THE REAL PALESTINIAN "CATASTROPHE"
By Cameron S. Brown & Asaf Romirowsky
In a sense, al-Naqba is the quintessential event that separates the Palestinians' historical experience from that of other Arab Muslim groups and forges their unique national identity.
It is worth noting that the Palestinians use the same day Israel declared its independence to mark their national day. As is the case with so much of Palestinian society and culture, it is the actions of their Jewish neighbors -- not anything of their own doing -- that are the constant focus of the Palestinian Arabs' attention.
Which brings us to the question: What exactly is the real "catastrophe"? Given that this year's al-Naqba commemoration has been overshadowed by the anarchy and infighting in Gaza, many Palestinians say that the real Naqba is the lack of unity in their society. Indeed, this internal factionalism is often cited by Palestinians as one of the key reasons they lost in the first place during the 1948 war opposing the formation of Israel.
Perhaps. But it is worth looking at a different aspect of this year's Naqba events, an aspect which might give us a better hint of what the real Palestinian problem is.
In the early morning of May 15, Hamas used mortars, missiles and machine guns to attack a Presidential Guard contingent belonging to Fatah that was stationed near the Karni border crossing with Israel. Hamas then hit a jeep carrying Fatah reinforcements, and ensured their targets were dead by shooting them in the head at close range.
When the shooting was over, 10 Fatah members were dead, with a similar number wounded.
Suddenly aware that their unprovoked massacre may have gone too far, Hamas claimed it was Israel who had actually killed the Fatah people and threatened any journalist who dared report otherwise.
Then, in a truly perverse twist, Hamas launched more than 20 rockets at the Israeli town of Sderot "to take revenge" for the massacre they themselves had committed.
Given the overwhelming evidence and eyewitness accounts of those who were there, it was clear to most Palestinians that Hamas had committed the massacre. Still, when trying to explain the cause of the current infighting, several Palestinians, including Musa Abu Marzouk, Deputy Head of Hamas' Political Bureau, insisted that Israel was somehow to blame.
This is the real Palestinian Naqba, the disaster at the root of Palestinian suffering since even before 1948.
Instead of taking responsibility for their role in shaping their destiny, on virtually every occasion, the Palestinians have twisted their worldview to put the blame solely on Israel.
There is no self-awareness, not to mention self-criticism. No sense of accountability.
Since the Six-Day War of 1967, this tendency has only become worse. All too often, Palestinians claim that living under Israeli occupation has "driven" them to terrorism, as if they had no choice but to walk into a café and blow up people sitting there.
Such an approach not only ignores the pre-1967 (and indeed pre-1948) Palestinian terrorism. (It also fails to recognize that history has numerous examples of non-violent movements that were much more effective at achieving their aims.)
But the most unfortunate part of the Palestinians' fate is that they have had so many supporters around the world (including significant segments of the Israeli public) that they were by no means destined for the poverty and misery they find themselves in today. They certainly weren't destined to remain stateless almost 60 years after the United Nations passed the partition plan.
The lesson is that, only when Palestinians -- leadership and public alike -- start to consider how their own actions have been the primary cause for the sorry state they're in, will there be a chance for their condition to improve.
And, once that true soul-searching finally takes place, and they begin to take responsibility for their collective destiny, the Palestinian people will be able to help themselves far more than all the other nations of the world have ever been able to.
Middle East -- Arabs, Arab States,
& Their Middle Eastern Neighbors
American Foreign Policy -- The Middle East
Islamism & Jihadism -- Radical Islam & Islamic Terrorism
Page Three Page Two Page One
International Politics & World Disorder:
War & Peace in the Real World
Page Two Page One
Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.
Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
Against the U.S.A. & Western Civilization
Islamist International Terrorism &
U.S. Intelligence Agencies
U.S. National Security Strategy
Cameron S. Brown is Deputy Director of the Global Research in International Affairs Center in Herzliya, Israel. Asaf Romirowsky is a Campus Watch Associate Fellow for the Middle East Forum and the Manager of Israel & Middle East Affairs for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.
The foregoing article by Cameron S. Brown and Asaf Romirowsky was originally published in the Philadelphia News, May 29, 2007, and can be found on the Internet website maintained by the Middle East Forum, a think tank which seeks to define and promote American interests in the Middle East, defining U.S. interests to include fighting radical Islam, working for Palestinian Arab acceptance of the State of Israel, improving the management of U.S. efforts to promote constitutional democracy in the Middle East, reducing America's energy dependence on the Middle East, more robustly asserting U.S. interests vis-à-vis Saudi Arabia, and countering the Iranian threat.
Africa: Black Africa *
Africa: North Africa *
American Government 1
LINKS TO PARTICULAR ISSUES & SUBJECT MATTER CATEGORIES
TREATED IN THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, U.S.A.:
American Government 2 * American Government 3 * American Government 4
American Government 5 * American Politics * Anglosphere * Arabs
Arms Control & WMD * Aztlan Separatists * Big Government
Black Africa * Bureaucracy * Canada * China * Civil Liberties * Communism
Congress, U.S. * Conservative Groups * Conservative vs. Liberal
Constitutional Law * Counterterrorism * Criminal Justice * Disloyalty * Economy
Education * Elections, U.S. * Eminent Domain * Energy & Environment
English-Speaking World * Ethnicity & Race * Europe * Europe: Jews
Family Values * Far East * Fiscal Policy, U.S. * Foreign Aid, U.S. * Foreign Policy, U.S.
France * Hispanic Separatism * Hispanic Treason * Human Health * Immigration
Infrastructure, U.S. * Intelligence, U.S. * Iran * Iraq * Islamic North Africa
Islamic Threat * Islamism * Israeli vs. Arabs * Jews & Anti-Semitism
Jihad & Jihadism * Jihad Manifesto I * Jihad Manifesto II * Judges, U.S. Federal
Judicial Appointments * Judiciary, American * Latin America * Latino Separatism
Latino Treason * Lebanon * Leftists/Liberals * Legal Issues
Local Government, U.S. * Marriage & Family * Media Political Bias
Middle East: Arabs * Middle East: Iran * Middle East: Iraq * Middle East: Israel
Middle East: Lebanon * Middle East: Syria * Middle East: Tunisia
Middle East: Turkey * Militant Islam * Military Defense * Military Justice
Military Weaponry * Modern Welfare State * Morality & Decency
National Identity * National Security * Natural Resources * News Media Bias
North Africa * Patriot Act, USA * Patriotism * Political Culture * Political Ideologies
Political Parties * Political Philosophy * Politics, American * Presidency, U.S.
Private Property * Property Rights * Public Assistance * Radical Islam
Religion & America * Rogue States & WMD * Russia * Science & Ethics
Sedition & Treason * Senate, U.S. * Social Welfare Policy * South Africa
State Government, U.S. * Subsaharan Africa * Subversion * Syria * Terrorism 1
Terrorism 2 * Treason & Sedition * Tunisia * Turkey * Ukraine
UnAmerican Activity * UN & Its Agencies * USA Patriot Act * U.S. Foreign Aid
U.S. Infrastructure * U.S. Intelligence * U.S. Senate * War & Peace
Welfare Policy * WMD & Arms Control
Africa: Black Africa *
Africa: North Africa *
American Government 1
POLITICAL EDUCATION, CONSERVATIVE ANALYSIS
POLITICS, SOCIETY, & THE SOVEREIGN STATE
Website of Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis
Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor