Palestinian Peace Plan Moves Forward, But It’s Not What You Think

Biggest Palestinian concern? It's not Israel...

Biggest Palestinian concern? It’s not Israel…


The Palestinians have reached a deal that will end fighting in their refugee camps, that will see the rebuilding of infrastructure and will improve their freedom of movement… in Syria. Didn’t see that one coming, did you? While all eyes have been on Israel with regard to the Palestinians, it turns out hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been displaced and at least 1,300 have been killed in the Syrian civil war. Feel like we’re spending our effort in the wrong place now?

The numbers were reported by the Ma’an News Agency, which said that the Palestinians had reached a deal with the Syrian government in an effort to bring peace to the refugee camps in Syria. A Palestinian official claimed that armed groups had gotten into the camps and that it was not the Palestinians living there who are fighting.

If all this sounds familiar, it should. The irony is that while Israel is accused of routinely killing Palestinians and horribly mistreating them for no apparent reason, that in fact is not happening. At least not in Israel. But in Syria, it’s a different story.

Of course, Palestinian refugees have gotten into violence in the past. So it’s entirely possible the fighting and chaos in Palestinian refugee camps is more invited than the Palestinians want to admit.

Still, the situation stands as a cold reminder that perception is often not reality. While the Israel-Palestinian peace process appears to be the end-all conflict in the Middle East that will bring world peace, it’s actually not even the worst conflict for the Palestinians.

So as you watch the news, keep an eye out for numbers and not just quotes. Read enough to get a full picture and not just glossy photos.

Otherwise you might support investing hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours to solve the wrong Middle East conflict (oh wait, we’re already doing that).

(By Joshua Spurlock,, July 25, 2013)

What do you think?