What is truly astonishing about all the befuddlement Palestinians are experiencing is their inability to acknowledge that they are the darlings of international diplomacy, the press, academia and elite opinion.

Since the atrocities of Oct. 7 and the launching of a war begun by Hamas against Israel, the voices of Palestinian Arabs have never been so loud. We hear them in videos and interviews conducted in the Gaza Strip, on the streets of American and European cities, and at college campuses throughout the United States. And, of course, their plight is all over the pages of the most prestigious newspapers, like The New York Times, where they are seconded by anti-Zionist Jews who join in the laments about their cruel fate in Gaza. It is a narrative from which they never stray; the Palestinians continue to be oppressed and murdered by heartless Israelis, and ignored and dismissed by equally heartless Americans, who mindlessly support the Zionist state that has done them so much harm.

A culture of grievance

These Palestinian voices have a lot to tell us. Though their argument is principally focused on a sense of grievance about Israel, Zionism and the Jews—and a burning resentment about what is expected of them—it is also about a sense of entitlement. They believe they are entitled to our sympathy and can never quite comprehend why they don’t get more of it. At the heart of every Palestinian manifesto or cri de coeur published in or broadcast by liberal corporate media outlets is a sense of astonishment that anyone would question their intrinsic status as victims. The same goes for the idea that anyone demand that they disavow those who, with good reason, claim to speak for them while committing unspeakable crimes and rejecting peace.

It is that toxic mixture of grievance and entitlement that is behind the videos of those who tear down posters with the faces of Israelis taken hostage by Hamas. It is equally responsible for others on social media who illustrate the sense of glee and release that so many Palestinians and their supporters felt upon hearing the news of the Oct. 7 attacks, coupled with the toll of Jewish dead and suffering exacted during the pogroms those terrorists carried out.

It is also present in those videos depicting real suffering in Gaza as the Israel Defense Forces strike back at Hamas targets inside the area they have ruled as an independent Palestinian state in all but name, and from which they have launched rocket and missile attacks aimed at killing Israeli civilians and terrorist infiltrations like that of Oct. 7. They cannot seem to understand why the entire world isn’t more outraged about their plight. More to the point, they take it as an intolerable insult when questioners ask them to disavow crimes committed in their name or about the choices they’ve made, or whether their leaders or the cause they’ve embraced bears even a tiny fraction of the responsibility for the position they’re now in.