Wednesday, February 03, 2010

A THESIS ABOUT ZERO-SUM GAME CONFLICTS


A new front?


Israelis were told yesterday that it was too dangerous to swim, sail or fish along the coast south of Ashdod.

Since Friday night, several explosives-laden barrels have either been heard detonating in the Mediterranean or have washed ashore in Ashdod and Ashkelon. It is not clear if these devices, originating in Gaza, were intended to be pre-positioned at sea for a terror attack against Israeli power stations or desalination plants, or if theycombat have been the exception.

Interestingly, none of these struggles are zero-sum. The Irish did not seek to overthrow the British monarchy; the Basques do not want to dismantle Spain, and the Kurds do not crave control over all of Iran, Iraq and Turkey. They are not fighting about worldviews. And all three movements have shown a readiness for compromise.



IN CONTRAST, even comparatively moderate Palestinians affiliated with Mahmoud Abbas have staked out rigid negotiating positions underpinned by their commitment to zero-sum struggle. That is why Abbas has not compromised on recognizing Israel as a Jewish state or abandoned claims for the “right of return.”

Long before al-Qaida come on the scene, Palestinian terror groups specialized in airplane hijackings and other forms of anti-civilian warfare. Ideologically, a chauvinistic Palestinian nationalism has combined with Islamist fanaticism to oppose the right of Jews to enjoy sovereignty anywhere in this land.

This bleak picture will change only when the Palestinian leadership genuinely acknowledges and internalizes Israel’s legitimacy and re-educates its people toward the idea of coexistence – the sooner the better for their sake and ours.

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