My cousin is a genius. Or at least he is on his way to becoming one. He is five years old, knows almost every state and country capitol, and is burning through Harry Potter. Yes you read that right, five years old. After a conversation with him most people would trust him to manage thier 401k. So naturally, my aunt and uncle trusted him to use an iPad on his own. It did not seem like such a wild prospect considering he knows more about how the operating system works than I do.

This week my uncle forwarded me an email conversation between my aunt and the people at Apple. The Apple representative compassionately wrote “I have read through your email and I understand that a number of purchases were made by a 5 year old on your account which you did not authorize… I have gone ahead and refunded these orders for you. In five to seven business days, a credit of $212.66 should be posted to the credit card that appears on the receipt for that purchase.” While the kid is clearly brilliant, it is often hard to remember that he is still just a kid. There is a certain perspective and capacity for responsibility that is required to make adult decisions, and no kid, no matter his or her IQ, is going to have it.

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With everyone focused on the ramifications for Israel if the Palestinian Authority declares statehood at the UN in a few weeks, I have been focusing on a different aspect of the story. While this may or may not have actual ramifications on the ground, either way it exposes a terrifying truth about the international community. Do any of the countries that intend on voting in favor of statehood honestly believe the Palestinians are ready to govern their own state, or are they so anti-Israel that they are willing to place such a tremendous asset in incapable and irresponsible hands? Can the same international community that remained silent during the Holocaust truly afford to ignore the writing on the wall again?

Although the PA has attempted to demonstrate they are ready for autonomy, their clear inability or unwillingness to curb terrorist activity, incessant in-fighting, and brazen refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state proves that these are clearly little league men trying to convince the international community that they are ready for the big leagues. They are not and until they can accept that life, liberty, and justice is more important than mayhem and killing, they won’t be ready.

As a matter of fact, Palestinian culture and ideology, as it exists today, may very well be incapable of ever being ready for autonomy. Professor Anna Geifman, in her brilliant book “Death Orders: The Vanguard of Modern terrorism in Revolutionary Russia” draws clear and sharp physical and psychological connections between Russian terrorism in the early 20th century and the modern terror we face today. In the chapter “When Terrorists become State Leaders” she presents a profile of the rebel who suddenly finds himself in the position of power he has dedicated his life to undermining, and the chaos that ensues. Using the example of the Bolsheviks, Geifman elucidates “psychologically, they had not changed from the underground days when, perceiving themselves as the persecuted, liable for annihilation, the radicals propelled onto the enemy their fear and belligerence. In fact, as their ‘power increased, so did…the sense of danger, perception of a looming catastrophe, and urgency to harm.” These new leaders are not psychologically capable of seeing themselves in the power position, and thus they must make enemies out of everyone else.

While all kids strike terror in the hearts of their parents at one time or another and their childish behavior does often seem to mirror PA actions, I AM NOT trying to equate my cousin’s behavior to that of the Palestinians. If that were the case, Israel could sign a peace treaty right now in exchange for a Hardy Boys book and a couple of juice boxes. If the international community is struggling to remember that the PA is not an adult, but a childish and dangerous entity, the numerous terrorist and rocket attacks of the last few weeks should serve as an apt reminder. They are not ready for statehood and it appears to me that it would be unconscionable to vote otherwise. Even a five year old can see that.
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