Buried in today’s Gazette, taking up a tiny two columns in the middle of yet another story comparing the life of a suicide bomber to the life of one of her victims, is an AP story with perhaps the most important news in the entire conflict: Palestinians demonstrating against terrorists:
Hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated Tuesday after a five-day Israeli invasion damaged farms and buildings, but in a rare twist, their wrath was directed at Palestinian militants for inviting the attack by firing rockets from their property.
Two hours after Israeli troops left, about 600 angry residents of the town of 35,000 took to the streets in a spontaneous protest, complaining that the militants had caused Israel to destroy 15 houses and uproot thousands of olive, citrus and date palm trees. It was a rare outburst; most Palestinian demonstrations are aimed at Israel.
The protesters blocked a main road with trash cans, rocks and burning tires in a show of outrage against the militants. Most of the rockets are launched at towns inside Israel by members of the militant Islamic movement, Hamas.
“They (the militants) claim they are heroes,” said Mohammed Zaaneen, 30, a farmer, as he carried rocks into the street. “They brought us only destruction and made us homeless. They used our farms, our houses and our children … to hide.”
After decades of blaming Israel for the situation that extremists in their own population and government created, a small group of Palestinians is finally facing up to the fact that peace cannot exist alongside terrorism.
Why isn’t the media jumping all over this? Why isn’t a bigger deal being made out of this enormous turning point?
Sure, it’s small. It’s one demonstration against Hamas amongst hundreds against Israel. But the seeds of change need to start small before they grow into something larger. Yesterday, 600 people demonstrated. If enough people notice and it starts a tide, maybe tomorrow, there will be 6,000, and next week 60,000.
For all of Israel’s security measures, terrorism will only be erradicated when the Palestinian people decisively state that they don’t want it. And a few of them are apparently waking up to this fact. So why isn’t this bigger news?