Yesterday, I took a swipe at the language being used to describe the current flare-up in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the course of the comments, “ryan a” challenged me for saying I thought the Palestinians were in the wrong.
He’s right. I do believe that.
And I think I’m justified.
No, I don’t think that it’s black and white, that the Palestinians are wholly in the wrong and the Israelis complete innocents. But I think that the scales are seriously tipped that way.
Ryan cited the destruction of Palestinian homes by Israelis. Yes, they do that. Most often, it’s because those “homes” are being used for terrorist attacks. They are sniper nests, tunnel outlets, and workshops as well as homes, and that makes them valid military targets.
Yes, the Israelis tend to arrest and imprison a lot of Palestinians. Compared to the Palestinian idea of “justice,” which has often ended in lynchings of Israelis that get taken into custody, and I think that the Israelis are far superior.
The Israelis occasionally kill those they don’t intend to, and so do the Palestinians. These are almost always Palestinians, as the Palestinians don’t seem to recognize the idea that there are Israelis they shouldn’t kill.
The Israelis put a great deal of effort into focusing their attacks on militant targets. The Palestinians don’t recognize that there is anything but a valid target, and fire off their unguided rockets in the general direction of Israel, believing that whatever they hit will be just fine with them.
There’s an old saying that “the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” While that’s true, it doesn’t go far enough. When given a choice, they almost inevitably choose death and destruction over life and hope.
When Israel pulled out of the Gaza Strip, a few wealthy Americans bought some very valuable greenhouses that were intended to be dismantled and brought back to Israel. They were then given — free and clear — to the Palestinians, so they could use them and make some moves towards independence. Instead, they vandalized and cannibalized them, stripping them and destroyed them utterly. The fact that they were built by the Israelis outweighed anything else.
And when the people of the Palestinian Authority had their last election, they chose to side with the terrorists and gave their power to Hamas, who proudly proclaim that they are at war with Israel, boast of their terrorist attacks, threaten (and carry out) suicide bombings and kidnappings and sniper attacks and anything else they can imagine.
The difference is, I think, racist at its core. And I don’t like saying that.
Israel is, largely, a Western nation. It’s a Constitutional democracy, it’s technologically advanced, and has remarkable protections for human rights and freedom. And that means that it is held to a remarkably high standard for morality.
On the other hand, the Palestinians are Arabs. They don’t have a history of democracy or civilization. They are seen as, essentially, “primitives.” We can’t hold them to a higher standard, a human standard for civilized conduct. We don’t blame them for that savage inhumanity because they haven’t been seen as truly human.
I reject that. Circumstances certainly have a hefty part to play in these matters, but they are not purely the determining factor. If there were sufficient Palestinians interested in peace, then there would be actual signs of that over the years.
So yes, I blame them. I hold them accountable for their actions, as I would any other group of people.
They are, despite what their apologists would have you believe, fundamentally human. And they are evincing purely human traits at their worst. And that has been their choice.
So yeah, ryan a, the Israeli-Palestinian situation is not black and white. It’s gray, with neither side being purely right or wrong.
But it’s a damned dark shade of gray on the Palestinian side, and a pretty light shade on the Israeli side. And I not only do not apologize for believing and pointing that out, i am proud of it.