Caring About the Palestinians?

  • 5 minute read
  • • by Sharon Koifman
  • • September 28, 2022

Why this is important:

I often experience that many listeners, especially ones that tend to have more sympathy with the Palestinians, instinctively come to the conversation with loaded misconceptions that, as a Zionist, I want to hurt the Palestinians. Without exaggeration, I have had quite a few people start a conversation with, “why do you hate  the Palestinians?” This often puts them on a defense mechanism before I even say anything, making people less open to listening to my side.

Unfortunately, many Zionists try to diffuse this tension by apologizing for Israel, which often leads to horrible results. Instead, we show that we care for the Palestinians by criticizing their true oppressors. Showing that we have a common goal to help the Palestinian could be a very refreshing twist for any Neutral listener and could drastically remove tension and make the listener open to our ideas. It is also an opportunity to finally move from defense to offense and where we can question the priority of the haters when they support leadership that uses their own people’s suffering as a marketing tool. We can put them on the defense, inquiring whether they care about Palestinians or simply using them.

Punchline:

Very few populations have experienced having their suffering used as a marketing tool. Whether Hamas or PLO, with the help of UNRWA, have been forcing Palestinian to stay refugees to keep an open sore on the conflict. Uniting and caring for the Palestinians means helping them expose their real oppressors. If Anti Israel advocates truly cared about the Palestinians, why don’t they oppose the Palestinian leadership for committing heinous crimes? Why are they accepting the UN/UNRWA’s effort to keep Palestinian refugees for multiple generations? Why are we supporting BDS, which cuts away Palestinian Jobs?

Long Answer:

This is the interesting thing about our approach. We are not anti-Palestinian. The Palestinians are, without a doubt, the biggest victims of the conflict, and yes, this is my very Zionist interpretation. The only thing we disagree with the anti-Israel base is who is doing the damage to the Palestinians.

The facts show that it is the Palestinian leadership and its allied partners that are oppressing and hurting the Palestinians, making sure they stay refugees for a long time. That’s why we don’t need to be apologetic about Israel to potentially find common ground with the Palestinians. While I don’t expect a Palestinian to accept this narrative, I know that most neutral listeners would appreciate that you are actually concerned about the Palestinians and not just trying to prove that Jews are good, and Palestinians are bad.

While many evil dictatorships in the world are known for zero freedom of the press, lack of rights for women and the LGBTQIA+ community, for torturing or killing anyone who opposes them, or for promoting child soldiers, no such dictatorships have ever used their own people’s suffering as a marketing device, as the Palestinian leadership does. No such dictatorships have used their schools and hospitals as bomb shelters and launching pads, so when Israel retaliates, more marketing brownie points are driven toward the Palestinians for their suffering. This, my friends, is evil shit to the next level, and I won’t hold back from stating that this is one of the cruelest regimes of our time. Yet the world is still mostly busy blaming Israel.

From a young age, Palestinians are brainwashed and trained as child soldiers. Violence and intimidation are always being used to ensure that fingers only ever point at Israel in complaint.

The Palestinians are the only population with a UN refugee organization dedicated just to them (UNRWA — the U.N. Relief Works Agency). This organization invented a new law specifically for Palestinians, making them the only refugees in the history of the world to keep their refugee status for multiple generations. Even if a Palestinian holds citizenship elsewhere, if you are descended from an Arab family displaced by the Arab wars against Israel, you may claim refugee status and any benefits attached to that status. The refugee organization that takes care of the rest of the world with half the employees (UNHCR — the U.N. Higher Commission on Refugees) takes an average of 3 years to resettle refugees from most conflicts.  But resettling Palestinian refugees never seems to be a priority for UNRWA. It seems they are pleased to use the Palestinians until Israel is destroyed. In general, through the 70+-year history of this conflict, the Palestinians ]were never absorbed by other Arabs countries, and been treated as second-class citizens in them. Depending on the country, Palestinians may be kept out of certain professions, they may not own land, they may not be able to leave or enter the country in which they reside without getting special visas. If they work, they may be paid less than regular citizens or may not get the benefits other workers enjoy. Life is not easy for Palestinians in Arab countries.

This entire experience is probably a nudge lower than what the brutal North Korean leader is doing to his own people. That’s assuming Kim Jong-un was able to convince the world that South Korea is at fault for all its crimes. It also assumes the world will tolerate North Korea  lobbing bombs from hospitals and schools, just to get South Korea to retaliate. I hope this gives you an idea of how evil the Palestinian leadership is. And again, we ignore it and claim we care for the Palestinians.

At this point, you have a grand opportunity to go on the offense.  Nothing hurts more or wakes up a left-leaning person than when you call them out on their so-called progressiveness. Call them out for supporting a brutal regime that not only opposes basic human rights and oppresses their own people, but also uses their own people’s lives in the name of marketing. Your opponent is not only supporting what effectively is one of the cruelest regimes of the 21st century, but they are also supporting the suffering of the Palestinian people. The BDSers often support initiatives that prevent Palestinians from getting Jobs and living better lives.

Call out the so-called “pro-Palestinian” advocates. Tell them they are not pro-Palestinian at all, nor are they progressive, if they claim to be. This is why I never use the term pro-Palestinians, just anti-Israel/Zionists.

In all likelihood, most discussions you’ll have will be witnessed by listeners who are part of the neutral majority. Be sure to tell them that the anti-Israel advocates are not pro-Palestinians. Just in case they were thinking of becoming one themselves.

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