Europeans start to Reconsider the Palestinians: Thoughts on Sylvia Poggioli I

The Europeans are having a Claude Rains moment. They are shocked, really shocked. The Palestinians, those folks who basically want peace, and for whom the religious extremists are really just marginal have overwhelmingly chosen the religious fanatics to rule them.

Or are they shocked? Inspector Renault wasn’t really shocked in Cassablanca. He was, as Europeans pride themselves on being, deeply ironic and cynical. Are the current European intellectuals aware that this was in the cards? Or are they such dupes that they’ve lost their sense of irony? Is Europe now an irony free zone? And if so, at what cost?

Sylvia Poggioli on NPR said that European governments are disappointed that the billions of dollars poured into the Palestinian money pit did not produce the intended rudiments of a civil society. Au contraire, the money funded corruption, brainwashing, and terror, and led to the electoral victory not of a more serious candidate for civil society but one incorruptible in its dedication to brainwashing and terror.

How could they not have known? After all, the Palestinians have now received twice as much aid per capita in real dollars than either the Germans or Japanese after WWII. What happened to it all? And why were “we” funders not informed of the pitiful results?

Well partly because there was no oversight, no demands for transparency, no follow-up, no demands to respect the deal in Oslo. Now the press compares Hamas to the PLO before Oslo, and the same optimistic predictions about increasing moderation fill the MSM. This is classic LCE (liberal cognitive egocentrism) trying to understand a mentality it a) cannot/will not grasp because it doesn’t want to believe such nasty racist things about the “other” and therefore clings to its paradigm about the Palestinian David oppressed by the Israelis, and b) therefore turns off any information that makes it confront the possibility of another perspective.

Part of the cost of separating Church and State — which is at the core of democracy — has been the relegation of religious belief to the private sphere. As a result, we have lost touch with the power of triumphalist religion. I am right and my God is the true God, because you are wrong; because my scriptures are true, yours are lies; because you and your religion are shamed, I and my religion are honored. Hamas’ beliefs about Islam and the utter impossibility of accepting so humiliating an entity as an independent Jewish state where Dar al Islam once was, and should be, make them uncompromising, even genocidal. We can’t hear that. It’s too depressing. It’s so, like, 10th century.

So we want them to do what the PLO finally did: say they’ll recognize Israel and negotiate with her (even if they don’t really mean it).

Why don’t they? After all the long-honored principle of Taqqiya permits a Muslim to lie to an infidel if it advances the cause. And we’re so desperate for any sign of moderation that even if they said “We’ll negotiate” the way Kevin Klein said “I’m sorry” to John Cleese in a Fish Called Wanda (“I’m sssssss… i’m sssssssss… i’m sssssssshhhhit!”), we’d jump for joy.

So why not say what Europe wants to hear? Honor?

Or, rather, how long before they make the necessary “concessions” in infidel languages? Once the money dries up?

And how will the Europeans react to the most transparently dishonest commitments made in our languages? Will they learn the lessons of the past, in particular the lessons of MEMRI and PMW about what Arabs say in English for our consumption and what they say to each other? Will they demand more of Hamas than they did of the PLO during Oslo? Or will they rush in where fools fear to tread and gobble up whatever demopathic utterances Hamas makes in English so they can go back to throwing their money down the pit?

7 Responses to Europeans start to Reconsider the Palestinians: Thoughts on Sylvia Poggioli I

  1. Antidhimmi says:

    It barely took a microsecond for the the MSM to begin theorizing that now that Hamas has to govern and deal with their people’s welfare that they will become more moderate. I suppose they are recalling the moderation of the Taliban, another religiously based movement that governed Afghanistan. Moderation included the usual wondrous entertainments that accompany Sharia. Public beheadings, women clothed in tents, razing of non-Muslim buildings, blowing up thousand-year old historic symbols of other religions and religious police with virtually unlimited authority to harass the citizens. When Gazan and W. Bank Muslims begins to experience these marvelous accoutrements of Sharia, I’m sure they’ll be more than satisfied with the results of the election. I await these developments with tatlly baited breath.

  2. Solomon says:

    “Palestinians have now received twice as much aid per capita”

    That link doesn’t work (goes to the JPost archive search page). It would be great if you can find a working one since that’s a statistic that deserves wide play.

  3. RL says:

    i’ve changed the link to his version of it up at the Washington Institute. I actually recommend going there and viewing all Patrick Clawson’s articles. quite impressive.

  4. Mark Kaepplein says:

    I was impressed with Patrick Clawson’s bias and how he presented the facts and reasoned:

    “In 2000, according to the World Bank’s World Development Indicators 2002, WBG received $636 million in aid or $214 for each of the three million WBG residents. That is the highest in the world by far. Only Bosnia, at $185, is close; shamefully, Israel is third at $128.”

    By Clawson’s reasoning, Israeli aid is shamefully obese with “the Palestinian [income] average in 2002 may be less than 9% that of Israelis” and how lush even that is for Arabs.

    In the end, US taxpayers are buying off both Israelis and Arabs with aid to play nice. I resent the Zionist Neo-Cons for getting Americans deeper into the mid-east money pit with the invasion of Iraq. GWB indeed represents the stupid and gullible – he got conned into attacking Iraq as the Americans did who voted for him.

    I agree whole-heartedly with Clawson on the need for strong leadership. Saddam Hussain did some bad things, but he suppressed the current civil war. Democracy only works when the people we like are in the majority! Palistine, Iraq, and Bush being examples. Unfortunately, even good leaders in poor countries can’t improve conditions because so many low-level officials rely on bribes to survive themselves. Honor and integrity may fill the heart, but not the stomach.

  5. RL says:

    Mark Kaepplein wrote:
    I resent the Zionist Neo-Cons for getting Americans deeper into the mid-east money pit with the invasion of Iraq. GWB indeed represents the stupid and gullible – he got conned into attacking Iraq as the Americans did who voted for him.

    i’m under the impression that Bush had many reasons to go into Iraq, very few of them directly related to the neo-con arguments. indeed, given what he said about not being “into” nation building in his 2000 campaign, the neo-con “domino theory of democracy” in the Middle East strikes me as a justification to the public rather than the motivation. but i don’t hang in the halls of power, so what do i know?

    I agree whole-heartedly with Clawson on the need for strong leadership. Saddam Hussain did some bad things, but he suppressed the current civil war. Democracy only works when the people we like are in the majority!

    i think i’d put it slightly differently: democracy only works if the population is capable of choosing wisely. for many Greeks, democracy was a recipe for first chaos then dictatorship. the only response to that historically valid observation, is an educated, self-disciplined demos (populace) that does not run after every leader who promises to feed their vanities.

    Palistine, Iraq, and Bush being examples. Unfortunately, even good leaders in poor countries can’t improve conditions because so many low-level officials rely on bribes to survive themselves. Honor and integrity may fill the heart, but not the stomach.

    i’d distinguish between honor and integrity: unfortunately, honor, concerned above all with what others think, is often focused on externals like wealth and power, rather than an internal sense of integrity. as Bernard Lewis has noted, in the Arab world you go into politics to “make” money, or as another economic historian put it, the pre-modern path to wealth is “take, not make.” in the modern west, however, most people make a fortune and then go into politics.

    but i agree with you on this at least: democracy takes time, effort and discipline, all of which are sadly lacking from the Palestinian people. Remember in 1979, when Sadat signed with Israel? they were to get independence in 7 years if they would commit to state-building. instead they treated the offer as an insult, demanded it immediately, and, well, here we are.

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