Arafat, the PLO and Israel
If anything is a clear example of the problems when Church and State mix, the State of Israel is it. The State of Israel exists only because the US allows it to exist through use of arms. Indeed the State of Israel exists only because Palestinians were removed from their property. Many a defender of Israel's "right to exist" attempt to point out that there was no "palestinian state" prior to the establishment of Israel and that the palestinians own neighbors were unwilling to give them land in thier own countrys. To those charges one should say "so what." But that answer is rarely given, especially by Americans. Americans don't give this answer because they are living in a country which was founded in a very similar manner. Americans killed or removed the natives and repeatedly broke "treaties" with so called "soveriegn" nations. What also motivates many Americans is the Christian Belief that the conflict in Israel will hasten the "Second Coming." The political leadership in Israel knows this and spends quite a bit of time endulging evangelicals in this idea in order to gain more influence in Washington, where Republican nor Democrat would dare challenge the Pro-Isreal lobby.
But having said all that, and knowing the history of settler-states, We know that any people wishing to survive a state hell bent on removing them, must take up arms. So that there are suicide bombers should not come as a surprise to those who are up against the best military equipment the US has to Offer. It could easily be said that the US is in a proxy war with Palestine, having the Israelis do the actual work for it. The problem is that the was has been sloppily handled by the PLO and other organizations. There seemed to be no discipline in the ranks of the various "brigades." The fact of this lack of discipline was on display when Arafat was laid to rest today, with millions of people simply clamoring to be close to the casket. Adoration some would call it, I call it "the fatal flaw." With the thousands of Palestinians who have died in fights with the Israeli Military, I was often struck by the lopsidedness of the body count. clearly the "militants" were not good generals. Of course that's the problem when your main tactic is suicide bombs. Since your "bomb" can't learn from it's mistake, you keep making the same mistakes. I often wondered why a group of militants never took over a tank that was rolling through their territory? There would definitely be body counts to do so, but ahy not the attempt?
Ultimately though, what has and will continue to stymie the PLO and the Palestinian people is their lack of an economy. That a large majority of palestinians had to depend on work in Israel to make a living is simply inviting failure. Ultimately Israel could afford to simply cut off economic ties with "Palestine" and simply watch them die off. I suspect that "the wall" is a part of that plan. When I was studying Nkrumah's and Fanon's writings I learned that it is not the struggle that is most important but the state one wishes to create. In ones struggle the group must put into practice that which is desired in the end result so that the people can see that the fight is not for the fight but for the life after the fight. In my admittedly limited understanding of this conflict, the PLO, Hammas et.al have been so focused of the removal of Israel ( which will not happen so long as the US is it's military benefactor), that they have not even considered a "plan b." A Palestinian state, however limited can legally purchase arms without legal interferance. a organization with the label "terrorists" cannot. a Palestinian State, however limited can demand that Israel remove illegal settlers. In fact even a limited Palestinian state could 'deport" any settler within it's borders.
The faster the PLO understands that this anti-colonial struggle is militarily unwinable, the faster it can move to "plan b." Hopefully a part of that 'plan b" is an India type move into information technology. Until then, Palestine will contine to be the playground of the Israeli Military and a testing ground for the US military with poor women and children being the primary victims as more prosperous Palestinians move to other countries and live relatively well.