13 July 2006

The "rogue elements" and the denial syndrome

For years and years Palestinian leaders have successfully used the same excuse for any act of violence perpetrated by their own: this is not our fault, this is not our policy - this is that rogue group of "militants" - be it Jihad Islami, PFLP, PRC and any other handy abbreviation from the alphabet soup of assorted gangs.

The abbreviations are easy to come by, are expendable, and the new day may bring a new name. This excuse is also useful for our "friends" in the mass media who rarely blame the Palestinian leaders, but very quick on the trigger to blame Israel for "disproportional response".

The same scenario was played out many time by our northern neighbors. Lebanon and its government that seem lately to enjoy a period of calm and prosperity, are playing the same "it is not us" card, to be followed by complaints about "disproportional response" and all the usual menu of histrionics. And the usual responses follow:

The Lebanese government denied any involvement in the capture of the soldiers.

Sure, this is precisely the point: Hizbulla is just another name for denial.

Now, while the chief Hizbulla thug is beating himself on the chest and hailing his achievements, and while some analysts are predicting next Machiavellian twists and turns of Middle Eastern power games, we must go back to basics and to deal with that useful denial.

The sovereign must pay. This is where the buck stops, denials notwithstanding.

Hamas will pay for the steady and deniable rain of Qassams, and Lebanon will pay for the deniable Hizbulla. There just isn't any other way to deal with this, not matter how deep the analysis.

And just for reference:

This is one of the icons Nasrallah uses to justify the kidnappings: Samir Qantar.

Samir Qantar was 17 when Israel Police arrested him after he burst into a flat in Israel's northern city of Nahariya, killed a policeman and another man and his four-year-old daughter. An Israeli court sentenced Qantar to 542 years in jail, of which he has served more than a quarter of a century.

Come to think of it, denial was raised to the level of an art form by the Muslim world. It is never the people who are guilty, it is just that rogue Al Qaida or this rogue Chechen bandit or another rogue Kashmir liberation group...

But let's keep it for another story.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com