I do not know of a better example of blaming the victim than the Washington Post’s Jackson Diehl’s screed against the Palestinian statehood initiative for allegedly threatening to throw the Middle East into “violent upheaval.” The initiative is a “desperate gambit,” Diehl says, as it will be accompanied by Arab-spring-style protests that could produce a third intifadah. As if the Arab spring is supposed to convulse every Arab society but Palestine. As if any people should take Jim-Crow-status lying down. As if the world’s promises of a state for Palestine over the last 63 years have produced one iota of self-determination, even as Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, Uzbekistan, East Timor, Pakistan, etc get their states without a peep out of the Washington Post.
When Diehl says that the initiative will produce no jobs, I think of our own revolution. We didn’t want an economic peace. We threw the tea into the sea. Remember? But no protests for Palestine… Diehl’s warning:
[Palestinians say the Arab-spring-like] rallies will be carefully policed; they will be restricted to West Bank towns, far away from Israeli soldiers and settlers. Officials around Abbas say they recognize that if the demonstrations turn into a “third intifada,” they will be the losers: They will be swept from power by a more militant group of leaders.
Israelis, too, know they have much at stake. “Ten bodies could change the Middle East,” said the senior Israeli official I spoke to, who also said that Israeli army and police officials are engaged in intensive preparations aimed at avoiding violent clashes.
It’s not hard to imagine what could go wrong in a “third intifada.” The embattled dictatorships of Bashar al-Assad in Syria and Moammar Gaddafi in Libya could get a saving break as Arab attention focused on a new Israeli-Palestinian fight. Syria and Iran could promote new marches on Israel’s borders from the Golan Heights and Lebanon. Extremists in Egypt could use anger against Israel to whip up support in crucial elections scheduled for November. And so on.