Palestine Death Watch Update
In the New Republic, editor-in-chief Martin Peretz asks, "Is this the end of Palestine?", and reaches the same conclusion as Bret Stephens, in the post referenced immediately below this one.
Peretz notes that "Palestine" was always a nationalist movement, never a nation state:
So what is Palestine? It is an improvisation from a series of rude facts. Palestine was never anything of especial importance to the Arabs or to the larger orbit of Muslims. Palestine was never even an integral territory of the Ottomans but split up in sanjaks that crossed later postWorld War I borders, a geographical and political jumble. When General Allenby captured Jerusalem, it was a great happening for believing Christian Europe, not a tragedy for Islam. When the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan for Palestine was passed, envisioning a "Jewish" state and an "Arab" (not, mind you, Palestinian) state, even the idea of a separate Arab realm was met at best with a yawn. Though almost no Arab wanted Jewish sovereignty in any of Palestine, virtually no Arab seemed to crave Arab sovereignty, either. Foreign Arab armies did the fighting against the Haganah, and foreign states sat for the Palestinians at the cease-fire negotiations, as they had sat for decades at the international conferences on Palestine convened by the powers. Palestine was being fought over to be divvied up by Cairo, Amman, and Damascus. The Syrian army was overwhelmed by the Israelis. No rewards there. It was different for King Farouk and Abdullah I, who got land in reward for their soldiers' combat.
Indeed, from 1949 through 1967, what was the West Bank of Arab Palestine was annexed--yes, annexed--by Jordan, and what was the Gaza Strip was a captive territory of Egypt, unannexed so that Gazans had no rights as Egyptians (whereas the West Bankers had rights as Jordanians). The Palestine Liberation Organization, founded in 1964, was not founded to liberate these territories. It was founded to liberate that part of Palestine held by Israel.
After reviewing both history and the current situation, he concludes:
Would that there were a mature national will among the Palestinians. It might even be able to temper the rage of the Arabs against one another. Not until their sense of peoplehood conquers their rage against one another will they be in the psychological position to think of peace with Israel. I doubt this will happen any time soon. This is the end of Palestine, the bitter end.
In a post entitled "Palestinian History as Tragedy and Farce," Rick Richman of Jewish Current Issues writes:
Palestinian history is a kind of tragedy: formally offered a state at least five times (in 1937 by the Peel Commission, in 1947 by the UN, in July 2000 by Israel at Camp David, in December 2000 by the Clinton Parameters, and in 2003 by the Quartet’s Road Map), the Palestinians rejected it five times, always continuing to “fight” for a state they could have had by simply stopping their fight.
Assuming a state was what they wanted. But the history of the many attempts to give Palestinians the state they say they wanted may be coming to an end, as Gaza is turned into an Islamic enclave and the weak remnant of the ancien regime is kept on life support by an international community that thinks Mahmoud Abbas is the hope for peace (just as it previously thought Arafat was).
He provides links to other analysts as well.
As stated below, and to extend the monster movie metaphor started there, my own view is that the monster of "Palestine," if dead, will not stay dead; it has received neither the stake through the heart nor the silver bullet. "Palestine" always was less a positive Arab national movement, and more of a weapon to be wielded, by other Arab nations and by the enemies of the Jewish people, against the notion of Jewish national rights and their positive, tangible national expression in the form of the 59-year old State of Israel. While the people of Israel have build a modern, economically vibrant, prosperous, democratic nation, the Arabs have expended vast blood and treasure not in building their own nation in Palestine, but in trying to destroy the Jewish State.
It follows that so long as there is a State of Israel, there will be a "Palestinian" movement dedicated to its destruction. "Palestine" is the successor to Hitler and Nazi Germany as the modern manifestation of "Amalek," the nation that wars against Israel in a terrestrial surrogate for its war against God. With God's help, the State of Israel will survive that struggle, as the People of Israel have survived and outlived their past mortal enemies, until the final redemption of the Jewish people, and all humanity, with the coming of Mashiach, may it be soon and in our days.