The power and weakness of inciting violence

Shibley Telhami writes: My research shows that countering incitement with information that might humanize the other side often gets the opposite result. When Arabs hear stories of the Holocaust, or Israelis confront reports of historical Palestinian suffering, their reactions are similar: They resent the accounts as instruments intended to elicit sympathy or weaken their will.

Both Arab and Israeli leaders have been guilty of incitement and provocation, but the degree to which their words have effect is itself debatable. After almost five decades of occupation, Palestinians are no closer to freedom, and Israelis are no closer to peace; most have given up hope on the very possibility of two states. This reality is far more powerful than the utterances of any individual. [Continue reading…]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email