David Bernstein over at the Volokh Conspiracy writes about what he calls the Palestinians' "suicidal fantasies":

In my view, the fact that the Palestinian public has apparently made the release of cold-blooded murderers its first priority--ahead of the security fence, new settlement activity, travel restrictions, employment in Israel, and a host of other concerns that do not involve releasing cold-blooded murderers--shows that the Palestinian public is not yet ready for a peace agreement. The average Palestinian in the street apparently still sees blowing up children in a pizzeria as heroic resistance, and as long as that is true I see little hope for a lasting peace agreement.
He's right about that, but I think he's misjudging the motives of the Palestinian public. The Palestinians are being manipulated by their leaders (and the leaders of some Arab nations), many of whom don't want the conflict in Israel resolved. David notes that the Palestinians are only a thorn in Israel's paw compared to Iran, al Qaeda, and (potentially) Pakistan, but as long as the Arab despots of the world can keep twisting it they can prevent those civilized nations that are sympathetic with the Palestinians from wholeheartedly supporting Israel.

The Palestinian public is continually deluded by its leaders, just as most Arabs have been for decades; the Arab rulers depend on this delusion to stay in power. If the conflict in Israel is ever resolved, these dictators will have to either address the real problems facing their people, or find another scape-goat. It's not a fantasy for them, it's a strategy -- but it's still suicidal.



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