I read a Facebook post the other day that lamented the fact that Israel and the Palestinians were unequal in power, unequal in security and unequal in justice. Somehow they wanted an evening of power in order for the Palestinians and the Israelis to be equal partners.
But the problem with this Pollyanna scenario is that there is a very distinct moral difference between Palestinian society and Israeli society. That’s not to say there aren’t good or bad individuals on both sides of the conflict, but their societies, as a whole, are so different.
On the palestinian side, there continues to be a glorification of murder. Every day we read reports of how terrorists – terrorists who have murdered innocent people – are honoured and glorified by their societies at the highest levels. Mahmoud Abbas personally visits families whose members have stabbed and killed and bombed innocent individuals. The palestinian authority, who receive money from Europe and the USA, use those same funds to pay their terrorists stipends for their “sacrifice.” They name town squares after them and decorate murals and dedicate schools.
These are not actions that take place in the dark shadows hidden from the public eye – but are carried out with honour and pride in public ceremonies attended by thousands. Palestinian society is proud of the people who do this.
I struggle to understand this desire to make people who would wish our death and our destruction and the end of our homeland – equal. I struggle to understand how exactly we should even the playing fields to make us the same as them. Does that mean we should start stabbing innocent palestinian people in the streets? Does that mean we should supply them with advanced fighter jets so they could wreak more havoc on us? Would that make those who lament the unequal powers satisfied?
The thing is that we don’t want to be like them. We don’t want to even the playing fields. We don’t want the same things out of life that they do.
We want to live and build up a country that helps the world. We want to develop science and arts and culture and music. We want to help cure diseases that people thought could not be cured. We want to develop medical equipment that helps people walk again and give hope where hope once didn’t exist. We want to be a society that celebrates life, rather than one that celebrates death.
We don’t see that on the palestinian side. We see only empty museums with an equally empty soul.
It’s true that Israel has more power, more security and more strength than the Palestinians. But if it relinquished that power, there would not be an Israel, just another failed Arab state in its place. It is precisely that power that allows Israel, despite everything it faces on a daily basis – things that no country on earth faces – to succeed.
This constant blame that seems to be placed on Israel to even the playing fields is simply misplaced. Because it is not up to Israel to discover the palestinian soul – it’s up to them.