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Palestinians don't need incitement to know they are occupied

Israelis refuse to understand what drives Palestinians to violence. After all, it is far more convenient to dehumanize them than face reality.

A Palestinian youth throws stones during clashes with the Israeli army in Bethlehem, West Bank, December 4, 2015. (photo: Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

A Palestinian youth throws stones during clashes with the Israeli army in Bethlehem, West Bank, December 4, 2015. (photo: Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

There’s something self-righteous about calling Palestinians who violently resist occupation “terrorists,” while referring to the ones occupying them, also violently, as mere “soldiers.” It becomes even more grotesque when the people committing these desperate acts are minors, or even children. Even at the tender age of 11 and 13 they are still terrorists, even in so-called “liberal” newspapers like Haaretz. The fact minors that cannot be held criminally responsible for their actions is suddenly no longer relevant to these alleged liberals.

Nobody wants to understand the motives of people resorting to violence. It is far more convenient to call them names and dehumanize them — it makes facing reality much easier. Everything is easier to handle when you don’t see the other side as human, like you.

It becomes even easier if you convince yourself you are liberal enough because you object to the occupation (of the West Bank and Gaza, of course not the lands occupied in 1948). But such liberalism is not at all progressive or liberal, since it enables believers to ignore their own side’s wrongdoings, all the while blaming the other side for how free-thinking individuals choose to resist.

Many so-called “liberal Zionists” recognize the occupation but refuse to recognize that the horrors caused by their own countrymen are the sole reason for most acts of Palestinians violence. Apparently, they think that if it truly was the occupation’s fault, then all Palestinians would be committing these acts. Again, this demonstrates just how too many so-called liberals see us as one “native” group; they refuse to see that we are a collection of individuals with personal agency and different views of reality. It’s similar to a “they all look alike” attitude combined with painful ignorance of our traumas and experiences.

An Israeli Border Policewoman at the scene where three Palestinians carried out a shooting attack outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City. The three were immediately shot dead by Israeli security forces, February 3, 2016. (photo: Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Activestills.org)

An Israeli Border Policewoman at the scene where three Palestinians carried out a shooting attack outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City. The three were immediately shot dead by Israeli security forces, February 3, 2016. (photo: Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Activestills.org)

In fact, there are no shortage of types of experiences, traumas and oppressions under Israel’s occupation. Palestinians living inside Israel, those living in the West Bank, residents of East Jerusalem, and the 1.8 million under siege in Gaza — we all live under different levels and types of occupation.

Not all of us suffer from the same humiliations, and occupation means a different trauma for each of us. A few months ago I wrote in these pages that Palestinians see the wave of recent stabbings and other violent acts of resistance as a way out of their hell, rather than a way to get to heaven. A week later, Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence agency released a report saying the exact same thing. Just last week, Ban Ki-moon made an identical assertion: “History proves that people will always resist occupation.”

Of course Palestinians already knew that. We know our people; we know our experience. Violence is not a result of incitement. No Palestinian man, woman or child needs to turn on the television or go online to know that somebody was killed in an army raid on a refugee camp somewhere in the West Bank. Nobody needs incitement to know that they are occupied, poor, unemployed, humiliated, and full of hatred for their oppressor.

Until the so-called liberals fully understand the daily humiliations these people go through, and until they understand what these Palestinian “terrorists” have endured, they should stop dehumanizing them with convenient labels just to make it easier for them to sleep at night.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Robert

      Are these actually acts of resistance? Or just plain desperation at the lack of a leadership capable of leading an effective mass resistance?

      Reply to Comment
    2. Ben

      “There’s something self-righteous about calling Palestinians who violently resist occupation “terrorists,” while referring to the ones occupying them, also violently, as mere “soldiers.” It becomes even more grotesque when the people committing these desperate acts are minors, or even children. Even at the tender age of 11 and 13 they are still terrorists, even in so-called “liberal” newspapers like Haaretz.”

      Amen, Rami Younis. The writers of the Jerusalem Post seem to be having a competition among themselves to see who can pack more repetitions of the word “terrorist” per inch of column space of any article about resistance to occupation. So that their copy reads like a propaganda sheet and sounds downright silly. But even Haaretz surrenders to this orthodoxy.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Ben

      The reluctant boycotter: Why this liberal Zionist now supports BDS
      Calling the occupation ‘unsustainable’ is how liberal Zionists ease their conscience and excuse their timidity, by telling themselves it can’t last. But it will last – unless we start acting more like radicals.

      Larry Derfner
      http://Www.haaretz.com/Opinion/.Premium-1.702155

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        it’s funny how the Arabs and their extreme leftist allies always try to invert reality.

        According to them, the Arabs who as far back as 1929 massacred Jews in Hebron for being Jews (those Jews were not even Zionists, they were religious Yeshiva students who wanted to live in the holy land). But according to these propagandists, such acts were the acts of “freedom fighters”. Yet there wasn’t even occupation then.

        And that wasn’t just a single act of violence by the Arabs. A long string of mindless murder and Arab violence exists way back from 1929 (and even before) to this very day.

        Benny’s and the author of this article who claim that the Palestinian Arabs are just freedom fighters, give real freedom fighters a bad name. Especially since by agreeing to sign a peace deal with Israel, the Palestinian Arabs could end the occupation without having to resort to violence. But they choose not to because signing a peace deal would make it more difficult to continue their quest to try to destroy the Jewish nation state.

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          As I said to another pro Arab propagandist who posted here…

          …if ‘A’ causes ‘B’, it is not logical to ignore ‘A’ and just talk about ‘B’.

          … but that’s what Benny and the author of this article attempt to do…

          …they endlessly whine about the occupation but they want to ignore caused it and what continues to cause it…

          …in a word, Arab violence against the Jews of Palestine/Israel caused it. And continued Arab violence against Israel and their refusal to sign a peace deal perpetrates it.

          Reply to Comment