Societal development requires a certain minimal density of population so that people can rub against one another, practice “an eye for an eye,” and learn coexistence in the face of assured retaliation. Palestinian population in the hill area was too sparse to produce societal framework. Palestine was the Middle East’s pre-Buddhist Tibet: mountainous, remote, and lawless. Lawlessness should not be equated with freedom. Free people like the Afghans are almost impossible to conquer. Lawless people like the Palestinian Arabs easily submit to foreign rule because they are used to submission: to village notables and rural gangs. Ibrahim Pasha installed order in the Palestinian hills in a matter of years. The Ottomans, the British, and later the Jews quashed Palestinian criminal activity with similar ease by cruel, realistic measures like summary punishment and wholesale destruction. Many modern commentators mistake Palestinian unrest for insurrection. In fact, Palestinians have reverted to their habitual lawlessness—a national mentality doesn’t change in a few decades. They don’t fight Israel like the Afghan mujahedeen fought the Russians, but engage in socially sanctioned violence: lynchings, burnings, and demonstrations intended to bully the absent enemy.

Palestinian Arabs are deeply patriarchal and xenophobic. They resent even beneficial changes. The 1834 Arab revolt stemmed from the very beneficial reforms made by Muhammad Ali’s government. Modern Palestinian Arabs decry the policies of the Israeli government that made them the most affluent non-oil Muslims in the world. Palestinians hate Israel because she’s associated with changes in their society. Palestinian Arabs sublimate to Israel their discontent over other things: a crushing patriarchal society, class conflicts, industrialization, etc. Palestinian violence against Israel is a peasant war, specifically a war by the displaced, dispossessed peasantry similar in many respects to the 1834 war, which was fought by Arab peasants rather than city dwellers. Young jobless Arabs who flock to Palestinian Islamic Jihad are essentially ex-villagers, rootless in the sprawling refugee camps or towns. The Intifada is not a revolution by upper-class intellectuals like the Bolshevik revolution, but is more like gang-style fighting.

Xenophobia, far from being a negative trait, is the cohesive force of groups. At least since the early twentieth century, Jews have consciously worked to create a Jewish majority in Palestine. Though the Jews technically subscribed to the idea of a bi-national state, the Jewish majority guaranteed that Arabs would never be able to exercise meaningful democratic rights. Even in our politically correct time, Israeli “leaders” claim that the Jewish state can be democratic because the Arabs are too few to democratically make it non-Jewish. In like fashion, the Soviet Union could have been called a socialist democracy because the dissidents were too few to vote Russia back into capitalism.