The all-against-all infighting and its basic code have become the mental and psychological makeup of the Palestinian people, as a natural result of the predominant discourse of hostility and incitement. This discourse has been adopted by Palestinians of all persuasions and in all the factions – religious, pan-Arab revolutionary, and leftist. It is a discourse whose aim was sowing hatred, having recourse to violence, and enjoying spilling blood.
At first it was directed against the so-called Israeli enemy, and it uprooted any possibility of or tendency towards rational mutual comprehension or of recourse to discussion, dialogue, and negotiation – what is known as peaceful resolution – and it raised the slogan of “clinging to the choice of resistance.” But one clings to goals, not methods, and resistance (meaning armed resistance) cannot, psychologically and culturally, be the only choice for peoples to achieve their goals, without there being any alternative.
The discourse of violence had already managed to be the only one on the scene, which was emptied of any counter-discourse when the rational thinkers fled or were forced to keep out of sight – amidst the vast flood of feelings of violence that began to sweep away everything in its path.
The predominant discourse of violence, most of which was formed by the religious discourse, was not the discourse of a means that attempts to achieve a goal, but rather was a discourse of violence and sacred killing in the name of jihad. This was translated into political language in the slogan that the Arab-Israeli struggle is an existential struggle, and not a struggle over borders, and its implementation in practice was the so-called martyrdom-seeking operations for killing Israeli civilians. The hatred was transformed from hatred of Zionism to hatred of Jews – “the sons of apes and pigs.”
Perhaps no one has noticed that when you take an individual or a group away from the culture of using reason and peaceful dialogue, and replace it with the culture of violence and of killing those who are different, you cannot then afterwards control it and direct it to be used against one single side.