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?