Who really cares about the Palestinians . . . and why—especially in the face all the other turmoil in the Middle East?
Dear Friend of FLAME:
Despite of all historical evidence, the Palestinians claim to be a people with a history thousands of years old, supposedly pre-dating the arrival of the Jews. What is left unexplained in this fantasy heritage is why there was never in all those millennia a Palestinian state or even national movement . . . until 1967.
Until 1967, most Palestinians lived under the rule of Jordan in Judea and Samaria (what Jordan called the "West Bank") and under the rule of Egypt in Gaza. Before that, no world body, least of all those Arabs who later began calling themselves Palestinians, demanded independence or statehood from their Arab masters.
It wasn't until Israel won the 1967 war and drove its Jordanian and Egyptian attackers from Palestine that those local Arabs began thinking about forming a state. Unfortunately, led by Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian concept was not to settle for a state in the area designated for Arabs by the British Mandate and later by the United Nations, but rather to claim all of Israel, as well as the West Bank and Gaza, as their homeland.
While the rest of the world had never made any noise about the independence for Palestinian Arabs, since Israel's defeat of the invading Arab armies in 1967, the world has adopted the Palestinian statehood cause more passionately than any other issue in the Middle East.
In 1982, Syrian dictator Hafez al-Assad carried out a massacre in the city of Hama, which killed at least 10,000 of his countrymen, but the U.N. issued no condemnation. Saddam Hussein gassed 15,000 Iraqi Kurds in 1988---and killed some 5,000 of them---but the U.N. issued no condemnation.
Today, violence in the Middle East continues to rage, most egregiously again in Syria, where Hafez's son and successor, Bashar al-Assad, has killed an estimated 70,000 Syrian civilians, including hundreds of Palestinians, over the past several years. But again, the U.N. has refused to condemn this Arab-on-Arab murder.
But look: Between 1967-1989 alone, the U.N. Security Council adopted 131 resolutions regarding Israel and the treatment of Palestinians. The U.N. Human Rights Council has adopted more resolutions condemning Israel than it has all other states combined. The overwhelming majority of these resolutions had no relation to the physical harm of Palestinians.
So why does the world care so much about the Palestinians? In a blinding flash of the obvious, this week's FLAME Hotline article delivers the answer: Because the Arab-Israeli conflict involves the Jews. According to the article's author, Dr. Mitchell Bard, Executive Director of the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise and author of numerous books on the Middle East, the world is indifferent to Arabs slaughtering Arabs---it cares about the Arabs only when Jews can be blamed.
While Bard doesn't let the other foot drop, we will: The root cause of this bias is unvarnished anti-Semitism. I hope you'll review this short, powerful article and pass it along to friends, colleagues, and fellow congregants using the "send to a friend" button at the bottom of this email, or using the buttons above to share it via social media.
Thanks for your continued support of Israel, and thank you for your support of FLAME.
Who Really Cares About the Palestinians?
For decades there has been an international drumbeat of concern for the Palestinians, their victimhood, their welfare and their human rights. But how much does the world really care about the Palestinians? We are learning now they don't care at all as Assad slaughters them in Syria.
Where are the front-page headlines? Where are the UN condemnations? Where is the U.S. State Department? Where are the sponsors of flotillas to bring aid to the refugees? Where are the campus protests? Where are the Christian organizations? Where are the peace groups? Where are the pro-Palestinian organizations?
The answer is they are all silent.
Just two months ago, 180 countries voted in favor of Palestinian statehood at the UN, but they have not adopted a resolution condemning the brutal slaughter of Palestinians by Syria. Imagine if Israel were responsible for what is happening to the Palestinians. The UN would have acted immediately and all the groups mentioned above would be in an uproar.
How do we explain the difference?
The answer lies in a simple but inconvenient truth — no one really cares about the Palestinians – unless Jews are involved.
This is not new; you can go back to the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948. The popular misconception is that the Arab states invaded to help the Palestinians. Actually, they intended to carve up Palestine for themselves, not to create a Palestinian state.
From 1949 until 1967, Egypt could have given Gaza to the Palestinians for a state, just as the Jordanians could have created a Palestinian state in the West Bank. Neither did, but no one in the world cared because the Palestinians were not interested in a state and the occupiers were Arabs.
The lack of concern for the Palestinians was also evident after the 1967 War when the UN adopted Resolution 242, which has been the basis for all peace negotiations, yet does not mention the Palestinians.
When the PLO tried to overthrow Jordan's King Hussein in 1970, the world did not show concern for the thousands of Palestinians who were killed by the king's forces. The exact figure is unknown, but the number may be greater than the total for all of the conflicts with Israel put together.
Yet another example of the disinterest toward the Palestinians occurred when Kuwait expelled 300,000 Palestinians for supporting Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. This made no headlines and generated no UN resolutions.
The world was only concerned with the killing of Palestinian refugees in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in Lebanon because Jews were in the vicinity. The murderers were Lebanese Christians; nevertheless, it was Israel that was blamed.
After more than 700 Palestinians have been killed in Syria, survivors are fleeing the country. Have you heard any concern for them or for how the Palestinian refugees have been treated for decades in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan?
Israel offered to allow some of the refugees from Syria to go the West Bank, but Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the idea.
Of course the Palestinians have controlled all the refugee camps in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for almost 20 years and done nothing to move the people into permanent housing and close the camps. They prefer to keep the camps as breeding grounds for terrorists and as examples of victimhood.
The Arab states are full of bluster on the Palestinian issue, but, besides rhetoric, the Arab states provide only token amounts of money so they can say they are contributing to the cause. They have repeatedly pledged aid to the PA, but not made the payments. And, given the wealth of the Gulf states, the amount of these pledges is embarrassing. On January 14, 2013, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said his government might not meet its obligations to its people because of the failure of Arab League members to deliver the $100 million they promised.
Another inconvenient truth is that the world is indifferent to Arabs slaughtering Arabs. We continue to see this in Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and other Arab countries. The usual explanation is essentially a racist one; that is, Arabs are expected to behave in this way whereas Jews are held to a higher standard and that is why their involvement merits worldwide attention.
The irony is that the people who care the most for the Palestinians are probably American and Israeli Jews. In the United States, Jews are among the most vociferous supporters of the Palestinians. The Jewish establishment organizations are also pro-Palestinian, advocating a two-state solution that would give Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza the same freedoms Israelis enjoy, but are currently denied to them by their own leaders. In Israel, many Jews advocate for the Palestinians: Israelis represent them in the courts, join them in protests and speak out on their behalf in the press and the Knesset. The many Arab-Jewish coexistence projects are nearly always initiated by Israeli Jews.
With the slaughter in Syria, Palestinians can see who their real friends are, and most are not the ones they expect.
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