Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pity the Poor Palestinians -- Not

Once more, Palestinian fanatics in the Gaza Strip are throwing rockets at Israel. This story is getting old, not to mention obvious.

What can you say about a group of people who shoot thousands of rockets at their neighbor, then cry 'unfair' when that neighbor sends its air force to bomb the sites where those rockets came from – and then howl to the world that the neighbor must be stopped, while they themselves continue to shoot rockets? What should you think about people who shoot at their neighbors from behind human shields of women and children, and then wail 'atrocity' when some of the return fire hits those same women and children? What can you do with people who whine to the United Nations for 'refugee assistance', and then rob the UN staff at gunpoint, take the collected food and supplies and give it to their army?

Although the international media and UN officials have done their best to pity the poor Palestinians, blatant hypocrisy like this has worn their patience thin. Media outlets still go to great lengths to separate 'Palestinians' as a general class from the organization 'Hamas', but they agree that Hamas must be 'leaned on'. Even the government of Egypt agrees, having tightened its border with Gaza and blown up several tunnels by which the Palestinians smuggled weapons into Gaza. Despite the best propaganda that the Islamic fascist organizations can crank out, international opinion is turning, slowly but surely, against the Palestinians.

Right now the media paint Hamas as the only villains, and the opposing Fatah party as the innocent and moderate Palestinian faction, but this isn't entirely accurate. Fatah is, and has been since its founding in 1959, the largest faction of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. It has always supported several militant groups, many of which – such as Black September and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades – have committed several suicide bombings and are listed as terrorist organizations by the US. Fatah claims that such groups are 'outlaws' and 'rebels', but it has produced a disturbing number of them.

Fatah was also instrumental in persuading the international community, including the United States, to pressure Israel into giving the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians. At the time, nobody mentioned why Israel had taken control of the Gaza Strip, during the Six-Day War, in the first place. Israel seized the Gaza Strip precisely because the Palestinians were using it as a staging-area to attack Israel. It's not surprising that, once the Palestinians regained control of the Strip, they used it to attack Israel again.

Despite Fatah's track record, it apparently wasn't militant enough to satisfy the more dedicated of the Palestinians. Hamas managed to gain political power in Gaza and won the election in 2006, after which it turned on Fatah members and sporadic fighting began. The fighting continued even after Hamas took to firing rockets at Israel, and Israel eventually responded with bombing. It continues even now, with Hamas forces shooting any Fatah members whom they think have 'collaborated' with Israel; such 'collaboration' often consists of simply not fighting the Israeli troops sufficiently. Their own history has shown that the only functional difference between Fatah and Hamas is how soon they want to go to war with Israel, how much they're willing to use their own civilian population to do it, and just how ruthless they want to be.

In the latter two categories, Hamas is the clear winner. Its cynical military use of its civilians as human shields was enough to prompt no less than Hillary Clinton to complain to the UN that Hamas was committing mass child abuse. Perhaps because she called attention to it, the media began investigating her claim. That was when the international community began losing sympathy with the Palestinians.

Possibly one reason for this is the ubiquitous Internet. It's now possible to see, just by searching YouTube, clips of Palestinians using their children as human shields and suicide bombers, propagandizing children as young as five to kill all the 'kufars' – defined as Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, and even other Muslims not as devoted to jihad as themselves. Many of these video clips were taken from Palestinian television, and others by civilians with videocams and even cell-phones. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, it's getting harder to keep such activities secret. Also, thanks to an increasingly video-sophisticated audience, it's getting harder to manufacture convincing fakes.

These undeniable video images have managed to do what even the revelations upon Yasser Arafat's death did not. Palestinian sympathizers then were willing to overlook the personal fortune that Arafat collected from 'charitable' organizations around the world, and the way his family and successors fought over the money. They could discount written reports of Palestinian suicide bombers attacking school buses and shopping malls. They could deny eyewitness accounts of Palestinians destroying the buildings and infrastructure the Israelis gave them and then whining to the press about their 'oppression'. They could ignore the fact that under Israeli control the Gaza Strip was economically functional, but under Palestinian control it survives mainly by international charity. Ah, but those video clips of Palestinian terrorists abusing their own children: that was something else again. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video clip is worth a million.

It takes truly devoted gullibility to see the Palestinians as innocent victims anymore, and progressively fewer people around the world are willing to make that effort.


Ori Pomerantz said...

You might enjoy this clip. The relevant part starts at 1:30.

Antongarou said...

Hamas and Fatah are indeed separate. Fatah are definitely the more moderate side and their own supporters in the West Bank are currently pressuring them *not* to start a war over anything. There was an article in the news here a couple of weeks ago where a reporter went and interviewed people on the street from the Bank about September 20th and what they basically said was:"Yes, there are a lot of angry younger people over here just itching for a rampage. But we're going to reign them in because we don't want our livelihood and what we built here in the last 4 years destroyed". As a friend of mine said yesterday "30% of them(West Bank palestinians) want to kill the lot of us, but that's still major improvement"

Also, if you're looking for a good impartial source for analysis(they aren't very good about breaking news) go read - they're one of the 3 big dailies over here and have the best and mostimpartial analysis available(op-eds tend to balance each other out as well)- other Israeli sites have strong pro-Israel bias while almost all of the international sites have strong anti-Israel bias. Recommended people are Amir Oren, Avi Issacharof and Amos Harel, the one person whom you shouldn't read is Gidon Levi.

Aya Katz said...

Leslie, have I ever sent you my father's book "Israel": the Two Halves of the Nation"?

KateGladstone said...

To Aya — I'd like to read your father's book: where is it sold, and for how much?

KateGladstone said...

To Ori — Don't forget *another* group in Israel whose actions remove that group from any rational list of pity-recipients: the ultra-Orthodox, whose latest fun-and-games include harassing wheelchair-users:
It's enough to make one wonde what would happen if Israeli doctors quietly started a policy (or even just a RUMOR that they were starting a policy) regarding anyone (irrespective of allegiance or belief-system)  who needed medical treatment & who was known/suspected to have made life hard for wheelchair-users. The policy — whether actual or merely rumored — would be this: if there was any chance that the needed medical treatment might conceivably involve sending said bigot home in a wheelchair, the bigot would be quietly steered into the particular path of treatment that was MOST likely to involve sending him/her home in a wheelchair ... Oh, and stop the bigot's welfare-money while you're at it.

Ori Pomerantz said...

Kate, I agree some of the Charedim are despicable. I'm not sure what percent of the population, but those that are should be in prison.

However, looking at the demographics, Israel will probably end up either Charedi or Arab. I'm glad I ditched the country.