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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Organized Anger

Most of the Arabs I pass on my way to work either ignore me (most common) or wave as I pass (hey, who can resist waving to a bright red Vespa?!).  The waving is much more prevalent among teenagers and kids... but I've gotten more than a few sober head nods from elderly shepherds and roadside fruit mongers if there is nobody around to witness such a frivolous gesture.

I had a very strange experience on my way home from work yesterday.  The ride into work was typically bucolic and friendly.  But for some reason the ride home was ... different. 

It's as if somewhere in a harmonic range that only Arab ears could hear there were jungle drums pounding out a war beat.  As I passed through each Arab village, people - young and old - yelled at me and shook their fists in my direction.  Teen-aged shepherds and kite-flying kids throughout the Hebron Hills who had previously waved enthusiastically at the passing Vespa, were suddenly shouting angrily at me (and any other Israeli car that passed).  Two teens even tossed stones at me as I rode by; missing by a wide margin (chalk one up for being a small target).

If this had occurred in only one village or locale along my 85 Km commute I would have chalked it up to someone having a bad day and infecting his friends and neighbors with the funk.  But this happened in every single village and hillside, reinforcing a theory that I have held dear since the 'spontaneous' ignition of the second intifada; that there is some central controlling mechanism among the Palestinians that orchestrates and organizes the anger and violence... turning it on and off like a spigot.

Very likely, what I witnessed yesterday was a periodic test of this caustic broadcast system... making sure the war drums still worked. 

Israeli leaders have long used generic words such as 'incitement' to describe this phenomenon without bothering to track the mechanism that sets the organized anger into violent motion.  It seems to me that if we can track arms shipments to terrorists from halfway around the world, we should be able to identify and track the source of this incitement that quite deliberately sets the Palestinian 'street' on a violent collision course with Israel and Israelis.  After all, this well-oiled network is delivering something every bit as dangerous as rockets or mortars.

Once we can provide incontrovertible proof to the U.S and Europe that the very same people with whom we are supposed to be negotiating peace are directly responsible for instigating the periodic organized anger and 'spontaneous' violence, we would be in a better position to demand as a precondition to any further 'gestures', an honest negotiating partner with whom peace can actually be achieved.

Posted by David Bogner on July 7, 2010 | Permalink


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Are you really imagining that it is a lack of knowledge that leads to US and Western pressure on Israel? The evidence has been available for decades. Rather it is a refusal to accept the idea of Arab ill will that leads there. After all, there are sooo many Arabs and Muslims. If we accept that they are unwilling to negotiate, that they are motivated by something different than Westerners, it would indicate that war is inevitable - that simply being nice enough won't work. And that is something wholly contrary to leftists' world view. Much safer to believe that it is just the Jews being difficult yet again.

Posted by: Russ | Jul 7, 2010 1:40:16 PM

David - an honest negotiating partner with whom peace can actually be achieved.

They are pretty honest, they want your house. And you want your house. Now how do you negotiate around something like that?

Posted by: Mark | Jul 7, 2010 2:06:28 PM

Two teens even tossed stones at me as I rode by; missing by a wide margin (chalk one up for being a small target).

For the record, this is one of the reasons I would prefer you ride to/from work with a "crunchy outer shell!" Small target, or not...

Posted by: zahava | Jul 7, 2010 3:12:54 PM

I'd listen to your wife on that one, sir.

Posted by: Jewel | Jul 7, 2010 5:25:35 PM

On behalf of the Trep kids, I third the motion....

Posted by: marsha, | Jul 7, 2010 5:30:23 PM

OK, before this starts to snowball let me offer the following: The so-called 'protection' of a car's 'crunchy outer shell' is illusionary at best.

When compared with a very fast powered two wheeler such as my scooter (which can easily do 130Kph), a car has the following serious disadvantages:

1. It is a much larger/more inviting target for those throwing rocks/Molotov cocktails.

2. It can more easily be blocked and attacked once sitting still.

3. When driving a car you don't normally wear a helmet, and you are quite literally surrounded by glass. Not a good combination when you think about the results of thrown stones.

4. Tangentially related to point #2, a car can't easily maneuver around obstacles such as thrown debris, burning tires, strategically placed rocks and other stopped cars.

5. A car has a front license plate whose color broadcasts to anyone laying in wait for you whether you are a Palestinian or Israeli.

'nuff said.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Jul 7, 2010 5:44:11 PM

Hey, Bibi and the American Barak are meeting - of course anything that might lead to a combined front from US & Israel has to be disrupted.

Posted by: Shoshana | Jul 7, 2010 6:09:06 PM


Sent you a private e-mail about this. You may feel free to refer to it publicly here if warranted...

All the best... Mike S

Posted by: Mike Spengler | Jul 7, 2010 6:54:05 PM

I suppose outfitting your Vespa with some James Bond type gadgets is unrealistic, but it would be very cool.

Posted by: Jack | Jul 7, 2010 7:10:25 PM

With all the informers and electronic capabilities of Shin Bet and the IDF, we probably know exactly who set this off.Many in the West believed that Gaza would set an example for J$S.When this idea blew up in their face,they couldn`t face the truth about this, or any other facet of the conflict.

Posted by: Ed | Jul 7, 2010 10:36:50 PM

I like Jack's idea... and post pics! :)

seriously - - be safe.

Posted by: val | Jul 8, 2010 6:26:04 AM

Shoshana is right -- Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanahu met yesterday. The Arabs don't like it when their man whispers tender, sweet nothings into the ear of Israeli's PM, no matter how platitudeinous.

Posted by: Ari | Jul 8, 2010 6:33:35 AM

David - I would hazard a guess that it's the mosques. The Friday 'sermons'/ hate sessions. Beyond that: those sermons are broadcast on radio and TV, these days. In the olden days I think the really long-range plots were hatched at Central Command, namely, Mecca - everyone who went on the Hajj got a dose of stoked-up fanaticism and his marching orders and then went home with same, to carry them out as best he could.

And 'flash mobs', Insta-Riots, are summoned by mobile phone - this has happened when non-Muslim police confront Muslim criminals in places like Australia and Europe.

Posted by: Sylvia | Jul 9, 2010 12:10:14 PM

Maybe this was all a cultural misunderstanding? Raised fists? Maybe that was their way of saying "Ride smooth, easy rider." The rocks? Maybe it was just candy?

At least that's how J-Street would interpret it.

There is certainly a "broadcasting system" in the Arab/Moslem world though. Since governments in the region maintain a vast network of state owned media outlets as well as state officials who push the accepted messages of the day, it makes it easier to turn the "incitement" on and off. It's quite easy to see how efficiently this works if you look at the well-orchestrated second intifada or the response to Jewish visits/claims on holy sites in the area.

Posted by: Jacob (We Are Government) | Jul 11, 2010 4:44:35 AM

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