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Larry's Letters

Craig M. Considine PhD

Department of Sociology, Rice University

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Dear Dr. Considine,

I have just read your comments about the Palestinian “beautiful culture” that you hope to experience and which you extoll. I have several questions and comments about the Palestinian culture. I would be grateful to receive your learned comments.

My first comment is that the Palestinian culture has been called ‘shame based’, which to my understanding replaces individual responsibility with group responsibility that results in the occasional murder of women and girls who shamed their families. I have also heard that Middle Eastern shame based cultures cannot accept responsibility for backwardness, misogyny and structural problems within their societies and need to blame others for their problems. One example is Iran that blames the U.S. and Israel for all its problems. Egypt’s media and statements by government and religious officials continually blame the Jews often calling them descendants of apes and pigs.

The Palestinians too seem to blame Israel for among other thing the increase in spousal abuse where the Palestinians explain that the occupation stresses men out so that they beat their wives. The Palestinians also blame Israel for drug addiction amongst its people, not on the basis of excess stress brought on by the ‘occupation’, but over the claim that Israel deliberately smuggles drugs into Palestinian areas hooking innocents into drug addiction as part of its program to subdue them.

I have also heard that the Palestinians teach their children to yearn for a martyr’s death symbolized by the oft repeated statement that ‘we, (the Palestinians) will win because we love death, while you, (the Jews) love life. Would you agree with me Dr. Considine that this is an egregious example of child abuse that does not reflect well on “the beautiful culture”?

One last comment about the Palestinian culture that I hope you will respond to is, if the Palestinian Authority reflects the Palestinian culture, then how would you judge the PA providing handsome pensions to families who have members living or dead who attempted to kill or actually killed Israelis?

Sorry to take so much of your time. I really hope you will provide me with your perspective on the issues I brought up.

Sincerely yours,

Larry Shapiro,

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