Sunday, April 27, 2008

Parenting the Palestinians

What is made in Palestine?

Golda Meir said, "The Arabs will stop fighting us when they love their children more than they hate Jews." This quote provides the key to unraveling the question of why the Palestinians persist in attacking their neighbors the Israelis, rather than emulating them. A people goes much farther in emulating those more functional than themselves than they do in relentless blame and hatred.

Hate has become the focus of Palestinian nationalism, and is echoed in the larger world.

Witness the Japanese, conquered in World War II, studying and improving upon the structures of American industrial might. Japan raised itself from feudalism to world economic powerhouse in roughly the same period of time the Palestinians have had since the founding of Israel. I drive a Japanese car, I have a Japanese TV, stereo and DVD player. I trust the integrity of Japanese products, often more than their American counterparts. What is made in Palestine? Neither the explosives nor the vests they are strapped to are homemade. However, the hate and inculcation of victimization is homegrown and carefully cultivated from generation to generation. The hate is more important to the Palestinians than the state of their surroundings, the condition of their spirits, the well-being of their families, or the prospects for peace.

This hate has become the focus of Palestinian nationalism, and is echoed in the larger world as pan-Arab Wahhabist nationalism. The trouble is that hate is destructive and gives no thought to anything beyond itself. It eventuates as a culture given up to self-indulgence and denial. The emotional payoff of self-indulgent revenge is addictive and the force of anger is great.

One can see the appeal in feeling something besides shame at one's circumstances, but once the high of prideful anger has worn off, one is plunged back into apathy and shame. In order to escape the low of shame and apathy, it seems necessary to take another trip into the madness of anger and revenge-taking. However, there is a middle way.

What is necessary for Palestine is a moral inventory and the acceptance of responsibility for the condition of the culture. This applies to the Arab culture and that of Islam worldwide in the current Dark Ages of militant Muslim behavior.

It is time for Muslims to understand that their own militancy is not caused by the decadent West. It is caused by the fall in integrity of their own leaders. It is caused by the pernicious writings of Muhammad ibn Abd-Al-Wahhab and others who mistook Muhammad's later years of paranoia and violence for the intent of their God, Allah the All-Merciful.

Every section of the Koran opens with "In the Words of Allah the All-Merciful." It is only by denial and purposeful distortion that a leader can send children out to fight and die in the name of the All-Merciful. It is only by purposeful mendacity and artful rationalization that one can seek and hold power by inflaming the hatreds of one's own people, rather than teaching respect and love for one's neighbors, who are, after all, "people of the Book," too.

We in the larger community must take it upon ourselves to stop mollycoddling the militants,
stop feeding their victim mentality and stop allowing the duplicity of our friends in the Arab world who use their oil dollars to fund the schools which teach hatred. It is time to realize that whining and irresponsibility are hallmarks of immaturity. When someone is acting like a child, it becomes necessary to treat them as a child.

The militant Islamists are acting out, biting the hand that feeds them, throwing tantrums, and refusing to cooperate, contribute or take correction. The functional Muslims and the larger world community must stop coddling these brats and remember that good parenting involves saying 'no' to bad behavior. A time out may be required, sometimes a good spanking. It is up to those of us who value progress, civilization, truth, justice, women's and children's rights, freedom of speech, and the freedoms of and from religion, to formulate an education program which quenches the hot fires of hatred in the hearts of misinformed Muslims worldwide.

What is needed in Arab homes and mosques is a careful self-examination, rather than calls for violence in the name of victimhood. There is a voice in the hearts of Palestinian parents calling them to abandon hate and remember that God is love. That voice cannot be heard over the angry rhetoric of the self-serving imams and mullahs. When that voice is heard and acted upon judiciously, the nightmare will end. Only then will the process start whereby Arabs will love their children more than they hate© Copyright
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