The endless alarms from self-assigned monitoring groups dedicated to exposing the true face of Palestinians, Arabs, and their media makes a veritable cottage industry. Normally the media is culled for the most hard-line and often minority trends that “prove” all the Islamophobic stereotypes so fashionable today.
One of the claims you may be familiar with is that the Palestinians blame everything on Israel and are incapable of self-criticism or even taking responsibility for anything.
Yes, there is a tendency among occupiers and the occupied to blame everything on the “other side,” but the base generalization of such an assertion barely merits debunking.
Neverthless, just for the record, and for next time someone uses that line with you, send them, as one example among very many, this piece from the Palestinian press. These kinds of articles are far too rarely translated.
This is by Rajab Abu Sirriyeh from the Palestinian daily, al-Ayyam.
Before discussing the reasons that lie behind the breakdown of law and order in the Palestinian territories, it must be pointed out that fundamentalism, extremism, and a general propensity for violence all provide fertile soil for anarchy to grow. In other words, security measures alone cannot hope to eradicate the phenomenon of lawlessness.
In my opinion, many years of random and misguided policies created forces that exploited the resulting chaos for their own ends. These forces succeeded in forging economic and social ties with certain elements in the Palestinian power structure, which makes it very difficult for the Palestinian Authority to fight the phenomenon of anarchy. It can even be said that there are significant forces within the Palestinian political hierarchy that strongly resist a return to law and order.
Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh’s recent call for the various Palestinian factions to unite in support of the government security plan will come to nothing unless the forces of good come together to back and indeed develop the plan.
All political forces and movements, which have allowed lawless elements to infiltrate their ranks – and that includes Fateh and Hamas – must be pressured to expel them.
Palestinian leaders must encourage the people to defend their country not only against outside occupiers but also against those who have made a career of exploiting their suffering for their own ends.
The Palestinians who are struggling for their rights must set an example by uniting behind the government and not leave it to face anarchy and those behind it on its own. Even those who are opposed to the government must stand beside it as it tries to restore the rule of law and turn the page on the anarchy that all the Palestinian people suffered under for so long.