Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). You can read more of Barry Rubin's posts at Rubin Reports.
By Barry Rubin
A reader writes that he agrees with my assessment on the Palestine Papers but then adds that he doesn't mind seeing PA leader Mahmoud Abbas and PA prime minister Salam Fayyad subjected to some heat and criticism.
My response: How would you like to see them lynched by a crazed mob and replaced by people who launch a new uprising in which hundreds or thousands of people on both sides die?
Not the most likely scenario but quite conceivable. How can anyone think this catastrophe helps the peace process? Has anybody reaching a mass audience said that it hurts any chance for peace? I haven't seen that.
How can a group of revolutionary Islamists (al-Jazira, not the most reliable source) and revolutionary leftists (Guardian, not the most reliable source) so easily and totally seize control of the world debate? Why does it seem as if not a single major newspaper in the world has any desire to independently try to authenticate the documents, analyze their bizarre contents, or question the credentials of two of the most politically motivated and tendentious news organs on the planet?
And finally, have no doubt that this whole affair is probably going to cost people their lives. How's this for a reaction from a British philosophy professor, Ted Honderich, (thanks to Melanie Phillips) writing a letter to the Guardian:
"The revelations in detail (Report, 25 January) of the intransigent greed, the escape from decency, of Israeli governments in negotiation with our selected leaders of the Palestinians, serve one purpose among others. They provide a further part of what is now an overwhelming argument for a certain proposition. It is that the Palestinians have a moral right to their terrorism within historic Palestine against neo-Zionism. The latter, neither Zionism nor of course Jewishness, is the taking from the Palestinians of at least their autonomy in the last one-fifth of their historic homeland. Terrorism, as in this case, can as exactly be self-defence, a freedom struggle, martyrdom, the conclusion of an argument based on true humanity, etc (my emphasis)."
So we now know that Palestinians have a right to murder Israel Jewish men, women, and children by blotting out decades of previous Palestinian terrorism, Israeli peace efforts, and territorial withdrawals on the basis of--even if it were true--one offer by the PA.
Do you believe we are in an area of anti-Israel and often anti-Jewish hysteria comparable to Medieval times? Keep reading.
For as if this wasn't enough:
--A British television station is preparing a documentary by an associate of Michael Moore on how horrible settlers are.
--The BBC is reportedly preparing a drama on the 1948 war. You can just imagine.
--The Los Angeles Times has a long article about Israel as a hotbed of racism and homophobia, when it is the only country in the region where someone found to be a homosexual wouldn't be murdered (and where Palestinian gays go to live and hide out). Not to mention a country that has been airlifting and organizing escape attempts for Jews of darker hue from Ethiopia for many years.
--The release of a Turkish film, "Valley of the Wolves" that lyingly shows Israeli soldiers opening fire on helpless Gaza flotilla passengers and shooting prisoners with handcuffs. At the end, the Turkish heroes kill lots of Israelis. Thousands of ethnic Turks in Europe (it is temporarily barred in Germany) will see a movie in which Israeli Jews brutally murder their fellow countrymen and Palestinians. Then they will see vengeance defined as killing Israeli Jews.
Might this list of things and many more have some effect on someone's behavior in that respect? But of course if someone does go out and kill some Jews or attack an Israeli office will that provoke some soul-searching by those who have been assisting in the incitement? Of course not. Because a number of such murders have taken place in France, for example, without changing anything.
Actually, I have a suggestion of a motto for this new era: Kill the Jews! They Really Deserve it This Time!
So who are the new heroes? Hamas, which is of course totally against any peace. A Hamas official is given op-ed space in the Guardian to push their line that the PA leadership are traitors who should be overthrown. See a pattern here?
So, here is our conclusion: the Palestinians want peace; Israel doesn't; the mild-mannered Tsipi Livni is an aggressive warmonger; Hamas is justified for killing Jews as the only way to wipe Israel off the map (oh, excuse me, establish a permanently peaceful Palestinian state alongside Israel). Lip-service is given to the "gallant" PA but that isn't who is benefitting here.
In America now there's a big to-do about political civility. You see, people are worried that if the public is shown inflammatory television or radio talk shows, they will go out and murder people. Apparently, this doesn't apply to Jews and Israelis since there's a massive campaign--with the cooperation of much (most?) of the mass media--to demonize them.
Talk about a blood libel.
Technorati Tag: Palestine Papers and Palileaks.