Thursday, December 20, 2012

Will International Community Accept Their Share Of Blame For Suffering Of Palestinian Arabs?

It is a familiar sight -- the accusations thrown at Israel for being responsible both for the actions of the Gazan Arab's actions as well as their consequences. Now Evelyn Gordon takes a look at How the World Enabled 25 Years of Palestinian Decline.

She notes the Gazans' favorite methods of defending "their rights":
  • “popular resistance”
  • suicide bombings
  • rockets
  • diplomatic warfare
  • boycott/divestment/sanctions efforts (BDS)
Yet, as Gordon points out, the progress the Arabs have made using such tactics have been negligible, to the extent that despite massive international aid, Gaza's per capita GDP remains flat, while unemployment -- under 5% in the 1980s -- reached 45% by the end of 2010, while Israel has flourished.

Getting past the Arab impulse to blame everything on the Jews, who indeed is responsible?
In answer, Gordon writes:
Yet if Palestinians are primarily to blame for their addiction to such counterproductive tactics, the international community has played a crucial role as enabler. First of all, the massive international aid–more than four times as much per capita as any other nation receives–has cushioned them from the consequences of their bad decisions. Gaza’s situation may not be rosy, but it’s better than that of many other countries: As Michael Rubin noted, Gaza outranks more than 110 countries worldwide in terms of both life expectancy and infant mortality. And as long as international aid is keeping them relatively comfortable, Palestinians feel little incentive to change their tactics.
Amir Taheri wrote back in 2006 how the West saves the Palestinian Arabs from the consequences of bad decisions:
For a war to be won, it is not enough for one side to claim victory. It is also necessary for one side to admit defeat. Yet in the Arab-Israeli wars, the side that had won every time was not allowed to claim victory, while the side that had lost was prevented from admitting defeat. Why? Because each time the United Nations had intervened to put the victor and the vanquished on an equal basis and lock them into a problematic situation in the name of a mythical quest for an impossible peace.

...With the UN artificially keeping the war as a stalemate with no real victor, there has never been an opportunity for real peace.
But according to Gordon, the problems go beyond the Arabs avoiding consequences -- the West also indulges the Palestinian Arabs in their fantasies as well:
Far worse, however, is that by offering the Palestinians almost unstinting diplomatic support while relentlessly criticizing Israel, the world feeds Palestinian fantasies that these tactics will someday succeed–that eventually, the world will force Israel to its knees. The recent farce at the UN was a classic example: 138 countries voted to recognize “Palestine” as a state in gross violation of the Palestinians’ own signed commitments, even though it meets none of the criteria for statehood. But the world then went into a frenzy of condemnation when Israel responded by advancing planning processes–not even actual construction–in an area that every peace plan ever proposed has assigned to Israel in any case. So why would Palestinians conclude that they are the ones who need to change their behavior?
As a democracy, Israel is much easier to push around and force into situations, agreements and unilateral concessions -- unlike Muslim regimes.

But for all of Israel's concessions over the years, the West has precious little to show for it. This has done nothing  to dissuade the West from condemning Israel while ignoring Abbas -- leading to the absurdity of Israel's alleged "moderate" peace partner looking to unite with Hamas terrorists dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

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