“Pie in the Sky”

"So," he said, in a conclusion that may not seem immediately logical to outsiders but was repeated again and again in interviews here, "I think it is the best chance for peace. I think Hamas can understand there is no way to destroy the state of Israel and will take a course to peace.


Among Israelis, already reeling from having a prime minister in a coma, there is no lack of shock and anger that Palestinian voters overwhelmingly chose a radical Islamic group with a deadly résumé: 21 dead at the disco here in 2001; 19 dead on the No. 32A bus in Jerusalem in 2002; 23 dead on the No. 2 bus in Jerusalem in 2003; a double bombing on buses in Beersheba in 2004, killing 16 and injuring 100. And that is only a small, and recent, part of the list."  NY Times


"We will continue to fight against the occupation…"  Hamas speaker in Gaza.

Occupation—-  Interesting word.  The sweet in nature and soft of head have heard that kind of language a lot from Palestinians (and generally heard in it what they wished).  "All we want is our land back.."  It took me some time to understand that what is really meant is all of Palestine, all of it, maybe a piece now, a sliver later.  Maybe it will take more generations of struggle and death.   "I will struggle and live in misery and pain, but my grandson will live free in his own land."  I have heard that many times, from Muslims, from Palestinian Christians.

The "occupied" have a certain right to be deceptive and disingenuous in pursuit of what they see as FREEDOM.  A lot of us in the West still have a remarkable naive and patronizing attitude towards the Arabs, and the Palestinians are not made exceptions to this rule.  We still think of them as essentially childlike and waiting to have revealed to them the "truths" of our civilization, which we "know" must constitute the unitary path to the future and progress of mankind.

The exit polls told us this would not happen?  Surprise!  People routinely lie to pollsters in the Arab World.  Why?  It is because knowledge is power and why should one give power to strangers?

So, when we find that they are filled with guile and skillful at manipulating words to tell us what they see we desire to believe, then we are surprised.  Delightful!  Mufaja’a ya al-Ajanib!  The same pollsters have told us for years that the Palestinians want PEACE, like the Israelis are said to want peace, but in neither case have they ever convincingly told us WHICH PEACE either group wants.

Now we are predictably told that Hamas are not really religious-nationalist fanatics (seemingly mutually exclusive but nevertheless doable).  No, rather, they are the next wave of negotiators who will come to the table once they realize that they can’t collect the garbage on time and that the Americans are unhappy.

"There’ll be pie in the sky bye and by, bye and bye………"

Joe Hill (sort of.  My old man was a wobbly at heart.  This is for him)

Pat Lang


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10 Responses to “Pie in the Sky”

  1. Rider says:

    The first price quoted is not the final price of the rug. I submit that the negotiations have already begun, though a lot of blood may be shed before the principals get to the next stage, back-channnel and through intermediaries. The prerequisite for negotiations is not that each acknowledge the other has the right to exist. What is necessary is that they acknowledge – as they will in time – that the other does in fact exist. A two-state solution is doable, even if one is Islamist.

  2. W. Patrick Lang says:

    Bless You! pl

  3. jonst says:

    It is “pie in the sky” to think the side favoring negotiations over confrontation will win the coming struggle between the two. But I would argue it is incorrect to assume this internal dynamic is not at work now. This “dynamic” I suggest, has less to do with the Middle East than it has to do with humankind.

  4. W. Patrick Lang says:

    a useless platitude. we are discussing the ME.
    If you think that Hamas and similar groups are “just like people everywhere” than you should get out more. there is a quality to their medieval religiosity that is unmatched by other single minded groups of fanatics.
    Negotiations will merely serve to prolong the approach to the coming crisis in which Israel destroys what hope the Palestinans have.

  5. searp says:

    I say shrug. Shrug. Let them have their wars and stay away. We made it our problem, and it has cost us. Time to back off.

  6. W. Patrick Lang says:

    Always wuz. they are not kids. pl

  7. W. Patrick Lang says:

    I retract the “platitude” part. pl

  8. jonst says:

    I don’t think that the HAMAS are “like people everywhere”. I DO think they, some of them, have qualities that history suggests humans, everywhere, share and demonstrate, on a near daily basis. Greed, ego, a desire to live in peace, a desire to make money, a desire hold rank,a desire to grow old, a tendency to be hypocritical and inconsistent regarding their past statements and intentions, and so on. I do believe there are factions within Hamas. Further, I think there are different reasons why different people voted for Hamas. I think it is simplistic to view Hamas, or just about any other group in the world, as monolithic or fixed in their expressed beliefs. And I believe cursory study of history would back me up on that belief.
    I get out Patrick. I am not naïve. Neither am I inclined to throw my hands up and say “it’s all over now”. We’ll see what happens. It’s the ME…I’m always pessimistic to some extent. But the future is not written in stone Patrick.

  9. W. Patrick Lang says:

    Not “written in stone?” We will see if the 21st Century’s ideas of “progress” are stronger than Islam as understood by Hamas. We will see. pl

  10. jonst says:

    Forgive me Patrick, I am not making myself clear. By no means am I putting much, if any, faith in “progress”, 21st century or otherwise. Rather, essentially the opposite. I put my faith in decadence, corruption, greed, vice. There is a faction, furious protestations notwithstanding, that will get addicted to power. There will be a purist faction that means what it says. For now and for all time. That’s all I am saying. I don’t have a clue which faction will win or if it even will be close. But there ALWAYS are factions. They lead to the strangest things sometimes. For instance, the sight of that one time fierce ideologue Deng Xiaoping riding around the Astrodome in a horse drawn covered wagon as he, big grin on face, waved a Cowboy hat given to him by right wing Texas oil men. These things happen and they happen every day. And they have, I suspect, been happening since the dawn of time.

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