Tuesday, 15 January 2013
The Corrections

Yet again, for want of the M-word, a journalist falls from an alpha to an alpha minus. Thanks to Christina for tipping me off about a piece from the Israeli English-language blog,This Ongoing War. Correction is easy -- do a global find and replace of "Palestinian" with "Muslim" and you're pretty much there. The piece, by two Israeli Jews, formerly from Australia, is called Like An Alien Planet. As Christina says, it's Planet Islam, alas not worlds enough away:

Imagine you came down from another planet and learned, for the first time, about a people who claim their national path to autonomy and self-fulfillment requires honoring the cold-blooded murderers who are central to their historical tradition (a certain neighbourhood politician did this recently; we posted about him on Thursday: "11-Jan-13: When pundits or commentators next tell us Israel must relax its anti-terrorism measures, here is what they are hiding or ignoring").

Imagine further that this people credits its strength and resilience to the fact that it belongs to a mighty and united brotherhood of nations (see Fayyad: "We plead with our brothers etc"). Imagine, as well, that this nation blames all of its suffering on the efforts of one hated and specific other people.

But you have not just arrived  from another planet. And you are visiting this site. So chances are you understand we mean the Palestinian Muslim Arabs.

Good, because now it's time to think about cognitive dissonance.

Why? Because the war of terrorism conducted by the Arabs Muslims in our part of the world has been an existential factor for generations, reaching well back into the nineteenth century. Explanations for why it continues well into the twenty-first century are not in short supply. But on the whole we think they baffle more than they clarify. In a few brief paragraphs, here's how we come to that view.

First, let's note how closely tied the Palestinian Muslim Arabs are by genes, marriage and blood to the world's most super-wealthy statelets and countries. Plainly, this has failed to generate anything like the kind of spill-over prosperity one might conceivably expect. The misery of most Palestinian Muslim Arabs is visible and manifest. Understanding why this is so seems to depend on where you stand on the political and social spectra, though really (we say) it should not.

In terms of charitable donations and aid given to them during the past decade at least (see reports by the authoritative US Insitute of Peace and Wikipedia), they are the single largest per capita recipients of international development assistance in the world. This is a non-trivial observation, in an era in which oceans of money are fed into global aid programs. Yet those torrents of cash pouring into the always-open, Palestinian Muslim Arab collective palm never ever seem to make any impact on their lack of resources, industry,  basic facilities and upwards-traction. The money has failed to create industrial parks, scientific centers or even impactful writers who have managed to rise about the morass. Foreign aid does not seem to alleviate any of the disadvantage and profound national unhappiness that, as anyone who reads Palestinian Muslim self-promotions knows, goes on and on and on and on. (But never say it lacks an effect. Effects it certainly does have.)

Pan-Arab Ummah conferences and initiatives based on the theme of "the Palestinian Muslims who live near Israel are our brothers" keep happening. Yet the funding of the one, single, most important means of keeping their bodies and souls together - we refer to UNRWA - continues to be provided overwhelmingly by... non-Arab Muslim sources. When you ponder that for a moment, it's simply incredible. We quoted the actual numbers in a our blog nearly a year ago (see "20-Feb-12: Strategically, what is the most striking aspect of Israel's response to the ceaseless rocket attacks from that nest of terrorist vipers, the Gaza Strip?"). We wrote at that time:

If UNRWA's work is so important, if it brings us closer to peace, if it restores dignity to the lives of dispossessed and destitute Arabs Muslims, then why, when you look at the top twenty list of donors to this agency that exists entirely from donations do you see that only one is Arab Muslim? In 2010, the most recent year for which we can find reliable data, that Arab Muslim donation (Islamic Development Bank) comes in at number 19. Australia gave three times as much... [more]


The Palestinian oil-poor Muslim government in Ramallah understands doesn't understand the roots of its ongoing poverty, namely Islam, and but does see the yawning gap between the capabilities unearned, Western-technology-generated wealth of their oil-rich Muslim cousins and their results that arrive in their Ramallah mail box. This December 2012 news report notes 
Arab countries agreed in their Baghdad summit for an Arab safety net of $100 million dollars each month [for the Ramallah government], but unfortunately none of this has been achieved yet... Palestinian were cheered by a strong majority in the U.N. recognizing them as an "observer state," but have struggled to get Arab support to make up $100 million in shortfalls left by Israeli sanctions following the U.N. move [more].   
Concerning that "hated people" trope we mentioned above, we want to mention some minor reports from this week's news. Soldiers of an explicitly-religious IDF battalion called Netzah Yehuda (part of the army's Kfir brigade) undertook a rescue operation in the fierce winter storm that has been affecting this area all week. This happened on Wednesday, and resulted in three Palestinian Muslim Arab men being rescued before the fierce currents washed them away near the Nablus River where they were among several carloads of people stranded with their drivers trapped in a constantly intensifying current. Ynet says "The storm was too severe for helicopters to arrive at the scene, and the battalion commander resorted to utilizing a Palestinian's tractor that was passing by." The company commander is interviewed [here] on how - not why, since every Israeli understands why you try to save a drowning person - his men accomplished the rescue. You can see some video coverage of the rescue here and (for Hebrew speakers) here. Also in this past week's unusually stormy weather, IDF soldiers rescued a school bus carrying 30 Palestinian Muslim Arab children near the PA-controlled city of Jenin [report].

For some inexplicable reason, Maan, a Palestinian Muslim news agency that seems to be on top of almost everything happening over here, missed these news items.

But we understand: rescuing people in danger is not the kind of thing that gets other people to change their deeply ingrained prejudices. We're not suggesting they happen (or are reported) for their political effect. They simply happen to be part of the mosaic of mundane life events in this turbulent part of the world. But what to us is extraordinary is they way they get inverted by people with hostile agendas (small examples here and here) to stand for something wicked.

So we think it's valid to occasionally point readers to websites like Israel21CKeren Malki and Save a Child's Heart, among many others, that throw some light on the essentially one-way nature of Arab feelings of revulsion, and gives them a context. At the same time, we're not embarrassed to remind readers yet again that when Palestinian Arabs are in mortal danger, as we mentioned above concerning Syria, the general Arab Muslim reaction, and the specifically Jordanian Muslim reaction (another reminder: more than half of the Jordanians call themselves Palestinians) is nothing less than astonishing.
Sometimes you get the sense that all of this must be taking place on another planet where people think and act in ways that are totally strange and incomprehensible to the rest of us. Welcome to the Arab/Israel conflict and this ongoing war. Islam and Jihad.
Posted on 01/15/2013 6:29 AM by Mary Jackson
15 Jan 2013
Hugh Fitzgerald

You know, the original piece was so good, composed with such no-nonsense Sachlichkeit, the authors  even using "Palestinian Arabs" instead of "Palestinians," that I wonder if it is a fully deserving target for "The Corrections." And the Christian -- the islamochristian -- Palestinian Arabs, from the Hanan-Ashrawi and Bishop-Sabbagh all the way to the George-Habash representatives, would seem to be left out if the word "Muslim" is used, unless one makes clear that they are plus-royaliste-que-le-roi islamochristians, fully accepting of the Muslim world-view when it comes to Infidel Israel. Perhaps I am just getting too tolerant for my own good.

15 Jan 2013
Send an emailMary Jackson

But do the Muslims regard these Islamo-Christians as their brothers? If you just say Arabs, then that wrongly includes real Christians.

15 Jan 2013

These corrections are not even improvements.  Even putting aside the fact that the vast majority of Arab Christians are fully on board when it comes to demonizing Israel and promoting Christian antisemitism, including what Bat Ye'or calls the "Palestinian replacement theology" (though for my part it would be more correct to call it historical falsification on an epic scale, featuring as it does an "Arab Jesus" and other like trash), it's still the case that only muddled political correctness would find fault with calling an Arab an Arab, for Pete's sake!  This, by the way, has nothing to do with refusing to go along with Arab propaganda, as one does when one calls Palestinian Arabs "Palestinians."

15 Jan 2013
Send an emailMary Jackson

only muddled political correctness would find fault with calling an Arab an Arab

You seem to have missed the point. "Arab" is corrected to "Muslim" because the jihad, self-inflicted poverty and Jew-hatred shown in this and other articles are Muslim, not merely Arab, problems, occurring not just in the Middle East or "Palestine" but wherever there are Muslims.

For all the merits of this article, it is astonishing that such matters can be discussed without reference to Islam.

15 Jan 2013

Then perhaps you shouldn't stop at "Muslim" but change it to "human"?  After all, you aren't going to tell me that poverty, religious strife, and intolerance are exclusively Muslim problems, are you?  To be sure, I have nothing against being reminded that Islam in some sense accounts for these people's certain tendencies, goals, attitudes, and whatnot, but that's no reason to mention the religion of every individual Muslim or Arab every chance one gets.  That would be as much against common sense as writing "fascist Jake was sitting on the can" or "the Jew Einstein's theory of general relativity has important astrophysical implications."  Besides, much of what you and I disapprove about Islam was there in seventh century Arab culture.  And, to quote Hugh Fitzgerald, Islam is "a vehicle of Arab supremacism."  Then what about those secular Arab nationalists from the 50's and 60's?  My point is that you can't always disentangle what is "Arab" from what is "Muslim."  Changing one adjective to another is sometimes just pointless.

15 Jan 2013
Send an emailMary Jackson

 Changing one adjective to another is sometimes just pointless.

Sometimes, yes, but in this case not, since the problems are not just Arab but Muslim.

Islam may  have started out as a vehicle for Arab supremacy, but currently most Muslims are not Arab. Pakistanis in Rotherham follow their prophet's example in raping under-age girls just as surely as do Arabs in "Palestine".

"Human" won't cut it at all - it's a complete cop out.

I stand by my view that it is astonishing that an article about Islam-mandated behaviour does not once mention the M word, the I word or the J word.

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