Friday, October 7, 2011

Letter to a Friend in Pakistan

[Yes, the same one who wrote this. She may have actually been in Texas or California when I wrote it. Minor edits added.]

Can't help but be amused by how every time I criticize Pstan, you reply that I'm right, and let's not forget that the US did this and this terrible thing. Yes, under Reagan the US gave a lot of help to Afghan warlords, and that helped lead to the rise of the Taliban. But in fairness, the US was hindered by having to funnel money through Pakistan (Zia, may jackals eat his bones), who gave it to a bunch of people like Hekmatyar (sp?). Hard at this point to add up benefits and costs of funding jihadism (you might almost say founding it, though let's give the Saudis some credit), but at the same time probably contributing to the fall of the Iron Curtain.


I don't really blame you for walking out of shul, though I doubt I would've. I don't quite understand why a rabbi would make a big fuss about the danger of a Palestinian state, since I think most people in Israel wouldn't mind provided they believed that people in it would stop trying to kill them. Unfortunately that's become a harder sell. I was there for the start of the second intifada, and I saw how a once-robust left in Israel was just vaporized. One of the worst things for Israelis is to be a sucker (that's why driving is so dangerous) and people felt they'd been suckered by Palestinians claiming to be ready to live in peace with them and then shooting them. Then later, there was the withdrawal from Gaza, followed by rocket attacks. That made it hard to argue that withdrawal from the West Bank would lead to peace.

Since I've started on a rant, I'll say that I have several times started on a blog posting called "I'm So Bored with the Palestinians." How on earth did they convince everyone that they're the world's most unfortunate people? There is exactly one reason why at least 10 million refugees from the partition of India, and similar numbers from the expulsion of Germans from Eastern Europe (and for that matter 500,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries) are not a huge problem today: they were given citizenship in the countries they fled to. The Palestinians, in contrast, were told, "You thought you were just an Arab, but actually you're this new thing called a 'Palestinian', and since you're not a 'Jordanian', Syrian, Lebanese, or Egyptian, you have to stay in this refugee camp until we send you back. Don't blame us; this is all the Jews' fault."

There's no denying that problems have been exacerbated by Bibi's ridiculous policy in the territories, but the fundamental problem is that 60+ years later the Palestinians still can't bring themselves to say the Jews have a right to a state. They now accept a "two-state solution," as long as neither of them is a Jewish state. Of course to accept the idea of a Jewish state would mean accepting that refugees might not be able to go "home" to the exact house their grandfather lived in, but might have to live as much as 30 miles away (the actual distance from Haifa to Jenin), which for some reason would be viewed as a huge betrayal. (Their grandfather didn't necessarily live where his father lived, but that's another story.) I would call the whole thing a scam, except that Palestinians deeply believe it. They even explicitly liken the "Naqba" to the Holocaust, which is just narcissistic disconnection from reality. Can I stop now and go feel bad about the hundreds of thousands of Muslim women who were raped in Darfur, since Muslims don't seem to care?

OK, enough rant for today. Take care.

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