By William Markiewicz

With those words the Polish poet Galczynski showed that he knew sixty years ago what we are just learning; even the most bloody, spectacular terror won't change the course of history. Absolute power can endure any devastation. It affects the locals forever but never the whole society for more than a week.

Those who have unlimited capacity for bombing while backed by public opinion can bear anything and defeat anybody. Expert PR media can exploit public opinion, feeding on anger while evading the topic of why all this happened and how it could have been avoided. If terror's goal is to instill constant fear, it fails in advance. Deadly blows here and there will not reverse public opinion because they only affect here and there. How to awaken people from their sleepy comfort and make them realize that there are problems to resolve; that's the question. But terror surely is not the solution. Instead I would suggest creation of a giant, uncorrupted 'underground' media, distributed free, so that people can see the other side of the coin. It would be cheaper than terror and more efficient.

The only thing that international terror has achieved is that the fundamentalist Sharon regime has publicly accepted the concept of a Palestinian state -- eons too late. We saw the Palestinians' prudent response that it has to be proved in negotiations. My advice to Israel would be: Don't negotiate, just leave Palestinian territory! Where there is nothing to negotiate, negotiation becomes just a bag of words, a trap leading to a dead end. Let Palestine proclaim a state. Israel has nothing to do with it. All contact between Israel and Palestine could carry on quite productively for a long time at the unofficial business level, as it did before. Both sides would accept this 'temporary' situation as long as it suited their interests. And as for peaceful coexistence, we see from India and Pakistan's example how an official relationship doesn't automatically eliminate bloodshed. Israeli-Palestinian mutual relations will be tested out in practice, and, as among all neighbours, all parties will be responsible for their respective acts.

For too long, Israel leaned confidently on America. America will endure big risks and wounds for its strategic interests in Central Asia, Latin America, etc, but no longer for Israeli skirmishes with the Palestinians. Israel seems to have become aware of it. Perhaps just in time.

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