“If you believe anything without the reservation that you might be mistaken, I think that you are overestimating the capability of the human mind,” says Hussein Ibish. Mr. Ibish is a senior fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine. He is a weekly columnist for Now Lebanon and writes monthly for Alhayat. He is active in advocacy for Arab causes in the United States.
Despite being a skeptic, Mr. Ibish thinks that there are times when we have to take very strong stand, but we have to do it in a way that provokes people who don’t agree with us to think twice.
By being unpredictable, surprising people and by agreeing with his adversaries when they are right and disagreeing with his friends fearlessly when they are wrong, Mr. Ibish tries to provoke people.
I agree with Mr. Ibish, especially when this type of dialogue doesn’t do harm to an important cause, like the struggle to end the occupation of Palestine.
According to his perspective, even emotional pain brings with it a kind of satisfaction, the satisfaction of victim-hood. People don’t want to think, they want to feel the way they feel. They resist change. If you make people think, they lose the identity of victim-hood, says Mr. Ibish.
In Gaza, we live with that feeling of victim-hood all the time.