Friday, January 27, 2006

On missing chances

Abba Eban, one of Israel's founding fathers, once said that the Palestinians never missed a chance to miss a chance. Well, it seems that the Zionists also missed chances, a lot of them. They missed a chance to reject Bibi Netanyahu in 1996, who systematically undermined the Oslo process. Ehud Barak missed a chance to accept the Palestinian non-negotiable demand of compensation in lieu of the rights of return in the dying days of the Clinton era. They missed a chance to reject Sharon, who cynically provoked the Al Aqsa intifidah. Sharon of course didn't miss a chance to brutally demolish the Palestinian Authority. But in the process, he missed the last chance Yasir Arafat had to deliver freedom to his people. And more importantly, he missed his last chance to deliver peace to his people. Now Sharon is a vegetable, and instead of Fatah - a secular national liberation movement that has accepted Israel's right to exist - his successor will have to deal with Hamas - the Islamic Resistance Movement that traces its roots to the Muslim Brotherhood and that is dedicated to the destruction of Zionist entity.

The ability to miss a chance, my dear reader, is not a monopoly of the Palestinians.