Friday, June 21, 2002

I find this sort of thing both amusing and disturbing:

Actually, the Palestinian depravity of this week was even worse, and more cynical. For no sooner had Hamas exploded the bus in Jerusalem than the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade exploded the street corner in Jerusalem: The secularists did not want to suffer in popularity for their failure to murder. In contemporary Palestine, suicide bombing is politically savvy. Yes, yes, the Palestinian community is divided, and there are many decent people who deplore the suicide bombings and aspire to get on with the business of self-government. But Israel cannot be expected to welcome stoically the internecine Palestinian debate while innocent men, women, and children--Jewish and Muslim--are regularly destroyed.

No, I'm not about to defend suicide bombings or those that engage in it. What is both amusing and disturbing about this sort of logic, however, is that as soon as it acknowledges that the set "Palestinian" and the set "Suicide Bomber/supporter of suicide bombing" are seperate and, while overlapping, aren't the same thing, it procedes to ignore it. This is utterly common among the hawks in this discussion, and it always bothers me. After all, I'm sure there are loons in the Knesset who think that the solution should be to force Jordan to take all of the Palestinians in, and in the population as well... but nobody would confuse them with the Israeli government or population at large. So why is it that whenever suicide bombings by individual or groups of Palestinians are mentioned, that huge group of individuals is inevitably melded into one enormous whole? It's pretty obvious that the bombers who are deliberately disrupting peace attempts are not representative of all or perhaps even the majority of Palestinians, yet that distinction is ignored whenever it becomes inconvenient. It's a mistake that does nobody any good: the Israelis, because they misunderstand the situation as it really exists and continually miss the opportunity to ally themselves with the more reasonable Palestinians; the Palestinians, because they are treated like Borg; and the rest of the world, because they're mislead constantly as to the nature of the conflict.

Suicide bombing will not end by "moral clarity", and will only be temporarily suppressed by military action. The only way to start their elimination is to recognize (and, yes, exploit) the divisions that can and do exist within the Palestinians as they do within any group of people. Groupthink doesn't exist in the real world.

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