Monday, August 09, 2004
Pity the Palestinians
Pity the Palestinians.
They face a Herculean task-- trying to to create a moral equivalence between Israel and themselves where none exists.
As of late, much has been written about Israel and the UN and much effort has been expended in the attempt to compare Israel's security barrier to the Berlin Wall. Palestinians can only hope that Americans and westerners are completely ignorant of the realities in the Middle East. The Palestinian 'agendistas' cite Israel as being in 'violation' of UN resolutions. In point of fact, virtually all those UN resolutions are advisory only and non binding, as is the ruling from the ICJ. That the Palestinians have no problem ignoring and misreprepresenting the truth speaks volumes of the legitimacy of Palestinian society and a future Palestinian state.
Let's start with the security barrier, no more than 7% of which is actually a wall. It was erected as result of an Intifadah chosen by the Palestinian leadership. It's that simple. The claim that the security barrier is a land grab is simply ludicrous. It is the direct result of coordinated and unrelenting terror attacks targeting civilians. The Palestinians wanted the current confrontation. The population aided, abetted and supported acts of terror against civilians-- so much so that over 70% of Palestinians polled gave a resounding 'yes' vote to the use of suicide bombers against civilians. The Palestinian argument that as a result of the ICJ ruling, Israel must now cease to defend it's citizens because Palestinians are inconvenienced is ridiculous. The absurdity is compounded as various out of control Palestinian factions continue to publicly threaten Israeli civilians with more unrelenting violence.
The borders of a Palestinian state will be a result of direct negotiations with Israel, in accordance with UN 242 and 338. Those resolutions have been stymied for almost 40 years by the Arab world, starting with the Khartoum Declaration of 1968. Arab leaders said 'no' to every provision of UN 242-- no to peace and secure borders, no to recognition and normalization of relations with Israel and no to ending the military conflict. To this day, Arab nations, with few exceptions, still hold hard and fast to those tenets.
It is less than honest (and a despicable manipulation) in comparing the security barrier to the Berlin Wall. That wall was meant to keep people in, to prevent them from participating in the liberties enjoyed by a freedom loving people. Israel's security barrier is meant to keep those who's intent it is to destroy a society and culture that celebrates freedom, diversity and free expression, employing violent and abhorrent tactics, from entering.
'Moderate' Palestinians neglect to mention that the security barrier is working. Attacks on civilians are way down. Is the security barrier that inconviences (and yes, it imposes hardships) tens of thousands of Palestinians collective punishment? Sure it is. But, until there is a real attempt to actually deal with with unbridled terror and various factions whose stated goals are the elimination of Israel and her population, what choice does Israel have?
From airliner hijackings, to the desecration of the Olympics (one cannot help but wonder about Athens), bombings in train stations and discotheques in Europe, Israel has to face on a daily basis, the inheritors of that Palestinian legacy of death and mayhem. The security barrier is a mild response to a society that treated the murderers of Leon Klinghoffer, a wheelchair bound American thrown overboard the Achilli Lauro and others of his ilk as national heroes.
It is in this environment that terror has become a legitimate form of political expression. The world has seen, in one generation, the results of these tolerated and accepted practices. In political speeches, in mosques and in the education curriculum and the media, Israelis and Jews are vilified. Children are promised participation in the slaughter of Jews and summer camps are devoted to teaching children terror tactics, including the 'up close and personal' methods of slitting throats. Palestinian Authority TV spews a constant stream of hatred directed not only at Jews, but Americans and other westerners as well. That an entire generation of children has been inculcated to accept and believe hate is despicable enough-- that they have been taught to act upon that hate is nothing short of barbaric.
The coordinated attempt by 'human rights' groups and proponents of the left agenda to gloss over these realities is nothing short of outrageous. For years, Palestinians were left to languish by the their own leadership, bent on stealing as much as they could. Arab despots eager to focus their repressed populations rage outwards instead of inwards, made no effort to ease the plight of the Palestinians. They did not then, nor now, have any reason to do so. The claim that reform will come after a political settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians is ridiculous. The Arab world would benefit from from reform and democracy irrespective of regional politics.
There are other many other truths that must be avoided by Palestinian 'agendistas'.
The Israelis and the Americans for years, were the greatest contributors to UNRWA, the UN aid agency devoted to helping the Palestinians. After the Arab initiated 1967 war, it was Israel that provided the Palestinians with basic sanitation, reliable electricity, health care and hospitals, educational institutions of all levels, including universities and basic infrastructure-- none of which existed prior to that time. In fact, after the Oslo accords were agreed to, when Israel left the West Bank, and billions of dollars poured into Palestinian coffers, not one single school or hospital was built.
The Palestinian Authority did however, manage to build a casino.
In the face of the public unmasking of Palestinian leadership corruption, fraud, deceit and decades of state funded and taught hatred, the attempt at legitimizing the Palestinian position as outlined by official PA 'agendista' policy, rings hollow. The Arab press, Arab leaders, EU, UN and the quartet are all 'sick and tired' of the Palestinian 'two step'.
Israel and the rest of the world are being asked to take the word of those who have for decades, amassed a stellar record of deceit. One Palestinian 'agendista' recently wrote "...principles, however, can neither be promoted nor ignored selectively. The Palestinian people, with the support of the highest international court in the world, are entitled as a people to freedom and self-determination - principles for which there should never be an exception."
Those few words exquisitely highlight the moral paucity of the Palestinian cause.
Freedom and legitimacy are earned. It is not bestowed upon a society that embraces terror and uses it as a form of political expression. That Palestinians are now taking up arms against each other and committing crimes against each other in addition to using terror as political expression is not an aberration. It is rather, the result of the veil of illegitimacy and deceit being lifted. If the Palestinians deal with dissent amongst themselves with violence and terror, why on earth would anyone believe that their intentions in dealing with the Israelis are honorable and noble?
Democratic states do not endorse the right of absolute self determination. We will support those who are deserving of it, not those whose agenda, in their own words, spews hate, promotes violence and repression. Those societies will not be admitted to inner circle of true democracies, nor will their words be attributed equal weight. Freedom is not a cafeteria, where rights (and the tolerated and sanctioned abuse of rights) are selected and applicable to some and not to others. Free societies are not societies that use terror as a form of political expression.
Via the media, we are bombarded daily by Palestinian spokespeople with noble words pertaining to oppression and freedom. Those hollow words are reminiscent of the Constitution of the former Soviet Union. Some of the most eloquent and moving words ever written are contained in that document. Like the Communists before them, the Palestinians excel at presenting to a gullible population ('useful idiots') lies and empty words-- words that are used to justify the killing of innocents and words that are used to deflect attention away from a morally bankrupt society. Every day, we hear them and everyday can hear and see, if we choose to just how empty those words really are. They are empty in the realities of oppression, state sponsored persecutions and the never ending and constant attempt to deflect scrutiny on themselves by pointing out the 'evil' of everyone else. Never mind that tens of thousands marched in the streets in support of Saddam. Never mind that during the Desert Storm, frenzied Palestinians were screaming "Gas the Jews!" as SCUD missiles rained down on Israel.
Responding positively to Palestinian rhetoric is the moral equivalent of lionizing the Nazis because they built the autobahn and got the trains to run on time.
The right to Palestinian self determination is not sacred. Their rights as such, do not give them the right to determine the death and destruction of others. Neither the US nor the west has the moral obligation to uphold their right to subjugate their own people or the rights of anyone else with whom they disagree. The US and the west are being asked to promote and sponsor a regime and society that have yet to embrace true freedom and peace. While we may have relations with less than savory regimes already in place, there is no reason we should endorse a new one. Israel, like the US and true freedom loving societies will use use whatever means necessary, to protect themselves--including the witholding of a perverted 'right to self determination'.