Psychotic Palestine: Bret Stephens Nails it, alas!

Recently, in an interview with Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom, Mark Regev, a BBC journalist asked the following question:

“What we’re seeing is people who are born in this century, people born post Oslo accord now taking the view that Israelis should be killed. One wonders how they got those views, I don’t know how they got those views other than from watching Israeli behavior if you like being provoked by that or feeling they’ve been provoked by that what they observed from the community they oppose.”

The amount of ignorance that underlies such a question (malevolence aside) is truly staggering. Obviously the BBC, like so many other news outlets, keeps its viewers and readers ignorant to the massive campaign of hatred and incitement to genocidal violence that occurs in the Palestinian public sphere on a constant basis. As one response, below, I’ve posted and commented on an excellent article by Bret Stephens.

Palestine: The Psychotic Stage

The truth about why Palestinians have been seized by their present blood lust.

 

Israeli security forces and emergency services next to the body of a Palestinian who carried out a stabbing attack in the old city of Jerusalem on Oct. 3. PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

By  BRET STEPHENS

Wall Street Journal

Oct. 12, 2015 7:34 p.m. ET

321 COMMENTS

If you’ve been following the news from Israel, you might have the impression that “violence” is killing a lot of people. As in this headline: “Palestinian Killed As Violence Continues.” Or this first paragraph: “Violence and bloodshed radiating outward from flash points in Jerusalem and the West Bank appear to be shifting gears and expanding, with Gaza increasingly drawn in.”

Or the NYT headline, Jewish Man Dies as Rocks Pelt his Car in West Bank, which they later amended to leave out the mistake of “West Bank” but clung fervently to their reification of stones, which, in their language “pelted the road the man was driving on.” Thet  basic principle from the Palestinian Media Protocols with which they are fully compliant insists that Palestinians are innocent victims. Saying that Palestinians pelted his car with stones would violate those Protocols.

Read further, and you might also get a sense of who, according to Western media, is perpetrating “violence.” As in: “Two Palestinian Teenagers Shot by Israeli Police,” according to one headline. Or: “Israeli Retaliatory Strike in Gaza Kills Woman and Child, Palestinians Say,” according to another.

Such was the media’s way of describing two weeks of Palestinian assaults that began when Hamas killed a Jewish couple as they were driving with their four children in the northern West Bank. Two days later, a Palestinian teenager stabbed two Israelis to death in Jerusalem’s Old City, and also slashed a woman and a 2-year-old boy. Hours later, another knife-wielding Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli police after he slashed a 15-year-old Israeli boy in the chest and back.

 Or, when two Palestinians attacked a synagogue in Har Nof and butchered four men at their morning prayers, CNN ran the headline:

CNN jerusalem mosque

Other Palestinian attacks include the stabbing of two elderly Israeli men and an assault with a vegetable peeler on a 14-year-old. On Sunday, an Arab-Israeli man ran over a 19-year-old female soldier at a bus stop, then got out of his car, stabbed her, and attacked two men and a 14-year-old girl. Several attacks have been carried out by women, including a failed suicide bombing.

Regarding the causes of this Palestinian blood fetish, Western news organizations have resorted to familiar tropes. Palestinians have despaired at the results of the peace process—never mind that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas just declared the Oslo Accords null and void. Israeli politicians want to allow Jews to pray atop the Temple Mount—never mind that Benjamin Netanyahu denies it and has barred Israeli politicians from visiting the site. There’s always the hoary “cycle of violence” formula that holds nobody and everybody accountable at one and the same time.

Left out of most of these stories is some sense of what Palestinian leaders have to say. As in these nuggets from a speech Mr. Abbas gave last month: “Al Aqsa Mosque is ours. They [Jews] have no right to defile it with their filthy feet.” And: “We bless every drop of blood spilled for Jerusalem, which is clean and pure blood, blood spilled for Allah.”

NB: This is from an allegedly “secular” leader. Whether he believes it or not (I think he does), he is playing to an audience of Jihadis who think that Jews are dhimmi (i.e., “blameworthy” infidels who are impure and who pollute, and must accept subjection and humiliation to avert legitimate Muslim violence against them).

Then there is the goading of the Muslim clergy. “Brothers, this is why we recall today what Allah did to the Jews,” one Gaza imam said Friday in a recorded address, translated by the invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute, or Memri. “Today, we realize why the Jews build walls. They do not do this to stop missiles but to prevent the slitting of their throats.”

Then, brandishing a six-inch knife, he added: “My brother in the West Bank: Stab!”

And would this be supplemented by the usual fake math of moral opprobrium, which is the stock-in-trade of reporters covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? In the Middle East version, a higher Palestinian death toll suggests greater Israeli culpability. (Perhaps Israeli paramedics should stop treating stabbing victims to help even the score.)

In a U.S. version, should the higher incidence of black-on-white crime be cited to “balance” stories about white supremacists? Imagine if a white minister in, say, South Carolina preached this way about African-Americans, knife and all: Would the news media be supine in reporting it? Would we get “both sides” journalism of the kind that is pro forma when it comes to Israelis and Palestinians, with lengthy pieces explaining—and implicitly justifying—the minister’s sundry grievances, his sense that his country has been stolen from him?

Didn’t think so.

Treatises have been written about the media’s mind-set when it comes to telling the story of Israel. We’ll leave that aside for now. The significant question is why so many Palestinians have been seized by their present blood lust—by a communal psychosis in which plunging knives into the necks of Jewish women, children, soldiers and civilians is seen as a religious and patriotic duty, a moral fulfillment. Despair at the state of the peace process, or the economy? Please. It’s time to stop furnishing Palestinians with the excuses they barely bother making for themselves.

Above all, it’s time to give hatred its due. We understand its explanatory power when it comes to American slavery, or the Holocaust. We understand it especially when it is the hatred of the powerful against the weak. Yet we fail to see it when the hatred disturbs comforting fictions about all people being basically good, or wanting the same things for their children, or being capable of empathy.

This last projection onto Palestinians of Western cultural norms has been variously called cognitive egocentrism, or mirror imaging. It has had catastrophic impact on our ability to understand the dynamics in this region and has led to such disastrous misreadings of what the “Arab Spring” promised – instead of the democracy everyone apparently expected, we got tribal and religious violence that has literally destroyed Arab states.

Today in Israel, Palestinians are in the midst of a campaign to knife Jews to death, one at a time. This is psychotic. It is evil. To call it anything less is to serve as an apologist, and an accomplice.

Write [email protected].

5 Responses to Psychotic Palestine: Bret Stephens Nails it, alas!

  1. Alexi says:

    Thanks. Good piece.

    Here’s the insanity they chose to run on HuffPo:

    “If what we see going on in Israel-Palestine is not yet a third Intifada, one may not be far off. As presented in the mainstream press, the stabbings of Israeli settlers, the rock-throwing, the mass uprisings, all seem chalked up to some inexplicable proclivity toward violence on the part of Palestinians. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact of the matter is that this wave of violence comes in response to an on-going campaign to desecrate and destroy holy sites that anchor non-Jewish peoples to their faiths — not only are mosques being destroyed, so too are Catholic churches.

    Most egregiously, Israeli groups are attempting to replace the al-Aqsa mosque with a Jewish temple. In mid-September “Israeli forces entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound’s southern mosque on Tuesday sparking the third straight day of violent clashes at the third holiest site in Islam. Dozens of Palestinians were injured in the clashes, during which Israeli forces fired stun grenades, tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinian worshipers.” These efforts are part of what is called “temple activism.”

    There’s a lot more in the rest of the screed, including a final last sentence calling for support of BDS and a link to the BDS site.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-palumboliu/whats-behind-the-explosio_b_8298362.html

    This is CRAZY.

    • Jeff says:

      Alexi,

      It’s slanderous anti-Semitism.

    • David says:

      There is not a shred of evidence to your false claims. The ONLY place if worship that has been destroyed has been Josepha Tomb and this was done last night by Palestinians who are acting like ISIS.

      These vicious attacks havebeen sparkedby Abu Mazens racist incitement to purge the Temple mount of Jewish presence.

  2. […] As for the random nature of this, that’s deeply misleading. The thing is orchestrated, not it its details, but in it incitement, from the top, including Mr. Moderate (according to J-Street), Abu Mazen. Stop the incitement, rally Palestinians who oppose abusing and sacrificing their children on the altar of genocidal violence, and voilà, you can stop this madness. […]

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