Reward and repetition are two of the best ways to ensure certain types of behaviors continue. And if such motivations are in place long enough, behavior becomes permanent as rewards harden into entitlements and repetition becomes habit.
We’re seeing something like this play out in the latest iteration of what Ruth Wisse urges us to start calling “The Arab War Against the Jews,” a more descriptive title for what even Israel’s friends keep calling called the “Arab-Israeli” conflict, which presumes an inaccurate “cycle-of-violence” narrative.
This time, the so-called “cycle” consists of Palestinians (urged on by leaders in both official and popular media) stabbing housewives and running cars into crowded bus stops while Jews hold up their end of the “cycle” by doing what is needed to stop the slaughter.
To any rational observer, this “knifing Intifada” is ultimately destined to suffer the fate as have previous ones with lots of people – Jew and Arab – losing their lives, a degradation of whatever progress Palestinian society might have made since the last “uprising,” and hopes for co-existence pushed ever further away. These are actually important goals for those urging on the stabbing (even if those actually holding the knives are motivated primarily by the urge to kill any Jew they can reach).
Needless to say, those “Friends of the Palestinian People” here on our shores have risen up to “stop the violence,” specifically the violence Israeli police, soldiers and citizens use to prevent their children from being stabbed and run over. As for the stabbing spree itself, well – as usual – this crowd of Peace Warriors has little time for such trifles.
One of the few interesting things about this entirely unsurprising set of behaviors is the way those hoping to anchor their already-scheduled propaganda campaign to the current crisis are no longer even bothering to hide the transparency of the falsehoods they embrace and espouse.
On one level, the laundering of murderers (by, for example, presenting killers or would-be killers gunned down during an attack on their Jewish prey as “victims of Israeli aggression”) seems cynical beyond belief.
But after two decades of fauxtography (including presenting victims of murderous violence everywhere else in the Middle East as Palestinian “victims”), why not go the next step and simply lie to suit your needs without a second thought. Especially since fewer and fewer people outside the circle of Israel’s regular supporters show the slightest interest in calling SJP/JVP/BDS out on their fabrication, manipulation atrocious behavior.
This is where the repetition phenomenon mentioned at the top of this piece starts to provide some descriptive (and, sadly, predictive) utility. For just as Palestinians have been trained over the last two generations to automatically blame everything wrong with their lives and history on the Jews (a process which only accelerated once the “Peace Process” kicked in two decades ago), our local anti-Israel propagandists have been trained to expect almost no challenge to their endless propagandizing and lies – not from the media, not from cowed or corrupted academia, and not from the governments who fund the Palestinian polities working tirelessly to ensure violence continues.
As the school year gets underway, calendars are already filling up with the same films, panel discussions and BDS campaigns that would be taking place whether or not Abbas’ stabbing campaign was underway and regardless of the hundreds of thousands of Arabs dying in a regional (and religion-fueled) war the boycotters can’t seemed to be bothered about.
And if you bother to ask why “human rights activists” have so little time for the rights of humans beyond Palestinian ones (although only the ones under Israeli jurisdiction), out comes the accusations of “changing the subject” (presuming the boycotters don’t ignore critics altogether).
I guess the one dim light in this otherwise depressing environment is that a political movement which thinks it has others in their pocket tends to get lazy and careless as feelings of invulnerability coupled with fantasies of impending triumph leads to poor decisions and overreach. The BDSers attempt to stifle debate by claiming debate is being stifled indicates they hope to immunize themselves from criticism for appalling activities already being planned. But just as they ignore everything their critics have to say, we too must continue to talk over their heads to a population that doesn’t necessarily want to play their saps for another year.