… for once we, in the terminally guilt ridden West, really can blame ourselves.
– Pat Condell, in “Boo-hoo Palestine”
This week I thought I would cut myself a little slack – and at the same time offer what I consider to be a public service, by providing The Jerusalem Post’s readership with a transcript of the latest video put out by the inimitable Pat Condell, titled “Boohoo Palestine,” interspersed with comments/ commentaries of my own.
I hope this will accomplish at least one of two things. On the one hand, it will serve to introduce Condell to those Post readers yet unfamiliar with his superbly crafted and scathing political satire. On the other hand, for those who are familiar with him, it will afford a written online reference to the oral brilliance of his latest offering.
Anyone wishing to experience his most recent dose of deadly, dead-pan humor, should Google “Condell + Boohoo Palestine” to access his devastating demolition of that puerile, yet perniciously persistent, idea of Palestinian statehood and its inevitable intellectual auxiliary, the land-for-peace dogma.
His pungent onslaught could hardly have been better timed. His words have been thrown into sharper relief, and lent starker relevance, by the outrageous and uncalled for abuse this week, hurled at the prime minister by unidentified White House sources for not embracing this fatal and futile folly with greater alacrity.
As news of Wednesday’s murderous attack on Yehudah Glick came in, they assumed an almost poignantly prophetic quality.
Irreverent, irreligious and outspoken
Condell is listed as being “a writer, comedian and Internet personality.” However, he is, above all, a supremely incisive and caustic political satirist.
From an Israeli point of view, it is of particular interest that Condell is neither Jewish nor religious. He was born Roman Catholic, schooled in the Church of England and has become stridently secular, if not militantly, irreligious.
He cannot be dismissed as a tribalistic ethnocentric bigot or as a right-wing religious radical. Condell has not always been a staunch supporter of Israel, or a strident opponent of the Palestinians. On his own website he acknowledges: “I used to be a lot more critical of Israel until I stopped looking at the situation emotionally and looked at the facts.”
He continues: “I now believe that the only obstacle to a peaceful solution is Arab Muslim intransigence driven by crude religious hatred, and that the Western world is collaborating with a monstrous lie. In short, I support Israel, a civilized, pluralist democracy where all citizens, Jewish and Arab, are equal. Don’t believe the ‘apartheid” propaganda.’”
Condell’s video touches on many of the topics I’ve dealt with in recent weeks, but with a dry, acerbic humor, conveyed with poker-faced seriousness that makes his work so uniquely lucid and compelling – unless of course you are an “unidentified source” in the White House.
Nonexistent country for an invented people
Condell begins his masterful monologue by debunking the authenticity of the claims of a separate Palestinian national identity:
“Despite the recent enthusiasm we have seen in the West for recognizing the nonexistent country of Palestine, the much vaunted two-state solution is a fantasy that has no chance of leading to peace, because the Palestinians, or to use the correct term, ‘Arabs,’ have proven, beyond any doubt, that they are not negotiating in good faith, that they can’t be trusted to keep their word and any agreement they sign will be worthless. They initiate all the violence in the region and they break every cease-fire, because they don’t want negotiations, or a two-state solution, and they are not even keeping it a secret.”
This is an eminently apt characterization of the realities not only today – but over the past decades.
Indeed, as I have detailed in numerous previous columns, Condell could draw on a myriad of declarations made, and documents written, by the Palestinians themselves and their Arab endorsers, openly admitting that the “Palestinians” are not an identifiably separate people, distinct from the wider Arab nation, and that “Palestine” is not an identifiably specified geographical entity, to be separated from the wider Arab homeland.
Candid confessions abound that once the Jewish state (a.k.a. the Zionist entity) is duly eliminated, both the “Palestinians” and “Palestine” are to be seamlessly integrated into that nation and that homeland, respectively.
The two-stage ‘solution’
Condell continues: “They keep telling us they want a one-state solution with no Israel and no Jews and they’ve pledged never to stop fighting until that day comes – both Hamas and the supposedly moderate Fatah. And we have no excuse for not listening. But we will find one as usual, won’t we? Any agreement they do sign will be a stepping stone to a better vantage point from which to attack and destroy Israel, every Arab knows this is true, so any future Palestinian state will be like Gaza is today, a racist apartheid state devoid of Jews, on pain of death, and a launch pad for daily rocket attacks on Israeli civilians until the Israelis finally lose patience and retaliate, and the world condemns them as Nazis.”
There can be little doubt as to the accuracy of Condell’s charges regarding the obdurate refusal to accept the existence of Israel. It is etched into the very text of their founding documents. Thus, the Hamas Charter spews: “Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it… Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims.” And the supposedly moderate Fatah proclaims its goal to be the “Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.”
The wrong message: The truth
He observes: “The pattern has been set: Palestinian terrorism is always rewarded and that’s why it never stops. And we in the West are helping to bankroll it, we can’t throw enough money their way. So much money that the leaders of Hamas, supposedly former refugees, are personal billionaires, while the people they claim to represent, live in misery. Killing Jews for Allah is very lucrative, because it’s popular with the rest of the world. If it wasn’t popular, it wouldn’t be lucrative. And this despite the fact that Israel has never initiated violence against any of its neighbors. It has only ever responded to it. The Israeli army takes more care than any other to minimize civilian casualties and everybody knows this, but it’s never a feature of any news report, because it sends the wrong message: It tells the truth.”
It was Israel’s diplomat supreme, Abba Eban, who deftly depicted the sorry international reality of pervasive anti-Israel mendacity, when he remarked wryly that if any Arab country “introduced a resolution [in the UN General Assembly] declaring that the earth was flat – and that Israel had flattened it – it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.”
There are, or course rare – and brief – lapses of veracity in the international media. One such moment occurred when in 2009, the BBC afforded Col. Richard Kemp, former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan, the chance to convey the truth as to the ethical conduct of the IDF in battle, strongly endorsing Condell’s reference to its extraordinary efforts to minimize casualties among enemy civilians.
Kemp asserted emphatically: “I don’t think there has ever been a time in the history of warfare when any army has made more efforts to reduce civilian casualties and deaths of innocent people than the IDF is doing today….“ Sadly however, one swallow does not make a spring.
The poison at the heart?
Condell diagnosed the pervasive Judeophobic venom as the root cause of the Israel-Arab conflict: “But despite the media’s criminal dishonesty and bias, many people are now beginning to see for themselves – even if they can’t quite bring themselves to admit it, yet – that Arab Muslim Jew-hatred is the root cause of this problem, it’s the poison at the heart of it. Until it’s confronted and dealt with, honestly and effectively, by the rest of us, including especially the media, the two-state solution will remain a self-congratulatory fantasy of stupid Western politicians.”
Large doses of this Judeophobic – indeed, Judeocidal – venom are on display in much of Palestinian public life, nearly all of which, to some degree or other, reflects the sentiments expressed in the Hamas Charter that puts the Day of Redemption on hold “until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!’”
Such bellicose attitudes are not confined to the Islamist extremists. Indeed, they have been prominent in the recent rants of the West’s favorite Palestinian, the allegedly moderate Mahmoud Abbas, who charges that Jewish presence on the Temple Mount defiles the holy places of the Muslims, urging the public to prevent this “by all means.”
Enmity driven by envy?
In his depiction of the Arabs and their animosity toward the Jews, Condell is a little more abrasive and more sweeping in his generalizations than I would perhaps be.
There is, however, little doubt that his pithy turn of phrase and merciless diagnosis have a persuasive ring of truth to them, even though exceptions may abound.
He sallies forth: “But something else that really doesn’t help the emotional temperature of the situation is the fact that the Arabs are clearly jealous of Jews – and with good reason. They can see the disproportionate contribution Jews have made to human advancement, in contrast to their own contribution, which is virtually nil. And they can see what a civilized and prosperous society the Jews have created in their midst, in contrast to their own racist and misogynistic and deeply ignorant society, with its childish honor-shame culture, which has no honor and of which they ought to be ashamed. Also the Jews have given the Arabs a tidy spanking several times when attacked unprovoked, despite being heavily outnumbered. It seems that everything the Jews do, they do better. No wonder the Arabs are jealous. It must infuriate them but the very people their infallible religion depicts as inferior, as apes and pigs, have turned out to be clearly superior. That has got to hurt.”
As I said, abrasive and sweeping – but, substantively, not easy to dispute.
Soft racism of low expectations?
Toward the end of his biting barrage, Condell raises the issue of the soft racism of low expectations. Accusingly, he focuses on the double standards and the doublespeak with which much of the international community treats the Arab world, and the debilitating effect this is having on it: “And it must infuriate them to know that the world is openly patronizing them by giving them all this unwarranted attention and money. We all know they don’t deserve it, and if they were measured by the standards we apply to everyone else, they wouldn’t get it. But we hold Arabs to lower standards, we expect less of them, because we are racists and they are so stupid and self-indulgent. They milk it for all its worth and they end up expecting less of themselves, a lot less, which is exactly what they get. And that’s what we all get when they show yet again that they can’t be trusted, by breaking yet another cease-fire, by attacking innocent women and children in the most cowardly way, and are not held to account for it, but on the contrary are rewarded yet again.”
The question now is will his strident wakeup call be heeded, before it is too late (before al-Qaida, Islamic State, the Nusra Front, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Hezbollah, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, to name but a few, loom evermore ominous)…
Finally, well-merited guilt
Condell concludes with a barbed condemnation of the prevailing international hypocrisy: “That’s why this conflict is self-perpetuating; that’s why the two-state solution is a fantasy; and for once we in the terminally guilt ridden West really can blame ourselves.”
Well said, Pat – I couldn’t put any better.
Martin Sherman (www.martinsherman.org) is the founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. (www.strategicisrael.org)