The recent assassination of Sheik Yassin raises among some Americans the question—at what point should we reconsider our rather blanket support for the Israelis and show a more even-handed attitude toward the Palestinians? The answer, it seems to me, should be assessed in cultural, economic, political, and social terms.
Well, we should no longer support Israel, when…
Mr. Sharon suspends all elections and plans a decade of unquestioned rule.
Mr. Sharon suspends all investigation about fiscal impropriety as his family members spend millions of Israeli aid money in Paris.
All Israeli television and newspapers are censored by the Likud party.
Israeli hit teams enter the West Bank with the precise intention of targeting and blowing up Arab women and children.
Preteen Israeli children are apprehended with bombs under their shirts on their way to the West Bank to murder Palestinian families.
Israeli crowds rush into the street to dip their hands into the blood of their dead and march en masse chanting mass murder to the Palestinians.
Rabbis give public sermons in which they characterize Palestinians as the children of pigs and monkeys.
Israeli school textbooks state that Arabs engage in blood sacrifice and ritual murders.
Mainstream Israeli politicians, without public rebuke, call for the destruction of Palestinians on the West Bank and the end to Arab society there.
Likud party members routinely lynch and execute their opponents without trial.
Jewish fundamentalists execute with impunity women found guilty of adultery on grounds that they are impugning the “honor” of the family.
Israeli mobs with impunity tear apart Palestinian policemen held in detention.
Israeli television broadcasts—to the tune of patriotic music—the last taped messages of Jewish suicide bombers who have slaughtered dozens of Arabs.
Jewish marchers parade in the streets with their children dressed up as suicide bombers, replete with plastic suicide-bombing vests.
New Yorkers post $25,000 bounties for every Palestinian blown up by Israeli murderers.
Israeli militants murder a Jew by accident and then apologize on grounds that they though he was an Arab—to the silence of Israeli society.
Jews enter Arab villages in Israel to machine gun women and children.
Israeli public figures routinely threaten the United States with terror attacks.
Bin Laden is a folk hero in Tel Aviv.
Jewish assassins murder American diplomats and are given de facto sanctuary by Israeli society.
Israeli citizens celebrate on news that 3,000 Americans have been murdered.
Israeli citizens express support for Saddam Hussein’s supporters in Iraq in their efforts to kill Americans.
So until then, I think most Americans can see the moral differences in the present struggle.
If the Palestinians wish to hold periodic and open elections, establish an independent judiciary, create a free press, arrest murderers, subject their treasury to public scrutiny, eschew suicide murdering, censure religious leaders who call for mass murder, embrace non-violent dissidents, extend equal rights to women, end honor killings, raise funds in the Arab world earmarked only to build water, sewer, transportation, and education infrastructure, and pledge that any Jews who choose to live in the West Bank will enjoy the same rights as Arabs in Israel, then they might find Americans equally divided over questions of land and peace.
But all that is a lot of ifs. And so for the present, Palestinian leaders shouldn’t be too surprised that Americans increasingly find very little in their society that has much appeal to either our values or sympathy. If they continually assure us publicly that they are furious at Americans, then they should at least pause, reflect, and ask themselves why an overwhelming number of Americans—not Jewish, not residents of New York, not influenced by the media—are growing far more furious with them.