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Articles, Opinions & Views: The Palestinians Are to Israel As Russia Is to Ukraine By Hugh Fitzgerald

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The Palestinians Are to Israel As Russia Is to Ukraine By Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, March 17, 2022

Victims of Palestinian Terrorists

Jihad Watch : The Palestinians are reported to be furious that attention has been fixed on the Ukrainians under assault by Russia, rather than on the only subject the world should ever be focused on ā€“ the Zionist criminals who make life a living hell for them, the Palestinians. Judging by some of the coverage, they need not worry.

A report on how Israel and ā€œPalestineā€ are brought into the coverage of Ukraine and Russia is here: ā€œUkraine and Israel: How to compare the incomparable,ā€ by Masha Gabriel, JNS, March 13, 2022:

To paraphrase Leo Tolstoy, every peaceful country is alike; every war-torn country is war-torn in its own way. But to hear many analysts in the media tell it, the current crisis in Ukraine is no different from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Thus, for example, a former Peruvian congressman with more than 125,000 followers asked on Twitter: ā€œThe [Russiansā€™] lack of respect for international law is the sole responsibility of the United Nations, the United States and the United Kingdom by allowing genocidal massacres of Palestinian children with impunity. Now there is no one to establish order. Donā€™t complain.ā€ In other words, if in the name of outdated imperialism, Putin decides to invade a sovereign country, then it is the fault of world powers who failed to keep those genocidal Jews in check.

How many of the benighted Peruvianā€™s 125,000 Twitter followers believe him when he writes about ā€œthe genocidal massacres [by Israel] of Palestinian children with impunityā€? Too many, Iā€™m afraid. These lies are stated with such conviction to a public that has already been receiving its coverage of Middle East news from such sources as Al Jazeera and the two Palestinian news agencies, Wafa and Maā€™an, whose reports are then spread through social media by the worldwide army of Israel-haters. 

But if this attitude is not surprising among those who openly devote their time and energies to lying about Israel, it is surprising when it is journalists or so-called professional analysts who spread these outlandish charges. Palestinian population figures and life expectancy data quickly disprove claims of genocide. Yet too many analysts, who should know better, never bring up the relevant data. Instead, some now seek to take advantage of Russiaā€™s invasion in order to draw absurd parallels with Israelā€™s alleged wrongdoing.

Journalists who cover the Israel-Palestinian conflict are often self-selected; they choose to cover that conflict because their minds are already made up before they even go out to the Middle East, about how terrible the Jewish state is, and how the poor Palestinians, as a common refrain has it, ā€œdeserve to have their story told.ā€ But their story is told all over the place, up hill and down dale; search for ā€œPalestinianā€ and you will get 390,000,000 hits. Their story is being told, all right. 

The charge of ā€œgenocideā€ is easily refuted by the figures on the growth in the Palestinian population and life expectancy. In 1949, there were 150,000 Arabs living in Israel; now there are 2 million; in 1967, there were 900,000 Arabs living in the West Bank; now there are 3.1 million. In 1949, there were 141,000 Arabs living in Gaza, today there are 2,048,000. Genocide? What ā€œgenocideā€? Were Israel bent on ā€œgenocide,ā€ it would not be pouring $16 billion into health care, housing, and education for Israeli Arabs. Were Israel interested in ā€œgenocide,ā€ it would not be treating hundreds of thousands of Arabs in Israeli hospitals. 

Among the Palestinians who have been treated by Israeli doctors are Mahmoud Abbas, his wife, his brother, and his brother-in-law. In October 2014, just two months after Hamas started a war with Israel in which it launched more than 10,000 missiles at civilian targets, Sarah Haniyeh, the daughter of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, was treated at Tel Avivā€™s Ichilov Hospital following complications she suffered in a Gaza hospital. Around the same time, Hamas leader Haniyehā€™s mother-in-law and granddaughter also left Gaza for treatment in Israeli hospitals. When Saeb Erekat, the Palestiniansā€™ chief propagandist against Israel for decades, came down with Covid, he insisted on being treated In an Israeli hospital, Ein Kerem Hadassah. If Israel were committing ā€œgenocide,ā€ would all of these leaders of the P.A. and Hamas have insisted on being treated, and having their relatives treated, by Israeli doctors?

For example, a prestigious Spanish journalist asked his numerous followers on social media:

ā€œIf Trump skirts international law and recognizes Israelā€™s sovereignty over Jerusalem and the Golan Heights and Biden doesnā€™t make a peep, what problem does the U.S. now have with Putin and Ukraine [at] war? How many international rights are in place?ā€

What an absurd analogy. Russia invaded a sovereign state with internationally recognized borders, while in the Israeli case there is a territorial dispute following Israelā€™s self-defensive wars. There was never a country called Palestine that Israel decided to occupy from one day to the next. Since 1948 the Jewish state has been systematically attacked by its neighbors and, as a consequence, there is now an ā€œoccupationā€ in an unresolved war. Specifically, the Golan Heights is a plateau from which not a few attacks have been launched into Israeli territory.

The correct comparison is that between Ukraine and Israel, not Russia and Israel. In recognizing Jerusalem as part of Israel, the Trump Administration was not violating international law. It was upholding the international law that was created by the League of Nationsā€™ Mandates system. In 1922, the international community, acting through the League of Nations, created a series of mandates to deal with the former Ottoman lands in the Middle East. One of them was the Mandate for Palestine, which would become the Jewish National Home and, eventually, the State of Israel. The territory assigned to Mandatory Palestine by the League was all of the land ā€œfrom the (Jordan) river to the (Mediterranean) seaā€; that would become the Jewish National Home. That included all of present-day Israel. Trump did not ā€œskirtā€ international law; in recognizing Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel, he upheld it. There is no inconsistency between the U.S. recognizing Israelā€™s sovereignty over Jerusalem and its opposition to Russiaā€™s seizure of much of Ukraine. U.N. Resolution 242 (Nov. 22, 1967) recognized Israelā€™s right to retain territory won in the Six-Day War that it needed in order to have ā€œsecure [i.e. defensible[ and recognized bordersā€; the Golan is essential to that defense.

The Ukraine and Israel are both states besieged by implacable enemies. Ukraine is now fighting for its independence, while Israel has had to fight three wars ā€“ in 1948, 1967, 1973 ā€“ for its very survival. Putin denies the existence of a separate Ukrainian people; the Palestinian Arabs deny the right of a separate Jewish state to exist. Both Ukraine and Israel have had to endure the terror bombings of civilians In their cities, while scrupulously observing the laws of war, by doing everything possible to limit civilian casualties themselves.

This phenomenon of comparing the incomparable, of appropriating other peopleā€™s situation and pain, seems to be the result of a need to keep the anti-Israel cause in the limelight, lest solidarity with the Ukrainians eclipse media obsession with Israel. A well-known CNN journalist even admonished Israel for not having taken a tougher stance towards Russia, apparently forgetting that Russia is also currently marching around in Syria, and that the Jewish state must thus negotiate with Putin when responding to terrorist attacks from its northern border.

In fact, Israel has ā€œtaken a tougher stance towards Russia.ā€ While it did not offer support initially to a Security Council resolution condemning Russia (which led U.S. Ambassador LindaThomas-Greenfield to publicly scold Israelā€™s ambassador Gilad Erdan) ā€” Israel is not a member of the Security Council ā€” a week later it voted for a General Assembly resolution condemning Moscow, and also managed, as Washington had requested, to convince the UAE to vote for the resolution as well. And Israelā€™s leaders have continued to express their outrage at what is going on in Ukraine. But they still avoid attacking Putin directly, because they know, as that ā€œwell-known CNN journalistā€ does not, that it is critical that Israel not so enrage the mercurial Putin that he no longer allows Israeli planes to fly over Syria unopposed, where until now Israel has been bombing Iranian and Hezbollah bases at will.

Such complex politics simply gets ignored. In The Independent, the paperā€™s ā€œRace Correspondentā€ claimed that international support for Ukrainian resistance represents a racist double standard because the support is not shared equally with ā€œblack and brown peopleā€ such as the Palestinians. Aside from applying an obviously false racial dichotomy to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to which Ethiopian and Mizrahi Israelis would be white, the entire analysis is a political and ethical distortionā€¦

The charge that the Western world cares only for those who are ā€œwhiteā€ victims of oppression but not for the ā€œblack and brownā€people, such as the Palestinians, is absurd. A great many Palestinians would be without question classified as ā€œwhiteā€ ā€“ see the photographs of Mahmoud Abbas, Hanan Ashrawi, Ismael Haniyeh, Saeb Erekat ā€” and they are certainly much lighter-skinned than either Mizrahi Jews, who came to Israel from elsewhere In the Middle East and North Africa, and now make up 60% of the Israeli population, or than the Ethiopian Jews, Falashas, who are the same brown color as other Ethiopians. Furthermore, the Western world does not withhold its sympathies, nor its aid, to those who are ā€œblack or brown.ā€ Look at the lengthy campaign on behalf of black Africans who were being enslaved or killed by Muslim Arabs in Sudan. Think of the efforts in the West to draw attention to Boko Haramā€™s atrocities against black African Christians, or to the ISIS murderers of the ā€œbrown-skinnedā€ Yazidis, or the persecution of the non-white Rohingyas in Myanmar and the non-white Uighurs in China.

CAMERA UK analyst Adam Levick notes that both Ukrainians and Palestinians use Molotov cocktails, but there the similarity ends. The Ukrainians use them against Russian soldiers In tanks, who have invaded their country, a country they are trying to defend. The Palestinians use them against Israeli civilians, whose country those Palestinians are trying to destroy.

ā€œAnd it is precisely that existential threat that is at the heart of the matter. If analysts seek to draw real parallels, perhaps it would be better to delve into the very essence of the conflict.

ā€œJust as Putin does not consider Ukraine a legitimate state and does not believe it should exist, so, too, do Fatah, Hamas, Iran and not a few others believe that the Jewish state has no right to exist. Just as Ukraine is fighting an existential war, Israel is facing groups financed, armed and trained by an aspiring nuclear power whose leaders have made it clear that Israel must disappear. In the words of Jibril Rajoub, former deputy secretary-general of the Fatah Central Committee and former head of the Preventive Security Force in the West Bank, ā€œI swear that if we had a nuclear bomb, we would have used it this very morning.ā€ā€¦

The Palestinians are not out to seize just this or that bit of territory from Israel. They would not be satisfied to squeeze Israel back within the 1949 armistice lines, either, except as an intermediate stepping stone to their real objective: the disappearance of the Jewish state. Their hatred is deep; if they could, they would use whatever weapons they could,  including, as Jibril Rajoub has stated, nuclear bombs.

The Palestinians donā€™t give a damn about the Ukrainians, and donā€™t want the world to care, either. When you hear about the sufferings of the Ukrainians, you are supposed instead to think only about the Palestinians. This trivializes the depth of Ukrainian suffering, and turns on its head the truth, that the Palestinians are the Russians, fighting to destroy a neighboring country, while the Israelis are the Ukrainians, fighting to keep their homeland secure against an implacable aggressor that is  determined to wipe out the Jewish state.  

The Palestinians deliberately attack civilians. So do the Russians in Ukraine. The Israelis never target civilians, although they sometimes must hit civilian buildings where Hamas or the PIJ have hidden weapons, rocket launchers, fighters, and control-and-command centers. In such cases, the IDF makes great efforts to warn civilians away from the buildings, by telephoning, emailing, and use of the ā€œknock-on-the-roofā€ technique. The Ukrainians, of course, are fighting the Russian army; they have not attacked Russian civilians living in the country.

The Ukrainians throw Molotov cocktails at Russian tanks. The Palestinians, on the other hand, throw Molotov cocktails at Israeli civilians and soldiers.

The Russians are fighting to destroy Ukraine. The Ukrainians are fighting to keep their country.

The Palestinians are fighting to destroy Israel. The Israelis are fighting to keep their country.

The Palestinians have refused to condemn the Russian invasion. Some  Palestinians held a pro-Putin rally in Bethlehem. The Israelis voted in the General Assembly to condemn Russia, even though Israel thereby risks a change in Russian policy in Syria where, until now, the IAF has enjoyed freedom of the skies. Israeli officials, though not Bennett himself, have repeatedly denounced the Russian invasion.

The Palestinians have offered the Ukrainians nothing. The Israelis have sent 100 tons of humanitarian aid ā€“ food, medicine, clothing ā€“ to Ukrainian refugees. The Knesset has now approved the building of a field hospital inside Ukraine, costing $6.4 million. Israel has welcomed tens of thousands of Ukrainian Jewish refugees, as well as 25,000 non-Jewish Ukrainians.

Weigh them both ā€“ the Israelis and the Palestinians ā€“ in the scales of justice concerning the Ukraine, and one side kicks the beam. You know which one.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 12:06 PM  
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