Across the Great Divide..
03 March '16..
It has been a year now since I changed strategy and began to go to events that are held in the name of the ‘Palestinian cause’. I joined many activist groups and have met with 1000’s of self-declared pro Palestinian activists. Some of those I have had long exchanges with are the ‘stars’ of BDS activism. In only the last ten days, I have been to 8 events at 6 different venues.
I personally have a long history of assisting humanitarian causes worldwide and I consider myself experienced enough to draw conclusions from what I have learnt. So much so, I have been documenting my engagement with the ‘Palestinian camp’ and hope to have a book published later in the year.
I find the situation of the Arabs in Gaza, in the camps and in the West Bank heart-breaking. However, just because such a situation may exist, it does not automatically follow that Israel is to blame for what is occurring, nor that it has it within its power to simply resolve the issue.
What I do find unacceptable is that with all the financial aid received, so little is done to actually improve the situation of the ‘Palestinians’. Why for example, after 70 years, are people whose parents were even born in Lebanon or Syria, still considered refugees? And why is there absolutely no pressure on the responsible governments to address this. The jungle at Calais is a French problem, not a Syrian one. It makes one ask the inevitable question, just what ‘cause’ is being fought with the endless money directed towards it?
So what is ‘pro-Palestinian’ and what is the ‘Palestinian cause’? Is being ‘pro-Palestinian’ and supporting the ‘Palestinian cause’ the same thing? Given the current ‘Palestinian’ strategy is to internationalise the conflict and more importantly engage activists on university campuses throughout the west, isn’t it critical that we understand just what people mean when they say ‘pro-Palestinian’?
To address this, I think it only proper to start with Bassem Eid. Bassem is a Palestinian who spent his life fighting human rights abuses, working for B’tselem, and eventually setting up his own human rights movement. As someone who cares deeply about human rights abuses against Palestinians, Bassem is shouted down by activists for highlighting the BDS movement as ‘harming’ Palestinians. Only last week he cancelled a lecture in Chicago following a threat of disruption. This clearly indicates that the two issues are not the same. The pushing of the ‘Palestinian cause’ and wanting human rights for Palestinians can be (and perhaps almost always are) opposing forces.
Next I will move on to Norman Finkelstein.
(Continue to Full Post)
Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.
blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter.