I don’t want to get into this debate because whenever I do, I seem to encounter a lot of moral relativism and bigotry that raises my bile. I also don’t want to get into the psychology of either suicide terrorists or Islamist groups (whose ideology reigns in Palestine).
However, to pre-empt that whole discussion, we might look at what has just happened. Israel is DISENGAGING from the territories. The Palestinians are getting the sections of land which roads connecting illegal settlements were blocking them from getting. Moreover, they are getting those illegal settlements themselves(with housing, running water, etc.!) when they come back to the debate table for the Road Map. Those settlements are going to be held for them. (This is why Caroline Glick in the Jerusalem Post accused Sharon of giving the Palestinians Oslo without them having to make any sacrifices or any efforts against terrorism.)
CURRENTLY, the West Bank is largely unsettled, that’s right, EMPTY of people. As to whether such landis intrisically “Palestinian,” that is racist. The Middle East is not simply “Arab land” with a sprinkling of non-Arab interlopers. Arabs conquered the region, oppressed all minorities, forced most to convert, forced others to leave (like the 850,000 Sephardic Jews who had to leave Arab tyrannies and move to Israel, and now constitute almost half it’s population).
Land in the West Bank belongs to whomever is on it, a Palestinian family or a Jewish family. Statehood, however, is a right for all people of the world, and to have a state, land must be organized, and borders must be defined. Individuals whose land is taken by a state in border negotiations must be adequately compensated (as the U.S. constitution requires, for example).
Israel is now DISENGAGING from the territories. It is keeping all the largest official settlements that were built on UNOCCUPIED land. Because of Sharon’s gambit, the Palestinians will have a state much sooner, and Israel will be defending defined borders that will eventually be recognized by the Arab world.
The way it works, with Islamist groups, however, is that they try to define every sound retreat as a great victory for them (Somalia, Lebanon, etc.). So Hamas and Fatah will deploy more killers in order to make Sharon’s disengagement seem like their achievement. The Israelis will send soldiers to meet militants, and target terrorist leaders in order to retreat while showing that their state is not going to disappear. So expect more violence for a while.