A few friends of mine went to a party in Jerusalem that was primarily made up Anglophone reporters, people who work for NGOs and UN agencies. What amazed them was the pervasive sense of the people they met and spoke with that Israel was the greatest human rights violator in the world and that the dismantling of Israel would be a great step forward for global human rights.
Now the idiocy of this position, the suicidal nature of this strategy to advance human rights is nothing short of breathtaking. Take Israel out of the Middle East and the region becomes nothing but Hama rules… especially when the nastiest people — those who want to destroy Israel — would feel empowered by such a victory. But try and tell that to people who are smart enough to believe they can’t be wrong, and credulous enough to believe the demopaths who pull their chains on a daily basis. And as a result, they are prime targets for a hate campaign against Israel.
The latest news from Gaza, Israel, and the West Bank illustrates all the anomalies involved in this fundamental failure of the “human rights” community to understand what’s going on: black hearts and red spades galore. Melanie Phillips has a superb column which analyzes the current, mind-boggling situation in the Arab-Israeli conflict, with the Fatah “refugees” from Gaza seeking asylum in Israel.
Refugees From Whom?
The Spectator MONDAY, 4TH AUGUST 2008
Extraordinary developments in Gaza have given a new meaning to the term ‘Palestinian refugees’. As the Jerusalem Post reports, fierce fighting in Gaza between Fatah and Hamas over the weekend, in which 11 people died and dozens more were wounded, resulted in 180 Fatah refugees fleeing from what they called a ‘war of genocide’ by Hamas against Fatah supporters. And where did they flee to? Why, to Israel, of course — which allowed them in and proceeded to treat 23 of them (some of whom were wounded by the Israeli army after they approached the crossing into Israel) in Israeli hospitals.
This is one of the most important anomalies for those who follow the current PCP narrative about the Middle East in which Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people explain the ferocious hatred of the Palestinians for the Israelis. According to that version of events — largely the one that liberals have taken over by adopting the Palestinian narrative of suffering — the last place these Palestinian “warriors” would go was Israel, their mortal enemy who is trying to commit genocide against their people. If the Israelis want to wipe out Palestinian civilians, how much the more would they want to kill Palestinian “militants”?
And yet, this is not a new story. When King Hussein, “the moderate,” found himself dealing with a restive Palestinian population in 1970, he slaughtered some 10,000 of them — men, women and children — in “Black September.” The Palestinians fled his tender mercies across the Jordan to Israel where the Israelis, obligingly, shipped them over to Lebanon, where, within five years, they plunged that unhappy land into a seven-year war that killed over 100,000 civilians. When Israel finally put an end to that civil war by invading in 1982, and the Phalanage took advantage of their upper hand to slaughter several hundred Palestinians at Sabra and Shatilla in revenge for Damur, the terrified inhabitants of the camps ran immediately to the Israeli positions outside the camp for protection. Why? Because they knew, despite all the “narratives” that when the chips are down, you can expect more mercy from the Jews than your fellow Arabs.
These are revelatory moments, when you see not the “public transcript” but what people really think. In honor-shame cultures they can be deeply embarrassing, since the public transcript is the “honorable” one, and the revelations that reverse that — like in the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes — are almost by definition shameful. Participants might prefer not to remember these, might even seek to reverse them by insisting still more shrilly on the original “narrative.” But outsiders need to pay close attention, because these rare moments are infinitely more revealing than the “public transcript.”
These refugees say they cannot return to Gaza because they will be killed. How fortunate, therefore, that their own Fatah leader, Mahmoud Abbas, can give them sanctuary in the West Bank!
But hang on – Abbas won’t let them in. Yup, with the exception of five individuals whom he did allow in, he’s denied them all sanctuary. He says they should go back to Gaza.
Before we get into the explanations proferred, let me make a medievalist’s remark. This is a staggering act of cowardice. Any warlord has to protect his men above all. If he fails to do so, he loses their loyalty. To refuse safety to men who have suffered from their adherence to your banner — unless it was their fault — shows your weakness.
And the invaluable Khaled abu Toameh tells us the reason why:
PA officials explained that the reason behind their refusal to absorb the new ‘refugees’ was their desire not to encourage other residents of the Gaza Strip to leave. ‘Everyone knows that if we allow people to leave the Gaza Strip, almost all the residents living there would try to cross the border into Israel,’ said a senior PA official.
More revelations: how do people vote with their feet? Talk to an advocate of PCP and he or she will insist on Hamas’ popularity in Gaza, on the fact that were there another election they’d win again. Public transcript reified.
But check the hidden transcript and you find out some very different sentiments. 70%, according to some estimates, would prefer to have the Israelis return. The voices that openly express both admiration and longing for Israeli rule are nothing short of astonishing. They’re also shameful for the alpha male hyper-testosteronic Palestinian spokesmen whom our MSM chose to credit with speaking for the Palestinian people. And so we don’t hear about them much.
But there was also another reason:
The last thing Abbas needs is another 180 bitter Fatah thugs from the Gaza Strip patrolling the streets of Ramallah, Bethlehem and Nablus and imposing a reign of terror on the local population. Past experience has shown that the Palestinians in the West Bank have never been enthusiastic about the presence of their brethren from the Gaza Strip among them.
This remark illuminates the inferred comments above: the reason that the Palestinian commoners, if allowed to voice their own opinion without the pressures of an honor-shame driven public opinion and the threat of reprisal by the mafiosi running the show, prefer the Israelis is that Israeli enemies show more respect for them — their lives and their rights — than their own leaders. What does a “human rights” advocate do with this data?
So now Israel, with its iron commitment to human rights, is to hear a court case today where it will be argued that Israel has a moral duty to grant asylum to these Fatah men.
Well one thing a good “human rights” advocate like the folks at the party mentioned in the introduction might do is scoff: “Israel’s iron clad commitment to human rights?!?!? You must be kidding.” That’s an unthinkable thought because for them, even if they’ve gotten it wrong, it can only be by degree… slightly exaggerated, maybe, but not completely wrong. Not inverted. For them it would simply not make sense for a Gazan to say, “during the Israeli occupation, I was 100 times freer [than under the Palestinian Authority].“
It cannot enter their minds as a working hypothesis that Israeli violations of Palestinian rights — the checkpoints, the barrier, the restrictions, the military attacks with their incidence of civilian casualties — are highly restrained responses to a brutal political culture that has as much contempt and disregard for its own people as it does hatred and loathing of its enemies. This political culture attempts not to violate Israelis rights, but massacre them outright, all the while firing on them from their own civilian habitations so as to amplify the number of their own people who, they can claim, are victims of Zionist aggression.
Therefore none of these anomalies can penetrate their iron clad commitment to PCP (probably PCP2 — Post-colonial paradigm). If I’m talking about you and you’re still reading, try to follow Phillips’ reasoning here and you might find some bitter ironies worth savoring:
So let’s get our head round this: Palestinians committed to the destruction of Israel fled from other Palestinians committed to the destruction of Israel into Israel, which is providing them with sanctuary and medical treatment, while the president of their putative state who bases his claim against Israel on its alleged refusal to admit Palestinian ‘refugees’ refused to allow actual Palestinian refugees fleeing Palestinian violence access to that same putative state, while Israel agonises over whether to grant them permanent asylum. Surreal, or what?
Hard to ask for a better formulation of the Middle Eastern world through the PCP looking glass.
One of the Fatah men said that
he too was wounded at the beginning of the clashes. The father of three, who has undergone surgery in his leg, said he first tried to go to a hospital in Gaza City, but was blocked by Hamas. ‘Hamas had closed all the roads leading to the hospital. I wanted to go to Shifa Hospital [in Gaza City], but Hamas did not allow any ambulance to enter our area. In the end, my brother drove me to the Israeli border,’ he said. When asked if he wanted to go back to the Gaza Strip, he replied: ‘It would be like a death sentence for me. I hope they don’t force us to go back.’
Note here how often the Palestinians complain about Israeli checkpoints — which exist to keep out suicide terrorists — forcing women to give birth without reaching the hospital. But in their own culture, closing off hospitals to people whose lives are in danger is an ordinary tactic. Classic demopaths, they complain of Israeli misdeeds which are but the most venal version of practices they adopt at convenience.
Closed the roads leading to the hospital… not allowing ambulances to enter the area to collect the wounded… When reading the coverage of these clashes later today in the British press or watching and listening to it on the BBC, just consider what that coverage would have been like if it had been Israel rather than Hamas that had behaved like this. The Jerusalem Post reports:
What is that unfamiliar sound emanating from all those who routinely scream that Israel kills Palestinian children? It is called silence.
The ultimate shame of Palestinian/Arab/Muslim culture, and the ultimate revelation of their addiction to demopathy can be found in the following appalling verity: Muslim Arabs have more rights in Israel than not the Jews have, but than their fellow Arabs have in any Arab or Muslim state in the world. For Israel to go would be a catastrophe of untold proportions for human rights.
For all those progressives who love phrases like “speaking truth to power” and “the only thing necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing” — where is your voice?