Last week, an Israeli army deserter shot up a busload of Palestinians, killing four before an angry mob killed him. The reactions to this incident were quite enlightening.
The Israeli government strongly condemned the incident, saying that there is no justification for such incidents. That being said, however, they went on to state that the man was driven to the attack by the treatment of Israeli settlers in the Occupied Territories, who are routinely shot, bombed, or bombarded with rockets by Palestinians. They called for an end to such attacks, and denounced the “cycle of violence” that prompted his attack.
The Palestinian Authority also condemned the attack, saying that they regret the man was killed before he could be tried and imprisoned for his crime. They also said that if Israel did not start taking stronger measures to prevent such incidents, they would have no choice but to do so themselves.
The United Nations also condemned the attack, but strongly urged the Palestinian Authority to “show restraint” and “work for peace” in not retaliating for the attack. They expressed grave concern that it might threaten the fragile cease-fire, and condemned the man’s death at the hands of an angry mob, saying such vigilantism and lawlessness was a grave threat to the peace process.
Whoops, my bad. I got the wrong script. That’s the script to follow when Palestinians kill Israelis, not when Israelis kill Palestinians.
But it highlights the amazing double standard the world has about Israel. And that double standard can’t be anything but flagrant racism.
The script that I reversed above is the accepted playbook for reacting to Palestinian atrocities. And it’s all based on the notions that 1) the Palestinians really can’t be expected to act like civilized human beings, and 2) the Israelis really don’t count as human beings.
One of the favorite linguistic ploys of the anti-Israelis is to claim that they aren’t really “anti-Semitic,” because both the Israelis and Palestinians are Semitic people. (This is a load of crap, as “anti-Semitism” has long been universally understood as meaning “anti-Jewish,” but bear with me, I’m making a point here.) But this ongoing tolerance for the status quo is the true anti-Semitism that they describe, because it treats both peoples as sub-human.
I don’t play the “moral equivalence” game that a lot of people do. They say that Israel routinely kills Palestinians, so it’s only understandable that the Palestinians fight back with the only weapons at their disposal, in the only way they can. Maybe others can use that to justify atrocities, but I can’t.
Yes, Israel kills Palestinians. But they follow the “retail” model, if I may use a grotesque simile. The Palestinians operate on a “wholesale” basis.
Israel, almost universally, targets only those Palestinians who have proven themselves threats to Israel. And even then, they exercise tremendous restraint. When they killed Sheik Yassin (the “spiritual leader” of Hamas, who inspired countless young Palestinians to become suicide bombers and commit other obscenities), they used a Hellfire missile. But they waited until he was away from innocents (not an easy thing to do, as Hamas leaders love surrounding themselves with women, children, and other potential innocent victims) and used a missile that had had a good chunk of its warhead removed to minimize the chances of harming bystanders.
The Palestinians, on the other hand, do everything they can to maximize casualties. Their suicide bombs are laced with nails and screws and tacks, to create as much lethal shrapnel as possible. They salt them with rat poison, which keeps bomb victims’ blood from clotting and increasing the chances they will bleed to death. And they fire their unguided Qassam rockets in the general direction of Israeli homes, hoping that they will, by some blind luck, kill Israelis.
(That one bit them on the ass recently, when the rocket instead hit a Palestinian area, killing a five-year-old son of a former Palestinian Authority official.)
And what happens when one of the terrorists gets caught? Well, if they’re Palestinian, they’re arrested, tried, and jailed for life — or until the next time the world thinks that Israel needs to make a “good faith gesture” and they’re released, or their friends take hostages and demand their freedom. Israel has no death penalty.
If an Israeli terrorist is caught, they’re immediately killed on the spot. The Palestinian Authority does have a death penalty — and the highest crime to them is “collaborating with Israel.”
I’m sorry, it’s “murder,” because anyone who works with Israel (their “partner in peace”) is actually helping Israel kill Palestinians, so they are subject to the full force of Palestinian justice — i.e., they’re dragged out into the streets and shot or hung, with their bodies left for their families to collect. (Trial optional, appeals unheard of.)
People say that this would all be resolved if we simply helped the Palestinians establish themselves as an independent nation. But I am a big believer in that one should crawl before one should walk, and I want to see more signs that the Palestinians are ready to become a part of the civilized world before granting them statehood. And they’re not ready to walk yet. They’re still content to lie around in their soiled diapers and fling their wastes around.
Further, granting the Palestinians statehood would be an incredibly bad thing for the Palestinian people themselves. At that point, the routine terrorism being committed now instantly becomes Acts Of War, and Israel would then be eminently justified in invading and occupying their entire nation to prevent further attacks.
Which would put us right back to 1967, and start the whole last 38 years or so all over again.
I support the establishment of a Palestinian state — in theory. But before it becomes a reality, the Palestinians need to show that they are ready to act like a government. And the first step is in establishing that they are in charge, and acts of terrorism will NOT be tolerated.
The very first part of the last few peace proposals (Clinton’s plans, Bush’s Road Map) all called for the Palestinians to renounce and stop terrorist attacks. They’ve never even put forth the slightest effort to do so. When they do, then we ought to consider the next step. But not one instant before.