Given that Israel’s new (or rather, once-old-now-new-again) far right wing Prime Minister recently visited Washington to talk of peace, it is worth taking a moment to take a look at the two constituent societies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and consider which of the two societies — Israel or Palestine — truly constitutes the bigger threat to piece.
Consider for a moment that in May, 2000 (before any hostilities began and there was still relative peace between Israel and Palestinians despite the fact that Israel was illegally occupying their land), only 39% of Israelis supported the Oslo Peace Accords. However, by 2005 (after the latest intifada began) only 26% of Israelis claimed to support the Oslo Peace Accords.
Conversely, after the latest conflict flared up and after Palestinians began to be killed at a rate several times that of Israel, polls show that — in spite of all that they had been through — an overwhelming majority of Palestinians (over 66%) still supported negotiations with Israel. (Source)
Now consider this: Below is a graph of the comparative fatality rates of Palestinians compared to Israelis
As you can see, the Palestinians are getting brutalized and bloodied far worse than the Israelis.
Think about that for a moment.
Despite them being utterly destroyed and brutalized by the Israelis, Palestinians have shown that even after the intifada began, they overwhelmingly have supported negotiations with Israel and yet the Palestinians are the ones who are considered by the Western media to be the bloodthirsty, unreasonable impediments to peace.
Let’s personify this for a moment here just to give this dichotomy some much needed context.
So you’ve got one guy — let’s call him Israel —who’s using a lead pipe to beat the shit out of a defenceless guy — let’s call him Pal. You’d think that, all things being equal, the guy getting the shit beat out of him would be more likely to believe that the peace agreement he’d signed with the aggressor was a bad move. This seems reasonable since there is prima facie evidence that all previously signed peace agreements (for instance, Oslo or the latest cessation in hostilities which Israel violated the day after Obama was elected) clearly aren’t worth the paper they’re written on since he’s getting the shit beat out of him with a lead pipe. I mean, if I were me, I certainly would be less inclined to support a peace agreement with somebody who was in the process of violating it, but then again that’s just me.
This is certainly brings into question the way that the media has portrayed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. According to the media the Palestinians are the violent, untrustworthy party who have violent, untrustworthy leaders while the Israelis are the peace-loving, civilized party who have peace-loving, civilized leaders like Netanyahu and Lieberman. When Lieberman and Netanyahu make a perfunctory statement about wanting peace — as Netanyahu did recently at the White House — the media reports it as gospel instead of laughing at them.
But in the scenario with the Palestinians and the Israelis, we actually see almost saint-like restraint (yes, that’s right, restraint) on the part of the party getting brutalized — even after all that they’ve been through, a majority of Palestinians still support negotiations — while the party doing the brutalizing is the one that’s far more likely to think that the peace agreement was a bad idea.
So who truly constitutes the bigger threat to piece? Seems like a pretty open and shut case to me.