Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sharmine Narwani Mouths Off Again

Ol' "Dignity Rockets" has really been posting it up lately, and I thought this latest comment of hers was worth showcasing again, as it is really quite informative. The context is that Alon Ben-Meir wrote an article titled "A Solution to the Palestinians' Refugee Issue." To summarize Mr. Ben-Meir thought that instead of actually packing up and moving the refugees compensation and restitution should be paid, and since the US and the EU are principal donors to Palestinian causes, they should be the ones to provide it. And here is how Ms. Narwani reacted to the idea:

Obviously, there is much to say.

Ms. Narwani is astounded that Mr. Ben-Meir does not put any blame on Israel for the refugee problem. This would be understandable, except that she then proceeds to place the entire blame on Israel. Why should the US and the Arabs have to help pay? Well, who supported the two sides and kept them fighting?

Furthermore, historians agree that if there had been no war in 1948, there never would have been a Palestinian refugee problem. The difference between pro-Zionist and anti-Zionist historians are that the anti-Zionists believed that (a) the Arabs were justified in fighting Israel and (b) that the Israelis were most responsible for the departure of the Palestinians. The latter is still very much in dispute. But not even the most harsh critic of Israel believes that a Palestinian refugee problem was inevitable: It was very much the result of the war. The war started by the Arabs. On that point, we all agree. 

What I also find interesting is that Ms. Narwani blames Israel for the "millions" of Arab refugees sitting in refugee camps for decades. As usual, she is not going to find much support from people who are in touch with reality. Yes, Israel was not going to let millions of Palestinians flood into Israel. That hardly meant that they needed to be kept in refugee camps ad infinitum. The decision to put them there is the fault of the Arab governments who did it, and those governments alone. Ms. Narwani's screeching and finger-pointing here is absurd and it only indicates a "blame Israel first and often" mindset on her part. Of course, we know that it has been there for a while.

Finally, if this hasn't been made obvious already, the issue of compensation is more than just money. The Palestinians have it ingrained in their society that they are the righteous victims. Everything they have done, no matter how horrible, is justified because they are simple "reacting" to their mistreatment by Israel. Not surprisingly, Ms. Narwani subscribes to this narrative completely.

The problem is that (as I believe I have written before) that when one side completely free themselves of responsibility, that opens the door to more violence. In other words, the Palestinians have themselves convinced that as long as Israel is "wronging" them, anything goes. So all they need is to find another "wrong" that Israel is doing, and they can go back to their violent ways without a second thought. Which is why that narrative needs to be broken before the two sides can truly live in peace.

What does that have to do with compensation? Well, if Israel pays compensation to the Palestinians (and the Palestinians don't pay compensation back to Israel) then they are sending a message: "This entire conflict, for the past six decades, has been entirely our fault. It was us abusing you. Please accept our apologies." Obviously, blind Palsbarists like Ms. Narwani think this is the truth, but the reality is that the Palestinians have missed opportunities just as much as Israel has. There is no reason why Israel should have to lie just because the Palestinians can't face the ugly truth about their own part in this conflict. Telling the Palestinians that sixty years of terror and violence on their part is justified invites them to commit sixty more years of it.

One last thing: "Who cares if Israel demands X, Y and Z?" Who cares what you demand, Ms. Narwani? That's the better question!

1 comment:

  1. There is the opposite side of the coin: the Arab deprivation of the material wealth and property of Mizrahi Jewry, which comes when valued in today's dollars, in the hundreds of billions of dollars. If we are going to discuss injustice, that bill is going to be on the table, too.

    And that is why the conflict is not going to be terminated any time soon.


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