July 15, 2009:
American and European efforts to get peace negotiations going between the Palestinians and Israel, seem to be ignoring what Palestinian officials say in Arab language media. TV interviews are the most compelling examples of this. When Fatah officials are asked about these negotiations, some of them are quite frank. Just as maps of the area, used in schools and the media, show no Israel, only Palestine, the officials explain that the peace negotiations are just a means towards an end. For Fatah, as well as the more outspoken (in English) Hamas, the ultimate goal is the destruction of Israel. Any peace deal is considered as a pause, so that the Arabs can build up their strength for the final battle.
In the West, more people, especially in Europe, are agreeing with the Palestinians. Officially, though, Western leaders believe that a peace deal will eventually change the minds of Palestinians.