Tuesday, August 30, 2005

On the turning away

A guest spot from Joey Tartakovsky, lifted from Victor Davis Hanson's excellent site.

"At this turning point in Middle Eastern history, with a frightening and uncertain year ahead, it’s worth reminding ourselves once more that we deal with two very different societies.

Both sides fight, but not for the same reasons. Israel fights to preserve its democracy; Hamas fights to establish theocracy. Israeli politicians seek public support by promising solutions and calm; Palestinian leaders do so by pledging struggle and martyrdom. Israelis are saddened when their army causes injury to innocent Palestinians and prosecute their soldiers who violate the law. Palestinians greet atrocities carried out in their honor with cheers, rationalization, and fireworks (or, as on 9/11, they hand out sweets). If Israelis march in the streets, they brandish placards; if Palestinians pour into the streets, expect automatic weapons.

If there wasn’t a profound cultural asymmetry not only between Israel and Palestine, but between Israel and its neighbors, how else do you explain the absence of a single group sympathetic to Israel among 300 million Arabs? Why do only 2 out of 22 Arab states diplomatically recognize Israel? Why was “I Hate Israel” a major pop hit in Egypt, while the reverse could never be true? Why do the chief imams in Saudi Arabia preach racist hatred against Jews on a weekly basis, calling them “the sons of pig and monkeys,” but chief rabbis in Israel never reciprocate? Where are the Palestinian peace marches? Is it that Palestinians have nothing to apologize for, nothing to concede, and no Israeli justice to recognize?

For Israelis, peace means not being searched at restaurant entrances, or having your blood turn cold at the sound of sirens, or spending 10% of your nation’s GDP on defense. Above all it means not being killed in the midst of life’s domestic harmonies by teenagers. If Palestinians behaved like Israelis, reconciling themselves to compromise, peace would be at hand. But if Israelis behaved more like Palestinians, prizing victory above peace, they might learn a valuable lesson. For disengagement cannot bring peace; the withdrawal is from the land, not the struggle. Nothing can bring Israel peace until Palestinian terrorism is routed. Victory precedes peace, and it is on victory that Israel must now concentrate."

1 comment:

Bairuide said...

Israel fights to maintain its occupation