They did not stab an ordinary soldier, they stabbed the invaders. who occupied their land and want them out. Every Palestinian has right to go and do whatever to expel the invaders from their mother land.’
This was the shocking rhetoric of a Saudi man on an Al Jazeera Facebook thread that I stumbled across. This is the type of baseless hatred towards Israel that social media users have become accustomed to.
While it is shocking for someone to condone any indiscriminate attack (against civilian or military personnel), in a handful of instances, I can sympathise with the motives, of Palestinians who have been gravely mistreated at the hands of Israel: the human condition often seeks revenge and our emotions can get the better of us. I recognise that I will be criticised immensely for this statement so let me be clear- My sympathy does not equate to my support for their actions at all, but rather that by applying my objective psychological and sociological hat, I can occasionally understand their motivation.
That said, in the latest round of terror to hit Israel’s streets, the perpetrators have largely not been Palestinian, but Israeli-Arabs, to whom my sympathy criteria cannot be applied to. They form part of Israel’s multi-ethnic society and enjoy the benefits of Israel’s high quality of life. Any reasonable person knows that it is unethical and plain wrong to eat the fruits and then turn against the tree that nourishes you. This bares close resemblance to BDS movement founder, Omar Barghouti, who currently studies at the Tel Aviv University, however Barghouti’s case is worse, as he is consuming the best fruits on offer.
Like Barghouti and the actions of certain Israeli-Arabs, the remarks of the Saudi man can also be categorised as blind, baseless and unjustified. His quote was actually posted in response to an AJ article which said that an Israeli soldier will stand trial for shooting at 2 Palestinians, killing one, after they both stabbed and injured lightly his fellow soldier. While we can debate whether the act was disproportionate, and there are arguments for both sides, the fact that the comment was written on a forum which discusses legal action against the soldier speaks volumes.
By highlighting the soldier’s debatably harsh actions, AJ have unintentionally promoted Israeli PR, yet its readers, blinded by their preconceived prejudice, have failed to see it. To any intellectually honest reader, the article should be an advert for Israel’s judicial system and dispel claims of institutional injustices. Yet, the Pro-Palestinian majority fail to see it, clinging on to a victim narrative to justify terror. Instead of much needed introspection, they constantly seek to highlight and fabricate the transgressions of a small Israeli minority, when they should be commending Israel for applying the law-Credit where credit is due is the term that springs to mind.
In sum, Israel is fighting a PR battle that it cannot win. We must accept that it is impossible to reach common ground with those who hate us for who we are, rather than for our actions (which at times I can comprehend). For this reason, I fail to see how we can constructively engage with our opposition to better the situation for our children, but I am open to suggestions…