statehood of their own. It only exhibits the unreasoning hatred of Jews that has infected the world so deeply. Only the Palestinians can build their own state. And they seem determined currently not to do so.  
There was once an administration in the United States that declared that it would follow a policy of “benign neglect” regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict. But it could not stay the course and for the past number of decades we have been witness to various plans, policies and solutions advanced to end the conflict. Unfortunately none of them were able to match the realities on the ground here in the Middle East.
The latest non-starter is the “two-state solution” to which even the Israeli government has given begrudging, lip service approval. But this plan is also a non-starter, since there is no one on the other side interested or able to create a state on any basis other than the destruction of the Jewish state.
Thus, we are left with a one-state reality and that one state is Israel. So again no matter who heads the Israeli government or, for that matter, the American government, the Quartet (remember those guys?), the European Union, the United Nations, etc. the two-state solution cannot be implemented simply because there is no Palestinian state to partner with.
The Palestinians are willfully and purposely stateless. And until they are willing to change this situation in a positive and almost radical manner, the current situation will continue to prevail and we will all just keep on muddling along. That may not be very good but it is not so bad either. It is what it is.
Shabat shalom.
Berel Wein            

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