To hear Trump’s condescending, hateful remarks that promulgate a narrative that Palestinians are inherently violent and will only change if the United States and Israel unlock their “extraordinary potential” is insulting.Here's is where Trump uses the term "extraordinary potential:"
During my trip to Israel, I also met with Palestinian President Abbas in Bethlehem. I was saddened by the fate of the Palestinian people. They deserve a far better life. They deserve the chance to achieve their extraordinary potential. Palestinians have been trapped in a cycle of terrorism, poverty, and violence, exploited by those seeking to use them as pawns to advance terrorism and extremism.Is that condescending - or accurate?
Any unbiased reading of Trump's words show that he is saying that Palestinian Arabs are caught in a terrible situation not of their own making, but by their leaders.
The idea that Palestinians are inherently violent is not part of Trump's speech.
It is part of the Palestinian narrative itself. And it is a major part of the narrative of supposed "friends" of Palestinians.
After all, the very logo of the Fatah movement shows an automatic weapon, a rifle and a hand grenade (besides a map of "Palestine" that excludes all of Israel and the word "storm" in large letters:)
Palestinian heroes are terrorists like Dalal Mughrabi - people who have schools named after them.
Palestinian children learn from birth how wonderful "martyrdom" is. Official Palestinian TV hammers home the theme of children sacrificing themselves to kill Jews.
Supposed "friends" of Palestinians also tell the world that Palestinians are expected to be violent when something happens that they don't like. Here's an example from yesterday, but there are hundreds of examples of leftist and liberal Europeans and Americans and fellow Arabs who "warn" that Israel or the US cannot do something because it will result in Palestinian violence and terror.
But the most ironic example of all is that the author Hanna Alshaikh herself:
Coming of age in the Oslo era, I saw how these so-called “peace” plans only paid lip service to Palestinian self-determination without addressing the core problems of their suffering, and how their failure usually ended in victim-blaming — which Trump and his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, the architect of the administration’s grand plan, have regurgitated.
What followed was the Second Intifada, or “uprising,” a reaction to the world’s indifference to their struggle and the futility of plans like Oslo. Watching the news as a child, images of the ensuing violence were seared in my memory, offering my generation’s Palestinian diaspora a visualization of what we are up against as a people.
It was the first time many of us understood what it meant to be Palestinian: our love for each other, our love for freedom, and our grief over the loss of our compatriots, of futures stolen from our youth, the trauma we see in the eyes of our parents and grandparents.Alshaikh is romanticizing the suicide bombs, the Jewish body parts hurled over the streets of Israel, the pizza shop and Passover seder and discotheque bombings, as a critical part of her own Palestinian identity!
Her love of violence is a part of her very identity as a Palestinian!
The only people who say that Palestinians have free choice to reject violence are the Israelis and the pro-Israel voices like Donald Trump's. The bitter irony is that the people that Palestinian voices consider condescending and hateful are the only ones who can articulate a vision of Palestinians who reject violence as part of their culture and who can live with Israelis not as enemies but as friends, eventually.
Such a vision would require authentic Palestinian Arab voices to be heard. The people who interact with Israeli Jews (sadly, since the first intifada, this only happens in very limited situations.) The majority of Palestinians who are disgusted by their leadership and their unwillingness to even consider real peace. The ones who look over the border and see their fellow Arabs in Israel prosper as doctors, pharmacists and high tech workers, working together with Jews every day.
The Palestinian Authority has been working hard to silence the voices of Palestinians who truly want peace. So have self-appointed spokespeople for Palestinians like Hanna Alshaikh. And they have been largely successful.
I'm sad that the village that Alshaikh's grandparents lived in, near the 1949 armistice lines, was torn down in 1967. There are two sides to the story - it was done to allow Israeli Jews to have safe passage to Jerusalem without fear of Arab ambushes. Alshaikh and her Palestinian compatriots are not interested in the world knowing that there are legitimate Israeli security concerns as well. The topic is worthy of debate, not a one-sided condemnation.
People who want peace listen to the other side's perspective. Unfortunately, for the most part the Palestinian side simply wants to spout propaganda about how evil Israel is, not to actually engage in dialogue for peace. (Look for a single pro-Israel or anti-Abbas op-ed in any Palestinian media in the West Bank, and compare with the op-eds that are pro-Palestinian in Israeli media.)
In the end it is Israel that wants peace, and the Palestinians who are indoctrinated into a mindset of conquering Israel. This article proves it yet again. Until the Palestinians who truly want peace and dialogue are empowered - which is one major component of the Peace to Prosperity plan - people like Alshaikh will do everything they can to thwart peace, and to justify their rejectionism with high-sounding principles.