It was not that they were such good liars, they actually weren’t at all coy about their true aims, even if they neglected to share them with us in English and in Hebrew, keeping it for their own audiences, in Arabic, it was more that we wanted to believe them so very much. We wanted peace so desperately that we didn’t want to see that the Palestinian leadership was taking us for a royal ride. I’ve been reading "The Oslo War: A Tale of Self-Delusion", by Dr Efraim Karsh (Hebrew link). I can’t find it in English, but here are some reviews and here is something Karsh wrote, along the same lines (and here is his book about Arafat, with editorial and reader reviews).
So far I’ve read the introduction and part of the first chapter, and it’s depressing the hell out of me. The sad thing is, it’s nothing new. I knew all this, but chose to ignore it all. We all did. We were such suckers. It was all there, staring us in the face, and we decided to ignore it. We just didn’t want to know. I can feel my face reddening with embarrassment as I recall arguments I had with right wing friends who spread out the evidence clearly for me to see, and I refused to listen. They were right and I was wrong. But my point of view was in power, and we were had, taken for a ride, conned. And, oh, so willingly. Never did a gang of swindlers have such compliant, enthusiastic fools for victims.
I can clearly remember watching Arafat, freshly arrived in Gaza, standing on a balcony and saying horrible, hateful, inciting things to a cheering crowd, and I remember feeling very humiliated and worried at the time. Don’t worry, everyone said, the Palestinian people will soon be having such a ball, they’ll just love their independence and newfound affluence so much, that it will have to work. So I didn’t worry. More fool me.
Because it didn’t work, did it? Those bastards stole all the money and what they didn’t they spent on arms and on teaching hatred. Terrorist organizations flourished. No independence for the Palestinians. No affluence. (And no peace for us). Conned by their leaders. Again. And so were we.
The crazy thing is that we’re still the bad guys at the end of it all. It’s us that are the Zionazi hate mongers. It’s us that are the danger to World Peace.
Even some Israelis still don’t get it.
How can we possibly make people understand, when we ourselves, couldn’t, wouldn’t see it for so long? We only saw it when it came crashing down on us, literally.
How can we possibly make people understand, when these are people who don’t have access to the facts that we did have access to; when these are people who, on the most part, only have access to the clever lies, to the devious disinformation, to the unabashed distortion of history.
With little chance of persuading the world that we are the underdog here, that we are the endangered species, that we’re not paranoid, they really are after us, what choice do we have but to be strong and tough, stronger and tougher, strongest and toughest? We have no choice, and that’s the sad truth.
There’s no peace on the horizon.