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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Victimology

This excellent article by Omni Ceren about how the press blames Israel for Palestinian crimes is a springboard to a topic I have touched on before.

Whenever otherwise reasonable people speak about the problems between Israelis and Palestinians they have unspoken assumptions that are, quite frankly, bigoted - against Palestinians.

For example, just try to suggest to a politician or editorial board writer that Jews should live as free citizens in a Palestinian state the same way Arabs live freely in a Jewish state. Such a thing is, of course unthinkable, but the reason it is unthinkable is because everyone knows, liberal and conservative alike, that Palestinians would murder Jews who live in their midst. Things would go back to the way they were in the 1930s as I have documented in my many Palestine Post-ings articles.

A similar thing happened this week. Everyone knew that Palestinians would destroy the synagogues as soon as they could. It didn't enter anyone's mind that Palestinians could possibly practice self-restraint, or even that Palestinian "policemen" would be able to stop the mob (or themselves) from their celebration of the destruction of Jewish symbols.

In other words, it is simply not fathomable to anyone that Palestinians would act like mature human beings, even when it is in their own self-interest. This is the subtext of all discussions about the feasibility of peace between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, whether it is stated explicitly or not (and usually it is not.)

Because the fact that Palestinians will act without restraint is so obvious, liberals clearly believe it as well. But since such a worldview is so abhorrent to "enlightened" minds they must find a way to live with such bigotry and yet explain it to make it palatable. Hence the ideas of victimology gain currency - that the reason "oppressed people" act like animals is the fault of the perceived "oppressors." Never mind that many truly oppressed people never start acting like animals - facts are not important when they reveal inconvenient truths.

From here it is only a short stroll to justifying suicide bombings, desecrations of holy sites, and really any crime that can be thought of. Since the victims are no longer responsible for their actions, according to the advocates of victimology, anything they do is no more their fault than a rabid dog biting someone. That the supposed champions of Palestinian Arab rights think of their pets as animals is ironic, but as long as they can blame the oppressors it is somewhat more palatable.

So we are left with a situation where one side is expected to act like adults, one side is expected to be able to make concessions, one side is expected to be able to be empathetic with the enemy - but no such expectations exist for the other side.

A good definition of an adult is someone who takes responsibility for his own actions. The way to raise a child to become an adult is to teach him responsibility. One who never has learned responsibility is destined to stay immature. And the cult of victimology imposed by the West is the reason that so many Palestinian Arabs feel they can act in the most depraved manner without any fear of consequences.

The day that the West looks at the orgy of looting and destruction that accompanied Israel's withdrawal from Gaza and gets sickened by it is the first day on the track towards Palestinian Arab maturity, and a possibility for real peace between real partners. Until that happens, while the Palestinian Arabs are expected and allowed and encouraged to act like animals, the idea of a true peace between Jews and Palestinian Arabs is just a joke.