Tuesday, July 02, 2024

  • Tuesday, July 02, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon

The Wall Street Journal reports:
Robberies, Revenge Killings Send Gaza Deeper Into Chaos
Wartime breakdown in public order sets off a crippling crime wave 
When thieves in central Gaza stole the battery out of Muhammed Abu Karsh’s car in March, he chased them down a dark road and was shot dead in the head.

Relatives called the police, who inspected the crime scene in rural Deir al-Balah, but that was about all they could do.

“They said they don’t have a prison anymore and that if they find the perpetrator, his family might attack them as well,” said his cousin, Mahmoud Fuaad. “We see fights between families on a daily basis. People know that they won’t be punished for anything they do.

Nearly nine months into the war between Israel and Hamas, crime and violence among Gazans is on the rise, from robbery and killings to smuggling and protection rackets. The trend is taking more Palestinian lives, endangering already fragile international aid operations and drawing warnings from American and Arab officials who worry Gaza could suffer a complete failure of governance for years to come.
Gaza is hardly alone as an area that is riddled with crime when there is a power vacuum. Humanitarian workers have been the victims of crime in South Sudan, Mali, DR Congo, Syria, Ethiopia, Afghanistan and elsewhere. 

But why is there so much crime in Gaza? Why don't the people pull together to help each other rather than victimize each other?

In short, why do Gazans treat each other worse than the world treats them?

Can you even imagine a crime wave in Israel of people looting houses left vacant for months while under attack from Hamas and Hezbollah? When tens of thousands of Israelis became homeless, others eagerly offered their homes and hotels for shelter.  Grassroots organizations sprung up to provide food and other basic goods. 

People think that crime is a result of poverty, but this is not close to true. Some of the poorest areas of Israel are the ones filled with haredi religious Jews, and the crime rates there are low.

Palestinians like to present themselves to the world as being generous, treating guests wonderfully, and steadfast in their patriotism and ties to the land. So why haven't we seen to many grassroots, self-governing groups sprout up in Gaza where people can find a safety net of advice and services? 

It is hard to know for sure, but part of the reason appears to be that Palestinian society has little sense of communal responsibility, unity and collective pride. 

In other words, Palestinians aren't - and never were - a real people.

A people care about each other. A people work together for a common goal. A people would have strong social taboos against those who break the social covenant. 

When you think you are part of a greater whole, you want to work together with your fellow members. When you have no sense of community, of peoplehood, then it is every person for themselves. 

In 1947 and 1948, the supposed leaders of the Palestinian Arabs were the first to flee. They set the stage for the larger exodus in the months that followed.  Similarly, Arab communities rarely went to defend their neighboring villages - they had no sense of "Palestinian" peoplehood, or responsibility for each other.

Since then, I would say that there is a weak national consciousness among Palestinians, but instead of being based on the positives of wanting to build their own nation, it is based on hate of Jews and Israel, which is not a very strong basis for peoplehood or nationalism. 

The international community helps foster the Palestinian sense that they are not responsible for their own welfare. After all, the world spends billions on aid to Palestinians, and instead of them using this help as a means to pull themselves up by their bootstraps (which was the original intent of UNRWA,) they expect it to go on forever and they demand more and more. Instead of centering their lives on responsibility, they center it on their supposed "rights."  They care very much about what they deserve, and very little about what their society demands of them. 

In a  way this decades-long dependence on international aid is what gives Palestinians the idea that they have no responsibilities, only rights. When they can no longer get what they want for free, they will take it by force. 

Crime thrives in places where there is no sense of responsibility to, and pride in, one's own people. Generations of children being taught that the world owes them happiness inevitably results in people who will steal what they think they deserve - from both their own neighbors and from the organizations that want to help them.

The breakdown of law and order is a reflection of the absence  of Palestinian peoplehood.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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