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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Palestinian Arabs and Piaget

AP reports:
Israel reopened a 16th-century gate to Jerusalem’s Old City on Wednesday, completing a two-month renovation and cleaning project that drew criticism from Palestinian officials.

Jaffa Gate, one of four main entrances to the Old City, was built by Jerusalem’s Ottoman rulers and inaugurated in 1538. It is the most common entrance for tourists entering the walled Old City - home to key holy sites in Christianity, Islam and Judaism, as well as a popular outdoor marketplace.

The restoration was part of a $4 million project launched by the Israel antiquities authority in 2007 to spruce up all four kilometres of the Old City’s walls.

The authority replaced broken stones, reattached an elaborate inscription above the gate and cleaned the facade with lye. Because Jaffa Gate provides one of the few entrances for vehicles, the stones had a decades-old coating of car exhaust residue, said Yoram Saad, who headed the renovation.

The portal stands at a right angle to the western exterior wall of the Old City, made of the same large, 16th-century sand-coloured hewn stone blocks. The entrance is about six metres high, and the wall rises another six metres above it.

The renovation project has proven challenging because of the difficulty in restoring ancient stones and the project’s political and religious overtones.

“It’s very sensitive of course and very complex from a logistical point of view,” Saad said.

Jerusalem’s mayor, Nir Barkat, said city authorities have a duty to repair and restore the walls of the Old City, calling them a “national asset” and a place for pilgrims.
Israel is spending years and a lot of money to restore a historically important part of Jerusalem - that was built by Muslims. They are doing it with the utmost sensitivity to everyone.

So why are the Palestinian Arabs upset that a part of what they consider their own heritage has been recovered?
It is an attempt to hit hard at commercial life in the Old City, especially the Muslim Quarter,” said Hatem Abdel Qader, an adviser on Jerusalem affairs to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
A prominent Palestinian Arab leader and adviser to Mahmoud Abbas sees what Israel is doing - and reflexlively assumes that it was done to hurt Arabs!

Pioneering child psychologist Jean Piaget described four cognitive stages of childhood development. Te second stage, from ages 2-7, is called the "preoperational" stage and is described this way:
The child aged between roughly the ages of 2-7 years interprets the world around them as they see it. They are not able to recognize or understand fully the notion of cause and effect, although they are beginning to see that it exists.

..The child is yet to fully understand how our world operates. In this particular one of the child development stages, the child is still only able to interpret the world around him from what he sees and experiences. He views the world only from his own egocentric perspective.

For example, a child in this 2-7 year old age group might believe that the sun goes down at night time to tell them its bedtime. It rises in the morning to tell them its times to get up. Thus the sun rises and sets each day purely for his benefit.

This does not mean our children are selfish in their assessment of the world. Instead it means they can only interpret it from their own bodily actions and sensations.
This is a perfect description of how Palestinian Arabs as a group have behaved since they acquired an identity sometime in the past century. Everything that occurs in the world is viewed through a pinhole lens where it can only be interpreted in terms of themselves, with the utter inability to view anything from any other perspective.

Therefore, Israel was not founded in order to fulfill the self-determination of the Jewish people: it was created entirely to expel "Palestinians." Tunnels adjacent to the Second Temple are not dug for archaeological research; they are dug in order to "Judaize" a city. Subways and light rail lines are built with the express purpose of weakening the foundations of a mosque. And, of course, an expensive multi-year project involving Jews renovating a Muslim-built site is done in order to take business away from Arabs. Every action done by Jews is done for no other purpose besides hurting, inconveniencing and upsetting the Arabs. How can it be otherwise? They are not yet at the cognitive stage where they become aware of the existence of other perspectives, let alone having the ability to understand them.

The Damascus Gate will be renovated as well in the next couple of years. Yet, like small children, the Palestinian Arabs do not have the ability to understand anything abstract like the "future."

They are cognitively disabled.