Tuesday, November 29, 2011

ROMANIA & ISRAEL -- DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS

From Bucharest to Jerusalem


The cabinet of Romania headed by Prime Minister Emil Boc came to Jerusalem on November 24 to hold a joint session with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government. Boc spoke eloquently of the two countries' common security concerns and shared views on peace and security. In February 2011 Poland's cabinet held a similar joint meeting in Jerusalem – a further indication of the close ties between post-Communist East Europe and the Jewish state.

Still, Romania is a unique case. Firstly, Israel and Romania have had continuous diplomatic relations since 1948.

Whatever the other sins of the country's Communist ruler Nicolae Ceausescu, who reveled in a cult of personality along with his wife Elena, Romania did not join other Soviet satellites, Arab and so-called non-aligned nations in their efforts to isolate Israel. If anything, Ceausescu -- who came to power in 1965 and met his bitter end in 1989 -- heightened diplomatic ties and even established air and sea links with Israel. That this decision was coordinated with the Kremlin and had ulterior motives does not detract from its significance, according to Israel's former ambassador to Romania, Yosef Govrin. To complicate the picture, Bucharest had recognized the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1974 and provided it with training and logistical support.

In recent years, Romania, with its population of 22 million (mostly Eastern Orthodox) and an EU member since 2007, seems to have moved even closer toward Israel. In July 2011, Netanyahu became the first Israeli leader to visit Bucharest since Ceausescu's fall. Security cooperation between Jerusalem and Bucharest came under scrutiny in July 2010 when an IDF helicopter practicing flying over unfamiliar, steep terrain (not unlike Iran) crashed in thick fog into a Carpathian mountain ravine killing six IDF and one Romania soldiers.

Romania is also distinguished by the fact that alone among East European countries during the Soviet period, it did not engage in state-sponsored anti-Israelism or anti-Semitism. Its Jews were allowed to openly study their heritage and (for a price) to make aliya. "Romania never voted in the U.N. for equating 'Zionism with Racism' nor for negating Israel's participation in the General Assembly, as did other Soviet satellites," said Govrin. The 400,000 Israelis of Romanian heritage also contribute to a sense of mutual affinity.

The country has had an outsized part on the international stage dating back to the enlightened role played by Nicolae Titulescu (1882-1941) at the League of Nations, according to historian Rafi Vago of Tel Aviv University. It had sought to bridge East and West and to broker an Arab-Israel peace. Well-intentioned or not, Ceausescu helped convince Israel's Labor Party leaders that Yasir Arafat had the capacity to moderate his views. In this sense, Ceausescu helped pave the way for the ill-fated Madrid Conference (1991) and in the (1993) Oslo debacle. More constructively, he helped encourage Egypt's Anwar Sadat (1977) to make peace with Menachem Begin. Then as now, Romania steadfastly opposed an imposed solution preferring direct negotiations between the parties.

Bucharest's backing for Israel remains adroitly modulated. In a U.S.-vetoed Security Council resolution in 2004 condemning Israel for targeting Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin, Romania joined other EU countries in abstaining. In November's UNESCO vote in favor of full membership for "Palestine," Romania abstained (after having cast a negative vote in a preliminary round of voting). With less gusto than some other EU countries, Romania continues to help stoke Iran's economy even as it takes criticism for being a jumping off point for Iranian-run global narcotics being moved to Western Europe.

On balance, however, Romania is tallied among Israel's allies. Its opposition to a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood within the EU favorably counters erstwhile friends like Denmark and Sweden who exhibit scant patience for Israeli diplomatic and security concerns. Romanian-Israeli bilateral relations have progressively improved. In January 2001, at the start of the second intifada, the two countries signed a free trade agreement. Annual commerce in 2010 stood at $428 million though ties go far deeper as Israeli investment in Romania – not all of it trouble-free -- reportedly runs at $3 billion.

Part of what motivates Romania's desire for closer relations with Israel today is its long failure under Ceausescu to come to grips with the Holocaust. "During World War II no country except Germany was involved on such a scale in the massacre of its Jews as was Romania," according to Walter Laqueur's Holocaust Encyclopedia. Between 1941 and 1945 under the fascist Iron Guard rule of General Ion Antonescu Jews in many parts of the country were savagely persecuted. Of the 757,000 Jews who lived there in 1930 -- 4.5% of the population -- some 420,000 was killed (not counting the multitudes murdered in territory ceded to the Soviets as part of the Nazi-Communist Pact). Many other thousands were conscripted into forced labor battalions.

Now, there is a remnant community, mostly elderly, of between 6,000-12,000 souls; of whom fewer than a thousand are under the age of 25. Then again, the head of the community Aurel Vainer sits in the Romanian parliament representing the Jewish minority and a modern Jewish Community Center serves the population concentrated in the capital. In fact, the community is presently marking the 130th anniversary of Romania's Zionist movement.

Despite a strong residue of anti-Semitism still prevalent scholars familiar with the country tend to agree that the current political leadership – including President Traian Basescu -- is doing a mostly satisfactory job to dampen that oldest of hatreds. Indeed, the government helps fund the Elie Wiesel National Institute for Studying the Holocaust in Romania and is cooperating with Israel in training Romanian teachers in Holocaust education. While in Jerusalem, Boc and his ministers also visited Yad Vashem. All this, said Vago, reflected the regime's way of grappling with the country's sordid history during the Shoah.

Beyond assuaging its historical conscience and maintaining a Ceausescu legacy that it can be singularly proud of, Romania derives other benefits from its relations with Israel. Though in the EU, Romania leans more toward Washington than Brussels (it is not yet part of the Euro currency zone). It has signed a deal with Washington to base an array of interceptor missiles intended to protect Europe from Iran. Bucharest not unreasonably hopes that its ties with Jerusalem abet its credentials on Capitol Hill. On a purely practical level, thousands of Romanian workers have found employment in Israel doing mostly construction.

As distinct from Israel's fair-weather friends in Western Europe, Romania like Poland and other East European nations share a sense of responsibility for the decimation of their Jewish communities; tend to be pro-American; reject the anti-Zionist legacy of the Soviet empire and, tellingly, lack a significant Muslim population (66,000 in Romania). Moreover, the local media is less swept up in anti-Israelism so public opinion is less poisoned against the Jewish state.

None of this should be taken for granted, as Ambassador Mark Sofer, a former deputy director-general of Israel's Foreign Ministry responsible for Central Europe and Eurasia, told scholar Manfred Gerstenfeld of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs: "The goodwill exists on both sides and it is up to us all to capitalize on it.”

Monday, November 21, 2011

A New Book About Abraham Stern and Lehi's campaign against Britain

Terror Out of Zion


There is no love lost between the British Foreign Office and Israel. London's consideration for Israel's politico-security interests seems ever more limited. In a report to parliament earlier this month Foreign Minister William Hague condemned Israel for building in Jerusalem, being in the West Bank and for treating Hamas-controlled Gaza like the enemy it is. His only mention of Hamas was to blame Israel for the Islamist group's obduracy. Meantime, Britain's ambassador in Tel Aviv Matthew Gould, who has tried to put the best possible face on his government's harsh line, recently warned the Knesset not to pass legislation that would constrain London from funding pressure groups such as Peace Now as a way of influencing Israeli policies.

A long list of factors helps explain official Britain's less than fraternal attitude toward the Jewish state, but no inventory would be complete without reference to the bad blood left by the legacy of the Mandate and particularly the violent struggle waged against British rule by the pre-State underground Lehi (Freedom Fighters for Israel or Stern Group) and Irgun. Nations have interests; they also have long memories.

Now, a new book by Zev Golan, Stern: the Man and His Gang, brings into fresh focus the nasty fight waged by the Lehi against British policymakers and security personnel. Lehi fought Britain beginning in 1940, against the wishes of the Zionist establishment and the dissident Jabotinsky movement which supported Britain's war effort against Nazi Germany. "In this war, it is clear we want England to win, regardless of all her crimes against Zionism; she is decidedly the lesser of two evils," said Ze'ev Jabotinsky. Not so for Abraham Stern and his FFI followers who broke with the Irgun because he did not want the Jewish underground reporting to Jabotinsky or any political overlord.

Golan's sympathetic narrative, of what was an extremist and fringe movement that never numbered more than 900 members, begins with Stern's arrival in Palestine (1926). It concisely covers his student life at Hebrew University; love affair with his future wife; developing commitment to Jewish observance, and break with the Haganah over its policy of "restraint" in the face of murderous Arab riots against the Yishuv as well as Britain's breach -- more than ever in the 1939 White paper -- of its League of Nations commitment to foster a Jewish homeland.

Golan's book comes precisely 65 years after the FFI's bloody November 1946 offensive that claimed a score of mostly British lives. Take for example November 17 when Lehi operatives detonated a mine that killed three policemen, one airman and wounded several others. The next day's Palestine Post reported that the victims had been returning from a night at the cinema when their truck was blown up. In the course of the month, Lehi gunmen sabotaged rail lines, shot at trains, blew up military vehicles, destroyed international telegraph lines, attacked police stations, robbed Barclays Bank in Tel Aviv and set off an explosion at a British military base.

British authorities retaliated with a heavy hand while renegade British soldiers ran riot shooting and assaulting Jewish passerby and even murdering a Jewish constable. Zionist officialdom condemned the Sternists as terrorist "gangs" and called for their "liquidation," according to a November 18, 1946 JTA dispatch from Tel Aviv.

While the Stern Group's tactics were clear and its motivations comprehensible, it is debatable whether Stern had a rational strategy. He sent overtures to German intelligence in Beirut in the naive hope that Berlin would permit Europe's Jews to leave for Eretz Israel in return for Lehi's continued war against England. He further assumed England could not afford to fight in Palestine while it waged a war for its survival when in fact it had little alternative but to hunker down. And after World War Two, the group's strategy unwisely sought to align the Zionists with Stalin's "anti-imperialistic" Soviet Union.

As Golan tells it, Stern's "Revolutionary Zionism" did not dwell on the persecution of the individual Jew – not even by the Nazis – because Lehi's struggle was for the militant liberation of the homeland and political redemption of the Jewish people in its entirety. Stern could not have known details of Hitler's plan for the total annihilation of European Jewry (which had not been systematized until January 1942 at the Wannsee Conference), yet he knew that the Jews' plight was hanging by a thread. And still he pursued his campaign to eject the British from Palestine as if it "had nothing to do with the Holocaust."

Stern's bombastic vision was for a Greater Israel (from the Nile to the Euphrates!) whose legitimacy would be grounded in having been conquered by force. This Israel would nevertheless take neutral and pragmatic positions in its foreign relations. As for the Arab population, it would be "exchanged" -- presumably for Jews in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Stern was hunted down and executed in Tel Aviv by British security men in 1942. Thereafter, FFI's leadership was assumed by the more methodical Yitzhak Shamir (later to become Israel's prime minister) who undertook its painstaking renewal. He ordered the November 1944 assassination of Lord Moyne, the top British official in the Middle East responsible for keeping the doors to Palestine closed to Jews fleeing Hitler. And in mid-1948, with Shamir's approval, Lehi also assassinated UN envoy Count Folke Bernadotte who had promoted a scheme to neutralize the 1947 Partition Plan which had codified the creation of Israel.

The Lehi leadership ran the political gamut from old-line socialist to hard line nationalists. In common, they believed that a small vanguard group could achieve the liberation of the entire Jewish people. "It is permitted to liberate a people even against its will, or against the will of the majority," Shamir would say many years later.

In practice, Zionist unity did not seem to be a paramount value for Stern and the FFI. "The Sternists rejected the idea of obeisance to Jewish leaders not committed to independence in the name of unity," according to Golan. Only during the War of Independence would the Sternists be incorporated into the IDF. After the war, FFI's bickering leaders unsuccessfully sought to create a political platform; Shamir and several others eventually aligned with the Likud.

Golan provides capsule biographies of other key Lehi figures – whom he calls "people of principles" – including Nathan Yalin-Mor, the movement's top propagandist and Israel Eldad, its foremost theoretician. This workmanlike book is neither a hagiography nor a critical treatment of Stern and his movement. The author, who directs the Center for Public Policy at the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies and has written books on history, philosophy and economics, has instead provided us with a narrative told from the unique perspectives of former Lehi fighters (including Shamir and Eldad) as well as Stern's brother and widow, all of whom he interviewed.

As for all the bad blood engendered by their anti-British struggle, Golan insists that Lehi for the most part – and certainly before 1947 -- did not authorize attacks against British civilians who were not "official" representatives of the regime. Yes, its credo was "terror," Golan argued, but unlike today's Palestinian Arab terror groups Lehi's targets were not primarily innocent civilians.

Stern was a maximalist who maintained that even Jabotinsky was insufficiently committed to Jewish independence. Today, on the radical fringes of Israel's extreme right, there are those who reject loyalty to the state and IDF on the grounds that the nation's leaders are insufficiently committed to the Land and Torah of Israel. Would Stern – who at age 35, six years before the state came into being, sacrificed his life – have rejected such fanaticism on the grounds that it jeopardizes the Third Commonwealth? We will never know.

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Rather Civilized Conversation with Larry Derfner About Iran

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/39838

Balfour & Weizmann Remembered

In November the Arabs Said 'No'


There are no uneventful months in the tortured history of the Arab-Israel conflict. November is no exception. It was on November 2, 1917 that Chaim Weizmann won the backing of the British government for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people" famously codified by Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour (1848-1930) in his letter to Lord Rothschild, titular head of the British Jewish community, as the Balfour Declaration. And as if to bookend the month, November 29th will mark the 64th anniversary of the UN General Assembly's adoption of the 1947 Partition Plan: the two-state solution that was recklessly spurned by the Arabs; a rebuff that has embodied Arab rejection of a Jewish homeland ever since.

On November 9th the Israel Britain and Commonwealth Association held a gala anniversary dinner in Tel Aviv to mark Balfour's pronouncement. Guests included Britain's ambassador to Israel, the EU head of delegation and ambassadors from several commonwealth countries (including those who reflexively vote against Jerusalem at the U.N.). The Israeli government does not make too much of the occasion though Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made passing reference to the Balfour Declaration in his September 2011 remarks to the UN General Assembly and Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon did address the Tel Aviv banquet.

For its part, Hamas makes it a point to issue an annual denunciation of the declaration accompanied this year by a blood-curdling montage. Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, the official daily newspaper of the Palestinian Authority, routinely condemns Balfour claiming his declaration granted rights to "those who had no connection" to the land – meaning the Jewish people.

Chaim Weizmann (1874-1952), then a distinguished chemist living in London, was instrumental in fashioning the Zionist-British alliance that resulted in the declaration. Fittingly, it was in November 60 years ago that Weizmann was re-elected to the presidency of Israel despite failing health. In fact, both Weizmann's 59th yahrzeit and the 137th anniversary of his birth are also commemorated this month.

Weizmann's achievement was never preordained, as Jonathan Schneer, by no means a Zionist sympathizer, notes in his The Balfour Declaration. The early Zionist leader had to overcome influential assimilationists Jews, including Edwin Montagu, who strenuously lobbied their government against cooperating with the Zionists, as well as Grand Sharif Hussein of Mecca and his sons the emirs Abdullah and Feisal who lobbied through British proxies. (The family ultimately lost control of Arabia to the Saudis.)

While the Palestinian Arabs had scarcely any unique identity at the time, Arab intellectuals in Syria pressured against Zionism on the grounds that Palestine was an integral part of Syria and could therefore not be delinked from Britain's magnanimous territorial bequest to the Arabs.

At the end of the day Britain, the preeminent power during and in the aftermath of World War One (1914–1918), promised the Jews a sliver of the Middle East, while the Arabs would get everything else. Even these commitments to the Jews and Arabs would have come to naught had secret talks conducted between Britain and the Ottoman Empire led to a separate peace, according to Schneer.

After World War I, both the Paris Peace Conference (1919) and the San Remo Conference (1920) ratified Britain's mandate for Palestine. France's presence in Syria notwithstanding, Britain's role assured that both Arabs and Jews would be on their way to self-determination. Balfour's expectation was that the Arabs would be willing to share a small sliver of the vast Mideast landscape with the Jews. Indeed, on March 3, 1919 Faisal encouragingly wrote Zionist leader Felix Frankfurter: "We Arabs, especially the educated among us look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement."

Tragically, pragmatists like Faisal did not carry the day. Instead, anti-Zionist Arab riots instigated by the fanatical Husseini clan were launched in 1920. London immediately went wobbly and embarked on a series of moves that first backtracked and then reversed its Balfour Declaration commitments.

To assuage Arab demands, Britain brought Abdullah from Arabia to Eastern Palestine in November 1920. This immense area – today's Jordan – comprising four-fifths of the Palestine mandate promised to the Jews by Balfour was ceded to the Arabs by 1921. Put another way, 80 percent of Palestine as defined by the League of Nations was lopped off leaving the Jews only the area between the Jordan River and Mediterranean.

In 1937, in response to intensified Arab violence, Britain's Peel Commission called for further splitting the remaining 20% of Palestine to create an additional Arab state within what was supposed to be Jewish Palestine. The Zionists reluctantly acquiesced; the Arabs said no. By 1939, Neville Chamberlain had completely reneged on the Balfour Declaration and blocked Jewish immigration to Palestine just as the Nazi killing machine was going into lethal gear.

None of this can be blamed on Balfour who deserves to be remembered as a friend of the Jews. Statesmen do not act purely out of altruism and he like other British politicians were partly motivated by an exaggerated sense of Zionist influence in the international arena which they hoped to exploit for the war effort. At the same time, Balfour believed that Christian anti-Semitism had been a "disgrace" and wanted to make amends by providing the Jews with a "small notch" of territory, according to his biographer R.J.Q. Adams. In 1925, he famously helped dedicate the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus. Like Theodor Herzl, Balfour may have assumed that British Jews would either thoroughly assimilate or choose to live in the Jewish homeland.

Ninety-four years after Balfour's declaration the right of the Jewish people to re-establish their national homeland is still rejected by even Palestinian Arab "moderates." The unremitting threat of renewed violence remains the Arabs' default position. Emboldened by the Gilad Schalit deal, Arab violence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza has seen an upswing. Cairo's renewed efforts to bring Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas together will perforce necessitate more militancy from Fatah rather than greater flexibility from Hamas. In the words of Mahmoud Zahhar, the notion that Hamas will ever make peace with Israel is "insane."

Sixty-four years after Palestinian Arabs rejected the partition plan, Abbas claims to be having second thoughts. Yet instead of negotiating with the Jewish state he is forging ahead at the UN for unilateral statehood without making peace with Israel.

Sadly, Abba Eban's 1973 quip that the Arabs "never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity" holds stubbornly true. To be fair, time does not stand completely still. Abbas-like moderates are operating only 64 years behind real time though for the "militants" of Hamas it's perpetually 1917.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Finally, A Palestinian 'Peace Now?'

THE NEW "FORCE" THAT JOEL GREENBERG AT THE WASHINGTON POST DISCOVERED

What if a group of youthful Palestinian activists fed up with Hamas and Fatah for leading the Palestinian Arabs -- over and over again -- down bloody, self-defeating dead ends was to emerge as a new political and social force? We might think of them as a sort of Palestinian "Peace Now."

Imagine a Palestinian movement revolted by militarism, religious fanaticism, chauvinism and bloodlust; exasperated with Ramallah-based Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas for placing a wreath on Yasir Arafat`s grave – of all places -- to mark the sacrifice festival of Eid al-Adha and challenging his decision to spend lavishly on violent Palestinian inmates released from Israeli prisons in the Gilad Schalit exchange. Imagine their necessarily more cautious compatriots in Gaza feeling put-off by Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh for telling Eid al-Adha worshippers that "sacrifices are sometimes not only [for] sheep [but as] a way in which we praise God."

Could not a Palestinian "Peace Now" emerge out of recognition that neither depraved violence nor automatic UN majorities has brought the Palestinians what they want? If anything, the Palestinians' effortless victories at UNESCO with more predicted in the General Assembly seem only to stoke Palestinian frustrations. Now, Palestinian expectations for obtaining Security Council recognition for a state -- without recognizing the rights of the Jewish people to a national homeland of their own -- are set to fizzle.

Sure enough, The Washington Post recently ran a feature about an avant-garde generation of activists on the West Bank and Gaza, men and women in the 20s, not Islamists, who are disillusioned with both Fatah and Hamas and uninspired by symbolic victories at the UN. These youth were born around the time of the first intifada and entered their teens during the second intifada. The newspaper's Joel Greenberg, a veteran Israel-based advocacy journalist, came upon this "still-undefined, embryonic group of a few hundred" which Post headline writers billed as a potential "new political and social force."

Had Greenberg come upon a group of radical future Palestinian leaders ready for painful concessions to achieve reconciliation, mutual recognition and coexistence with the Jewish state? For his narrative hook, he focuses on an attractive 22-year old university student named Hurriyah Ziada who has been "active in protesting the Israeli occupation of the West Bank." We are rapidly disabused of any notion that Ziada merely wants to push Israel back to the 1949 Armistice Lines. In fact, creating a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza alongside Israel is for her "inadequate." She is not interested in exchanging territory for peace and certainly not in pursuing a two-state solution. Instead, her activism is directed at creating a single Muslim-majority country from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea that would be demographically boosted by the "return" of some 750,000 Palestinian refugees from the 1948 War plus millions of their descendants now living in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Iraq. As for the six million Jewish Israelis, Ziada would munificently grant this new minority in Greater Palestine "equal rights."

Instead of rolling his eyes at such warmed over Arab rejectionism, Greenberg presents Ziada's vision for the disappearance of Israel as a "human and civil rights" breakthrough something like the "American civil rights movement" and the "struggle to end apartheid in South Africa."

Why would the Washington Post attempt to sanitize the old Palestinian Arab agenda and present it as something practically progressive? Perhaps because their man in Israel so opposes a Jewish presence over the Green Line that he once served as a spokesman for Hamoked, yet another EU-funded NGO devoted to promoting Palestinian interests in the "Occupied Territories." While he served in the Israeli army (though reportedly refusing reserve duty in Lebanon), Greenberg's soft-spot for the Palestinian narrative has long permeated his reporting. He'd like to think that Arab opposition to the occupation "generally refers to bombing and shooting attacks on Israelis in the West Bank and Gaza." He adhered to this blinkered view even in 2004 when Israelis within the Green Line were daily being targeted. While no one denies that the Arabs in Judea and Samaria feel themselves "occupied," the possibility that the land itself is "disputed" has seldom been integral to Greenberg's reporting.

As for Ziada, Greenberg tells us that her father is a member of a "militant leftist faction" and her brother is a "member of Fatah's armed wing. Militant? Armed? The apple does not fall far from the tree for Ziada rules out -- albeit disingenuously – any compromise with the Zionist enterprise: “When I have kids, I don’t want them stuck in the West Bank,” Ziada declares. “I want the right to move freely. I want to go to Jerusalem, the city where I was born and to the village my family was kicked out from in 1948.”

What the 22 year-old may not recollect is that before the suicide bombers of the second intifada West Bank and Gaza motorists could drive unimpeded throughout Israel. If, as she claims, she was born within the Jerusalem municipality to parents who were legal residents chances are she would have a blue Israeli ID cards and could move freely about the country. She told Greenberg that her family had been "kicked out" of the subsequently "destroyed" village of al-Falauja (not far from the Gaza Strip). But her family might be living there still had an earlier Palestinian leadership not rejected the UN's 1947 Partition Plan for a two-state solution and, more to the point, had gunmen from al-Falauja not laid siege to neighboring Jewish communities and attacked Haganah food and water convoys delivering them aid.

Greenberg's spotlights the "wall of apathy" Ziada and her comrades in this imagined new political and social force need to overcome in agitating against Israel. The older generation is "exhausted" while her other cohorts are "alienated from established political movements." Ziada, though, is committed to "creative nonviolent action" doublespeak for violent confrontation with the IDF. "The cost of getting rid of the occupation" -- by which she means the Jewish state in its entirety -- "is far less than the cost of living under it for a long time to come.” For now Ziada appears content to build "mud houses for people whose homes" were capriciously razed by the Zionist authorities.

Truth be told, Ziada's supposedly new ideas meld perfectly with the standard Palestinian mindset. An October 2011 poll conducted by Nabil Kukali's Palestinian Center for Public Opinion found that a staggering 89.8 percent of respondents said they would rather have "no peace deal" and no "independent state" if it meant giving up "the Right of Return."

Far from uncovering a new political and social force among the Palestinians, Greenberg's story demonstrates that across the generational divide the Palestinians remain appallingly unrealistic and intransigent. The reason is all too plain: The moderates have been assassinated leaving Fatah and Hamas in-charge. Sadly, in opposing the "limited political horizons of the Palestinian leadership" Ziada and her comrades are not pushing Abbas and Haniyeh to reconcile with the Jews but toward war without end.

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