Now Palestinians Want to Be Stopped at the Temple Mount
This story is nonsensical — unless you understand the Arab culture when it comes to honor and shame.
Many young Palestinians are upset that Israeli police have increased inspections of their bags on the way to visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
In response, they have come up with a bizarre plan to walk around with empty knapsacks on their backs. This causes the Israeli police to stop them, and check their bags. When the bags are found to be empty, they believe that the Israeli police are “angry’;” this, in turn, makes them happy.
One Arab who saw this play out said, “I saw a group of police officers stop a group of young Jerusalemites in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, they searched their bags, and they were all empty. … I saw anger in the faces of police officers who were not able to do anything but inspect and return the bags to their owners.”
This means that these Arab youths are deliberately trying to be stopped and searched by Israeli police, slowing down their ability to visit their supposedly holy site — all because they think that it makes the Israeli police frustrated to search a bag and not find any weapons. And if the Palestinians are traveling in groups, then all of them must wait for every bag to be inspected.
Yet this makes them happy.
While being stopped and searched is normally considered to be a humiliation, they now want to be stopped and searched — in order to humiliate the Israeli police.
Even more insane is that metal detectors would allow the Palestinians a much faster path to praying (and playing soccer) on the Haram al-Sharif — yet that is too “humiliating,” so they’d rather be inspected one by one.
This incident also illustrates the Palestinians’ zero-sum game mentality: if we aren’t humiliated, then the enemy must not be feeling shamed. And vice versa.
The reason that there has been no successful Mideast peace plan is because Westerners try to think logically about the issue — to see what each side wants. But for many Palestinians, there is no logic. Some Arabs generally operate in an emotional zone — where the exact same event can be considered either honorable or shameful based on their mindset that day.
In the end, though, any Jewish control over what they consider Arab and Muslim lands is the ultimate humiliation — and that shame cannot be erased, no matter how many concessions Israel gives.
The Palestinians don’t need aid. They need an army of social workers and psychologists to help their self-esteem. If they were half as confident in themselves as they pretend to be, they would be able to make concessions for real peace instead of symbolic victories, like supposedly frustrating the police.