Independence seems to vanish in the haze of a hypocritical world, concerned with “human rights” and “justice” only when it relates to the fight against the Jewish state.
There are many different national aspirations, to paraphrase George Orwell, but some clearly appear to be more equal than others.
The international community – political leaders, international organizations, diplomats, NGOs, media pundits and journalists, writers and university professors, as well as a large group of activists best described generically as ‘Social Justice Warriors’ (SJWs) who tend to dominate the accepted political discourse on many Western campuses – all claim to be concerned with ‘human rights’ and ‘ justice’.
Their actions, however, show them to believe that only one ‘people’ in the world is deserving of said ‘justice’, namely ‘Palestine’. There are 190 chapters of the organization Students for Justice in Palestine on university campuses in the United States, ‘actively advocating for Palestinian rights and freedoms in the US’. One has to look very hard to find a chapter of a single US student organization advocating for ‘rights and freedoms’ for any other peoples.
The international community has expended an extremely negligible – if any – amount of political and financial capital on behalf of the national aspirations of Kurds, Biafrans, Catalonians or Tibetans, to mention but a few of the many peoples whose suffering and struggles for national self-determination go unnoticed every day. This fact became even more evident in the past month. We all saw how the international community disregarded the results of the Kurdish and Catalan national referendums – in which both peoples voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence. More disturbing was how a governmental massacre of Biafrans in Nigeria, was simply ignored by almost all international media.
In contrast, ‘Palestine’ occupies an entire UN agency all to itself, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In addition to UNRWA, there are more than a dozen UN Agencies operating in the territories occupied by the Palestinian Authority– agencies such as WHO, and UNICEF – which work on so-called development projects. The EU is also very active in the area, along with an abundance of international NGOs. The PA has received a total of $25 billion in foreign aid since the mid-1990s, making the PA one of the world’s largest per capita recipients of international foreign aid.
The international effort for ‘Palestine’ continues relentlessly despite Arabs repeatedly admitting that ‘Palestine’ is a false political construct, devised for the sole purpose of destroying Israel.
Arabs first entered the land of Israel as colonizers during the Muslim conquests of the 7th century, at a time when the Jewish presence in the land had already lasted nearly 2000 years. Throughout the centuries of forced exile, the Jews fought to keep a significant presence in their own territory. The Arabs themselves are perfectly aware of these historical facts. In a 1977 interview with Dutch newspaper Trouw, PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein said: “The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism… the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.”
In a 1977 televised interview with AP, Muhsein repeated this sentiment: “There is no objection in the Palestinian mind… there is nothing to prevent that… [Palestinian-Jordanian confederation].”
Thirty-five years later, in March 2012, Hamas Minister of the Interior and of National Security Fathi Hammad, speaking on Al-Hekma TV, repeated that the professed “Palestinian” identity is fake: “Brothers, half of the Palestinians are Egyptians and the other half are Saudis. Who are the Palestinians? We have many families called Al-Masri, whose roots are Egyptian. Egyptian! They may be from Alexandria, from Cairo, from Dumietta, from the North, from Aswan, from Upper Egypt. We are Egyptians…”
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The overwhelming vote for independence by more than 90% of Iraq’s Kurdish population and later the Catalonians in Spain exposed the double standards of the international community. The Kurds, consisting of an estimated 30 million people, are persecuted and stateless. Despite having their own language and culture, the world community has ignored their plight for nearly 100 years now, since the world powers promised them a Kurdish state with the 1920 Treaty of Sevres after the First World War.
Following the recent referendum, the Kurds were met with hostility and disregard, signaling that their cause means nothing to the international community, including the United States and the European Union. The US State Department even said that it was “… deeply disappointed that the Kurdistan Regional Government decided to conduct… a unilateral referendum on independence, including in areas outside of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region… we believe this step will increase instability and hardships for the Kurdistan region and its people”, Heather Nauert, State Department Spokesperson, said. Decades of Arab terrorism on behalf of ‘Palestine’ are apparently not ‘destabilizing’ to the US, which has proceeded to finance Yassir Arafat’s and Mahmoud Abbas’ terror enterprise to the tune of $5 billion.
Spain cracked down brutally on Catalonians voting during the referendum for Catalonian independence. Video footage ‘showed police hitting people in the crowd with batons while voters peacefully held up their hands, officers dragging women voters from polling stations by their hair, and Spanish police attacking Catalan firefighters’ according to news reports. This shocking violence from a member of the EU, which incessantly preaches to the rest of the world about human rights, did not elicit even a whimper of condemnation from other EU nations, apart from Belgium and Slovenia, who all preferred to side with Spain. The EU Commission released a statement in which it said that the referendum was ‘an internal matter for Spain that has to be dealt with in line with the constitutional order of Spain’ and that the referendum was ‘illegal’.
Western European nations, as well as the EU, have been frontline supporters of terrorists Yassir Arafat’s and Mahmoud Abbas’ fight for national self-determination for ‘Palestine’ for decades, yet those same nations could not even bring themselves to condemn the shockingly brutal suppression of a peaceful quest for national self-determination by law-abiding European citizens.
No words can accurately convey the kind of hypocrisy this behavior represents.
Judith Bergman is a columnist and political analyst