The most ancient, but relevant fact in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is the numbers game. Whoever is the most fruitful and multiplying, wins. Israel realizes that within a few years – 4 to 8 by most counts – the Israelis in Israel will be outnumbered by Palestinians and Arabs.
This is why Sharon and even the most radically conservative members of his government support the formation of a Palestinian state. It’s also why their parliament passed today what can only be understood as a racist law under which Palestinians who marry Israelis will be denied citizenship (while others who marry Israelis will face no such restriction). The law is being justified, officially, as a “security measure” to prevent terrorists from achieving citizenship status. But the real reason – as I see it, anyway – is to slow down the influx of Palestinians.
This is also an major reason why Palestinian militants seek to slow down the peace process. The longer it takes, the less it will matter whether Israel accepts a Palestinian state. It will simply become one. Either that, or it will come rival South African apartheid in its policies, and face even more world disdain than it currently suffers.