Sunday, October 10, 2010

Humiliation versus murder, which do you choose?

Pete McDonough, Jr., a former press agent for NJ Governor Christine Whitman, has just returned from the Middle East as an American paid PR consultant to the Palestinian Authority.

His taxpayer paid trip resulted in a column appearing in the Star-Ledger, “For Palestinians, daily humiliation.”

“Ask any Palestinian on the streets of Ramallah to describe his or her life, especially those who travel around the occupied territory, and “humiliation” is among the first words uttered.”

Now, I don’t have any objection to my money going to educate others around the world, and the Palestinians can, in my opinion, use a lot of education when it comes to PR. However, when that teacher, in this case McDonough, enters the political fray, I think he’s crossed the line.

“Travel in the region for Palestinians always involves being stopped at checkpoints, ushered out of their cars and through narrow inspection points before being allowed to go from one part of their country to another.”[“Country?” The P.A. was offered one in 2000 but turned it down.-Ed.]

“As an American with in a consular vehicle, the checkpoints are no bother. If I were Palestinian, I could look forward to possibly being detained and searched for no reason other than my nationality and route of travel.” [The checkpoints exist to stop murderers from entering Israel. Their success is well documented.-Ed.]

“The stories from Palestinians I worked with bear an unsettling resemblance to the tales of racial profiling in states throughout our own country. The profiling in Palestine, though every bit as dehumanizing is omnipresent.” [Young boys and women are recruited as suicide bombers. –Ed.]

“Had I spent the last week working with Israeli officials, I have no doubt that they would have just as profoundly opened my eyes to the daily threats that their own people suffer through. I have no reason to expect that those threats are any less pervasive or pernicious than the humiliation experienced by Palestinians. The Arab-Israeli conflict is more than anyone could hope to understand in a short visit, even one involving meeting with cabinet ministers and other ranking government officials.” [So, he didn’t ask any questions about why the checkpoints exist? –Ed.]

“The situation is even more complicated by the political pressures to which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is subjected by hardliners in his government who insist that he not budge at all on plans to resume the expansion of settlements, and by the irrational demands of Hamas extremists who insist that Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas reject any peace negotiations unless Israelis withdraw completely from any and all occupied territory.”

New Jersey politics may be rough and tumble as McDonough knows, but it doesn’t result in suicide bombings and military retaliation. Yes, Mr. McDonough, the situation is “complicated” and until you learn the difference between sitting shiva for a murdered terror victim (as I did) and humiliation suffered at a checkpoint, I think you should keep your comments to yourself.

Read the full column.

Well, that's what I have to say.

No comments: