What Did You Expect?

Palestinian Rage Has Been Building — Along With Jewish Hate

getty images

By Jay Michaelson

Published July 08, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

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?


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.