09 July '11
If there is one word that can describe Palestinian Arabs throughout their brief history, it has to be "pawns."
Rarely have they shown authentic initiative. With some exceptions, they have been manipulated by their so-called leaders and by other Arab leaders. Ironically, each of their successive puppetmasters have invariably claimed that they were doing it out of love.
Their first leader, the infamous mufti of Jerusalem, manipulated them for his own hateful purposes which included his own personal enrichment and his severe Jew-hatred. After that the Arab leaders stepped into his role, each of them promising to defeat the Jews and give them land that they planned to annex themselves anyway. During the 1950s, self-appointed leaders collaborated with Arab leaders to stymie their desire to become naturalized citizens of their host countries, a practice that continues to this day.
While the first intifada had some actual homegrown leadership, the second intifada was a pre-planned disaster meant to pressure Israel and that resulted in thousands of people killed because of Arafat's intransigence in peace negotiations.
This year we have seen real, grassroots revolutions throughout the Arab world, from Tunisia to Yemen. Many pundits and anti-Israel activists have been predicting - or even actively desiring - a similar uprising from Palestinian Arabs against Israel. Gideon Levy in Ha'aretz lamented on behalf of the residents of Jenin in February, saying "This week, Jenin's wonderland was to be found in Egypt. Residents of the refugee camp closely followed events in the land of the Nile, in a mood of melancholy jealousy. Each night they crowded into homes to watch television and see what was going on in Cairo. But no winds of change are blowing in the West Bank. No solidarity demonstration was staged; not a single poster of support was to be seen on the streets."
(Read full "The Palestinian Spring" has been outsourced")
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