Monday, November 14, 2011

The Narrative of Perpetual Palestinian Victimhood

This was written by Shelby Steele, Robert J and Marion E. Oster Senior Fellow, Hoover Institute, member of the Working Group on Islamism and the International Order.

I am just going to quote a few excerpts:

The Arab-Israeli conflict, is not really a conflict, it is a war – a war of the Arabs against the Jews. In many ways, this conflict has been a conflict between narratives. We who strongly support Israel have done a poor job in formulating a narrative which will combat the story spun by the other side. We can do better.

I actually think that we need to combat their "narrative" with something that resembles the truth. There are problems with this approach, however:

Poetic truths like that are marvelous because no facts and no reason can ever penetrate. Supporters of Israel are up against a poetic truth. We keep hitting it with all the facts. We keep hitting it with obvious logic and reason. And we are so obvious and conspicuously right that we assume it is going to have an impact and it never does.

The Palestinian narrative of perpetual victimhood is immune to facts.

These narratives, these poetic truths, are the source of their power. Focusing on the case of the Palestinians, who would they be if they were not victims of white supremacy? They would just be poor people in the Middle East. They would be backwards. They would be behind Israel in every way. So this narrative is the source of their power. It is the source of their money. Money comes from around the world. It is the source of their self-esteem.

Indeed, the very basis of Palestinian identity is their sense of victimhood.

They are a people born directly out of the Arab war against the Jews. They exist as a people directly because of the Arab war against us.

The idea among Palestinians that they are victims means more to them than anything else. It is everything. It is the centerpiece of their very identity and it is the way they define themselves as human beings in the world. It is not an idle thing.

I cannot speak for day-to-day Palestinians, but the above statement is most definitely true for their advocates who perpetually nurse a malicious sense of victimhood.

The Western world has not said "your real problem is inferiority. Your real problem is underdevelopment." That has not been said, nor will ever be said – because the Western world was once colonial, was once racist, did practice white supremacy, and is so ashamed of itself and so vulnerable to those charges, that they are not going to say a word. They are not going to say what they really think and feel about what is so obvious about the circumstances among the Palestinians. So the poetic truth that Palestinians live by carries on.

White western liberals seem to carry around a sense of guilt about the political past of their people so, naturally, they are not going to call out the Palestinians for their non-stop efforts to kill Jews.

At that point formerly oppressed groups develop what I call bad faith. Bad faith is when you come into freedom, you are humiliated and you say, "Well you know the real truth is I am not free. Racism still exists. Zionism is my problem. The State of Israel is my problem. That is why I am so far behind and that is why I cannot get ahead."

Here the writers are speculating, but it is a speculation that does, in fact, explain the inexplicable. I have been saying for a long time now that if the Palestinians want a decent future for themselves and their children then what they need to do is stop fighting, stop trying to kill Jews and move on to other things... things like, oh, I don't know, electrical engineering, perhaps? Marine biology? How about just simple auto mechanics?

The Palestinian unilateral claim for recognition from the UN is also a perfect example of bad faith. If Palestinians proceed to the Security Council, they will very likely be turned down, and will respond by saying: "I told you we were victims. I told you the West is racist," and so on. It refuels the same sad identity.

Of course, their primary victimizers are not the Israelis, nor the Jews, but their own leadership and the Arab dictatorships, more generally.

Or perhaps their real victimizers are they themselves, as they constantly and forever tell one another what victims they are.

Because some of them try to kill Jews, we Jews do what is necessary to protect ourselves, such as a putting up barriers and blockades, which then get incorporated into the Palestinian narrative of victimhood.

Well, you guys can narrate yourselves to your Chicken Delight, but the Israelis will continue to defend themselves... that is, when they are not wracking up all those Nobel prizes.

If the Palestinians want peace, they must cease waging war. Until such a time as the Palestinians cease waging war there cannot be peace.

It is entirely up to them and it certainly has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that Jews live in Judea.

Get real.

1 comment:

  1. We are 11 years into the 21st century and whole countries despise and hate the only Jewish State. They perpetuate Holocaust revisionism, blood libels and the Protocols of The Elders of Zion in the media, culture and public pronouncements.

    In regard to Palestine, Israel's only "peace partner," is a former terrorist and Holocaust Denier PhD. who pays released murdering terrorists and names streets and building after them.

    Yet it is Israel who is to blame? Open your eyes everyone.