Human Rights organizations have reliably taken a "progressive" stance for the last few years. They typically see the world in terms of oppressors and their victims. Perhaps no people have more successfully been depicted as victims than the Palestinians. On almost any measure, NGOs, not to mention most of the West's MSM, have found ways to convict the Israelis of all the ills that the Palestinians suffer from. One of the great benefits of achieving victim status is that you are never held responsible for your own heinous acts; all misbehavior, from suicide bombings to the point blank murder of children, can be explained and excused as the result of Israeli aggression and occupation. In the court of public opinion the Palestinians have long held sway over the Israelis (and I would not even attempt to calculate how much of this is facilitated by traditional elite anti-Semitism) and this does great damage to Israel. However, being known primarily as victims does even more damage to the benighted Palestinians who have thus far been spectacular failures at every attempt to build their own society. Perhaps some change is in the wind. Two stories this morning are worth some attention, though clearly the major story of the day is the mid-term elections.
On NPR this morning, there was a report of the rising violence in Nablus, on the West Bank. Although there were obligatory quotes, from the Mayor, placing the blame for the deteriorating situation in Nablus on the Israeli occupation, the bulk of the report focused on complaints from residents of the young armed thugs who are ruling the streets. In the words of one woman, Israel has nothing to do with this. It was remarkable to hear from NPR, which so infrequently has stories which fail to maintain the meme.
Just as remarkable is a new report from Human Rights Watch, an organization that can discern American and Israeli abuse and torture in the slightest of clues.
Inadequate Laws and Policies Deny Victims Justice
(Ramallah, November 7, 2006) − The Palestinian Authority (PA) has failed to establish an effective framework to respond to violence against women and girls, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Despite the current political and economic crisis, there are steps that the PA can and should take to address these abuses as a priority issue within its security agenda.
The 101-page report, “A Question of Security: Violence Against Palestinian Women and Girls,” based on field research conducted in the West Bank and Gaza in November 2005 and early 2006, documents dozens of cases of violence ranging from spousal and child abuse to rape, incest and murders committed under the guise of family “honor.” There is increasing recognition of the problem, and some PA officials have indicated their support for a more vigorous government response, but the PA has taken little action to prevent these abuses. As a result, violence against women and girls is often unreported, and even when it is, it usually goes unpunished.
This is one of the dirty little secrets of the world of Islam; it is not the wearing of the veil that oppresses women, but the systematic violence that ensures that women know their place and stay in their place. The dynamic is typical of Honor-Shame cultures:
“When confronted with cases of violence against women and girls, the Palestinian criminal justice system is more interested in avoiding public scandal than in seeing justice done,” said Lucy Mair, the report’s other researcher and co-author. “A woman’s basic right to life and bodily integrity is seen as a secondary concern at best.”
The report contains obligatory references to the occupation but even Human Rights Watch has to acknowledge that this is a problem of and for the Palestinians.
Elder of Ziyon, whose web site has become a daily read, has been keeping a tally of Palestinian on Palestinian violence, which dwarfs Israeli-Palestinian violence. He comments on the lack of attention such killings receive, not only in the West but within the Arab world:
YNet reports that Islamic Jihad kidnapped and murdered four supposed "collaborators" with Israel, who they claim were caught doing the heinous crime of disabling rockets meant to kill Jews.
Meanwhile, the Khan Younis clan clashes continue with two more killed.
This means that the number of Palestinian Arabs violently killed by their own people since Operation Summer Rains (that I know of) is now at 154.
It also means that there were at least 11 murders this weekend in Gaza that the mainstream media, and indeed even most of the Palestinian Arab media, completely ignored.
In fact, I do not recall seeing any articles in the PalArabic media referring to any arrests or trials for any of the criminals - surprising indeed, considering how many policemen they have!
It sounds like these people deserve a state of their own. Because then we can have peace in the region.
Elder also has an interesting post which documents the devolution of the Palestinian territories. In Congratulations, Hamas, he takes you step by step through the process where by Palestinian terror has boomeranged to the detriment of the Palestinians and each step of the way their support for terror has continued in an unwavering fashion. His conclusion reflect a sad but inevitable outcome of years of teaching hate:
And they will continue to support the people who have made their lives hell because they believe that killing Jews is more important than building a state.
Perhaps we are seeing the beginning of accountability for the Palestinians; if so, it may yet prove once again that only with responsibility is growth possible.