Culture, Global, Identity, Israel, Justice, Politics, Religion

"Oh where oh where are the Palestinian Moderates?!"

It’s not that hard to find those oh-so elusive, mythical beings once you look around a little. Case in point: Lucy Widaad, also known as Palestinian Princess. In her latest post, she writes:

The economy of Palestine is thriving under Hamas rule… NOT!
I wonder what the hell is going to happen here. People are not being paid their salaries (gov’t workers), merchants are not seeing cash flow and renters are not paying the rent in our building claiming that they don’t have the money. Ouch, that hurts my pocket! Us Palestinians have got to get cracking or we will see a insurgance of violence soon. Lack of money will drive some people to work as hired guns for the Islamic Jihad and related groups leading to violence and more hatered towards Israel, this will effect the peace loving among us as we will also feel the Israeli backlash of making our lives EVEN MORE difficult.
Hamas is entering a long dark tunnel with no way out. With the political party Fatah virtually torn and dying, it is time for us Palestinians to think about building a new national movement.
We must save ourselves, but we cannot do it alone either. It is the time to create a political and social entity that is capable of supporting the government of a state, the Palestinian State. Fatah could not do it because they were obviously corrupt. Hamas does not want to do it, because they do not want to give up their sole role as a “resistance” organization. Therefore a new political and social force must be created. And we must do it now!
Now is the time for us Palestinians to create a responsible, honest, moderate, secular movement. It doesn’t have to have a particular political focus but it needs to serve as an organization for supporting life in the Palestinian territories and an instrument for distribution of funds from international donors. This entity will be built using a network of existing NGOs as a nucleus, a support system and guidance. Order and hope need to be restored. and this is the main objective initially. Because we will have funding, and Hamas will not, we will eventually make the Hamas government irrelevant, whether or not the Hamas stay in power.
We will obviously need help to do this and money is not enough. We will need the international community to support us and Arab governments will have to play a big role as moderators and enforcers. The Israeli government has a part to play too. Israel will have to unfreeze the funds it owes the Palestinians to help support our new entity. The ports and border crossings of the Palestinian authorities must be opened to free transport of goods. We have to nip this in the bud NOW, poverty breeds radicalism, and radicalism can be exported. And that means a threat for everyone in the world.
Now the question is, uhhh, how do I get started. Suggestions please. I am so willing to do this, as you all now I am unemployed and I don’t think I want to be a gunwoman, I am a PEACE LOVER. So help me.

So, nu? Not that we’re anything remotely close to being experts on the topic or necessarily being able to relate to her situation, but that’s never stopped us before. She’s asking for any and all suggestions. What do we think? More importantly, what can we do?
Cross-posted from Palestinian Princess (in part), Deityblog

31 thoughts on “"Oh where oh where are the Palestinian Moderates?!"

  1. Moderate? Hardly. She states on her blog that she is 100 percent anti-Zionist. At least I acknowledge her right to exist. Oh well.

  2. Choice quote:
    Oh, I just gotta say whatever and Jesus was a Palestinian so I don’t think Jesus would approve of Israel running E. Jerusalem. No, I don’t. Not by the people who crucified him.

  3. a peaceful anti-Zionist is better than a bloodthirsty anything else anyday. Anybody that can’t agree with that needs to check themselves.

  4. More gold from our wonderful “moderate’s” blog:
    “My point is, I love how Israel uses its immigration policy to equal out things so that they can one day use it as a valid reason and some Americans (the largest supporter of Israel) will totally agree because they are in fact blind to the fact that they are pawns of Israeli anyway.
    Oh, I just gotta say whatever and Jesus was a Palestinian so I don’t think Jesus would approve of Israel running E. Jerusalem. No, I don’t. Not by the people who crucified him.”
    Oh, yes. Intelligent, informed … and peaceful.
    Keep on searching for those moderates…

  5. “What do we think?”
    Learn your lesson: you reap what you sow.
    And, good find, J. This is very Arafat-esque, to present herself as a woman of peace when she needs help and then to drag out the vilest, most anti-Semitic filth when she thinks Jews aren’t watching.

  6. Well, this person does seem unhinged. But being anti-Zionist is not an extremist position.
    I oppose the view that Israel’s existence resolves the ‘Jewish Question.’ Many Jews agree with me. That makes them anti-Zionist, at least according to a fair understanding of political zionism as articulated by Herzl.
    For those who argue that anti-Zionism is merely opposition to Israel, I would say: why dumb down a serious set of ideas…. Zionism is important enough to take seriously on it’s on terms.

  7. If that’s the best Palestinian moderation has to offer, excuse me while I go shoot myself in my Christ-killing fucking head.
    I mean, honestly, do you think that Palestinian radicalism really has much to do with religion? You think just because someone wants to kick out Hamas and replace it with a secular regime they’re a moderate? Leila Khaled was secular. She hijacked an El-Al flight. But she’s secular, so we should overlook her commitment to the destruction of a Jewish state and the murder of Jewish people and hold her up as a shining star of moderation, right?
    Sorry, I just threw up in my mouth a little.
    You know, if my idea of peace was “make everyone I don’t like or agree with cease existing,” I could call myself a peace lover too. Except that’s Orwellian. As is the tendency to rewrite history. Jesus was Palestinian! And the Jews are Khazars and all of them come from Europe! And all the prophets of the Bible were Muslim and Arab! And Muhammad travelled to the Temple Mount and ascended to Heaven! And Abraham was Muslim too! And the Zionazis uprooted my grandfather’s 4 million dunams of olive and orange groves then raped my 4-year-old mother! A whole platoon of them! I saw it with my own eyes!
    Just kill me.

  8. “What do we think?”
    What goes around comes around. karma kramer etc.
    “More importantly, what can we do? ”
    Nothing. You misread her post. She doesn’t want help from you. She wants help against you. She knows you’ll be stupid enough ( no offense) to give help anyway.

  9. she says some obnixious things (the christ killer line is a classic) but if you read her ideas of what she wants herself and other palestinians to do, you gotta give her some credit, she’s actively looking for alternatives to violence.

  10. “We are the new generation and if we don’t start [b]educating our young and others differently[/b] then we are doomed for a VERY BAD END.”
    “Arab Christians, you know Palestinians, just like me, who never left there [b]land when it was invaded[/b].”

  11. “First of all, I wanted to make it clear that I do not agree with many of America’s policies and pro-war attitude. When I talk positively about America, it is the diversity and the good times I had there..”
    “I also love fashion, make-up and shopping!”

  12. Charles says “Well, this person does seem unhinged.”
    Possibly, but I think her views are totally mainstream among the Palestinians. Which is why I sneer when they talk about “peace” (and even the rhetoric reeks of self-interest).

  13. j, i think jews are the exact same way, in their own way. what we think of arabs, how we perceive them, how we relate to their culture — we have the same alienated xenophobic leery response to them as they have to us. we’re both in hyperexacerbated states, both for many justifiable reasons as well as twisted ones. and what simply doesn’t help, as far as i’m concerned, is to pour salt in an open wound. i think there are more productive ways to attain rational co-existence than flinging sand in one another’s faces.

  14. Thanks, Mob. Wow, I should have known that posting something this positive from someone obviously, unabashedly seeking help, would result in this disgusting vitriol. To quote from a comment someone left to this post on my blog:
    “Hellooooo….Jesus comes from that region, so at one point we were all “Palestinian.” Anyway, I think it’s quite clear from the context and from her comments afterward that she meant it as tongue-in-cheek–like, every culture claims Jesus was “one of them”–we have a white Jesus, a black Jesus, a Latino Jesus, etc. etc. Also…if we didn’t consider those who think the Jews were in some way responsible for the death of Jesus as moderates at this point…we’d have to say goodbye to all of our Christian friends and just about the entire rest of the world. Not saying she’s right or not misinformed, but come on…we live in the culture that brought us “The Passion of the Christ.” ”
    So she considers herself anti-zionist, but she still wants to make peace! So clearly her definition of zionism isn’t Israel’s right to exist, but something entirely different, probably in line with imperialism or whatever else. What the hell do you expect? This is a place to start, this is someone being honest about her beliefs but asking for help in making peace with the “other” ANYWAY. You don’t make peace with those who are already your friends!! And we’re all sitting here judging her, even thinking that “You misread her post. She doesn’t want help from you. She wants help against you. She knows you’ll be stupid enough ( no offense) to give help anyway.”
    I’m amazed, but I know I shouldn’t be. Because fucking helll, if we were the am segula that deserved to live in Israel at peace with our neighbors and gentiles in the land, we would be. Clearly, this is not the level we’re on. Thanks for bringing that home so strongly. Cuz if there’s any chance for love at all, for any place to start from to build peace–it’s coming so much more from her than from you.

  15. Mobius:
    The exact same way? Come on. No doubt many Jews have a somewhat distorted view of Arabs, but in terms of the percentage of the whole that hold such views, the degree of the distortion and, probably most important of all, the level of virulence, there really is no comparison. (Of course, you and I differ on what an undistorted view would be. I have no problem saying that Palestinians today are mostly murderous towards Jews and out of touch with reality.)
    The problem is that due to the current situation, it’s not that easy to tell an “alienated xenophobic leery response”, as you say, from legitimate fear and resentment. But even among the most anti-Arab Jews, you’ll often find acknowledgement that the grudge isn’t racial or genetic (that is to say, not intrinsic), that it’s directed only against Arab culture as it is today and not against every aspect of Arab culture going back 2,000 years, and that if the Arabs would stop attacking the Jews, Jewish hatred would subside or disappear. There’s little of this on the other side.
    “and what simply doesn’t help, as far as i’m concerned, is to pour salt in an open wound. ”
    I’m not sure which case you mean. If you’re referring to this thread, then I disagree. If you look at what I posted above, the blogger in question is clearly not looking for anything we could possibly accept as “peace”, and repeats vile (and historically ridiculous) statements about the Jews. I think it’s very important to separate sincere seekers of peace from self-interested phonies (as we all wish the Oslo supporters would have done) both so that it’s clear to the Jewish side who is in good faith and who is an enemy, and so that the Arabs understand that we see through their deceptions. Some day, when they’re convinced that real peace is the only option, they may seek it out.

  16. And dede, I understand that you’re feeling a bit foolish about not noticing the offending item two posts down from the one you so proudly quoted, but that doesn’t allow you to dismiss criticism as “disgusting vitriol”.
    “And we’re all sitting here judging her”
    Ah. So when she posts anti-Semitism, it’s wrong to judge her. But when people criticize her for this, it’s OK for you to judge them. I see.
    “Because fucking helll, if we were the am segula that deserved to live in Israel at peace with our neighbors and gentiles in the land, we would be. Clearly, this is not the level we’re on.”
    Oh, so when bad things happen to the Jews, it must be the Jews’ fault. See, you have more in common with the fundamentalists than you ever thought. Now tell us why Katrina happened.
    “Cuz if there’s any chance for love at all, for any place to start from to build peace–it’s coming so much more from her than from you. ”
    Even you don’t believe that.

  17. Yeah….actually I read her blog regularly and did notice that, and I was offended until I saw the context and realized that she probably did mean it tongue-in-cheek. And did I not say she’s wrong and misinformed about that? But then look, she turns around and writes an amazing post like this one. So then people see “moderate Palestinian,” oh no WAY, and go to her blog and find what they can to discredit her. And honestly, what she said is highly problematic, there’s no denying that. But there’s also no denying this other post. It’s something to work with, something to engage with and acknowledge. Take both posts and instead of writing her off, go to her blog and engage with her, tell her you were impressed with one but offended by the other, and go from there. Being at the Sulha and doing peacework, you encounter a lot of views and a lot of misconceptions that you find problematic and uncomfortable, but you need to work with that person to build from wherever they are, to correct both their faults and your own.
    And about the am segula thing, to say that we don’t share some responsibility in whatever happens to us is to deny hashgachah pratit to am yisrael, and to deny ownership of our presence and future, i.e. responsibility to make things better.
    And about a chance for peace coming more from her than you–she’s the one coming out with this post, at this moment. What are you doing other than utterly discrediting her? If something bothers you–treat her like a human being and say so! Coming from her society, and this is not apologetics, but face it, there’s a very good chance that she doesn’t realize the highly offensive nature of what she said about the Jews killing Christ. And people called her on it in the comments by the way, and she didn’t defend it.

  18. Dede, c’mon, you seriously think that we’ll take the chance with a Palestinian who is not perfect and actually try to have a dialogue? What, and give up our holier-than-thou place of righteousness and all that victim-hood, which we work so hard to perfect. We are sooooo good, and they are sooooo bad. That’s all there is to it. Anyone suggesting that they might be human-beings, as confused and as frustrated by the ridiculous complexity of the conflict and the mutual misrepresentation of the people involved, surely lacks a healthy sense of survival, not to mention regard to the lucrative lure of being the longest suffering nation in the neighborhood…

  19. People,
    Lucy lists “Gilda” as one of her favorite movies. This is not an anti-semite.

  20. “its not that I want to kill Lois ..it’s just that I want her..not to be alive” – Stevie from Family Guy

  21. dede:
    I’m not sure what I said earlier got through. First, concerning the anti-Semitic remarks, try the following thought experiment: imagine that the exact same words were posted by a right-wing American Christian who supports Israel and votes Republican. What a bastard, right? No excuses here.
    As for her “amazing post”, maybe we read different posts. What I read was along the lines of “we’re headed for poverty and starvation, we don’t have the power at this time to destroy the Jews, the suicide bombings don’t get us what we want, so let’s settle for some quiet right now”. Just a more pragmatic enemy, not someone looking for real peace.
    “So then people see “moderate Palestinian,” oh no WAY, and go to her blog and find what they can to discredit her. ”
    Find what they can?? As if we found little scraps or hints. No, what we found was blatant. And it took me two minutes to find it.
    “Being at the Sulha and doing peacework, you encounter a lot of views and a lot of misconceptions that you find problematic and uncomfortable, but you need to work with that person to build from wherever they are, to correct both their faults and your own.”
    I think you fundamentally misunderstand the nature of our enemies. They are not looking to correct faults and misconceptions. They are not looking to do what’s right. They are hardened and single-minded to a degree that probably doesn’t exist in your worldview, but sadly does exist in the real world.
    “And about the am segula thing, to say that we don’t share some responsibility in whatever happens to us is to deny hashgachah pratit to am yisrael, and to deny ownership of our presence and future, i.e. responsibility to make things better. ”
    I’m sure you know full well that I am in no sense denying responsibility. My problem is that you link a specific punishment – inability to live in peace in Israel – with Jewish misbehavior. There’s no way you can know that , and no way you can predict how hashgachah pratit manifests itself. I don’t accept such thinking from Chareidi rabbis, who at least (sometimes) have command of the sources. I certainly don’t accept it from anyone else. Is it possible that the Jews of Europe could have been so bad as to merit the Holocaust? Of course not. And by the way – if things were completely rosy for the Jews, would that mean that our behavior is perfect? Of course not.
    “And about a chance for peace coming more from her than you–she’s the one coming out with this post, at this moment. What are you doing other than utterly discrediting her?”
    I don’t discredit. She discredited herself. What I’m doing is warning people not to be like Charlie Brown and the football. We already spent the 90’s grasping at every two-faced Palestinian leader who made comforting noises in our direction while preaching bloodshed – and actively causing it – to and with his home audience. The naivete of the Left has already helped destroy too many Jewish lives. Not everyone can be negotiated with.

  22. J, your comments are too ludicrous to even….this is my last comment here. She’s not Yasser Arafat. She’s not part of the leadership. She’s a young adult and a human being like the rest of us. Just because she’s Palestinian does not mean she’s “one of our enemies” with a hardened worldview–I cannot fathom how you gathered what you did from her post. I’m not asking anyone to fucking negotiate a peace treaty with her or surrender their land to her. I’m asking people to engage with her on a human level–something that is just way too much, apparently.

  23. What she said was extremely offensive. Widaad is not being discredited for being Palestinian, and accusing people of discrediting her just because of that is merely a way of crying “racist!” when someone doesn’t agree with you. We’re looking for Palestinian moderates, and she doesn’t seem to be one of them.
    For proper dialogue (I hate that overused word, to be honest) to take place, both parties have to accept–or at least learn to accept–each other’s views and ideas. I’m sorry, but some views are not acceptable. Should we be more sensitive to something like Palestinian nationalism? Of course. But what about a view that anti-Semitic or espouses violence as legitimate tool for opposing occupation, an issue that sovereign govts are working to solve? Those views don’t deserve the light of day. Effort should only be made to help people abandon such reprehensible ideas and become more sensitive to the other side.
    I’m not saying that Widaad should essentially become a Palestinian Uncle Tom who all but says, “We should be transferred to Jordan!” But she should be more sensitive to the Jewish side. She should understand our form of nationalism, our beliefs, and our plights. We likewise should come to understand the Palestinians if we want to see progress. But when she dismisses Jewish nationalism and says that Jesus would not approve of J’lem, a city that is important to us, being ruled by those who crucified him, she is plainly showing that she does not care about our concerns. Jews have been persecuted for centuries because of deicide charges, and you think that someone who makes anti-Semitic remarks is someone who is at the forefront of the Palestinian peace movement?
    She should be a little more sensitive, but I don’t think that she can’t be taught. I think discussion with her might actually help both participants understand a little more about each other, but sensitivity goes both ways.

  24. “something that is just way too much, apparently”
    Well, yes. Presumably we have similar goals – keep Israel alive, etc. – and even here you answer arguments by saying my comments are “ludicrous” (but without showing why), you refer to criticism as “disgusting vitriol” , accuse your critics of causing the Jewish people to fail at being an “Am Segulah”, and claim that your vile Palestinian blogger is more likely to bring peace and love than your critics. Maybe when you can learn to use arguments rather than epithets against people who, whatever the differences, are, after all, more interested in protecting you and your family than in murdering them, you can preach to us about engaging people on a human level.
    Let’s have another look at the offending comments:
    ““My point is, I love how Israel uses its immigration policy to equal out things so that they can one day use it as a valid reason and some Americans (the largest supporter of Israel) will totally agree because they are in fact blind to the fact that they are pawns of Israeli anyway.
    Oh, I just gotta say whatever and Jesus was a Palestinian so I don’t think Jesus would approve of Israel running E. Jerusalem. No, I don’t. Not by the people who crucified him.”
    Still can’t fathom why I see her as an enemy?

  25. The fact that she does not give a damn that her ‘holy book’ (part of it anyway) very explicitly mentions that the land she is sitting on belongs to the Jews already shows that she has no integrity. And for that matter, none of the christians who hold the same views as her. They’re not buddhists or hindus, they don’t have the excuse of ignorance.
    I guess after G-d “died for them” they’re used to having G-d serve THEM instead of the other way around.
    Am I overgeneralizing and stereotyping? Definitely, but it’s still true.

  26. Okay I swore I wasn’t going to do this, but you know what? If the author of this post is your only issue, and from what you’ve said it clearly is, then forget about her! In fact, she’s completely beside the point, which still remains a really good and interesting question. Let’s hear all of you armchair Gods actually answer her question with constructive suggestions!

  27. And how exactly are you less of an armchair God than the rest of us…?
    But to answer your question: I would politely but very firmly inform any and all Palestinians and the rest of the world that Israel is here to stay and that there is no chance that there will be anything but Jewish sovereignty over the country. This will either be accepted, with no conditions attached or concessions offered, or Israel and the Palestinians will be at war. If the latter, Israeli reprisals will continually escalate in magnitude and ferocity such that the idea that waiting at a checkpoint is “humiliation” and “oppression” will come to seem whimsical and the worst checkpoint experiences will be viewed as a nostalgic paradise. If Arab violence still continues, those exiled will be the lucky ones. On the other hand, any act or expression of peace on the part of any Palestinian which is genuine, and not simply a self-interested desire for temporary peace while continuing the war in the long run, will be welcomed and encouraged.
    We will have true peace only when the Arabs are convinced that there is no chance that they will succeed at destroying Israel. Those who effectively do the convincing are the peacemakers, not those who offer empty talk of peace and love.

  28. i’ve got an idea, let’s put them on a diet, that will make them more moderate, peaceful, and zionist.

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