This is not an invitation to shit on either side. I am genuinely confused by the conflicting values displayed by the Palestinians and Hamas today, the PLO and others of late and would love to know what the actual goal really is, and how they think their strategy is working.
First, the map of shrinking Palestinian ruled territory that has been posted makes it clear Israel responds to whatever they perceive as aggression against their state/people by taking land, then using some portion of it to negotiate a cease fire, temporary peace agreement, concessions for more arms from the US, etc., etc., as they see the use of the land is most likely able to advance their cause. The Palestinians live on the opposite side of this coin and are thus always the losers. From my un-allied with either side position this appears to be a case of the Israelis just out thinking, out-strategizing and out-executing, the Palestinians. Over and over, which, due to its repetitive nature, makes the PR
work in Israel's favor as well. The Palestinians seem to dull to figure out what is happening to them so they throw stones or whatever anyone from the Arab/Persian alliance to constantly irritate Israel sends them to chuck over the border.
I am genuinely confused by the lack of leadership - it does not usually take a hundred years for a leader of an oppressed group to be recognized by the people and thus supported. To date the lack of the Palestinian "strategy" identified and implemented by the PLO, others and now Hamas to be effective, either as a strategy by itself, or an executed strategy (assuming the strategy was a good one and only needed to be properly executed) to achieve any particular goal (look at that map again, and imagine where it is going to leave the Palestinians in a month or so) seems to go entirely unnoticed by the Palestinian people.
This makes it seem like the announced goal, a free state for the Palestinian people to live in, in peace, with prosperity and security, is hardly the goal. And this is what Israel exploits in their international, and targeted to the US, public relations campaign. And it works because there is a huge, at least apparent, logic disconnect between the stated goal and the strategy Hamas and its predecessors have been employing to achieve the goal. In fact, it seems as soon as things are relatively calm, shit erupts to undo the apparent progress. This appears to serve the interests of those who have something, or an expectation that they have something to gain from the resulting chaos.
Israel's land grab seems to ratchet up as a result, however, for Israel to benefit the Palestinians in the form of the PLO in the past and Hamas of late have to cooperate. It seems peculiar that other observers closer to the problem, in the Palestinian territories for example, don't see this.
Anyway, if anyone has some perspective on what it is the Palestinians really want and how their present strategy, essentially unchanged for 60 years now, is supposed to advance them towards that goal, please feel free to enlighten me. I don't value the "history" lesson as I think it is all relatively meaningless - the value of the lives of dead civilians cannot be greater than the lives of living civilians and any strategy that suggests the fight must go on merely in retribution for the deaths of already dead people, which will create more dead people, is merely subscribing to an endless do-loop of violence and death. Hard as it may be, the Palestinians it seems to me have to decide whether the purpose of the living is no more than to avenge the deaths of the already dead. If they conclude the living are more important than the already dead, they need a new strategy. Jim