Anger and disillusionment have replaced the fighting spirit that had propelled the Palestinian movement seeking an end to Israeli control of the West Bank and Gaza, which Israel captured in its 1967 after being attacked by its Arab neighbors.
Many Palestinians blame Yasser Arafat and his Palestinian Authority for allowing the popular uprising to evolve into an unwinnable armed conflict between extremist groups and the Israel Defense Forces, grinding on from year to year as Israel steadily tightens its military grip on Gaza and the West Bank.
"There's no vision, no strategy, no leadership," said Sari Nusseibeh, formerly the Palestine Liberation Organization's representative in Jerusalem and president of the al Quds University there. "The whole thing just went haywire."
Critics say Arafat's government inflamed passions at the start of the uprising, but the Palestinian Authority's failure to establish achievable goals for the movement allowed it to fall in the hands of the militant Islamic groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, whose dual ambitions of destroying Israel and the Palestinian secular government have defined the uprising ever since.
The reason the PA hasn't established any "achievable goals" separate from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, is that their goals are the same. The uprising has been defined by the Arab world through Hamas and the other terror gangs subordinate to Arafat.
It's a good thing that the Arabs are tiring of the struggle, but in defining themselves by what they hate, in setting their goals about what they want destroyed, they are showing they are not ready for self-government.
There should be an Arab leadership that seeks to build a viable and prosperous society in the disputed territories, instead that leadership focuses more on destruction than construction. Until the Arabs have more love for their own society than they have hatred for the Jews, peace will be impossible. The fact is that the Arabs are ashamed of their society and its lack of accomplishments, they are jealous of what Israel has become. Instead of building a prosperous society, the Arabs' goals are simply to destroy Israel's. As long as that remains fact they do not deserve sovereignty. First a nation then a State. It will, and should be, a long process, but let them prove they love their children more than they hate Jews.