Thursday, June 14, 2007

Giving "Credit" Where "Credit" Is Due

The ghastly bloodshed in Gaza brings into focus the misery and torment of the Palestinians. It is politically correct and emotionally satisfying to blame this situation on the Israelis for their occupation policies and actions, the United States for not forcing everyone to act like responsible adults, or the United Nations for not being quick enough to provide aid to relieve the suffering. You seldom hear any blame attached to the Palestinians themselves, and to the larger Arab-Muslim population of the Middle East, for perpetuating the situation and making it worse over time.

Three interesting articles available online look at this phenomenon, and I recommend you read all three. The first is titled, "The Forty-Year Palestinian Tragedy," by Shlomo Ben-Ami, available at the Project Syndicate website (use the link in my link list); the second is "Palestine: The Prison," by James Lewis (http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/06/palestine_the_prison.html); and the third is a translation of an article by Egyptian author Kamal Gabriel titled, "We Are Sowing Thorns," available at the MEMRI website (use the MEMRI link in my link list and select article number 1618). The theme running through all these articles is that it is the Palestinians and the Arabs in general who are primarily responsible for their terrible situation.

Readers of this blog know that I am hardly an apologist for Israel, which often follows policies which are at best unhelpful and at worst, inhumane. But not a day goes by in which I don't shake my head in utter amazement at the reckless ability of the Palestinians to select the course of action guaranteed to bring them the most misery and death. Consider the following:

When the Israelis withdrew from the Gaza Strip, the Palestinians inherited some very desirable beachfront real estate and a well-developed infrastructure. They had the opportunity to move people out of miserable refugee camps into modern houses, and to receive extensive economic development aid. So what did they do? Lobbed rockets into Israel, with predictable results, and engaged in the terrible fratricidal warfare that has killed hundreds and wrecked what could have been developed into a thriving, modern community.

The constant drumbeat of Palestinian and Arab commentary is that all the problems of the Middle East arise from the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and (until recently), the Gaza Strip. The civil and religious leaders of the Arab nations are more interested in preaching hatred and murder than in working to improve the daily lives of the Palestinians. In the twisted politics of the Middle East, the Arabs care nothing for the Palestinians beyond the usefulness of their misery as a cudgel with which to beat Israel. In his article, Mr Lewis notes that the mufti of the Palestinian Authority has issued a fatwa (religious ruling) forbidding anyone from emigrating from Palestine. It reads in part, "We hereby declare that emigration from the blessed lands is not permitted according to religious law."

In other words, it is more important to keep people in misery and squalor than to provide them with the hope of a better future. Future revenge trumps present compassion.

Mr Gabriel's article, translated by MEMRI, condemns the culture of relentless hatred and violence, but claims that the problem is less the hatred and violence per se than its direction against Arabs and not against "the Zionist enemy."

And in his article, Mr Ben-Ami quotes a Gazan who, overcome with the unending violence and misery brought on by the internecine Palestinian violence, wishes "Let the Jews come already and save us!" He goes on to claim that "only a dramatic move by external powers can still save Gaza from becoming a second Mogadishu..."

It's too late.

Given shovels, the Palestinian leadership would rather dig graves for its people than the foundations of a better future. Given hammers, they would rather beat their perceived enemies to death than build homes, schools, and hospitals.

And, as ever, they'll blame their useless rage and hate on everyone but themselves.

One wonders why the rest of the world can't recognize it.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.

Bilbo

2 comments:

leondavis3@gmail.com said...

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Anonymous said...

Bilbo:

Great post. Excellent thoughts. I hope some actual decision makers read this one.

Mr. Cleverly hiding behind "Anonymous."

PS: Who got the royalties for all those other great pieces I wrote throughout history?