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Saturday, August 03, 2002
Via InstantMan:

Silflay Hraka says that simply punishing the Palestinians for being murderous assholes who revel in the wanton slaughter of innocents is insufficient. He says we should invite them here, subject to an applicant being disqualified for entry into the US if there is a Mossad file on him, as an incentive to behave in civilized manner. A metaphorical carrot. Hraka is not talking about dropping the negative incentives, just adding positive ones. To be fair, he clearly states that the Palestinians have crossed the line dividing the civilized from the barbaric. And he makes a valid point that it is literally impossible for all individual Palestinians to be bloodthirsty crazies bent on revenge.

Despite the obvious validity of that argument, my gut reaction was still NOT A CHANCE IN HELL, pal.

Hraka responded to various critics of his post here. Having read his responses, I still vehemently disagree with his proposal, as stated.

I think we and the rest of the world have every right to expect, and should demand, a minimum standard of civilized behavior from everyone. Everyone. No exceptions. I simply don't want to hear any crap about how this culture or that should be exempt from such an expectation or demand. We are talking minimum level, here, as in don't allow, much less encourage and facilitate, a fifteen year old to blow himself up in the hope of taking out as many people on the other side as possible, and don't have mass celebrations in the streets when someone actually does it. When I saw those pictures on LGF, I wanted to vomit.

That does not mean that the US (or anyone else) has to enforce that standard. But if it is reasonable to expect some minimum level of civilized behavior from everyone, then no one should be required to provide incentives for any group or individual to meet that minimum standard. Compliance with a minimum level of expectation should not be rewarded at all, much less rewarded with what the rest of the world regards as the brass ring: permanent US residence. Providing such an incentive will have the perverse result that groups with real or imagined grievances will engage in barbaric behavior so as to become "eligible" for the incentive.

However, there might be a way to modify Hraka's proposal so as to make it acceptable (to me, at least). Not just more acceptable. Acceptable.

The US would grant permanent visas to all Palestinians who do not have a Mossad file. The mere existence of the file would be sufficient to disqualify a person for the program. No arguments about what's in the file or whether it is true. (In this regard, I hope the Mossad is like the FBI, and keeps files on every possible threat and their grandmother. Just to be safe.) BUT, this special visa program would not come into being until the US President (whoever he or she is at the time) certifies, and both houses of Congress agree by a roll call vote of more than 60% in each chamber, that there has been zero political violence perpetrated in the name of or on behalf of the Palestinians for the preceding twenty years. Zero. None. Full disclosure: when the idea first occurred to me, I put down ten years in a comment on Hraka's site. Upon further reflection, I think twenty years is better. Each act of political violence restarts the 20 year clock. I don't care how many times or for what reasons Yasser Isaliar or anyone else condemns it.

That's an entire generation. If a whole generation of Palestinians can grow up without political violence, then I have no problem admitting them to the US en masse.

Oh, and maybe there should also be a requirement that no PA sponsored school uses the kind of antisemitic propaganda in their textbooks that they've been screwing up their kids with. What the hell. I'm pretty sure we rewrote the textbooks the Nazis were using.
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