Yoel Marcus is a veteran Israeli journalist, a long-time advocate of a peaceful two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a fierce critic of the government of Ariel Sharon. He sympathizes with soldiers on the Israeli side who refuse as a matter of conscience and principle to serve in the occupied territories. So when he writes something like this, about the utter lack of reciprocity on the Palestinian side, it’s a real cry of anguish.
What I would like to know is why there is no one on the other side crying out against the Palestinian Authority’s policy of hatred and bloodshed. Where is their B’Tselem? Where are the Palestinian refuseniks who object to the murder of women and children?
Where indeed? And why do I have the awful feeling that Yasser Arafat and company look on Israeli refuseniks not as brave symbols of peace to be emulated, but rather as symbols of weakness to be exploited? If this is in fact how Arafat sees things, it’s simply the latest in a long and bloody history of misjudgments on his part.