Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Tuesday the Palestinians may have "lost the argument" on the international stage for an independent state but cautioned that continued Israeli occupation was unsustainable.Palestinian Arabs are obsessed to feeling relevant, and they childishly equate world headlines with relevance.
Arab unrest, the US presidential elections and financial crises in Europe had combined to knock the Palestinian issue off the global agenda more than 18 months after peace talks with Israel broke down in a dispute over settlement building.
"What is the biggest obstacle we face? The state of marginalization. It is unprecedented," he said. "The Israelis have managed to successfully trivialize our side of the argument," he added, alluding to the Palestinian demands for a halt to settlement building before negotiations can resume.
This is why they did the UN stunt last year. That's why there are constant calls to boycott Israel. That is why they're obsessed with publicizing the current hunger strikes of prisoners - the vast majority of whom have been convicted of serious terror attacks. And that's why they are hoping that one or more of the prisoners die.
They are addicted to headlines.
It is very telling that Fayyad - the most moderate of the moderates, the only Palestinian Arab leader who is untouched by a history of terrorism - buys into this childish need for attention as a critical tactic.
Although they will still mouth support for it, the Arab world is sick of the Palestinian issue. Compared to what is going on in Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Tunisia and elsewhere, the fact is that the Palestinians are literally irrelevant in the Arab world. And to the world at large, the PalArabs are even less important.
The fact is that, consciously or not, the world community knows that Israel does support a two-state solution. Politicians know that it is Palestinian Arab obstinacy and unwillingness to compromise that is holding up a real solution. They know that the 1% or 2% difference between what Israel offered and what the Palestinian Arabs insist on is not worth obsessing over - the PalArabs could have a state if they want one but instead they insist on a nebulous idea of "justice" where they are the sole judges.
That is why they lost world sympathy. That is why they lost the front pages. And that is why they are itching (or constantly "warning") of a new intifada - because rather than attacking the real issues, they would rather feel relevant and hope that their headlines will pressure Western powers to pressure Israel to make yet more concessions on top of concessions they have been making for peace for decades.
It is not Israel that trivialized their side of the argument. Their argument has been trivial from the start. It is the Palestinian Arabs who have been trying to inflate this trivial argument into a world crisis by relying on publicity stunts, year after year.