Registered On: September 7, 2015
A local Palestine demo was on yesterday. I sat while I ate my lunch and listened and watched for a bit. Boycott Israel banners, chants of “Israel is an apartheid state.” I have seen placards of activists calling Jews Christ killers on social media from elsewhere. This might sound great for these self-appointed bastions of human rights, where they don’t self-reflect on their own position through a presumed moral high ground, but to the rest of us it just confirms the worst elements of it. These things don’t signal support of human rights and equality for all, but an obsessive hatred of Jews and is precisely what has mired the left in recent years. This kind of activism is what has allowed calls for Palestinian statehood (a supportable cause) to become blurred with anti-Semitism and it won’t improve. I can’t see the activists taking a moment to self-reflect, given their stubborn and cocksure nature that they’re correct and moral and those against are inherently supportive of war crimes.
To those not so invested they appear obsessive and cult-like. The chanting reminded me of a religious movement or fascist rally given its uniformity and emotive nature. And why does the Israel-Palestine always get used as a marker for who’s moral and not? I always see Palestinian flags on marches, but where are the Kurdistan, Tibet and West Papua flags? Conflicts in Syria, Ethiopia and Yemen have killed more than in Palestine so far this year. Where is the same anger over that? Yet it’s the world’s only Jewish state which generates this kind of response. More Palestinians have been killed by Syria and Russia than Israel since 2010, yet Israel are irredeemable and my experience with such people is that many will excuse or defend Syrian and Russian action as being anti-Islamist.
China have concentration camps for Muslim Uyghurs and Kazakhs. They have been accused of forcing them into slave labour, eradicating their culture, sexual abuse, torture and forced sterilisation against them. The Uyghur Solidarity Campaign doesn’t get much media attention or support, despite their more perilous situation. It’s not a competition, it’s not wrong to care for situations like Palestine, but the isolated focus on Palestine over others does make me question their motives.
I do not consider them to be stalwarts of human rights, because it is the only situation they care deeply about, above others (better or worse). The traits of the activism casts me further doubt, because of its often anti-Semitic and distorted nature. For many, I think their motives are just hatred of the ‘west’ and its allies over human rights abuses. Hence you get people like Rania Khalek putting themselves forward as champions of life when they demonise Israel and call for support of Palestine, but dismiss Syrian war crimes against civilians as justifiable or even worse, outright denial of the war crime.
The Palestinians they claim to care for will be the loser. Israel will never seek peace while Hamas exist. They are not being pro-Palestinian when they support the propaganda of those who continue the cycle of violence. A greater chance of peace will come if/when Hamas are destroyed, since Israel will never make peace with those who want to destroy them. Activists are not supporting the side of peace when they make out it’s all one side.