No matter how often one reads about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and thinks that one had heard it all, someone comes along and shocks us with their ignorance, all in the guise of objective analysis.
So it is with an article published in The Washington Post on July 26 by a Norwegian professor, Jorgen Jensehaugen, titled “The Fatal Flaw in Trump’s Plan for Middle East Peace.”
Jensehaugen’s thesis is that the Trump plan, like those of previous administrations, will fail because of a fatal flaw: “Not involving Palestinians in the discussion.” He then traces the long history of calamities between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and attributes them to this flaw.
Between 1947 and 1988, it is true that Palestinians were not involved in negotiations with Israel. But this was primarily because they — and the regional Arab leadership that claimed to speak for them — fundamentally rejected the legitimacy and existence of the Jewish state, had a charter that called for Israel’s destruction, and would have nothing to do with representatives of the “illegitimate” State of Israel.
Indeed, if at any point in that 40-year period they had indicated that they had moved away from their extremist views and expressed a desire to live side-by-side with the Jewish state, they would have been included in talks. Therefore, it was not that they were excluded, but that their nihilistic views left no room for inclusion and conversation.