Sandbox by Martin Kramer
October 15, 2008
This is a guest post contributed by Philip Carl Salzman, professor of anthropology at McGill University.
The greatest Middle Eastern success in public relations opinion-shaping in the last forty years has been the Palestinian self-definition of themselves as a separate people and as victims of Israel and the West. The entire world, it appears, has been convinced. Europeans and many Americans, not to mention members of the Muslim umma, trip over each other offering sympathy and buckets of money to the Palestinians. The United Nations makes unique arrangements for the Palestinians, and numerous UN bodies devote themselves solely to the needs of the Palestinians. And those same Europeans and Americans, and the members of those UN organs, risk apoplexy in their violent denunciations of Israel—Israel the bully, the oppressor, the colonialist, the racist—for thwarting the Palestinians.