Envy

When talking about the ‘doom’ of the Palestinians, it is ironic to note that, on average, they are one of the most sophisticated Arabs in the Middle East. They have a high level of education. Their standard of living has been generally high. The infrastructure of the territories is comparatively more advanced.

The only Arabs better off than the Palestinians would be some of the Arabs in the Persian Gulf – and Israeli Arabs.

By contrast, Jordanian Arabs are poor cousins, and the Jordanians are much better off than the Syrians and even the Egyptians.

I like Jordan, and have enjoyed dealing with them, but I’m not sure that I would want to live there. And, the average Palestinian doesn’t want to live there either – even with all the difficulty of living in the West Bank, .

Unfortunately, the average Palestinian doesn’t compare himself to the average Jordanian. He compares himself to the average Israeli. And, while the average Israeli is a poor cousin to the average American, he is rich in comparison to the average Palestinian.

That hurts.

It has done more than hurt. It has become a source of a deep-seated feeling of injustice, and that feeling of injustice has torn Palestinian society apart along every societal line imaginable. Age, income, religion, education, politics and more have become a fault line among Palestinians.

All because of envy.

True there are quite a few factors other than envy here, but envy is one of the largest.

Recent events in Gaza are an example of what can happen when envy takes hold of a society.