For decades, Palestinian leaders, egged on by Arab rulers, have rejected every offer to divide the Land of Israel into Jewish and Palestinian states. In a departure from the usual positions found in the Arabic press, note the translators of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a few writers have recently criticized such Palestinian intransigence. One, Ahmad al-Tawwab, wrote in Egypt’s state-owned newspaper al-Ahram:
We must reassess the bizarre belief that has prevailed for many years among many Arab politicians and intellectuals, especially Palestinian ones, that time necessarily works in our favor; that, despite Israel’s power and the success of the Zionist enterprise, the natural course of events will eventually lead to the fulfilment of all of the Palestinians’ national demands, and that Israel’s demise is a forgone conclusion because it is an alien crop [planted in Middle Eastern soil]. This outlook is one of the reasons that the Palestinians have repeatedly missed opportunities [to resolve the conflict] on the grounds that [the proposed solutions] did not meet their aspirations—based on the belief that the future would bring better opportunities or even eliminate the problem altogether. . . .
Even more surprisingly, the former Palestinian Authority minister Nabil Amr, a member of the ruling Fatah faction, made a similar point in the UK-based and Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat:
Seven decades after the Arabs and Palestinians rejected the [1947 United Nations] partition plan, the question remains of whether they were right or wrong in doing so. There are different answers. Those in favor of an all-or-nothing approach still think that rejecting [the plan] was the right decision. But those who believe in agreements and in the principle of saving what can be saved consider this a bitter mistake that led to losses and no gain. . . . The best proof that the opponents [of the partition plan] were wrong is that, today, [the Palestinians] are demanding less than a quarter [of the territory] that they rejected at the time, and there is no guarantee of attaining even this small territory.