Golda was right
Via Martin Kramer's minimalist-style blogging, here is this broadly stated analysis:
Golda Meir once said that a bad press was better than a good epitaph...
...what Arab nationalists and Islamists often cite as their strongest card that time is on their side--because of high birth rates, which also mean lower living standards, or due to Israel's impending miraculous collapse--is among their worst mistakes. You could call it the vulture strategy, wait around in hope your adversary will die. They go on fighting and suffering--postponing peace, progress, and prosperity--while Israel, despite costs, prospers and its people live much better lives.
...One reason for this malady is that most Arabs and Muslims are misled by a history often characterized by the cycle famously described by the historian Ibn Khaldoun. City-centered civilizations grown rich and decadent were destroyed by warlike tribes who reveled in battle. Sheep-like peasants were preyed on by nomadic warriors who raided them like wolves, killing and pillaging.
Now would-be conquerors sacrifice all for a future that'll never come. A strategy based on loving death and hating life reaps the commensurate result.
Jews know well from history that it is wrong to say "sticks and stones" are physically damaging while "words will never hurt me." Experience has shown that one day, blood libel; next day, pogrom. Yet Golda Meir was in fact right: progress trumps propaganda; quality triumphs over quantity; building beats destroying; and pragmatism is superior to ideologically-based wishful thinking.
Or, as I have been arguing on my blog, the often employed argumentun ad misericordiam by Palestinians - embraced and promoted by MSM organs like the BBC, The Guardian, sometimes CNN, often PBS - is just what it means: a logical fallacy.
Winning the battle of who gets more pity-points (and often manufactured pity, at that) does not help Palestinians get any closer to what they claim they want: their own statehood, normal life, peace, a future for their children. Such a policy can only work through vile, boundless, mind-numbing incitement and terrorism, which, in their turn, provoke the retaliations that then bring on more Palestinian suffering that will then award them those pity-points. It's a thoroughly dead end philosophy.
Political activists who genuinely care for Palestinians (not many of those around. It often seems that pro-Palestinians only care about Palestinians because their enemies are the Jews..) should re-direct their efforts and criticisms from trying to prevent Israel's defensive measures to eradicating the root causes that make those defensive measures necessary. It's about holding Palestinians accountable for their own choices and persuading them to grow up, take responsibility, act like an adult people, not a bunch of mentally-disturbed children whose only way of feeling important is through repeated and evermore violent tantrums.
"Civilization is not self-supporting. It is artificial. If you are not prepared to concern yourself with the upholding of civilization -- you are done." (Ortega y Gasset)
Monday, June 16, 2008
Golda was right