From Gershon Baskin:
SOME VERY HARSH WORDS TO A PALESTINIAN LEADER AND TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE FROM ME:Baskin may be misguided but he at least has the intellectual honesty to understand that peace requires both sides to act, unlike the Peter Beinarts of the world who at best pay lip service to the idea of Palestinian responsibility.
A well known Palestinian political leader from Fatah in a very recent interview praised the Palestinian youth who take their knives to the enemy. He called them heroes and shaheeds (shuhada). I called him out on this and challenged him in a very direct and harsh sms. He immediately called me and said that I didn't understand his message. He also supported the two states solution in the interview and said he was against violence - he supported a popular peaceful uprising. He said that Palestinian leaders had to speak this way if they wanted to be seen as leaders. And that, in a nutshell is the Palestinian problem and explains why, until now, there is no Palestinian state (in addition to the extra added Israeli stubbornness, fanaticism and unwillingness to get to a solution). He told me to listen to the interview. I did and this is what I just wrote back to him:
"I cannot understand how trying to kill a 70 year old woman, or a 13 year old boy, or a religious couple coming home from praying is heroism worthy of praise. In my mind, no violence is worthy of praise, especially against civilians. No, they are not heroes and they are not shuhada. It is time to stop dying for Palestine and instead to live for Palestine. Someone who praises this is not a good leader of his people. I thought you were better than that".
I add to everyone, those young people who have "died for Palestine" have died in vain. They did not help Palestine. They did not go to heaven and they are not martyrs. They died as fools for nothing. They achieved nothing. They only added more suffering to their families and to us all.
It is time for Palestinian leaders to understand that this culture of death is the death of their own dreams and their own society.
The excuse used by the unnamed "Palestinian leader," assuming that he is telling the truth (he could easily have adopted a peaceful persona for Baskin) shows a fundamental problem with the Arab side: After decades of inciting hate, they now must be seen as leaders in continuing the incitement or else they will not be seen as leaders at all.
The mob that they created now rules and they meekly follow. Any inkling that a Palestinian is against terror makes him a "collaborator." Any public appearance with an Israeli Jew means he wants to "normalize" relationships, another horrible crime.
If there are any Palestinian Arab leaders who really want peace and are willing to accept responsibility, they are in fear for their lives by saying it out loud.
The "culture of peace" that Abbas ridiculously claimed to have created in his UN speech is not only a lie, it is the exact opposite of the truth. He and others have created a culture of hate and a cult of death that is now so powerful that they must obey it themselves.
The West ignored Israel's insistence that the incitement must end (something explicitly agreed to during the Oslo process.) This intifada is the direct result of that decision. And real peace activists are starting to wake up to the fact that peace is impossible with a society that has been brought up to hate.
But as long as "human rights" NGOs ignore the culture of hate that is behind the murders, and the Western media ignores the obvious, there will be very few Palestinian Arabs with the bravery to stand up to this vortex of hate and say, "enough!"
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