Why Palestinians Should Take to the Streets and Start Toppling Statues

The recent passion in the West for tearing down statues, taking television shows off air, and “canceling” people seems for the most part driven by nihilism and ignorance. But Ruthie Blum insists that, nonetheless, there is a “need for serious intellectual debate over the type of material that a society wishes to promote or discourage.” And while some within the Black Lives Matter movement wish to coopt the Palestinian cause for their own purposes, and vice versa, there seems to be no room for debate over which figures Palestinian society should memorialize. Blum writes:

One monument of note is a structure in Ramallah honoring Dalal Mughrabi, a female Palestinian terrorist from Lebanon who led the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre, considered the deadliest terrorist attack in Israel’s history. The attack began with the hijacking of a bus and ended with the slaughter of 38 innocent passengers—among them thirteen children—and the wounding of more than 70 others.

As for sports, Palestinian karate, chess, soccer, table-tennis, and other youth tournaments bear the names of “martyred” mass murderers. Ditto for murals, music videos, and cartoons depicting Jews as hook-nosed aggressors in IDF uniforms, and urging Palestinians to commit stabbing, car-ramming, Molotov-cocktail, and missile attacks on Israelis. Oh, and hopefully to lose life and limb during the endeavor.

If Palestinians were to take to the streets . . . to shout about their lives mattering, it would make perfect sense. Not only are they persecuted, kept impoverished, and programmed to exist in a state of fear, they are egged on to sacrifice themselves and their children for a goal that their leaders perpetually block.

If the residents of Ramallah and Gaza were to topple portraits of terrorists, overturn police cars and demand a new order of democracy and civil rights, they would be justified. Unfortunately, they’d also be subjected to torture on a par with, or worse than, that suffered by George Floyd.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Black Lives Matter, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror

Iran’s Calculations and America’s Mistake

There is little doubt that if Hizballah had participated more intensively in Saturday’s attack, Israeli air defenses would have been pushed past their limits, and far more damage would have been done. Daniel Byman and Kenneth Pollack, trying to look at things from Tehran’s perspective, see this as an important sign of caution—but caution that shouldn’t be exaggerated:

Iran is well aware of the extent and capability of Israel’s air defenses. The scale of the strike was almost certainly designed to enable at least some of the attacking munitions to penetrate those defenses and cause some degree of damage. Their inability to do so was doubtless a disappointment to Tehran, but the Iranians can probably still console themselves that the attack was frightening for the Israeli people and alarming to their government. Iran probably hopes that it was unpleasant enough to give Israeli leaders pause the next time they consider an operation like the embassy strike.

Hizballah is Iran’s ace in the hole. With more than 150,000 rockets and missiles, the Lebanese militant group could overwhelm Israeli air defenses. . . . All of this reinforces the strategic assessment that Iran is not looking to escalate with Israel and is, in fact, working very hard to avoid escalation. . . . Still, Iran has crossed a Rubicon, although it may not recognize it. Iran had never struck Israel directly from its own territory before Saturday.

Byman and Pollack see here an important lesson for America:

What Saturday’s fireworks hopefully also illustrated is the danger of U.S. disengagement from the Middle East. . . . The latest round of violence shows why it is important for the United States to take the lead on pushing back on Iran and its proxies and bolstering U.S. allies.

Read more at Foreign Policy

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, U.S. Foreign policy