The New York Times yesterday ran one more of its long, anti-Israel stories, but it included this paragraph about life for radicals in a Palestinian town:
“If Palestinians believed they could live better by playing along, who would bother to fight? When Bassem [Tamimi] was jailed in decades past, he said, prisoners were impatient to get out and resume their struggles. This time, he ran into old friends who couldn’t understand why he was still fighting instead of making money off the spoils of the occupation. ‘They said to me: “You’re smart—why are you doing this? Don’t you learn?”’”
The message of Ben Ehrenreich’s “Is This Where the Third Intifada Will Start?” is clear: Militants are courageous, peaceful Palestinians are seeking to make money. Principles vs. principal. That might be true if Palestinian radicals were fighting for freedom, but two new articles published in Saudi Arabia, of all places, indicate that they are not. (Hat tip to David Pryce-Jones at National Review for bringing these to my attention.)
One article, by retired naval officer Abdulatif al-Mulhim, notes that Arabs in Israel enjoy much more political and social freedom than Arabs in their own country. (Al-Mulhim, instead of arguing that Israel is the troublemaker, points out that Arabs commit atrocities on other Arabs.) The second article, by Amal al-Hazzani, an assistant Saudi university professor, admiringly describes Israeli political diversity and the aspirations of its young people.
The articles are remarkable contrasts to typical Saudi depictions of Jews as descendants of apes and pigs. If The New York Times, instead of praising Palestinian stone-throwers, honored Arab writers who cast bread on the waters, they just might help the Middle East become a safer and better place.