The effects of the Big Lie, circa 2015, are frightening.
Pepper spray is sold out in Jerusalem. So are Taser guns. As for firearms, believe it or not, the restrictions on gun ownership in the country where soldiers with Uzis walk everywhere freely are far stricter than in the US, but the laws have been loosened in recent weeks. The trend is clear: Personal self-defense is rising above reliance on Israeli soldiers and police for the simple reason that if someone is stabbing you, or a split second from stabbing you, there is no time for soldiers or police to intervene, unless, by sheer luck, they are right there, johnny on the spot.
The implication is clear: Is Israel doomed to become an unsafe society?
With the same implication, truth is in short supply in Israel and the Palestinian areas. Everywhere the microphone and its extensions reach television, emails, social media the Palestinian version of the rank anti-Semitic Big Lie is gaining credibility. The miniature version thereof is the falsehood that Israel is, or is planning to, take over the Dome of the Rock, the mosque on the Temple Mount. The larger version thereof is the falsehood that Israeli policy has not moved in 48 years, that Israel Palestinian land, and note this well, it is a related but different point it is because of Israeli policy that Palestinian youth have no future.
The implication is clear: Rage that expresses itself in violence is duly registered, understood and condoned by countless Western governments, and will not go away.
If it were not perfectly poised to increase the violence, the following sentence in this weeks Economist would be beautiful for its exquisite illustration of Palestinian violence condoned: The [Palestinian] attacks seem born of a growing frustration among young Palestinians, disillusioned by the failure of both their own and Israels leaders to offer any prospect of ending Israels 48-year occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. The Gaza Strip? The same strip of land that every single Israeli resident of and soldier in abandoned in August, 2005? But in the minds of the Economists writers and like them countless others, the Palestinian Big Lie of Gazas occupation slips naturally, easily, comfortably, unobtrusively, and on all those grounds most dangerously, into daily discourse.
The implication of the Israeli, devoutly-to-be-desired, universal ownership of pepper spray, and of the Palestinian morally lobotomized chant the obsessively repeated brainwash of Israels occupation of a West Bank that, in fact, is mostly free of Israeli troops, of an East Jerusalem that, in fact, is virtually empty of Israeli police, and of a Gaza Strip that is, in fact, wholly empty of Israelis of any kind, is this: Israeli fear so pervasive that it spills into mirrorlike hatred. As in the reprehensible incident this week in Beersheba in which an Israeli mob killed an innocent Eritrean migrant, suspected of being an Arab murderer. Not that the fear was entirely baseless, as, in fact, a Bedouin, armed with a gun and a knife, killed one Israeli soldier and injured 10 civilians before he himself was shot and killed by Israel security forces. But another security guard mistook the Eritrean migrant for a murderer and shot him in the leg, whereupon, reprehensibly, an Israeli mob kicked and beat him to death. The mirrorlike Israeli fear can lead to absolute moral failure. Fear foments the moral opposite of the Jewish state as we know it: ethical.
The implication of the widespread Israeli horror at this mob killing is clear: irrelevance. That Israelis from the prime minister on down condemned this mob violence ending in murder, and that a senior member of the Palestinian political faction Fatah said of the actual Bedouin murderer, We love you for giving your life for every Palestinian, means nothing beyond the absolute moral gap that the diametrically opposed reactions expose. Does anyone in the upper political circles of the US, EU, Russia and China care about Israels ethical scruples? Not that we have noticed. The Jewish state as we know it a beacon of moral light, an aspirant to eternal truth amidst a culture of death elicits less admiration year by year, Arab terrorist incident by Arab terrorist incident. The Big Lie is working. The Big Lie the justification of the culture of death surrounding an Israel struggling to preserve Judaisms choose life and you shall be holy flourishes.
The implication of all this indifference to the Israeli security and moral crisis is, paradoxically enough, the increase in Palestinian suffering. So long as the Palestinian leadership incites and glories in cold-blooded murder, so long as the Palestinian media focus on the pain that lone wolf terrorists inflict on Israelis and Israel, the Palestinian leadership is off the hook for:
building a Palestinian civil society capable of governing itself;
building a Palestinian economy capable of renouncing the international handouts without which it would collapse;
building a Palestinian mentality focused on its own success.
These abdications are the real reason why Palestinian youth have no future. Thus, the Jewish state as we know it may be in danger. The self-inflicted wounds here, however, are purely Palestinian.
Copyright © 2015 by the Intermountain Jewish News