Sunday, September 12, 2021

  • Sunday, September 12, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
When the six prisoners, most of them Islamic Jihad terrorists, escaped from Gilboa Prison, the Palestinian street went wild. Palestinians were proud. This tweet from "human rights attorney" Noura Erakat captures the glee, praising the "six Palestinian political prisoners who self-liberated themselves using spoons against nuclear weapons and grotesque racial domination."

Why?

It was very clear that they would be caught - or killed during a capture attempt - eventually. Four of them have been caught as of this writing. Islamic Jihad is blaming the "apartheid wall" for their capture saying that this was why they couldn't escape to the West Bank (and indirectly justifying the security barrier.) 

So why the celebrations?

The celebrations and praise had nothing to do with "freedom" for the terrorists. Everyone knew that their freedom will end one way or another.

They were celebrations of Jewish humiliation. 

To be sure, the problems at the prison that led up to the escape were inexcusable. But the Israeli prison system will lick its wounds, examine its mistakes, and fix the problems. That's what Israelis do - keep improving and learning from mistakes.

Palestinian Arabs don't think that way. To them, everything is about honor - the Jews must be not defeated but humiliated. Victories are based on perception, not facts. 

The honor/shame society, with its emphasis on how things look and not ho they are, cannot win against a society that is fact-based. One needs to be able to admit mistakes to improve, and the Palestinians who blame all of their problems on the Jews cannot grow beyond their own myths.

This is why the Arab states have been turning away from the Palestinian cause - because the Palestinian refusal to accept a state and to stop their internal fighting is shameful to the entire Arab world, and at some point the shame has caused them to stop wanting to be associated with people who have shamed the entire Arab world.

Palestinian groups are trying to escalate this prison escape into something much bigger, into a new intifada. They will use any excuse to try to do that, and there are multiple attempts to do that every year, as we saw when Israel placed cameras near the Temple Mount. The groups try to direct Palestinian emotion of any kind into a new war.  Usually such attempts fail, but this is hard to predict. Palestinian prisoners are heroes and new measures to frustrate future escape attempts will upset the masses. The Palestinian Authority is trying to ride this wave of emotion just as Hamas and Islamic Jihad are. 

Both the "honor" of the escape and the "shame" of the captures elicit emotions, and the Palestinian groups want to gain power based on these emotions. The Gaza groups try to shame the PA and the PA tries to shame Hamas. Facts are secondary.

You simply cannot understand the Middle East without understanding how pivotal the honor/shame culture is - and how self-defeating it is. Arab nations are starting to catch on, but there is a long way to go.








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