"Pro-Palestinians" don't seem to be "pro-anyone"
With friends like the pro-Palestinian lobby, Palestinians don't need enemies
It's a simple point that I seek to prove: The pro-Palestinian lobby doesn't seem to really care too much about Palestinians. In fact, its entire focus is Israel, or rather Israel bashing. On the whole they are more 'anti' rather than 'pro' anyone.
This point is illustrated nicely by the recent "Welcome to Palestine Campaign" group of around 100 activists who tried to enter Israel via Jordan despite being told they would be refused entry by the Israeli authorities. The activists had let the media know well in advance that they would probably not be allowed to cross the Allenby Bridge, indeed a journalist friend of mine told me he had the story written days before the event and merely edited in details when it happened.
The group, who said their mission was bringing school supplies, did bring a smile to even the faces of hardened media hacks with their bizarre assertions that they "merely wanted to give Palestinian children much needed bags and pencils for school" – who knew Palestinian kids lacked basic school supplies? Not the Palestinian Authority, the schools, the media or even the UN!
Anyway, having spent thousands of dollars to get to the Jordanian border, the group turned round and went home, achieving nothing but an anti-Israel publicity stunt. Did this help the Palestinians? Doubtful, but then I'm not sure anyone really cared.
Had they truly been pro-Palestinian, one would have thought that they would have taken some of this 'unexpected' spare time in Jordan to visit Palestinians refugee camps and meet with some actual Palestinians. They might have learnt about the harsh living conditions the Jordanians impose on the 'refugees' (refugees in a country 60 percent Palestinian); they might have attempted to discuss with Jordanian officials the country's recent decision to revoke the citizenship of many thousands of Palestinians, as well as other Jordanian discrimination against Palestinians that has caused a lot of criticism in the country. They did not do any of these things, they simply went home.
It’s a shame, because they could have also used their time, money and 'love' of Palestinians to visit and maybe help thousands of Syrian and Palestinian refugees who are being held in miserable conditions along the Jordan-Syria border, and learn about the slaughter of Palestinian men, women and children occurring in that despotic country.
And sadly, they didn't seem to care much about Palestinians in Lebanon either, who are being subjected to draconian laws that stop them from making a home there, even after three generations, keeping them “refugees”.
The truth is, despite absurd accusations that Zionists are Nazis/fascist/racists etc., it is in fact their Arab Brothers in Lebanon who have enacted laws which compare to Nazi Germany's anti-Jewish laws of the 1930s: Lebanese Palestinians (who've lived there for three generations) have far fewer freedoms or rights than Palestinians inside Israel and the Territories and are forbidden to own property, build property, or hold professional jobs, such as lawyers, doctors etc. (all things that they can do in Israel). And yet nobody seems to give a damn, not even the "Pro" Palestinian lobby.
This is the crux of the Palestinian support worldwide – it simply doesn't care about Palestinians. These people are in it to bash Israel, pure and simple, and their “love” of Palestinians is merely the hammer they use to do the bashing with.
They use incendiary words like "apartheid Israel"; they accuse Israel of "buzzword" crimes that do not occur here, but that are common (and ignored) across the Arab world; and they proudly espouse a "one state solution" theory knowing full well that it would spell the end of Israel.
We see the bizarre spectacle of liberal feminists supporting Hamas, who stand against everything a liberal of any nature believes in, except dislike of Israel; we see even gay rights movements joining the anti-Israel brigade, standing with countries and societies that imprison homosexuals or worse, against Israel, the only Middle Eastern country where gay rights are an accepted part of the legal and cultural system. It beggars belief.
If these "pro" Palestinians actually cared about the Palestinians, they may well still be pressuring Israel for concessions, but they'd also be thinking about nation-building, and about the future, preparing the Palestinians for a future emancipation, as the Zionist leaders did for 50 years prior to the establishment of Israel. I have yet to see any groups who talk economic development for Palestinians, or who set up educational funds to advance Palestinian children.
Where's the pressure on the Palestinians from their “friends” to break the cycle of violence? Why do we not see pro-Palestinian groups putting pressure on Abbas and others, castigating deeply offensive holocaust denial? Why do we not see pro-Palestinians working with Palestinians to establish peace groups, which have a strong voice on the Israeli side, such as Peace Now? Where is the outcry when the Palestinian Authority suppresses press freedoms or its insanely high corruption levels mean it regularly loses the wages of Palestinian Authority employees?
Instead of boycotting Jewish business worldwide, why is there no incentive to encourage Jews in the so called "West Bank" to employee more Palestinians, perhaps even grants to make them business partners?
No, these "Pro-Palestinian" groups, whether they attempt to cross the Allenby bridge by foot, head off from Greece by boat, or scuffle at Ben Gurion airport, are only interested in "Israel is evil" publicity. They appear to have no love for Palestinians and they do nothing to make their lives better nor do they contribute any positive ideas or suggestions to the debate. Their websites, newsletters and gatherings are dedicated to rehashing Zionist history, reworked anti-Semitism (under the guise of anti-Zionism), and demonizing Israel.
The result? Well Israel is a growing and a wonderful country that is proud of its open democracy, its great education, healthcare, hi-tech industry and powerful defense fore, but the Palestinians? They're going nowhere fast, because with friends like the pro-Palestinians, who needs enemies?
Adam Mallerman is an English-born, Jerusalem-based broadcaster. He is a regular contributor on the Israel News Talk Network and hosts a weekly program on Israel National Radio. Visit his blog and follow him on Twitter @IsraelradioGuy
We are wholly dependent on the kindness of our readers for our continued work. We thank you in advance for any support you can offer.