The Arab mentality
I hooked up with Michael Totten today and we headed to the Old City to talk to some Arabs. Michael, as you may well know, is a well know ME journalist who writes for the likes of Commentary, Pajamas Media, City Journal and others.
As it turned out we only had time to converse with one shouk merchant. This is what he had to say,
America supports Israel and as long as that is the case, nothing will change in the ME. I argued to the contrary that the State Department has always been dedicated to pushing Israel back to the green line. He answered that Israel is still in the West Bank and America gives her billions. But America, I said, gives to both Hamas and the PA hundreds of millions. This he knew nothing about. Here was his bottom line, if Obama can't force Israel back, nobody in the US can. He is not hopeful at all. "The Israelis will never give us anything."
Then he gave me a history lesson. In '47 Israel got 80% of Palestine and the Palestinians got only 20% (his words). And now he says that the Israelis want us to compromise on the remaining 20%. No way. As much as he wanted all of Palestine (Israel included), he would settle for 20%. I couldn't help but feel that getting Palestine would not end the matter.
I didn't have the time to give him a history lesson as we were there to learn what he thought.
He had great respect for Hezb'allah and Hamas because they were "men". i.e. they stood and fought. They have integrity and stand by their principles. He admires them. He was particularly excited that Hezb'allah beat Israel into submission in the 2006 War. Israel begged the US to get them a political solution. This gave him great pride..
It was clear that the Sunni/Shiite rivalry interested him not. His world was divided between fighters and appeasers.
He thought that the Gazans were suffering from the blockade and rejected the truth when I tried to inform him.
In line with the recent polls, he wants Iran to get the bomb even if it means that she will bomb Israel. He said he would gladly die so long as Israel is destroyed.