Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dr. Micheal Sharnoff Misses Something

Despite his rather weak bio as a "Middle East expert," I like Dr. Michael Sharnoff. He wrote an article in the Huffington Post telling the readership what they didn't want to hear about the "Global March to Jerusalem." Unfortunately his latest article missed a rather large elephant in the room.

You see he wrote an article about Palestinian attitudes, though I'm not entirely sure why, it's not like that is a top priority in the world today. The topics he covered were secularism, Hamas vs the PLO, and the "Arab street." I'll tell you right away what Dr. Sharnoff misses: whether the Palestinian people actually want peace with Israel or not. This is never asked, the closest that we find is this:
"The latest polls surveyed in March 2012 reveal a lack of confidence and pessimistic outlook toward peace with Israel. More than half of Palestinians polled (58 percent) opposed resuming negotiations with Israel unless Israel enacted a total settlement freeze in the West Bank and accepted returning to the 1967 boundaries."
Ah, that must be that Palestinian "desperation" in action, I see. There are no statistics in the article about their attitude toward recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, the "right" of return, Jerusalem or any of the other issues that have impeded the resolution of the situation.

There were some other sections of Dr. Sharnoff's article that I found a little strange. Here's an example:
"In an interview with Al-Quds newspaper in January 2012, Munib al-Masri, an influential Palestinian billionaire who enjoys close ties with both Fatah and Hamas, asserted that ending Palestinian divisions and achieving national reconciliation remained a top priority....Al-Masri supports nonviolence but declares Palestinians have "the right to pursue any form of resistance enshrined in international law." Like other Palestinian leaders, he maintains that violence has harmed their cause and that peaceful protests, much like those in neighboring Arab countries, have the potential to generate greater international sympathy."
I don't understand why Dr. Sharnoff is quoting al-Masri. He describes him as "influential" but aren't we interested more in what the people on the street think? And al-Masri isn't even a politician he's just a guy with a lot of money. Wait a minute, there are Palestinian billionaires? I wonder if he collects money from UNRWA as well.

To conclude we have quotes from Hamas about how they won't ever accept peace. As usual. Under Dr. Sharoff's paragraph about implications he admits that he doesn't exactly know what is going to happen but that such unpleasantness as a third intifada would go badly.

In the end the article doesn't contribute much, but it does show that Palestinians aren't in much of a hurry to make peace.

1 comment:

  1. Also note al-Masri means "The Egyptian"!


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