American diplomats who arrived in Ramallah this week were greeted by angry Palestinian protesters who shouted anti-US slogans and hurled shoes -- the Palestinian Authority claims it was only one pair of shoes -- at their armored vehicles.
The message that the Palestinian Authority is hoping to send through this message to the Americans and others: If you do not endorse our position and if you cut off financial aid, we will turn against you. In one word, it is called extortion.
The problem is not so much with the diplomats as with their governments that allow themselves to be exposed to this extortion time and again. Apparently they like being blackmailed. Instead of demanding changes in behavior, then paying only after the changes have been successfully completed, the governments always seem to pay up front with no demands, and then look surprised when there are no changes and each time the ransom demand goes up.
The US diplomats came to Ramallah to hold a reception in honor of Palestinian partner organizations and US Government exchange program alumni. The American diplomats who were targeted this week were naive enough to think that Palestinians in Ramallah would welcome them with roses and a red carpet.
If anything, this incident shows that US government officials have not been reading the writing on the wall -- namely that the US is viewed by many Palestinians as an enemy, mainly because of its support for Israel. In this specific case, the writing was so big that most Palestinian journalists knew in advance about the planned anti-US protest outside the restaurant.
Scores of Palestinian protesters who gathered outside the Snowbar Restaurant where the reception was being held hurled abuse also at Palestinian journalists who had been invited to the event, urging them to boycott it in protest against the "hostile" policy of the US Administration, and to let the diplomats know that unless their demands were met, there would be more shoe-throwing.Maybe it's genetics (I mean, what else could it be?) that causese them to think they can tell America how much money to send them, and when America doesn't send all of that because they're planning on embarrasing America at the U.N., they decide to act hostile towards America, thinking that will get America to give in to their demands and once again join hands and sing Kumbaya around a campfire.
"Booo!!!! Death to America! Send us an extra $200 million please!"