Elder of Zion: Applying honor/shame to the metal detector fiasco

Once again, Palestinians are behaving irrationally.

Once again, no one knows what to make of it.

And once again, once you apply the honor/shame construct, it all makes perfect sense.

…Once we have entered the honor./shame universe, actual facts or logic are meaningless – all that matters are symbols… Abbas cannot act in a way that diminishes his honor… He must use all the weapons in his arsenal to “win”. Because the other aspect of honor/shame societies is the zero-sum game, and if Israel gets anything out of this episode that it didn’t have before- like normal security that any society would demand – Abbas thinks he loses… if he loses, he is finished – his shame will end him as a leader.

As often happens, the logical West is confronted with the irrational Middle East. Usually the West blinks before dealing with these seemingly crazy people who would happily start a war over metal detectors.

There’s a very interesting link at the end of the piece.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    I just got called a “Republican Jew” today on Twitter.
    I’m still shaking. 🙂

    I think the whole consideration of this honor/shame thing is fascinating, but no matter what their game is, why are we playing along?
    Treat them, like their own leaders treat them.
    Instead of letting them worry about metal detectors, MAKE them worry about food, water, and basic necessities for living ALL OF THE TIME.
    We need an entirely new dynamic in how we view and deal with the Middle East and I think treating them like adult humans with agency just isn’t working, because at the end of the day, they aren’t.
    I’d start with their ability to access the internet and have an independent media.
    We really are going about this all wrong.

    • Alain

      Now that the Israel has caved in and stated there will be no metal detectors, it turns out that is not good enough. They will continue their rioting unless the CCTV cameras are removed. This should not be a surprise, because every time non Muslims cave in to their demands, they are rewarding the Muslims for their bad behaviour and encouraging them to increase it.

    • Tooth&Claw

      Israel has to stop giving a crap about what Fakestinans want. The Fakestinans certainly don’t give a crap about the lives of citizens of Israel or anything they want.

  • Tokenn

    Thanks for this… I’ve seen references to shame culture VS guilt culture, but I’ve never bothered to look into the details until now. This appears to be even more seminal than the Christianity/Islam culture split. I can see attacking Islam by hammering on its basic precepts and historical roots, but getting past the whole shame culture thing might be far more difficult. It might also explain why some Muslims aren’t fanatics about their religious views and practices…they have to some degree internalized the notion of guilt rather than running purely on shame morality…

    • Alain

      That shame VS guilt culture predates Islam, so even if Islam disappeared the Arab tribal culture would remain.

    • I tend to think of it as “face” culture, rather than “honour/shame”. I think the concepts are the same.

      • Alain

        I would say they are similar but not the same. In most of Asia there is “face” culture, which means you do not want to lose face nor cause anyone else to lose face. The person who loses face will end his own life when it is serious enough. I see it more an “honour” rather than “face”. Still nowhere is there the requirement to kill those who caused you to lose face (honour killings) nor to take revenge on the whole family/tribe of the offender.

        • Maybe. But it doesn’t jive with the Western notion of “honour”.

          • Alain

            My point is that the concept of losing face is not at all the same as the Arab tribal “honour” culture.

          • I’m not clear on what the points of difference are.

  • JoKeR