The Dog That Still Isn’t Barking

 

Several days ago, in a post I called “Distinctions Without a Difference,” I expressed several questions that were floating around the back of my mind regarding whether there are really meaningful distinctions of intent between “Palestinians” and “Hamas.”  I raised those questions because everywhere we turn, both explicitly and implied, we’re being asked to believe that Hamas is one thing but Palestinians are another. I said in that post that I can imagine that such distinctions are meaningful, but that I always seemed to lack actual evidence.

One of the arguments I often hear for the lack of evidence for the existence of non-genocidal Palestinians is the fact that peaceful Palestinians are oppressed by Hamas and, if they were to openly push-back on acts of terror, then they would themselves be targeted.  It isn’t hard to imagine that possibility, but there’s something about it that feels a wee bit too convenient for my comfort. We’re just supposed to take their word for it. Such an explanation is crafted in a way that forecloses the possibility of ever having any empirical evidence.  We are expected to take it completely on faith.

The narrative for the existence of peaceful Palestinians goes something like this: “By golly, those meany people in Hamas are terrible, but Palestinians aren’t like Hamas. All those secret peace-loving Palestinians would really tell it like it is if they weren’t afraid of those meanies in Hamas.  Otherwise, boy, they’d really let loose with their anti-genocidal views.”

Okay. I guess. But how might we test a hypothesis that maybe rank-and-file Palestinians don’t actually share common genocidal inclinations with Hamas?

One way to do that would be to take a close look at what Palestinians say and do when living in geographies not controlled by Hamas. If the only thing holding them back is their fear of being targeted by Hamas, then if they’re not within Hamas’ reach, we should expect to hear words of peace flowing from their tolerant Palestinian lips.

In the weeks following October 7th, with astonishing speed given such supposedly short notice, massive Palestinian protests have erupted all over the world in celebration and support of what Hamas has done. Everywhere you look, the nakedly genocidal chant of “from the river to the sea..” has been ringing in the streets of major cities throughout the West.

But what have we heard from the non-genocidal faction of the Palestinian people? Crickets. Bupkis. Nada. Zip.

I’m afraid that, like it or not, a rational person would have to conclude from the evidence that, if non-genocidal Palestinians exist, they are a vanishingly small community — no more relevant to actual events than unicorns and faeries. For if there really was a sizable community of such Palestinians anywhere, ones who really eschewed Jew-hatred, we would expect to have heard from them by now.

That this dog still isn’t barking, at this late hour, should be…instructive.

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  1. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    This may sound odd coming from me, but I think there’s another way to look at the question. First, Arabs/Palestinians have no qualms about punishing those who disagree with them. A simple example is that if an Arab in recent years sold land to a non-Arab, he would pay a price (beatings, ostracism). Second, in all those non-Hamas countries, I know there were pro-Israel protests, but I would have been surprised to see “anti-Hamas” protests. I think it would have been dangerous To make that kind of statement would have required more courage than I think most of the Palestinians have. So I think they’d have little motivation to protest against Hamas with the potential retribution, even if they don’t like what Hamas is doing.

    • #1
  2. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Great post.   I did a related post:

    https://ricochet.com/1502689/all-we-have-to-do-is-take-these-lies-aand-make-them-true/

    In the wake of WW2 we created the “good Germans” narrative.   It was based on similar logic.   The “good Germans“ … and there were many… couldn’t speak up for fear of the Nazis.   Or didn’t know the horrors being done in their name.

    There is an excellent book – Hitler’s Willing Executioners – that documents how this was not the case.    Goodbye to Berlin – The book that spawned the play Cabaret – written in 1939 talks about how German parents scolded their children about being good or they’d “go up the chimney.”   It was common knowledge and supported.

    I’d argue it’s the same among Palestinians.

    • #2
  3. Keith Lowery Coolidge
    Keith Lowery
    @keithlowery

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I know there were pro-Israel protests, but I would have been surprised to see “anti-Hamas” protests.

    There have been noticeable (i.e. not microscopic) pro-Israel protests by Palestinians outside Hamas-controlled territory?  If true that would be interesting know more about.

    In a way I think your comment implicitly agrees with the premise of my post.  If there were substantial numbers of non-genocidal Palestinians, they would not need to fear reprisals for speaking against genocide. The fact that, even in the West, they fear reprisal likely means that their numbers are vanishingly small by comparison to the genocidal monsters.

     

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Keith Lowery (View Comment):

    In a way I think your comment implicitly agrees with the premise of my post.  If there were substantial numbers of non-genocidal Palestinians, they would not need to fear reprisals for speaking against genocide. The fact that, even in the West, they fear reprisal likely means that their numbers are vanishingly small by comparison to the genocidal monsters.

     

    I see your point. If they’re not sufficiently outraged to speak out, in spite of potential consequences, they are small in numbers or barely exist.

    • #4
  5. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    For me it’s “if there really is a distinction between Hamas and ‘ordinary’ Palestinians, somebody with power would be trying to do something about it.” I understand Susan’s point about people of Palestinian origin who live in other places being afraid of retaliation. But somewhere in the Arab world there must be some ruler or government or moneyed interest that would see value to evicting Hamas if for no other reason than to reduce the likelihood that large numbers of Gaza residents will be killed. 

    • #5
  6. EODmom Coolidge
    EODmom
    @EODmom

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    For me it’s “if there really is a distinction between Hamas and ‘ordinary’ Palestinians, somebody with power would be trying to do something about it.” I understand Susan’s point about people of Palestinian origin who live in other places being afraid of retaliation. But somewhere in the Arab world there must be some ruler or government or moneyed interest that would see value to evicting Hamas if for no other reason than to reduce the likelihood that large numbers of Gaza residents will be killed.

    There must  be except I don’t see any putting their hand up. I think that’s your point. I see hands in pockets and under the desks. 

    • #6
  7. Retail Lawyer Member
    Retail Lawyer
    @RetailLawyer

    Ultimately, a people is responsible for its government.  It pays the price, and always has.  Do the Hamas fighters have barracks?  Where do they do to sleep after their terrorism practice?  Who feeds them?  Who hands out “sweets” in celebration of terrorism?

    Lets not overthink this.

    • #7
  8. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    So I think they’d have little motivation to protest against Hamas with the potential retribution, even if they don’t like what Hamas is doing.

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I see your point. If they’re not sufficiently outraged to speak out, in spite of potential consequences, they are small in numbers or barely exist.

    We see this behavior in America’s federal bureaucracy where personal risk of disfavor that might well cost employment opportunity and other beneficial lifestyle elements causes a failure to manifest individually held principles.

     

    • #8
  9. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Once again, the problem is Islam. The punishment for apostasy is death. Hamas are adherent, “orthodox” Muslims. You can tell by the rug burn on their leaders’ foreheads (praying toward Mecca 5 times a day). They wear “the mark” on their foreheads, interestingly enough. So, even if you’re a squishy Muslim who manages to make it out of Gaza to a non-Muslim nation, there are communities of the strict adherents who you must fear if you criticize them (Detroit). 

    I have no issue with non-adherent Muslims. It’s the ones who take their faith seriously that we’re fighting.

    • #9
  10. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    If the Palestinian people were good, sweet, Jewish-loving citizens who just want to live in peace but are instead living under the threat of a brutal terrorist gang (who they elected into power), then wouldn’t all the Left, the college students and the lot, all be 100% behind the efforts to kill Hamas, seeing Israel as their deliverer from this oppression? I mean, that’s only logical.

    Instead they are all for stopping Israel and 100% maintaining Hamas in power. What is the question here?

    • #10
  11. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    Keith Lowery: are really meaningful distinctions of intent between “Palestinians” and “Hamas”

    I am thinking this is similar to Sinn Fein and the Irish Republican Army.  One is politics and the second is “politics by other means”.   That whole bit of trouble ended when the Emerald Isle went secular. 

    Even without Hamas, I don’t think the Palestinian problem will be allowed to go away, since so many people have in interest in the problem persisting.   Finally, I don’t see any distinction between the words of Hamas and the Palestinian people–actions somewhat–words no.

    • #11
  12. AUMom Member
    AUMom
    @AUMom

    Tangential but an important consideration is that none of the other Islamic countries are willing to take any Palestinians as refugees. Part of it might be tribal but I have to believe some of it has to be the folks there are a violent, contentious lot.

    • #12
  13. EODmom Coolidge
    EODmom
    @EODmom

    DonG (CAGW is a Scam) (View Comment):

    Keith Lowery: are really meaningful distinctions of intent between “Palestinians” and “Hamas”

    I am thinking this is similar to Sinn Fein and the Irish Republican Army. One is politics and the second is “politics by other means”. That whole bit of trouble ended when the Emerald Isle went secular.

    Even without Hamas, I don’t think the Palestinian problem will be allowed to go away, since so many people have in interest in the problem persisting. Finally, I don’t see any distinction between the words of Hamas and the Palestinian people–actions somewhat–words no.

    Many use Hamas to camouflage their own hatred of Jews. The many whose countries refused Jews fleeing Germany in the ‘30’s and ‘40’s didn’t know Hamas nor have the current fear of reprisal from Islamists in their countries. 

    • #13
  14. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    The Scarecrow (View Comment):

    If the Palestinian people were good, sweet, Jewish-loving citizens who just want to live in peace but are instead living under the threat of a brutal terrorist gang (who they elected into power), then wouldn’t all the Left, the college students and the lot, all be 100% behind the efforts to kill Hamas, seeing Israel as their deliverer from this oppression? I mean, that’s only logical.

    Instead they are all for stopping Israel and 100% maintaining Hamas in power. What is the question here?

    The masters of the Left, the college students and the lot have explained the situation to them, the Left, the college students  and the lot truly believe it is only the Israeli government holding down the Palestinian people and that Hamas is a mostly peaceful protest group. Just as the Left, the college students and the lot still believe Black Lives Matter and antifa are mostly peaceful protest groups. 

    • #14
  15. Ray Gunner Coolidge
    Ray Gunner
    @RayGunner

    Keith Lowery: For if there really was a sizable community of such Palestinians anywhere, ones who really eschewed Jew-hatred, we would expect to have heard from them by now.

    Good point.  And further, they could get out and live in Israel.  What everyone forgets is that Israel accepts asylum seekers.  So if you are Arab and living in Samaria or Judea or Gaza and want out, all you have to do is get your body into Israel, flag down a peace officer and request asylum, as many Arabs have, especially women and gay men. 

    • #15
  16. QuietPI Member
    QuietPI
    @Quietpi

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Once again, the problem is Islam. The punishment for apostasy is death. Hamas are adherent, “orthodox” Muslims. You can tell by the rug burn on their leaders’ foreheads (praying toward Mecca 5 times a day). They wear “the mark” on their foreheads, interestingly enough. So, even if you’re a squishy Muslim who manages to make it out of Gaza to a non-Muslim nation, there are communities of the strict adherents who you must fear if you criticize them (Detroit).

    I have no issue with non-adherent Muslims. It’s the ones who take their faith seriously that we’re fighting.

    I keep saying: get a Koran. Read sirahs (chapters) 1 – 5 and 9 – 10.  Then you will understand. 

    • #16
  17. Terence Smith Coolidge
    Terence Smith
    @TerrySmith

    I have been stewing about this from 10/8 on and settled on this:

    I look at it this way. I have way more influence on what my feckless government does than your average Gazan has on Hamas and my influence is so tiny it might as well be zero. For one thing Hamas is known to kill subjects that speak out and we are not quite there yet. Still I pay a price (Ukraine and Israel too) for the FJB admins  misguided policies and general incompetence and so will the Gazan’s pay a price for their rulers. That’s the way it is. Doesn’t mean I am culpable or deserve it or  anything else.  I may secretly delight in some injustice done to my virtual foes and that is something I need to personally work on but doesn’t mean I am culpable for the act itself. If I had to guess I would think most Gazans hate Hamas and hate Israel and have no power to do anything about either.

    Other than the bad ideas that rule us most people are not so bad. Even in the case of Hamas not all the invaders were sadistic (drug assisted ) psychopathic killers.  Early on I read an account of an Israeli woman that was captured at the festival. One of her captors wanted to kill her and the other told her to run and she did and escaped. At that moment at least the one who let her go showed some humanity.  Still they both are likely dead or will soon be.

    Self defense is a fundamental natural right and the Israeli government has to do its duty to protect its citizens and destroy Hamas. Hamas is ignoring its duty to protect its citizens.  So how the average Gazan thinks matters only in the following. If there was an identifiable opposition faction in Gaza it could well effect Israel’s conduct of the war as they might be supportable. That doesn’t seem to be the case and time has run out. (Iran may be  different).  Also In the aftermath of the Gazan conflict, its also doubtful there is a palestinian faction that could govern Gaza, hold onto power, and be tolerable to Israel which is the next big problem.

    • #17
  18. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Terence Smith (View Comment):
    If I had to guess I would think most Gazans hate Hamas and hate Israel and have no power to do anything about either.

    That might be plausible if Hamas won election by only 51% or something.  But if they win by 90% or more, how can you claim that?

    • #18
  19. Globalitarian Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    From what I understand Hamas won election in 2006 and there hasn’t been an election since.  My concern is the social forces that have been at play for decades and at least the last 17 years of indoctrination.

    My two biggest questions have been the rules of engagement so to speak, and is it right for the Gazans to intend to push all the Israelis into the sea, and if so, it it then right to push all Gazans into the sea; and if there is any alternative to the Gazan schools inculcating in their children for nearly two decades at least, and probably much longer, to hate Jews and to desire to kill them all.

    I think that this second circumstance is much more troubling since the societal norms and prejudices one learns as a child, though possibly tempered with time, usually stays with him for life.

    I haven’t gotten any clear answer for either of these questions.

    • #19
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