Another Palestinian 'Day of Rage' but the Quest for 'Peace' Continues

Palestinians in the West Bank have called for yet another “Day of Rage”:

A day after Israeli security forces killed at least two protesters amid a frenzied eruption of anger over the fatal shelling of a United Nations school, Palestinian leaders called for a "day of rage" Friday in the West Bank.

The call for a massive follow-up to what were already some of the largest West Bank protests in years comes as diplomats scrambled to find [a] cease-fire proposal that would satisfy mortal enemies Israel and Hamas and end more than two weeks of violence that has claimed more than 800 lives, most of them civilians.

Never mind that Hamas is using civilians as human shields so that Western media types can photograph Palestinians who are dead or dying; forget that Hamas stores its guns and ammunition in schools, hospitals, and other very public places; and ignore the fact that Hamas uses those public places to launch rockets and mortars at Israel.  Facts shouldn’t be allowed to get in the way of a heart wrenching story, or should they?

Calls are coming in from all over the world for a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel.  Barack Obama and John Kerry are leading the effort, but the fighting continues unabated.  Right now, it appears as though Hamas is winning the global public relations game, but this is the burning question: can there ever be peace between Israel and Hamas?

I don’t think so, and this is why: if you believe that a peace deal between Hamas and Israel will solve the problem, you must be basing your belief on feelings because there is no evidence to support it—nothing, nada, zip.  Regrettably, most people rely on feelings more than facts, and in the Middle East, that can get you killed in a hurry.

For instance, I feel like I should be able to walk through Arab Muslim “East” Jerusalem unmolested, but the facts tell me that I’m taking an unnecessary risk if I do.  How do I know?  I’ve done it and learned from my mistakes.  Only fools repeat their mistakes hoping for change.  Please pardon me: I didn’t intend to mock President Obama’s campaign slogan, or maybe I did.  You decide.

By the way, the difference between Hamas and Fatah is slight -- very slight.  I’m suggesting that even if Israel reaches a deal with Hamas and it works, the problem still won’t be solved.  The only reason that Fatah is relatively quiet right now is because U.S. taxpayers are pouring millions of dollars a year into Fatah, and its leaders are getting filthy rich at U.S. taxpayers’ expense.

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas is worth at least $100 million.  His predecessor, Yasser Arafat, was worth about $1.3 billion when he died according to Israeli intelligence estimates.  They didn’t accumulate that wealth by running falafel stands in Ramallah.  As quickly as we stop throwing money at the PA, Fatah will go back to being what it really is—another run-of-the-mill terrorist organization, just like Hamas.

Both the Hamas and Palestinian charters still call for Israel’s annihilation.  Negotiations over the years and the agreements reached have not changed them one iota.  That should tell us something.

Neil Snyder is the Ralph A. Beeton Professor Emeritus at the University of Virginia.  His blog,, is posted daily.