Friday, November 20, 2009

Khaled Abu Toameh: Arab-Israeli-Palestinian-Muslim: What Being "Pro-Palestinian" Should Really Look Like

Khaled Abu Toameh is a truly independent thinker. He can be a harsh critic when it comes to Israeli civil rights issues, speaking out forcefully for a more equitable and just Israel. He is the West Bank and Gaza correspondent for the Jerusalem Post and U.S. News & World Report, and has been the Palestinian affairs producer for NBC News since 1988. His articles have appeared in The Sunday Times, Daily Express and the New Republic.
Abu Toameh was born in the West Bank city of Tulkarem in 1963 to an Israeli Arab father and a Palestinian Arab mother from the West Bank. He has publicly stated that he'd rather be a 3rd class citizen in Israel (which he is clearly not) than a first class one in Damascus, Cairo or Riyadh.
He lives in eastern Jerusalem, in a mixed Jewish-Arab neighborhood (if memory serves, it's Pisgat Ze'ev, next to French Hill). Of course, in today's warped international discussions on these matters, his neighborhood is considered "occupied territory."
david brumer

It is time for the “pro-Palestinian” camp in the West to reconsider its policies and tactics. It is time for this camp to listen to the authentic voices of the Palestinians – those that are shouting day and night that the Palestinians want good leaders and an end to lawlessness, anarchy and financial corruption.

What Does "Pro-Palestinian" Really Mean? - Khaled Abu Toameh

In recent years there has been a significant rise in the number of non-Palestinians who describe themselves as "pro-Palestinian" activists. Many of these activists have never been to the Middle East. What these folks have not realized is that their actions and words often do little to advance the interests of the Palestinians, and in some instances are even counterproductive.

Being anti-Israel does not necessarily turn one into "pro-Palestinian." It is hard to see how organizing an "Israel Apartheid Week" on a university campus could help the cause of the Palestinians. Isn't there already enough anti-Israel incitement being spewed out of Arab and Islamic media outlets?

If anyone is entitled to be called "pro-Palestinian," it is those who are publicly campaigning against financial corruption and abuse of human rights by Fatah and Hamas. Those who are trying to change the system from within belong to the real "pro-Palestinian" camp. These are the brave people who are standing up to both Fatah and Hamas and calling on them to stop killing each other and start doing something that would improve the living conditions of their constituents.

Instead of investing money and efforts in organizing Israel Apartheid Week, for example, self-described "pro-Palestinians" could dispatch teachers to teach young Palestinians English. Or they could send a delegation to Gaza to monitor human rights violations by Hamas and help Palestinian women confront Muslim fundamentalists who are trying to limit their role to cooking, raising children and looking after the needs of their husbands.

Let's substitute Israel Apartheid Week with Palestine Democracy Week. Or is delegitimizing Israel and inciting against "Zionists" much more important than pushing for an end to financial corruption and violence in Palestinian society? It is time for the "pro-Palestinian" camp in the West to listen to the authentic voices of the Palestinians.


George Jochnowitz said...

The only way to be pro-Palestinian is to be pro-Israel. The Arab countries have allowed Palestinian refugees to remain trapped in refugee camps for six decades, an act of unprecedented cynicism. Jordan, the only Arab state that granted citizenship en masse to Palestinians, is also the country that massacred them during Black September in 1970.
Iran, which is anti-Arab and ferociously anti-Sunni, supports Palestinians with weapons, but certainly would not ever do anything to allow them to improve their living standards. Iran is interested in the Palestinians simply because it wants to destroy Israel--a country with which it has no quarrel over any issue except for the fact of its existence.
What would happen to the Palestinians if Israel were destroyed? The neighboring states would divide up the territory and oppress the Palestinians.
What would happen to the Mosque of Omar and al-Aqsa Mosque if Arabs ruled East Jerusalem? Rival groups would blow up the buildings, killing any worshippers who were inside.

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