OK, I’ve written a few pieces about just why I have a great deal of difficulty feeling sympathetic for the Palestinians, but I think it’s time I put it all together into one single piece.
It boils down to this: they just don’t act very sympathetic. They seem to want to embrace their victimhood, and use it as an excuse for committing some of the most heinous acts imaginable.
The shooting in the Jerusalem yeshiva last week is perfectly emblematic. The shooter, it seems, worked for the religious school as a driver. He wasn’t some oppressed person, he was a trusted employee, and he turned on his employers and shot 17 people, killing eight — seven of them under 20, four under 18.
Now, before anyone tries to make the argument that he was not an employee, but being exploited, keep in mind that you’re then making the argument that no Israeli should ever hire a Palestinian for any reason whatsoever. If you’d like to make that argument, be my guest.
This is merely the most recent atrocity. There is a long string of other ones. The following list is by no means comprehensive, merely the ones that stuck in my mind the strongest:
They might not have invented the suicide bomber, but they certainly have done tremendous work in expanding on the theme. They were the first to load up the bombs with nails and screws (to increase the shrapnel) and lace it with rat poison (to keep the victims’ blood from clotting). They invented the “two-stage” bomber — the first bomber detonates, then the second one blows up when rescue workers arrive on the scene.
That’s right, they are targeting emergency workers. Paramedics, EMTs, firefighters, and the like.
They also whipped up the idea of targeting places that have no military value, but will maximize the innocent deaths and innocents. They attacked at least one religious gathering, and blew up a Sbarro’s pizza place, just to name two.
They repeatedly cry poverty and starvation, yet always seem to have enough resources for guns and ammunition and bombs, and seemingly never run out of “home-made” rockets.
They carried out the attack on the 1972 Olympics in Munich, killing Israeli athletes.
They hijacked the Achille Lauro cruise ship and executed an elderly, crippled American — Leon Klinghoffer — just because he was Jewish. They shot him in the head, then dumped him and his wheelchair into the Mediterranean.
I could go on and on, but I wish to point out one common element of all these incidents: most of them were cheerfully claimed by the Palestinians, or at least cheered on. The Palestinian people have chosen, through secret ballots, to grant political power to first Fatah, then Hamas, the two leading terrorist groups among the Palestinians.
And in the most obscene of all, Al-Najah University in Nablus on the West Bank set up a display celebrating the Sbarro bombing, complete with a blood-spattered recreation of the restaurant and Koranic messages celebrating killing Jews and praising the bomber.
After the shooting in Jerusalem last week, Palestinians celebrated in the streets. It was, to me, very reminiscent of the rejoicing that swept them after the 9/11 attacks.
Now, I’d like to be sympathetic to the Palestinians. They’ve been screwed over — mainly by those who express the most concern for their well-being — for decades.
They are the only group that has a permanent UN organization dedicated to “caring” for them as refugees.
They are surrounded by their Arab and Muslim brothers, who repeatedly decry their status.
They are given plenty of support for their fighting, but no one seems overly interested in butter vs. guns.
To me, it looks suspiciously like those who consider themselves the Palestinians’ “friends” are most interested not in helping them, but keeping them perpetual victims. They don’t allow the Palestinians to become citizens of their host nations, they limit their economic freedom and movement, they keep them penned up in “refugee camps” (that are more like cities than what most people think of as “camps”), and — on occasion — when they feel they are getting to uppity, they massacre them.
Those who actually try to improve the lot of the Palestinians often find their efforts spat upon. When Israel left the Gaza Strip, Jewish humanitarians in the United States bought up some very efficient, very valuable greenhouses and turned them over to the Palestinians.
Who promptly looted and destroyed them.
The Palestinians, it seems to me, have spent literally generations embracing their victimhood, using it as a cudgel to justify the most heinous atrocities they can manage to commit. At the same time, they claim the moral “high ground” and reject any settlement or agreement that doesn’t give them 100% of their demands.
Even when they do make agreements, they never last. The pattern is depressingly familiar. The world community puts the pressure on, they sit down and work up a deal. Israel is called upon to make “good faith gestures” and the first concessions. Meanwhile, the Palestinians immediately go to work on their excuses on why they can’t keep their promises. People call upon them to keep their word, and then a terrorist attack (or series of attacks) makes it clear that peace ain’t gonna happen, and the whole thing goes up in smoke.
But it doesn’t go back to just like it was before. Israel’s concessions and gestures are considered locked in stone, and they become the new starting point for the next futile round.
Note that Israel is the one always called upon to make the “good faith gestures.” The cynic in me wonders if this is because the world recognizes that the Israelis usually act in good faith, but the Palestinians seem incapable of it. Also, Israel always has to “go first” (much like Hillary Clinton in a debate) when it comes to make concessions, as there is a tacit recognition that the Palestinians won’t make any real ones.
No, I’m not saying the Israelis are blameless. Yes, they have done some atrocious things. Two that spring to mind are the actions of Baruch Goldstein (who killed 29 Muslims and wounded 150 at the Cave Of The Patriarchs) and Yigal Amir (who assassinated Israeli prime minister Yitzakh Rabin). But in both cases, the reaction of the Israeli populace was overwhelmingly negative: horror and shame that such deeds should be done in their name.
The Palestinians have been mistreated and exploited for decades, and that outrages me. But they seem to have absolutely no interest in ending their victimhood. Rather, they whole-heartedly cooperate with their exploiters, embracing their “rights” and demanding the right to commit the most horrific deeds in the name of their cause.
They don’t want sympathy. They want carnage. They have nothing, and repeatedly say they will accept nothing less than everything. And they reject nearly all the trappings of civilization, save those that will help them kill more Jews.
When they express interest in civilization and peace, and stop cheering on and supporting the monsters they have repeatedly given their full backing, then I might be able to muster some sympathy for their plight.
Until then, I have no problems with letting them continue to fester and wallow in their fetid pits. They’ve been shown — repeatedly — how to get out, but they aren’t interested in moving.