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Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Media - Like Stink on Gaza

Once again Richard Landes finds the story no one in the mainstream media will tell and few in the west have the courage to hear. A huge, open cesspool, part of an immense network of festering waste products has burst this past week and swept away an entire village of 25 houses. At least four people were killed and an unspecified number are still missing. Here’s the BBC story about it.

Note that, in the article cited, the Palestinian leaders immediately attempted to blame Israel and the west for the problem but were cut off at the knees when, “Stuart Shepherd, the UN's humanitarian aid officer in Gaza, said the Umm al-Naser plant had not been affected by the aid boycott, noting there had long been warnings about the plant.” This is especially damning as most UN officials are quick to unfairly accuse Israel and excuse Palestinian incompetence.

This is not anything to gloat or make smug about, this is a tragedy but it is also a crucial opportunity to learn a lesson about the Palestinian plight and the reasons for it. It is the very epitome of the problem with the Arab world.

My Father served in the Merchant Marine during WWII. He told me that at every North African or Eastern Mediterranean port he sailed into, he could smell it from 25 miles out at sea. That smell was the palpable odor of a people trying to live in the modern world with a governmental organization that was not up to the task of providing the services required. The stink that must be emanating from Gaza now is just more of the same.

As Landes puts it:
”The Palestinians still have an insane war to conduct, so they continue to do what little damage they can, while in an Israeli headlock. But rather than say uncle and get on with their (potentially, powerful lives as the cutting edge of an Arab/Muslim entry into the world of modern productivity), they prefer to struggle till they sprain their muscles, as in this sewage spill."

My only Quibble with Landes is that this is much more than a “muscle sprain”. If they thought they felt humiliated by Israel and the west before this, how must they feel now? Unable to make the rational choice of taking some small part of their assets and energy that they continually put into acquiring, stockpiling and discharging weapons toward Israel, they have created a colossal mess. They have ignored the third (food, shelter, sanitation, etc…)most basic need of human life to such a degree that they are now literally awash in their own excrement.

It seems insane, and it is. Here is a people who, along with the Lebanese, once were thought of as the most modern, secular and sophisticated Arabs in the world. The Caliphists and the despotic Palestinian ruling class have them and much of the western media and left wing convinced that they are reduced to wallowing in their own excrement because of Israel. Israel is no more the cause of Palestinian misery than it is the Syrian-led destruction of Lebanese civil society. How much longer can their leaders divert their attention from this insanity by blaming Israel and America? How much longer will they allow the dark forces of Caliphist Islam and the ruling elite of the Arab world to use those excuses for their venality and incompetence? How could this people have allowed their leaders to stunt the growing financial prosperity, social progress and modernization?

Once upon a time, Beirut was known as the Paris of the Middle East. Then Syria moved in and for the past thirty years it has been a terrorist haven and a place of religious intolerance, sectarian violence and fear. It is a terrible irony that now that tired old metaphor has been turned inside out under the same Caliphist pressure. These days, Paris is fast becoming the Beirut of Europe.

The leadership of the Caliphate movement and the presidents and dictators of the despot states of Arabia knew that they would not stay in power long if they allowed the freedom and modernity that was growing in Lebanon to survive. This is why they forced the Palestinian refugees to remain in camps in Lebanon and fed them guns and Islamic mind control. They knew if they kept the Palestinians in poverty and strife and pitted them against the free Lebanese state, there would be trouble.

It was no accident that the nephew of the Mufti of Jerusalem (that infamous ally of Hitler and the man who, more than anyone else, succeeded in encouraging the Arabs living in the land when Israel was created to rise and flee, creating the refugee problem to begin with) rose to become the leader of the Palestinian people. That unprepossessing, grimy little man with his receding chin and irritating speaking voice rose to power not on charisma but on power-broking, outside financing and murder. The Arabs put him in place and set up the Palestinians to be eternal refugees because they knew that this formerly secular, better educated people, like their neighbors the Lebanese, left alone to find better leaders on their own, would settle in (as the Lebanese did after WWII and the “Nakba“) and create a new, more modern and greater Arab entity than the oil-rich, culture poor majority can even dream of.

The despots, ruling families and clerical elites of the Arab world would sacrifice anything to maintain their positions of power. They foment eternal war, poison the minds of their children, starve their people to buy weapons, murder millions of innocents - their own and ours, they would even see their people literally drown in excrement rather than help them to live better lives.

This is why they raped and ruined Lebanon.

And it is also why they backed and financed the terror stooge Arafat to keep the war against the Israelis alive. Arafat knew nothing about making a state work; he didn’t even know how to stop making war when he had an opportunity to make a state, but he certainly know how to secure arms and siphon billions off for his own fortune. This is his legacy, a people helplessly awash in their own excrement- not because they are stupid or dirty but because their leaders have been both for too long.

Even now, our media does not inform us about the stench of mismanagement, repression and corruption. Could it be that they are so dumb they can't even identify the smell of shit? No, they smell it all right and when they encounter any whiff of it here in the U.S. they revel in it. They roast the Mayors, Governors, Representatives, Senators and Presidents responsible. They blow the small ones out of proportion and the make careers out of the big ones. Look at the two years of bathos in aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. As bad as Katrina was, it is not a hair on a flea in comparison with the ongoing, rolling human tragedy that is the entire Arab world. Oh, but it would be racist and ethnocentric to mention that- wouldn’t it?

By exaggerating the peccadilloes of the open, self-policing west on one hand and not reporting the utter catastrophe that is life in the Arab/Islamic world, our own western media is playing a critical role in excusing and enabling the Caliphists. Only holding the responsible people to account will make the situation better. The media has to stop shrinking from reminding the “Poor Palestinians” (and us) that their leaders have betrayed them and that the priority they place on struggle is not just unsanitary but suicidal as well. They need to understand that their behavior does nothing but deepen their humiliation.

Shame on the Arab leadership, shame on the Arab people for suffering such leaders and, most of all, shame on the western media, for failing to inform us of the stink.

2 comments:

Jewish Odysseus said...

Yaakov, one extra incredible layer of irony--the Gaza Pals had received metal from Israel to upgrade their sewage system, but had diverted the materials. For what? Oh, you can guess: TO CONSTRUCT KASSAM ROCKETS.

Here is the great article by Reuven Koret from IsraelInsider--[the JPost article that noted the diversion of the metal appeared on 3/5/07]:

http://web.israelinsider.com/Articles/Politics/11055.htm

How greed, hatred and corruption engulfed a Palestinian village in sewage
By Reuven Koret March 30, 2007
.......

But even the locals eventually had to admit that the cause of the levee collapse was the theft by locals of sands from the containing embankment. And metal Israel provided for upgrading the sewage system was used instead to create rockets to fire into Israel.

.........

Gaza City Mayor Majid Abu Ramadan, who leads a council of Gaza municipalities, blamed the collapse on endemic lawlessness. He accused local residents of stealing the dirt and selling it to building companies for 300 shekels ($70) a truckload.

The Jerusalem Post reported earlier this month that metal provided by Israel had been used in the construction of those terrorist rockets. And why was Israel selling the Palestinians metal? "For the construction of a sewage system in Gaza."

Israel tries to help Palestinians built a sewage system and the Palestinians divert the money and metal to create rockets to attack Israel. Palestinians then sell the sand from an embankment holding back a cesspool, and one fine day are engulfed in their own excrement.

The story may not have the biblical proportions of Pharaoh and his chariots, but it would be difficult for a creative writer to construct a more fitting illustration of tragic justice.

Richard Landes said...

your wrote:
My only Quibble with Landes is that this is much more than a “muscle sprain”. If they thought they felt humiliated by Israel and the west before this, how must they feel now? Unable to make the rational choice of taking some small part of their assets and energy that they continually put into acquiring, stockpiling and discharging weapons toward Israel, they have created a colossal mess. They have ignored the third (food, shelter, sanitation, etc…)most basic need of human life to such a degree that they are now literally awash in their own excrement.


the key element to shame and honor is what others think. if they can a) blame it on israel and the intl community, b) dismiss it as a bunch of bedouin who got what they deserve, and c) keep it under wraps by chasing away the reporters, then they don't feel overwhelming shame.

that's where the media play a critical role -- by focusing on these failures of palestinian leadership, they can have a strong impact on who the palestinians choose as leaders.

the tragedy of the 21st century is that for a generation the west -- media and european politicians -- lionized arafat, making him the natural choice of the palestinian people who had little else to feel good about.

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