With pictures of a smug-looking Bibi sitting next to Trump, and headlines about the Americans no longer insisting on a two-state solution, now more than ever we need to counter the prevailing view of Israelis as aggressors and the poor Palestinians as perpetual victims. Denis MacEoin:
If the Trump administration is to make rapid progress in the peace process (to the extent there is one), their first priority must be to demolish the Palestinian narrative. It is a false narrative from beginning to end. It tells historical falsehoods about the origins of the "Palestinian" people, the precedence of Jews in the land, the Jewish and Christian identity of holy sites, and the self-inflicted "Nakba" of 1947-48. But a purely historical approach is unlikely to appeal on the political or emotional level. Something more has to be addressed. That something more must, it would seem, be a hard-headed dismissal of the narrative of Palestinian victimhood. It is this perception of Palestinians as the constant victims of an aggressive Israel that drives pro-Palestinian Christians, human rights activists, moral campaigners, socialists, and many others.
The importance of a shift in narratives cannot be overemphasized. It is the key to peace. "Just as real peace could come to Europe after World War II only after Germans abandoned the 'German narrative' and accepted the true history of the war that Germany started, so only abandonment of the 'Palestinian narrative' and acceptance of the true sequence of the events of 1947-48 can serve as a basis for reconciliation between Jews and Arabs," wrote Moshe Arens, former Defence Minister of the State of Israel.
The Palestinian Arabs, their leaders, and their worldwide, manifold aiders and abettors have deluded the international media, the United Nations, politicians just about everywhere, religious leaders from most of the Christian churches, and human rights activists on every continent, into believing them to be the world's greatest victims, a struggling and persecuted people whose woes and sufferings have for decades eclipsed those of every other suffering minority on the face of the planet....
This one-sided concern to absolve the Palestinians of their many sins and, what is worse, to offload those sins onto Jews and Israelis, has consequences. Perhaps the most serious of those is that Palestinians are deprived of any sense of responsibility. To be ever passive, to suffer and never act, to complain yet never offer constructive suggestions -- or even counter-offers -- for a way out of suffering, in the end strips the Palestinians of any sense of agency.
To become agents of their own destiny, it is time for the Palestinians -- as a group and through their leadership -- to take action to resolve their internal difficulties and their engagement with the outside world. This will require a realism that has been absent from their lives for so long, a sense of purpose for an achievable goal (namely, a state that does not entail the abolition of Israel), and a recognition of their own mistakes over many decades....
The election of the new hardline Hamas leader suggests that such realism on the Palestinian side is still a long long way off. With the support of the Western left pretty much guaranteed no matter what they do or say, why change?