Toilets In The Sand…….

Immediately upon reading the article by Ynets’s founding editor, Alan D. Abbey, another article written a couple of years ago by (then) former Jerusalem Post editor in chief, Bret Stephens, titled ‘Toilets in The Sand’, pdf version found here, came to mind. A common theme is found and explored in both articles, that being; “how unattractive to the Palestinian leadership are the mundane realities of running a government, like garbage pickup, sewer repair and the building and maintenance of their road system, in comparison to the thrill of ”jihad and the continued struggle against Israel”.

In ‘Palestinian cash crunch’, Alan Abbey points out that “You’re either a legitimate government of a legitimate country that participates in the international arena in a reasonably legitimate way. Or you are an outlaw nation with a terrorist foreign policy. If the former – you want to be legit – then shut down the jihadist rhetoric and get down to the business of making the trains run on time. If not, then all bets are off, and you can’t play the mournful victim anymore.

In ‘Toilets in The Sand’, Bret Stephens describes the Palestinian infactuation with the trappings of statehood, but without the cumbersome everday realities of running a modern state: “There’s a memorable passage in James Clavell’s novel King Rat in which a British pilot, shot down over the Dutch East Indies during WW II, is offered refuge by a tribe of Javanese natives. Taken to the headman’s hut, the pilot observes a porcelain toilet bowl ‘complete with a seat and lid.’ It’s not connected to any kind of pipe, pit, or septic tank, much less to a proper sewage system. It’s just there, rather in the way a Javanese spear might be displayed as an objet d’art in the home of a wealthy London collector. The pilot asks the headman, ‘What is the significance of the toilet?’ The headman replies, ‘It has no significance, other than it pleases me to watch the faces of my guests and hear them thinking, ‘What a ridiculous ornament in a house.’

In both examples, the idea that a state can carry on without any regard or responsibility for the people who have entrusted them with their care and well being, and still be repected as a state, is thoroughly repudiated. The Palestinian leadership needs to put the welfare of their own people before the ideology of their national movement, seek both compromise and honest negotiations with the state of Israel, to help end the conflict once and for all. As I previously wrote here, “Its all coming to a head as the IC is becoming more and more reluctant to pour yet even more money into the SAME GROUP year after year, while other more needy causes go without.” The Palestinians better wake up and ‘smell the tahina’, before its too late. KGS

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