Saving Face: The Middle East Minefield

There's a caste system in the Arab world, and Palestinians are at the bottom.  Despite all of the rhetoric that you hear, Palestinians as a group are regarded as contemptible by their Arab brethren.  In Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, or any other Arab country, ask a man on the street if he is a Palestinian, and if the person you're addressing isn't a Palestinian, the look on his face and the tone in his voice will underscore the truth.  Emphatically, he'll say "no" because he wants to assure you that he is not "one of them." Jordan stands out, since about 70% of the Jordanian population is Palestinian, and the Queen of Jordan, Queen Rania, is a Palestinian.  Even so, if you ask a humble camel jockey in Petra if he is a Palestinian, he'll react swiftly to convince you that he is not. Arabs have such low regard for Palestinians because as a group, Palestinians have a reputation for being rabble-rousers, malcontents, and troublemakers.  As a case in point,...(Read Full Article)

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