Israel’s destructive habit of permitting the building of Jewish settlements on occupied territories, were it to resume when the moratorium ends on Sunday, threatens to doom the fragile present round of talks. Such a result would feed the Palestinian cult of victimization, which thrives on the characterization of Israel as unyielding and aggressive, and casts Mr. Netanyahu as an untrustworthy partner in peace.Got that? The "settlers," our era's biggest bogeyman/red herring, the Jewiest of Jewish scapegoats, are feeding the "cult of victimization."
Funny, I always though what doomed things was the Palestinians' destructive habit of failing to come through on any "peace" conditions/road maps, along with a destructive habit of wanting to deconstruct Jewish settlement in and sovereignty over Israel (which, pace the clueless Globe, is the real stumbling block to peace).
Update: The Arab "cult of victimization" is hardly a recent phenomenon. In fact it goes waaay back, as Mark Durie observes in his book The Third Way (my current read):
One of the themes of Muhammad's program was an emphasis on the victimhood of Muslims. To sustain the theological position that conquest is liberation, it becomes necessary to seek grounds to find the infidel enemy guilty and deserving of attack. Also, the more extreme the punishment, the more necessary it becomes to insist upon the enemy's guilt. Since, by divine decree Muslims' sufferings were 'worse than slaughter,' it became obligatory for Muslims to regard their victimhood as greater than whatever they inflicted upon their enemies. The greater victimhood became a doctrinal necessity, a feature of the 'compass of faith' for Muslims.
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