Wednesday 2 October 2002

Palestine's Self-Inflicted Wounds

by Terrell E. Arnold

Almost every week the world watches the Israeli Defense Force march, fly or drive into a new area of the West Bank and Gaza and wreak new havoc. Not every week, but too often, the Palestinian reply is a suicide bombing. The Israeli claim, widely carried in all major media, is that the whole problem is caused by Palestinian terrorism. The Palestinian complaint is that they are being repressed and their people and their society are being systematically destroyed by Israeli military and intelligence operations. That charge is absolutely true, but it goes largely unheeded.

At no time in recent memory has a well organized, equipped and funded military force dealt so harshly with a virtually defenseless population. The obvious intent and the likely outcomes of this Israeli effort, if allowed to run its course, are the destruction of the Palestinian state and the dispersal of its people. So far, the results, perversely, have given Israel little satisfaction and much grief. Instead, both Israel and the Palestinians have been the victims of self-inflicted wounds.

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