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July 6, 2006

Hamas' Pathological Dependence On Hating Israel

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

How does one "Disengage" from an enemy with a pathological dependence on having you to hate and someone to dispise and commit violence against? Alan Kaufman addresses this issue in his piece today at the L.A. Times:

There is something psychologically profound about Hamas abducting to Gaza and holding hostage an Israeli soldier, 19-year-old Cpl. Gilad Shalit. You would think that the very last thing the Palestinians would want to import to Gaza is precisely the emblem of their former occupation: a soldier.

And yet, on a psychological plane, this seemingly senseless political act may be symbolically important. Perhaps without the soldier in their midst, the Palestinians in and of themselves feel no existential purpose. Perhaps they have no way to establish their own sense of destiny without the perpetual agony of conflict with Israel.

Hamas literally needs an occupier-enemy, just as released convicts who can't seem to make it on the outside intentionally commit crimes in order to be returned to prison, where they feel safer and better understand the rules.

How else to explain the barrage of Kassam rockets from Gaza at Israel's populated areas even after Israel has evacuated the Palestinians' land? How else to fathom the pointless murder of a West Bank settler, 18-year-old Eliyahu Asheri, killed almost immediately following his abduction? Each rocket, each murder, is a painful tap on Israel's shoulder from a frustrated former marriage partner who cannot let go and is threatening homicide. I'm still here, proclaims each explosion. Take me back, each murder demands.

Unfortunately, Israel cannot take out a restraining order against Hamas.

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How can one believe otherwise than to connect Palestinian society and its culture with a sick hatred of Israel and the Jews? After all, isn't true that while Israelis protest by "demonstrating and jeering," Palestinian Arabs protest by "blowing up buses and the people in them. That's a life-and-death difference in choices."

To the extent that the Palestinians "suffer" and dispair living under what they choose to call a "military occupation" by Israel, their real problem lies in the fact that they have allowed their emotions to overcome reason, and in doing so, have allowed extremist elements who oppose peace and compromise, like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, with core constituencies of radical and fanatic supporters who exploit the suffering of the Palestinians and their emotions to project the view that the Palestinians would prefer continued conflict to compromise.

As I offered back in October 2005, the fundamental question in the Middle East conflict remains to be whether or not the Palestinians can be saved, not from Israel, as many of them would have it, but from themselves. After all, in a people that have adopted a culture that worships suicide bombings, really create a sustainable society?

As Kaufman says in his L.A. Times piece, "There is an aspect of Israel that is rarely talked about, a side not portrayed in Steven Spielberg's and Tony Kushner's cynical film, "Munich." Its source is a deeply Jewish perspective that holds that the loss of a single Jewish life is equal to that of an entire universe -- the code of a people who, to this day, remember the anonymous graves of 6 million Jews, including 1 million children, killed in the Holocaust."

Compare this to a Palestinian culture that literally worships the suicide of their own children. That is a pathological difference!

Palestinians Suffering From Their Own Culture
The Culture of Martyrdom

Posted by Richard at July 6, 2006 10:18 AM

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