Samson Blinded: A Machiavellian Perspective on the Middle East Conflict
[ Palestinians content with Israeli occupation of their area ] [ Palestine contests Israel's right to exist ]

Palestinian suffering stems from irresponsibility

Professor Edward Said repeatedly disregards his fellow Palestinians’ irresponsible behavior while lamenting the natural consequences of the Palestininas' actions. The Arabs started the 1947 war with Israel, so they suffered from Israel. Edward Said frets over the harsh refugee camp life of a Palestinian family with eight children. Many Westerners would say that life can be hard with half that many. The Palestinian population explosion exemplifies Arab irresponsibility, which often requires of Israel special measures and preferential treatment to correct.

Edward Said tells the story of a Palestinian refugee family in the Shatila camp, “without hope and money” but with a week-old baby needing medical treatment. Did the child’s parents not expect medical expenses when they bore the child? Condoms are cheaper than the socialist free health service Edward Said advocates. And why is the Palestinian child’s family without work and money? Can neither adult find any job whatsoever? Palestinian women, of course do not usually work outside the home, but the Western world relaxed that cultural restraint dozens of years ago when men could no longer provide all their families needed. If Palestinian women prefer to sit at home, that is their right—but they choose poverty willingly. The main reason Palestinians are jobless is their dependence on welfare programs. While what the Palestinians get may seem minuscule to Western journalists, it is far more than they earned from agriculture before creation of Israel and comparable to the earnings of the rural population of Arab countries which do not have oil.

Of the family that needed medical treatment Edward Said reports that a charity hospital refused to help because the child was Palestinian. Abominable as that is, it shows the hostility Palestinians arouse everywhere they live. Edward Said also quotes a Lebanese official saying about Palestinians, “We cannot integrate them into society.”

Another example of Palestinian unwillingness to take responsibility for their own actions is Edward Said’s blaming Israel for supporting Yassir Arafat. Israel fought Arafat when the Palestinians still supported him; Israel kept Arafat under house arrest and was looking to exile him from Palestine. Often Israeli politicians refused to talk to Arafat. Yet Edward Said thinks Israel should have replaced Yassir Arafat or stopped supporting him. That would mean Israel should stop subsidizing Palestine with funds Arafat and his clique appropriated and spent on themselves. Never mind the resulting outcry against Israel's economic suffocation of their Palestinian motherland.