From: Scott Chase (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue 05 Nov 2002 - 00:08:23 GMT
>From: "Dace" <email@example.com>
>Subject: Re: The terrorism meme
>Date: Mon, 4 Nov 2002 09:52:11 -0800
>This article by Edward Said on the Palestinian crisis demonstrates that it
>can't be comprehended except according to the model of memetics. As usual
>the existence of self-replicating ideas is best demonstrated when those
>ideas are pathological and whose widespread success cannot be accounted for
>by logic alone. In this case the pathological meme is "Palestinian
>terrorism." That Israel is clearly attempting the destruction of an entire
>people never enters our minds as long as we remain in thrall to the
There are settlement movements in Israel like Gush Emunim and there's a national religious undercurrent committed to the land of Judea and Samaria being integral to Eretz Israel. There have been extreme elements like Moledet and Kach that have stood for "transfer" of Palestinians. I wouldn't generalize these sentiments to the Israeli populace though.
OTOH there ARE Palestinian terrorists that target innocent Israeli
civilians. There can be no denial of the existence of Islamicists like HAMAS
and Isamic Jihad. They are just as real as the religious extremists on the
Israeli side. Even the secular groups like Fatah and PFLP seem to be as
rejectionist as always. Hopefully the sentiment that the Arab rejectionist
foster is likewise not generalizable to Palestinians as a whole.
The Israeli extremists want to integrate Judea and Samaria into Greater
Israel, perhaps including "transfer" of Palestinans to Jordan or elsewhere.
The Palestinian extremists want to destroy Israel. It looks like a clash of
polar opposing mindsets. Who wants to choose sides between these groups?
>As Said observes, "the daily, minute occurrences of what Palestinians have
>to live through are hidden and, more important, covered over by a logic of
>self-defence and the pursuit of terrorism (terrorist infrastructure,
>terrorist nests, terrorist bomb factories, terrorist suspects -- the list
>infinite) which perfectly suits Sharon and the lamentable George Bush.
>Ideas about terrorism have thus taken on a life of their own, legitimised
>and re-legitimised without proof, logic or rational argument."
The 9-11 destruction of the WTC and the almost daily reports of suicide bombings against Israelis are proff that terrorism exists and I'd say terrorism is a legitimate concern for the U.S. and Israel. It's a shame that the most recent bout of the intifada has become more virulent than the one of the late 80's and has apparently contributed to the peace process going off the rails. Israel intransigence has likewise contributed.
>The power of this meme depends on its exploitation of the collective
>narcissism and paranoia of the Israeli people.
There's two sides here. It goes back to Zionism and the rise of Arab nationalism post WWI and has snowballed ever since. For the etremities one side had the Revisionists like Irgun and Stern where the other had the Nazi sympathizer the Grand Mufti Husayni and his ilk.
There's a lot of should'ves that emerge from that conflict. The original
Zionists shouldv'e appreciate the extent of the native Arab population of
Palestine. The Palestinians and their Arab cohorts should've accepted the
terms of UN resoluion 181 that partitioned Palestine and the existence of
Israel as a state. The Palestinians would probably have a state, unless
annexed by Abdullah ibn Hussein regardless of a war of '48. There's lots
more where that came from.
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