(On Screen): I try not to let my emotions rule me. I try to be rational, and to act as I know I should rather than how I feel like acting. If someone insults me, I don't punch him out though the temptation may be strong. It's not really the threat of jail which constrains me, but rather the knowledge that it would be wrong.
I can't control what I feel, I can only control how I act. But what I feel is important, nonetheless, and perhaps instructive. That applies just as much to observations about foreign policy as to anything else.
With respect to the Palestinians, what I think is that they are unreasonable (to put it lightly). What I think is that they need to accept that they have lost the struggle and that to continue it at this point will make life worse for them and everyone else.
There may well have been some sort of strategy behind the resumption of the Intifada, once upon a time, but any semblance of a plan is long since gone, and the Palestinians are locked in a negative feedback loop of attacks and response that does nothing except make everyone miserable. There are no leaders who can stop it, because if the violence was not aimed at Israel then it would be aimed internally at other Palestinians. If any Palestinian leader now were to actually try to stop the suicide attacks, either he'd be murdered or else it would set off a Palestinian civil war.
It is cultural insanity. There are people among the Palestinians whose power derives from the struggle, who cannot give it up. There is no central control. They are locked in anarchy. There is a self-sustaining culture of hate now, where anyone advocating moderation is in danger of being dragged into the street and brutally murdered.
A half a loaf is better than none at all, and it's time for the Palestinians to give up on trying to push Israel into the sea and accept that Israel isn't going to be destroyed. I don't give a damn whether the deal they accept is "just" by anyone's standards; when you're the underdog you take what you can get, and right now that's their situation. What they think they want isn't possible. What is possible (or, at least, what was possible before the Intifada) was a hell of a lot better than what they've got now.
And what I think is that they won't accept that until we've occupied Iraq and destabilized Syria and Saudi Arabia and there's been a revolution in Iran and Libya has read the writing on the wall and the EU finally admits that it's been financing terrorist attacks and stops giving the Palestinians money to use as they wish, and the Palestinians suddenly find that they have no friends left. Oh, and after Arafat dies or is killed or is forced into retirement, and a few other changes such as a forced cutoff of all financial support from the Arab nations. Until that happens, they will continue their useless struggle, killing and destroying to no one's benefit, with no principle to establish and no hope of prevailing.
But once those things have happened, the Palestinians may lose heart, and then it will be possible to cut a deal with them. Isolated and alone, with no friends and the flow of money cut off and no more friendly neighbors to smuggle in weapons, maybe individual Palestinians may come to realize that what they want is actually impossible, and realize that they will have to settle for less. But until that happens, the Palestinian runaway train will continue to barrel down the track towards oblivion, with no one at the controls but a lot of people falling under the wheels. The Palestinians and the Israelis will continue to bleed for perhaps another two years.
That's what I think.
But increasingly I'm finding myself feeling as if the world would be better off if someone went in and shot every damned one of them and piled the lot in an unmarked grave. After reading about yet another Palestinian atrocity, I find myself thinking, "Fuck it. Nuke Ramallah. Then nuke Nablus. And if that doesn't help, bulldoze Gaza. And once that's done, put all fifty surviving Palestinians on a freighter, tow it out to sea, and let them become someone else's problem."
I know that's wrong. I know it could never happen, and that it will never happen, and that it should never happen, and I would never actually advocate anything like that. But what I'm finding is that every time I read about a Palestinian being killed by the Israelis, my first emotional reaction is, "Good riddance." I've reached the point where I feel nothing at all when I read about them dying. I have reached the point where I don't care at all, not even slightly, about their pain and hardship. They have ceased to be persons to me. I'm no longer even interested in hearing their side of the story.
Sometimes I read about someone's death, someone I don't know, someone far away, someone from a different country and different culture, I find myself grieving a bit; I can imagine them as a real person, and I mourn the loss of something valuable and important. I don't do that for Palestinians anymore. Emotionally, I no longer think of Palestinians as "valuable and important".
I shouldn't feel that way. I know that. But the well of sympathy I have for the plight of the Palestinians ran dry a long time ago, mostly because I know that their dire situation now is mostly their own doing, caused by their idiotic and pig-headed insistence that somehow they can return to 1947, and their embrace of what truly amounts to a culture-wide death wish.