The United States experienced a few decades ago the eruption of violence by an ethnic group that felt repressed and mistreated. In 1968, many inner cities went up in flames after poor African Americans took to the streets and protested violently.
Those were very frightening times.
The response of public officials, once the flames were put out and some of the more violent protesters were punished, was to introduce changes which began to make life easier for the inner city poor.
Most urgent among those changes was the effort to integrate White and Black people. It was very hard. On occasion, the attempt to do justice for one group ended up jeopardizing another.
But over the past 40 years, so much effort has been invested in breaking down racial barriers in America, that today the country is simply less racially divided than it used to be. Poverty among African Americans has gone down, and although many aspects of black society are still troubling, things are definitely better.
And you were elected president, Mr. President.
Imagine if, instead of making the effort, White America were to reinforce the inner city ghetto system, building walls between itself and its black poor? Imagine if White America paid violent black goons to keep their own people under control.
That, more or less, is what Israel did to the Palestinians after the First Intifada.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT THE ARABS? (II)
The First Intifada was both a success and a failure.
The Arabs succeeded in calling attention to their national aspirations, and to their plight as third-class citizens in a supposedly Western democracy.
They failed because they used violence.
Had the Palestinians managed to repel the meddling forces that pushed their Intifada in a bloody direction, they would have gained independence and prosperity.
Instead, the First Intifada made just about every Jewish man, woman and child in Israel so sick and tired of dealing with the Arabs, they just wanted them gone.
That’s when the Oslo plan was hatched. It relied for its success on a coalition of terrorist gangs called the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which became visible after the 1967 Six Day War. The PLO was financed by many forces which were looking to influence the Middle East. The Soviet Union was one; Saudi Arabia another.
The PLO settled down in Jordan, from which it launched attacks against Israel, but at the same time was fomenting a civil war with the goal of taking over control of Jordan. This came to an abrupt end in 1971, when in one month the Jordanian military killed some 25,000 Palestinians, forcing the PLO to flee to south Lebanon. Soon, a Lebanese civil war began, Israel invaded, and in 1982 the PLO was forced to flee once again, this time to Tunisia, North Africa.
Over the years, the PLO became wealthy, and, alas, corrupt beyond belief. When its charismatic chairman Yasser Arafat died, his personal holdings were estimated at $1 billion. The First Intifada was launched without the PLO, which many Palestinians feared and loathed. Indeed, it was the PLO and similar terrorist groups which steered the First Intifada off its course of civil disobedience to violence and murder, which Israel, finally, squashed.
The Oslo plan rescued the corrupt PLO from oblivion out in Tunisia, and handed its leaders control over the disputed territories, to serve as Israel’s watch dogs.