What Did You Expect?

Palestinian Rage Has Been Building — Along With Jewish Hate

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By Jay Michaelson

Published July 08, 2014.
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What did you expect?

Did you think that terrorists wouldn’t attack three teenagers hitchhiking on a Palestinian road? Did you think that the Palestinian population isn’t angry enough to create extremist fringes like this? Did you really think that a continued occupation and no hope for independence would not breed some percentage of hard-core, terrorist extremists?

And did you imagine that the P.A. would somehow be able to suppress every single fringe terrorist in Palestine? What is their motivation for doing so, exactly, even if they have the ability, which they don’t? Or do you still somehow hold them responsible, even though we now have good reason to think it was a fringe sect that is more extreme than Hamas?

For that matter, did you think that ordinary Palestinians really regard settlers as civilians rather than as military targets? Were you surprised that an occupied and suppressed population — even if the suppression is justified by Israel’s security — wouldn’t applaud the kidnapping of them? Especially if they might bring the ransom of Palestinian prisoners?

Wouldn’t you applaud such an action, if you believed the opposing forces were basically soldiers, and kidnapping them would release our prisoners? Can you hold in your mind both an utter condemnation of terrorist acts like this, and a rational understanding of what might drive people to undertake them?

Similarly, can you both hold the terrorists themselves fully morally responsible for their actions, and see how the current Israeli policies will inevitably lead to more acts like them? What do you think will happen with another decade of occupation? Do you still hold the utterly unjustified delusion that the Palestinians can be bullied into submission? Does that seem likely to you?

Or do you not care, as long as the bloodshed is only on ‘their’ side?

And what, exactly, did you expect from the ‘our’ side?

Did you really think that “our” extremists are different from theirs? What, exactly, did you think would be the effect of incendiary rhetoric from mainstream and right-wing figures alike? Did you not worry that, by fanning the flames of anger with incendiary emails, posts, articles, posters, rallies, chants, Facebook groups, Twitter tags, that someone might get the wrong idea?

Doesn’t it always work that way? Doesn’t some evil lunatic always get the “wrong idea”? On ‘our’ side just as on ‘theirs’? Do you feel at all responsible for contributing to an atmosphere of rage, if not revenge, that was breathed in by whoever committed these horrible acts? Is there any other outcome of refusing to make the hard choices and take a chance on peace?


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