A carefully constructed and cleverly publicized narrative of dispossession, statelessness and “occupation” has won international sympathy for the Palestinians. Repeated insistently over the last two generations, this story has redefined reality, putting Israel on the defensive and gradually turning this tiny David, whose precarious future has always been menaced by the remorseless enemies surrounding it, into a savage Goliath anxious to crush the powerless millions whose hopes, as people and a potential nation, it callously controls. Victims of the past Holocaust who are threatened by a future one are now seen as “the new Nazis,” committing slow motion genocide against an “occupied people” every day.
The narrative has been promoted effectively by those who represent the Palestinian cause in international organizations and high level negotiations. By reiterating it so frequently, they have almost managed to turn reality inside out. Almost. This otherwise eminently successful propaganda effort has one problem. Those who claim to express the deepest longings of the Palestinians—the ones who turn the high flown rhetoric of the diplomatic halls into facts on the ground—speak a different language. It is the language of hate, vengeance and violence; the language of the suicide vest. These, not the puppet diplomats, are the true Palestinian leaders. Their commitment is extermination rather than representation; they have contempt for negotiation and envision a scorched earth—“from the river to the sea”—cleansed of Jews.
The individuals who actually make Palestinian history pursue the politics of the suicide vest. They know that their advantage lies in the fact that they, unlike the Israelis they seek to eradicate, love death more than life. They proudly identify themselves as soldiers of genocide and they tell a far different Palestinian story from the one heard in the diplomatic lounges of the UN. Their story is the true one. They tell it with a brutal candor because they know that the international community will pretend not to hear their raucous demands for Jewish blood.
In “Faces of Palestine,” illustrator Bosch Fawstin captures the true countenance of the Palestinian movement. The statements that accompany these faces, equally contorted with hate, are atrocities waiting to happen. They show that the Middle East “conflict” arises less from a longing for nationhood than for a thirst for blood.