Palestinians are capable of opposing terrorism

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) has strongly criticized both Hamas and Fatah over the mini-civil war in the Gaza Strip, citing

…serious violations of the provisions of international law concerning internal armed conflicts, including violations of the right to life and physical integrity perpetrated by the two movements. These violations included extra-judicial and willful killings; disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians; abduction and torture of persons; attacks against civilian facilities, including houses and apartment buildings; shooting at peaceful demonstrations; attacks against hospitals and medical and civil defense crews; seizure, robbery and destruction of public and private institutions.

The report also criticizes the Palestinian Authority for not establishing a commission of inquiry to investigate these events.

At the time, I commented on the moral outrage and shame expressed by Palestinians, as compared to the lack of similar expressions when Palestinian terrorists have murdered Jews. For example, contrast this

Political analyst Ikrimah Thabet said: “…the bloody events have caused enormous damage to the reputation of the Palestinians, especially in light of the filthy and painful violence that has claimed the lives of children, activists, leaders and innocent civilians.” — Khaled Abu Toameh in the Jerusalem Post

With this

In the current interview [in “Al-Sharq al-Awsat”] as in earlier interviews Abu-Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] has been very consistent on several points. The Intifada is legitimate and is part of the resistance to occupation, and it should continue; he supports attacking soldiers and settlers at any time; he opposes attacks on Israeli civilians inside Israel at this time because it is against Palestinian interests. — Michael Widlanski, Ha’aretz (Hebrew, my tr.) [2004]

This point of view — that terrorism against Jews or Israelis is bad only because it is presently ‘counterproductive’ — apparently characterizes the ‘moderate’ wing of the Palestinian movement and is one of the things that makes them ‘moderate’ (the other is that they do not want to replace all of Israel with an Arab state today, but will accept one in the territories as an intermediate step in the process).

Ray HananiaIs it possible to accept the Palestinian narrative in which the current situation represents a denial of Palestinian rights without also justifying (or even ‘understanding’) terrorism? Palestinian-American journalist (and comedian!) Ray Hanania seems to be able to do it:

Once again, Palestinians are faced with a difficult choice. Do they continue to embrace 60-year old principles and demand the impossible – to return to land of the pre-1948 years? Or do they wake up and recognize that their only real chance for peace and a Palestinian state is to accept their own failures? The brutal truth is that Israel’s existence – which Palestinians reject – has much to do with their own failed policies and their own extremist acts.

More importantly, are Palestinians finally willing to stop lying to the Palestinian refugees and to their descendants – to acknowledge the truth that even though the Palestinians may have a legal right under international law to return to their lands taken in 1948, 60 years of continued conflict and failed Arab leadership has made the enforcement of that dream unrealistic?

What is important here is that for once, he places responsibility for the situation of the Palestinians where it belongs — on the policies of the Arab nations, and on their own choice of terrorism as a tactic. We are not going to make a Zionist out of this guy, but possibly we could talk to him.

Unfortunately, he lives in Chicago, not Ramallah.

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