Following my recent post I was sent a couple of links to blogs/post identifying Palestinians as a ‘sick society that brainwashes its children’.

The post includes a video titled ‘Terror in Jerusalem light rail’. I’ve watched the video &, as with so many, it’s not easy to make out exactly what happened. There is certainly an attack & one youth seems to have a knife. The knife is short and the attack is weak, but that is not the point. the blogger asks, “But what on earth would cause two teenagers to attack an armed guard, knowing that they will likely be shot and wounded or worse, for no visible reason?”.  Her conclusion is “incitement, incitement…”. And the root of that incitement? Palestinian education, Palestinian media, UNWRA, in fact anyone who doesn’t buy in to the Israeli story.

For one fact missing from the story of the Jerusalem light railway is where it is and what it does. The rail connects illegal settlements to central Jerusalem, driving through Palestinian land and separating Palestinian communities. Families, shops, businesses now have to travel round the railway to get to school, work, family. She quotes another source ‘These young Palestinians seem unable to accept the reality, let alone the legitimacy, of their common humanity with Israelis. For this, blame their parents and grandparents and society at large.’ I wonder of she has listened to Netanyahu, Shakelet & others whose language is reminiscent of Nazi anti-Semitism. If Israelis feel so strong a common humanity with Palestinians why do they discrimate within Israel? Why do they treat Palestinians as less than human?

There is little doubt that some Palestinian media is guilty of provocation and incitement to acts of relative violence. (And they are relative as an sensible comparison of the weaponry must show – not to mention the casualty figures). But to include that and fail to note the provocations from Israel was precisely the point of my last blog. I was attempting a ‘re-balancing’. I’m only too well aware of the problems of Palestinian violence. I very aware that it will be reported as infinitum by the poodle press pretty much everywhere. For balance someone, and there are a few of us, has to point out the other story.

That story includes the brainwashing of Israeli youth. Do their schools teach of the Nakba, as vital to the Palestinians story, and as true, as is the holocaust to Jews? It is forbidden. When they visit Auschwitz, as all Israeli Jewish schoolchildren do, why are they told that the Arabs want to do the same?

When someone steals your iPhone do you get angry; when a stranger beats up your friend do you seek revenge? So, when someone steals your land, insults and abuses your mother at a checkpoint, prevents you from getting a better education and a job, how might you respond? That, by the way, is not an excuse for violence. It is about understanding.

That blogger admits to feeling “huge despair”. I can understand her despair, but then ‘Anne’s opinions’ claims to be ‘pro-Israel activism’. It is unbalanced, uneducated, ill-informed and biased – all good reasons to despair. Why not look at the positives?

In Israeli society & internationally there are aware Jews who speak out against the violence that Israeli society visits upon Palestinians day after day, week after week. The majority of Palestinians do not hate Jews but do want to live in peace. Rather than posting biased, counter-factual rants that add nothing to our understanding is it not better to seek the truth and to work for understanding finding people of similar mind on all sides. Demonizing Palestinians is as useless and dehumanizing to us as is demonizing all Jews for the faults of a few.

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