I had a conversation with a remarkable Palestinian advocate of human rights several years ago when I tried to show him the material I had on Pallywood. As we discussed the problem, and his helplessness to even address it, it became clear to me that the single most insidious enemy of the Palestinians is the European loathing of an independent Jewish nation. What seemed to Palestinians like a gift — Europeans’ hostility to Israel — has ended up strengthening the worst aspects of Palestinian culture, its irredentism, its preference for suffering Palestinians, its thirst for hatred.
And this is nowhere more evident than when Palestinians try and go sober, try and kick their addiction to hatred, try to turn from gnawing on old wounds to growing new life. Then they run into their most fearful demon, the sympathetic hater in the West: the old fashioned European anti-semite at last released from his post-Holocaust prison of politically incorrect, the radical, the revolutionary, the morally superior/envious progressive, both Christian and post-Christian, even Jewish. For these people, like those Arab leaders who have treated them so abominably for so long, the moral and symbolic value of the Palestinians lies in their suffering, not in their recovery. The forces that have driven on the astounding, unprecedented, otherwise inexplicable 60-year refugee status for Arabs who fled Israel in 1948, will not be cheated of their most precious possession: a people victim of the Jews. Indeed, I would argue, the media footprint of Jewish misdeeds — true and invented — are the very image of this corrosive need.
For those progressives with enough remaining integrity to look at the current madness over Israel and wonder what’s wrong, I invite them to the following meditation. The behavior of Hamas described below in Belmont Club’s discussion, the deeds of that very same Hamas whose flags German’s successfully petitioned their courts for permission to wave at their anti-war demonstrations, is the karmic product of sixty years of proxy hatreds, now reaching new temperatures. Under a terrifying assault by neighbors driven mad by their own leaders’ mad policies, the Gazans find themselves literally crucified by a reign of terror.
January 21st, 2009 3:31 am
The Grand Inquisitors
Up to a hundred Palestinians in Gaza who have defied house arrest orders have been tortured in children’s hospitals and schools converted into interrogation centers. People have been shot in the legs or had their hands broken. The campaign has been described as a “new massacre”. One victim had his eyes put out. No one was safe from the torturers, not even those attending funerals. When is will the UN act to put a stop to this horror? Won’t President Obama intervene to stop these barbaric acts? Aren’t international human rights monitors going to put a stop to this? When will War Crimes charges be preferred against the perpetrators?
Why? Because Hamas is in charge of the torture and their victims are simply Fatah members. If it were Israel who had done these things, well then … But since it’s Hamas, the same Hamas for whom thousands have been marching in ’solidarity’, it’s a non-story. The Jersualem Post cites reports from Fatah members describing the events.
Of course, that’s Khaled abu Toameh, who, without going to Gaza, tells us more than all the brave Ben Wedemans in their flak jackets or Taghreed el-Khodarys, with their anti-Israel talking points. And yet, many journalists dismiss Toameh because he works for the Jerusalem Post. “He’s not fully reliable, you know,” they say “with a sad wink and a nudge.”
The argument is not without its ironies. After all, imagine an Israeli reporter, reporting dirt on Israel to the readers of Al Jazeera. One can hardly imagine our MSM journalists dismissing his or her information. Come to think of it… that’s more or less the function of Gideon Levy and Amira Hass in the internet, English Ha-Aretz. When’s the last time a journalist airily dismissed their testimony?
The eyewitnesses said that a children’s hospital and a mental health center in Gaza City, as well as a number of school buildings in Khan Yunis and Rafah, were among the places that Hamas had turned into “torture centers.”
A Fatah activist in Gaza City claimed that as many as 80 members of his faction were either shot in the legs or had their hands broken for allegedly defying Hamas’s house-arrest orders. ”What’s happening in the Gaza Strip is a new massacre that is being carried out by Hamas against Fatah,” he said. “Where were these [Hamas] cowards when the Israeli army was here?”
There was a chorus of folks — headed by Jimmy Carter — who assured us that Hamas, now democratically elected, would turn towards moderation. And when some tried to point out that it was more likely a case of “one man, one vote, one time…” they were dismissed. “You aren’t comparing Hamas to the Nazis, are you?”
But this doesn’t have to be about the Nazis. It’s Politics 101 — Plato, Aristotle, anyone whose understands the fragility of the nascent democratic process and the terrors that lurk in failures. And now we have it, up close: what becomes of a failed/betrayed democracy? Tyranny 101.
Why, waiting for the ceasefire, of course.
Waiting for the cease-fire that they knew would come. Because Hamas knew that the world would never allow the Israelis to come in and root out this enemy. So all they had to do, was retreat, let their own people suffer (if not add to it), and then, when the Israelis retreat, make sure they still dominated, made sure that anyone who might accuse them of these calamaties, did not have a voice. Time for terror against domestic enemies.
That turns out to have its own costs, even though they are not widely recognized. But when the cost-benefit of leaving Hamas in posession of Gaza was calculated, was the price of reprisal included in the bill? Did anyone take into account how many people, who might otherwise have been open to negotiating peace, have now decided it will never be worth the risk. In other words, is it possible that ceasefires which leave the aggressor in possession of the field may have the effect of undermining genuine peace rather than promoting it?
Goethe once described the peasant as lying between the land and the aristocracy as between anvil and hammer. The Palestinians lie between Israel’s determination to live and their rulers’ death cult, as between the land and a consuming fire. And no one — not the European leaders so threatened by the same, not the policy thinkers who so desperately want the problem to be economic, or Israel’s fault — will seek to douse that hatred.
In another strategic world, the Israeli incursion into Gaza could have created an opportunity for peace akin to those which sprang into existence in the latter parts of the Second World War. The recent movie Valkyrie is a reminder that the defeat of extremists — like Hitler — could empower the real moderate elements. The Strategy Page believes that Hamas was sorely wounded in the last attacks, mostly in the initial sorties.
And that would, in fact, be possible, if the MSM and the strategic thinkers in the West could think sanely. No people should have to tolerate enemies like this. No other nation in history has. It’s good for everyone… except the haters.
And yet, for too many people, Hamas is heroic.
You can’t get rid of Hamas! We like Hamas! The Palestinian people like Hamas! We need Hamas.
January 21, 2009: Hamas thought they were invulnerable to Israeli attack. By placing so many of their military and government facilities in densely populated residential neighborhoods, they believed any Israeli bombing or shelling would cause high, and politically unacceptable, civilian losses. But the Israelis used surprise, more precision than expected, and innovations like calling civilians in the target area and telling them to get out before the bombs hit nearby. As a result, most of the 1,300 Palestinian dead were Hamas personnel, and nearly all the damaged structures were those used by Hamas.
This should have provided a golden opportunity not only to remove the main roadblock to a negotiated settlement, but to lift the yoke of oppression and hardship from the Palestinians. The defeat of Hamas would have made it easier to open the border with Egypt; easier to solve the terrible dilemma of curtailing Iranian arms shipments while allowing the free passage of supplies for civilian use.
However it now seems likely that Hamas will not only be saved from destruction, but given vast monies for reconstruction, funds which are most likely to be used to torture its opponents and prepare for the next war. This is the peace process, Middle Eastern style.
Well this last part is a long way from certain; and the European Union did say, at least initially, that there would be no reconstruction as long as there was Hamas. It’s never too late to start acting sanely.