In the Washington Post yesterday, Charles Krauthammer had a column on the poor Palestinian family that got blown up on a beach in Gaza. After explaining that the explosion could not have been due to an Israeli shell fired in response to nearby rocket launches into Israeli neighborhoods, he writes,
Let’s concede for the sake of argument that the question of whether it was an errant Israeli shell remains unresolved. But the obvious question not being asked is this: Who is to blame if Palestinians are setting up rocket launchers to attack Israel — and placing them 400 yards from a beach crowded with Palestinian families on the Muslim Sabbath?
Answer: This is another example of the Palestinians’ classic and cowardly human-shield tactic — attacking innocent Israeli civilians while hiding behind innocent Palestinian civilians. For Palestinian terrorists — and the Palestinian governments (both Fatah and Hamas) that allow them to operate unmolested — it’s a win-win: If their rockets aimed into Israeli towns kill innocent Jews, no one abroad notices and it’s another success in the terrorist war against Israel. And if Israel’s preventive and deterrent attacks on those rocket bases inadvertently kill Palestinian civilians, the iconic “Israeli massacre” picture makes the front page of the New York Times, and the Palestinians win the propaganda war.
Krauthammer then goes on to ask exactly why terrorists in Gaza are bothering to launch rockets into Israel, since, y’know, Israel pulled out of Gaza and withdrew behind pre-1967 borders. He sums it up as the same mindset that I always ascribed to Arafat: it’s a lot easier to be a terrorist/victim than a statesman.
In my opinion, one of the key functions of the Israel’s withdrawal from the territories and construction of a wall — besides keeping Palestinians from homicide-bombing inside Israel’s new borders — is to force the Palestinian people to look at themselves as citizens of their own state. Quite early in the withdrawal, we began hearing stories that Palestinians were not happy that Yasser’s cousins had all the good jobs.
My buddy Mitch Prothero commented in a recent article that the foreign press isn’t interested in covering the civil war going on in Palestinian society. He doesn’t say explicitly that this is because it goes against the accepted narrative of the Palestinians as the oppressed victims of the Zionist conspiracy, but I think that’s a big part of it (another big part is that journalists don’t want to get shot at).
Just as Brendan O’Neill has brought up some very-difficult-to-stomach aspects of the genocides in Rwanda and Sudan in his recent columns, there are parts of every story that we gloss over to keep from facing the messiness of reality, or to keep from sullying the purity of our outrage.