Dr. Sanity asks, starting off her column with an excerpt from a John Derbyshire piece in 2002:
The Palestinians are Arabs; and the Arabs, whatever their medieval achievements (as best I can understand, they were mainly achievements of transmission ? "Arabic" numerals, for example, came from India) are politically hopeless. Who can dispute this? Look at the last 50-odd years, since the colonial powers left. What have the Arabs accomplished?
What have they built? Where in the Arab world is there a trace or a spark of democracy? Of constitutionalism? Of laws independent of the ruler's whim? Of free inquiry? Of open public debate? Where in your house is there any article stamped "Made in Syria?" Arabs can be individually very charming and capable, and perform very well in free societies like the U.S.A. There are at least two recent Nobel prizes with Arab names attached. Collectively, though, as nations, the Arabs are no-hopers.
All of this applies to the Palestinians. I spent some of my formative years in Hong Kong, a barren piece of rock with zero natural resources, under foreign occupation, chock-full of refugees from the Mao tyranny. The people there weren't lounging in UNRWA camps or making suicide runs at the governor's mansion.
They were trading, building, speculating, manufacturing, working ? with the result that Hong Kong is now a glittering modern city filled with well-dressed, well-educated, well-fed people, proud of what they have accomplished together, and with a higher standard of living than Britain herself.
If, following the Oslo accords ? or for that matter, in the 20 years of Jordanian occupation ? the Palestinians had taken that route, had set aside their fantasies of revenge and massacre, and concentrated on building up something worth having, I might have respect for them. As it is, I don't.
The only halfway sympathetic thing I can find to say about the Palestinians is that UNRWA has surely been part of the problem. If you go to the UNRWA website, you will see how proud they are of having fed, clothed, sheltered, educated and cared for the Palestinian refugees of 1948... and their children... and their grandchildren.
The number of people UNRWA cares for has gone from 600,000 in 1948 to nearly four million today. Now, I understand that the prime impulse of bureaucracies, especially welfare bureaucracies, is the consolidation and expansion of their turf, and a steady increase in the number of their "clients"; but this is ridiculous.
The good people of Hong Kong should go down on their knees every night and thank God that there was no UNRWA in the colony in 1949.
If only the world would ignore their continual whining and perpetual victimhood; and appreciate the con game the Palestinians have been playing for decades. If only the world would call them to account for undermining every peace process; breaking every truce.
If only the world would focus on the murderous rage and suicidal anger the Palestinians project; instead of focusing on and blaming the objects of that projection.
Whining? Victimhood? Projection? Sounds like our resident Arab.