According to the consensus among American commentators, reflecting the views of the administration and Congress, a peace process that was on the verge of a breakthrough a few months ago has broken down because of the Palestinians’ intransigence. Instead of responding to a generous Israeli offer, they have turned to senseless violence, putting Israel under siege and bringing calamity on themselves.
No part of this oft-repeated formula corresponds to the reality on the ground.
Rashid Khalidi is the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University. He was the director of the Center for International Studies at the University of Chicago and served as an adviser to the Palestinian delegation in the 1991-93 Madrid and Washington negotiations with Israel.