She went as part of her professional duties, somehow connected to special education & social work.
The conditions in the camps appalled her & she spoke with the women there.
I responded, "I don't get it. Global organizations have been pouring hundreds of thousands—maybe even millions—of dollars into the refugee camps for years now. Why don't we see any improvements?"
What further bewildered me was how the dollar goes a long way in the Arab community. One thousand dollars in the Arab communities purchases so much more than in America or in the Jewish communities of Eretz Yisrael.
So why do the camps remain in such poor condition?
"Weapons," my friend replied.
"What do you mean?"
She explained, "When you ask them what they need so much money for, they say, 'Weapons! We need lots of weapons!' "
"What do they need so many weapons for?" I said.
My friend shrugged.
We know what they want the weapons for.
"Wait a minute," I said. "They say this outright?"
"Mm-hmm." My friend nodded.
"They're sitting there in obviously impoverished conditions & telling people they need money for weapons?"
My friend nodded again.
"And people give them money," I said.
"Apparently." Then she said, "No, they tell people they need money for infrastructure, food, clothing, and all that. But when people ask them why they need so much or why they see no improvement in their living conditions, the Palestinians tell them it's because they need to spend so much money on weapons."
Some people never want to make good choices. Ever.
That includes the so-called refugees themselves, their leadership, and their donors & supporters.
(You can see more about the weapons issue in this past post: eating-my-words-after-yesterdays-post.html)
How Middle Eastern Leaders Solve Problems
It was a very well-known politician, maybe who even sits in the Knesset now, not sure.
Anyway, she got into a discussion with him & ended up leveling with him, "If you could solve the Palestinian problem right now, what would you do?"
(She's an elegant take-charge kind of person.)
He leaned toward her and said, "Honestly? You know what what I would do? You know what the Israelis really should do?"
"Yeah," she said. "Say it."
"Okay," he said, lowering his voice. "If you really want to solve the Palestinian problem? Then the Israelis need to gather up all the Palestinians, put them in Gaza, then build a wall around it. Three years later, they can open it up and go in to clean up all the bodies. Because by that time, the Palestinians will all have killed each other."
And there you have it, ladies & gentlemen—coming from a Muslim-Arab leader himself. Don't you just love all that warm 'n' fuzzy Muslim brotherhood?
And how do you think his constituents feel about someone like him in charge of them & representing them?
Yet on camera, he's full of self-righteous indignation about anti-Arab attitudes & Arab rights.
For himself. But he doesn't say that. He pretends to care about his brethren.
Of course, since then, the Israelis did build a wall, but they didn't seal it & leave the inhabitants completely up to their own devices. Nor did they round up all the Palestinians in the country to Gaza.
As a group, the Israelis cannot be as cruel to them as they are to each other.
Conversations that Make You Feel Like Your Brain is Warping
While here, she learned to find fault with anything not secular or Leftist in Israel. She also managed to regularly offend all sorts of Israelis, then get huffy about why they responded to her with hostility.
After leaving in a huff, she visited Jordan and a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan.
(As we all know, Jordan is ruled by fellow Muslim-Arabs & the country is 70% Palestinian—whatever that means.)
Still self-righteously indignant over her experience in Israel, she cooed, "You should've seen the Palestinian refugees in Jordan! They're HAPPY. And that's despite living in much worse conditions than the ones in Israel."
"The refugee camp in Jordan is worse than the one in Israel?" I said.
"MUCH worse!" she said. "But the ones in Jordan don't complain! They're happy, they PRAISE the Jordanian royal family all the time, they have pictures of the king all over the place." Then her tone changed. "But the Palestinians in the camps in Israel are so ANGRY! They complain all the time about how bad the Israelis treat them, and the conditions the Israelis force them to live in! They HATE the Israelis!" (She said this like it she agreed with them. Yeah, mean Jews! Bad, bad!)
"Okay..." I said.
"So we see how BAD the Israelis are! They treat their Palestinian refugees so BADLY!"
"Okay," I said. "But do you think that maybe their insistence on praising the regime in Jordan has to do with the Black September massacre by King Hussein in 1970?"
"What?" she said.
"After all," I said, "King Hussein ordered his troops to go fight them, resulting in a massacre of around 20,000 Palestinian men, women, children, and babies. 1970 isn't so long ago. And all the people around old enough to remember certainly remember that horrific bloodbath. Don't you think they might be afraid of criticizing the regime, or even showing ANY kind of dissatisfaction, knowing how brutal the consequences could be?"
"Oh," she said. "Oh, I didn't even think of...huh." Then she started laughing. "Oh, right! Like, if someone had massacred all their family, then that might make them afraid of criticizing that person—hah-hah-hah-hah! I get it. Okay. That's a good point!"
Oh-ho-ho! Ruthless massive massacres! LOL! ROTFL!!!!!
"Anyway," I said. "I think if the conditions are so bad, it doesn't make sense for them to be so happy and to love the king so much—especially after his father had so many of them slaughtered. They probably pretend to be happy in front of visitors so they don't get into trouble."
"Ah, so you think they were just pretending..." she said, obviously disappointed by the idea.
"Well...yeah," I said. "Look, it doesn't make sense for the Palestinians in refugee camps in Israel to be so angry in better conditions, while the Palestinians in refugee camps in Jordan are so happy & in love with their regime while living in so much worse conditions."
"Oh," she said. "Right."
And that was the end of it.
After all, historical facts always put such an damper on self-righteous Israel-bashing.