Rashida rolls on

The Rashida Tlaib story has been by now retold ad nauseam: the Israel-hating congresswoman wanted to come to Israel to grandstand and advocate for boycott of the country; the Israeli government (with a little push from President Trump) showed her and her fellow, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, that boycott can be a two-way street, and refused her entry.

Since she planned to combine the business of Israel-bashing with a more personal matter — a visit to her 90-year-old grandmother who lives in a tidy, prosperous West Bank village — she decided to at least accomplish the latter.  To that end, she wrote to Israeli authorities asking for permission to visit her grandma and promising not to engage in anti-Israel political grandstanding while in the country.

Israelis, who after all routinely treat in their hospitals sick Palestinians from the Palestinian-controlled Area A of the West Bank and from Gaza, immediately approved the trip.

Tlaib then came under fire from the Palestinians themselves, with Nour Odeh, a former Palestinian Authority official, tweeting that "[w]hat is truly upsetting is that @RashidaTlaib fell in this trap and accepted to demean herself and grovel."  Tlaib then backtracked on her own request but laid the blame for her decision to cancel not on the heartlessness and inhumanity of Palestinian mob, but on Israel.  Apparently, having thought when she wrote her petition that "racist treatment" by Israel letting her in to see her grandma would not bother her one bit, when she wrote her letter, she decided a day later that after all, it would be too much for her to endure and canceled the trip she herself requested.

The story puts in stark contrast two cultures, Israeli and Palestinian.  One is compassionate and humane; the other is heartless, harsh, and demagogic.  One values humanity even in an enemy; the other is inhumane even to its own, most vulnerable, flesh and blood.

Until this story broke out, I felt compassion for Palestinians.  I now see that their leadership — greedy, brutal, caring not one bit about the people they supposedly lead but only for making sure that they serve as a museum-like tableau of abject misery to be shown to visiting European diplomats, one hand on their handkerchiefs to wipe out the tear and another on a checkbook to put a million — or hundred — into the hand of a waiting P.A. official (and, of course, to act as cannon fodder in terrorism) — simply reflects Palestinian culture.  Congresswoman Tlaib made me feel not sorry for the Palestinians.  I now suspect that, in "occupation," they only got what they and their culture deserve.