Guest post by Zvi, commenting on the stone-throwing rioters:
The PA already has a lot of cash and could spend it putting these kids to work. Instead, the PA spends it on
1) lining the pockets of PA leaders and
2) inciting people (their own and others') against Jews, with results such as you see here.
Some people claim that young Palestinian men hurl cinder blocks at Jewish civilians because they are poor. Other people claim that living under occupation not only makes it not only natural for these young men to do what they are doing, but also right and proper. Both claims are bogus.
The West Bank has a 7% annual GDP growth rate (which puts it 9th in the world; China's is only 8.7%). The West Bank now has a slightly lower GDP per capita than India ($2900 vs. India's $3100 in 2009; Kosovo's is $2500, Bangladesh's $1600 and Zimbabwe's only $200). The West Bank's unemployment rate is is 2/3 that of Libya and 1/2 that of Muslim Kosovo. Due to its continuing customs union with Israel, the West Bank uses the stable Israeli Shekel.
Riots incited by political parties don't break out everywhere in the world. There are a small number of places where it happens - and where it keeps on happening, as long as these parties remain in power.
Like the Palestinians, the Kosovars remain in limbo. Most countries refuse to recognize the state that they have declared. A major difference is that while the Israelis have made offers that involve an independent Palestinian state, the Serbs adamantly refuse to contemplate the possibility of an independent Kosovo. The UN also spends only a small fraction of the money and personnel on Kosovo as it does on the Palestinians, and the descendants of Kosovar refugees are not automatically considered to be refugees, as is the case with Palestinian refugees.
Kosovar leaders, despite having very strong reasons to fight, including very real fears of genocidal behavior founded in very recent Balkan history, consistently made efforts to achieve their goals without violence. Though there was ultimately a relatively minor war, it was a last resort rather than a first resort.
Somehow, most Kurds and Uighurs, Tibetans and Basques, Dagestanis and Australian Aborigines, Quebecois and Northern Irish (today, anyway) manage to live in the real world, facing the fact that they are not in an ideal situation, without periodically engaging in violent riots sponsored by political parties.
In the case of the Palestinians, the Palestinian leadership and their allies around the world saw violence not just as the first resort, but as the ONLY ACCEPTABLE APPROACH, for the first 30+ years of their existence. Fatah's right wing and all of Hamas still see it that way. Fatah's "moderates" see violence as the first resort, but are willing to fall back on negotiation when threats, intimidation and propaganda fail them. Unlike most of the groups on the world stage, the Palestinian leadership continue to resort FIRST to histrionic incitement and violence, and only as a very LAST resort, to negotiation and coexistence.
The Real Reason
The reason why idiots in the West Bank are using heavy slings to hurl chunks of concrete and glass at Israelis is not because they are unemployed. It is not because they are uneducated. It is not because they are occupied.
The reason is because their leadership, and the media in much of the Arab world, has sold them a nonsensical, bogus, and romantic notion that they are the "Heroes of the Arab World." They are petted and primped for their "leading role" and told that they are responsible for obtaining "Justice" for Arabs for every setback in the last 100 years. They have been sold the idea that the ONLY way to do this is through "Resistance" (a.k.a. attack) against the Evil Jews. If Jews re-dedicate a synagogue bulldozed by the Jordanian soldiers during the 20th century, these young men have been taught that this is "Provocation" and that the Muslim world "cannot stand for it." They are told that it is their religious and national obligation to riot.
Meanwhile, the organizers of this scene - the "moderates" of Fatah - threaten a "new Intifadah." Never mind that they gained nothing from the last intifadah, and that it cost them enormously. The leaders of Fatah tell these young men that they are the vanguard of this new Intifadah.
One day, if they are very lucky, they'll succeed in killing a lot of Israeli civilians, and they'll have a square named after them, like Dalal Mughrabi.
Ultimately, the reason why the leaders of Fatah are fomenting this violence is simply because they need headlines. They need burning. They need people to bleed. They need to be victims. Because the media only pays attention to them when they're victims, and because they know that certain western governments, who wish to keep up appearances in the region until they leave Iraq in 2011, will ignore the real situation and instead threaten the Israelis for "causing" this violence.
Why is this happening? Because until they are held accountable for choosing violence over peaceful negotiation and coexistence, the leaders of Fatah will remain certain that they can get away with it.
Ali Abunimah, Expert On Mental Illness
1 hour ago