Two shockingly intimate interviews, one this first-person article published in Der Speigel from a Qassam-making shed in Gaza and the other with a disillusioned Al-Aqsa commander from JeninÂ in Haaretz. A view into the minds of two terrorists, one active and the other depressed.
I have no time for extended commentary except to say that the two views here explicitly endorse violence. We can applaud the complaints of the retired commander who complains that the PA acts too much to meet demands of Israel’s security needs, longing instead for the days when Palestinian terrorism had some sense of accomplishment towards a political goal. We can applaud the PA for, as the commander laments,Â protecting Israel’s security interests, unlike theÂ good ol’ days when the PA coordinated successful terror efforts.Â And we can wince at the hypocracy of the Hamas rocket maker who claims sympathy when his missiles hit children, “If we kill soldiers, then we are more than happy. If it hits a child, then naturally we are not happy.”
But into these worldviews is a lack of sterotype of the mindless fanatic aiming to drive Jews into the sea. In both cases, we see political activists bent on violence as a tool for political progress, coldly calculating and aware of costs and benefits. The glory of Allah is rarely under discussion here; a political end to the occupation (in vague terms) is definitely.
Much of the writing I do here is not to claim that terrorism doesn’t exist, but instead to argue that our understanding of Palestinian terrorists is a bit outdated. And that the right-wing views of intrasigent, forthing-at-the-mouth Islamists is laughably simplistic. It is time to update our grasp of the political stalemate in the West Bank and Gaza, so that when we discuss Palestine and Palestinians, we understand with whom we’re really dealing.
I highly recommend a read through both articles and the iconic views they provide into a young Hamas on one side and an aged Fatah on the other.
(Hat tip to Y-Love for the Der Speigel article.)