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Monday, June 23, 2014

It's time for the 'Palestinians' to grow up

Alan Johnson talks about how the world treats the 'Palestinians' like infants, giving them a free pass on all their bad behavior.
In part, because an anti-Zionist mindset that has taken root in the West, and at its heart is unexamined assumption – that Israelis and Palestinians are different kinds of people. Israelis have agency, responsibility and choice, Palestinians do not. In short, the world treats the Palestinians as children – ‘the pathology of paternalism’ it has been called.
The unarticulated assumption of anti-Zionism is that Palestinians are a driven people, dominated by circumstances and moved by emotions; qualities associated with the world of nature. Israelis are the opposite; masters of all circumstances, rational and calculating; qualities associated with the world of culture.
This dichotomous thinking has three bad consequences.
First, by granting only one side to the conflict agency and responsibility, the dichotomy distorts key events of the conflict (e.g. the war of 1948, the collapse of the Camp David peace talks in 2000, Gaza after the 2005 disengagement). The Palestinians are cast as passive victims; a compelled people (Haaretz writer Yitkhak Laor claims the second intifada was “instigated” by … Israeli policy); a duped people (activist Tikva Honig-Parnass writes of “Barak’s pre-planned collapse of the Camp David talks in October 2000”); and a people beyond the reach of judgement. Academic Jacqueline Rose views Palestinian suicide bombers as “people driven to extremes” and argues that Israel has “the responsibility for [the] dilemma” of the suicide bomber.
Second, the dichotomous understanding of Palestinians and Israelis distorts our understanding of Israel’s security. The threats Israel faces are discounted and the security measures taken by Israel reframed as motiveless and cruel acts. For example, the writer Shlomo Sand argues that Israel falsely “portray[s] itself as a persecuted innocent” and he claims that this portrayal, not real threats, has given Israeli society “a well of deep-seated collective anxieties.” Ilan Pappe, an Israeli academic now teaching in the UK, claims that “Zionists” are “[c]ompelling a nation to be constantly at arms” by stimulating “continual angst” through the abuse of Holocaust memory. He dismisses “useful fabrications about Israelis suffering under intense rocketing” as a “fantasy of apologists.”  For the anti-Zionists, then, Israel’s concern with security is either a pathology (an unconscious psychological condition Israelis cannot break out of) or – this a contradiction, note – a case of manipulation (a conscious political ploy).
The third consequence of this dichotomous thinking about the nature of the two peoples is the infantalisation of the Palestinians: they remain perpetually below the age of responsibility; the source of their behaviour always external to themselves, always located in Israel’s actions.
What Johnson seems to miss is that the anti-Zionists that he cites are not 'Palestinians' but Israeli Jews, most of whom spent many years sucking at the teat of the State of Israel's publicly funded university system. You can add to the list of things that the 'Palestinians' are incapable of doing 'thinking for themselves.' They are even dependent on Israel for the intellectual backup for their Jew hatred.

Johnson, however, comes up with this sentence, which seems totally out of place with the rest of his column.
Of course, Israel has to compromise and divide the land, making possible a Palestinian state.
No, we don't. In fact, we already gave up 78% for a 'Palestinian state' known as the 'kingdom of Jordan.' If even Johnson, who actually gets the fact that the 'Palestinians' are unwilling and incapable of taking responsibility for themselves, still comes up with a line about Israel having to make possible a 'Palestinian' state, it's difficult to find anyone who is capable of drawing the proper conclusions about our conflict. 

Read the whole thing.

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