From Kevin Williamson at The Dispatch – Left Behind by History– probably firewalled and I highly recommend a subscriptiion.
The Palestinian people have legitimate grievances, and I myself have tried my very best to give a damn about them. But you only get to blow up so many pizza shops. You start beheading children and murdering young mothers and torturing people so viciously and inhumanely that parents pray that their children will be found dead rather than discovered to have been taken hostage into Gaza, then you and your legitimate grievances and any United Nations resolution you want to cite can all go rot. There aren’t two sides to this story. We ought not pretend that there are.
Before he became … whatever it is he has become … J. D. Vance wrote an interesting and useful book, which you may remember, called Hillbilly Elegy. He ended it with an exasperated but sympathetic plea to his hillbilly people: Come on, already. Get it together, people. You’ve been through hard times, I know, but now, you have to take care of yourselves and do it for yourselves. Stop making excuses. Take control of your lives. Not in those words, of course; this is my paraphrase.
You can go into any of 300 different bars in Boston and get an earful about how bad the Irish have had it. But people eventually move on—at least, the people who want to be happy, who want to thrive as individuals and as families and as nations do. That doesn’t mean that what happened to the Indians and the African Americans and the Irish wasn’t terrible, or that we should just forget about it and pretend like it never happened. It means that you can’t keep good people down. Not forever.
A former police officer in Texas who now provides security to churches tells me that his team is taking extra precautions in the coming days. And not because he is worried about resentful Irishmen or enraged Norwegians.
History moves on, and, if you get left behind—it may not be your fault, but it is still your problem. The Israeli forces should be the least of the mortal worries afflicting those Hamas killers—if the Palestinians had any self-respect, it would be them taking the lead in putting an end to the power of these monsters, who are homicidal maniacs when it comes to the Jews but who haven’t done the Palestinians a lick of good, either. But, unhappily, the one almost universally shared assumption of modern diplomatic discourse is that the Palestinian Arabs are something less than whole and complete human beings, that they are not advanced enough to be true moral actors because they do not have the strength of national character to bear the moral weight that falls exclusively upon the shoulders of the Israelis and the peoples of the other liberal democratic states. The Palestinians, according to this line of thought, just bounce around like windup toys, and only the Israelis, the Americans, and the Europeans can be expected to behave like responsible adults. Nobody ever puts it exactly that way, of course, but that’s the upshot. The Palestinians are treated by their so-called advocates and benefactors as though they were a nation of people who have no agency and, hence, no responsibility.
The mystery is why the Palestinians continue to put up with it, and have for so long. They don’t need “days of rage.” They need property rights, free enterprise, the rule of law, and decent government. And nobody would be better pleased to see them have these than the Israelis.