Thursday, July 18, 2013

Somdeep Sen's Small Insight Into Palestinian Society

Because there just isn't enough talking about the Palestinians on the Huffington Post, brand new blogger Somdeep Sen is following in Ahmed Shihab-Eldin's footsteps of trying to make us care that a Palestinian won Arab "Not As Discriminatory as the Maccabee Games" Idol. Most of his article is talking about how everyone in Gaza was happy about it, not exactly the behavior of people struggling to survive. Not that he doesn't do his best to try and jerk some tears:
"For observers, a euphoric sense of triumph, a rare moment of Palestinian unity and a Palestinian story that didn't involve violence, has once again given way to images of a broken spirit. But, as this musical feat seems to have been quickly transformed into a minor blip (of happiness) in the lives of Palestinians, few have truly grasped the manner in which this moment of euphoric joy, in fact reflected a landscape of absolute tragedy."
That's pretty much what the whole article is like. Personally I would have written something along the lines of: "It's nice that Palestinians have a hero that didn't kill any Jewish children," but I'm not sure Sen would agree with me that that is a positive. Of course nothing in the article might indicate that the Palestinians themselves and/or their leadership are all responsible for the situation in which they now find themselves. Here's Sen again:
"With soaring unemployment, a crippling economy, crumbling social fabric and fractured political elite, life in Gaza is all but empty. While the young struggle to escape it, the old are wise enough to resign to it. Then, the veracity of the celebrations is in fact Gazans embracing a fleeting moment of meaning, in an otherwise meaningless life. In their intensity, the revelry is an attempt to remedy the endless moments of sorrow and despair that otherwise mark the lives of Palestinians."
Yep, if only they had a made a choice to do something other than a pick a fight with the regional superpower next door, they might a very successful and thriving territory! But of course that involves compromising and making peace, which is not something that Palestinians do. This is reflected in Sen's final paragraph; it speaks volumes:
"But, of late, victory for Gazans has been of a morbid nature. Often steeped in the mentality of resistance, it has been synonymous with survival. As a local journalist once noted: 'We survived Operation Cast Lead. We survived Operation Pillar of Defense. And we will continue to survive the siege." But the cost of this survival, and victory, is high. With thousands dead and many more suffering, few can deny that the taste of such victories isn't as sweet."
A classic example of Palestinian logic: oh, our suffering is worse than the Holocaust and apartheid South Africa put together but every time we fight get massacred by Israel it is somehow still a "victory." They tell the people on the outside world that Israel is "genociding" them but tell each other than they are still winning the war, even with all these casualties. It makes no sense, and says a lot about the mentality of the Palestinians.

Nowhere in this piece is making peace ever even discussed, because that's not what the Palestinians want. What do they want?
"Today, the Arab Idol and Mohammed Assaf may be old news. But what they symbolized for Gaza is perpetual. It is unfortunate that moments of happiness reflect tragedy. But that may in fact be the essence of Palestine, Palestinians and their struggle. "
Sen makes it clear: what they want is to "struggle," forever. Without the "struggle," the Palestinians have nothing.

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