MORE ON RESPONSIBILITY
I see this a lot when I see people point to Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount as the great escalating act of this confilict. People say, "Oh, he had to know that this would enrage the extremist elements of Palestine." And yes, we probably should have known that, and yes, it probably was unwise.
But there's a a subtle bigotry in this argument, too. Why couldn'y the Palestinians have recognized this as a crass polticial act rather than a provocation? Isn't the Temple Mount a place of religious significance to Jews as well? Isn't it more provocative to ban Jews from visting it than for a Jews to flaunt this ban?
I know, I know, I don't understand how significant the Mount is to the Muslim religion. If I did, then I would know how provacative this is. Porbably true. But I know that one party is hiding and the other part is shooting in the Church of the Holy Nativity right now, a place very holy to Christians, and I don't see Christians planning terrorist attacks on Jewish or Palestinian civilians.
Welch is right -- we do Palestians no favor by holding them to lower standards than we do the rest of the world.