“Ahed Tamimi is the Palestinian Rosa Parks” – Aljazeera headline for an article by David A. Love
One of the most illogical – indeed, embarrassingly stupid – ways to criticize Israel is to make an analogy between the “plight of the Palestinians” and the condition of blacks in America, to equate the “Palestinian struggle” to the US movement for civil rights.
And yet it has been highly effective among minorities and on college campuses. It has been used by intelligent and (sometimes) well-informed individuals like Condoleezza Rice, by dog-whistlers like Barack Obama, and by rabble-rousers like Jeremiah Wright. In the age of intersectionality, it is taken as a given that racism against blacks in the US and “oppression” of Palestinians by Israel are similar phenomena, and that opposition to one kind of oppression demands opposition to all.
Progressive ideology insists that racial strife in the US and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have similar root causes, like capitalism (somehow), colonialism, and racism (defined as racial animosity plus power). Progressives like to put the conflict under a microscope with a very narrow field of view, but by doing that they exclude the broader context in which the narrower struggle takes place. The Palestinian struggle is just a subset of the much larger Arab and Muslim struggle to rid the region of Jews and extinguish Jewish sovereignty. Israel has a degree of military power that has so far enabled her to defend herself, but the balance of power – in terms of numbers, financial clout, and even international support – clearly rests with the anti-Israel side.
There is certainly racial/ethnic animosity on both sides, but the hatred that drives Arabs to stab or run down random Jews is only rarely seen among Jews. Colonialism? Who is indigenous, the Jew whose ancestral culture, language, and religion developed thousands of years ago here in the Land of Israel, or the Palestinian whose ancestors most likely came to the land in the late 19th or early 20th century (even as late as 1946), who speaks Arabic like an Egyptian or Syrian, whose religion is the Islam brought to the region by Muslim colonialists from Arabia, and who didn’t even call themselves “Palestinians” until the late 1960s? If there is a “root cause” of the conflict, it is Arab rejectionism, deeply embedded in ideology and religion, and amplified by every input they receive from their media and educational system.
So now consider the black Americans, who were brought to the country as slaves in the most horrible fashion imaginable, and then when slavery was finally abolished, faced systematic oppression ranging from legal apartheid in the segregated South to multifaceted informal discrimination elsewhere. Unlike Palestinians, they are not part of a coordinated effort to ethnically cleanse white Americans from their homeland. Most of their families have been in America longer than many (most?) other Americans. Their struggle against discrimination has been mostly nonviolent.
Both struggles ostensibly aim to obtain human and civil rights for a particular minority group, and both struggles have been adopted by progressives as part of the intersectional framework that they live and breathe. That is the entirety of what they have in common. In reality, the aim of the Palestinian movement is the replacement of the Jewish state with an Arab state, and the ethnic cleansing of its Jewish population. And to a great extent progressive activists understand this, although many would not admit it even to themselves, and prefer to try to maintain the fiction that it is about rights.
The proposition that “all forms of oppression are interrelated” is on the face of it ridiculous, so the effort to convince people that it is true takes interesting forms. One of the most ugly arguments they present is that disproportionate police violence against black people is encouraged by exchange programs for American police officers to learn counterterrorism techniques from Israeli security agencies. Jonathan Tobin called it “an updated version of medieval blood libels.”
There is presently a campaign led by the anti-Israel group “Jewish Voice for Peace” called “Deadly Exchange” which has succeeded in getting several American police departments to cancel cooperative training in Israel. Tobin writes,
The conceit of Deadly Exchange is that such training is both inappropriate for Americans as well as indirectly responsible for outrages like “police murders,” “shoot to kill policies,” “extrajudicial executions” as well as “spying” and “deportation and detention.” The claim here is that Israeli police are a force that is primarily interested in repression and violence and those U.S. personnel that learn from them are more likely to kill Americans…
Treating Israel as a pariah state is both unjust and counter-productive to peace efforts. But by linking Israel and its supporters to disputes about American law enforcement, JVP is seeking to smear them as being ultimately responsible for the murders of African Americans. As crazy as that sounds, it should be eerily familiar to students of history. Blaming Jews for crimes, especially the murder of innocents, even though they had nothing to do with them, is a classic trope of anti-Semitism. In that sense, even though JVP presents itself as defending Jewish values, its campaign is merely an updated version of medieval blood libels, where Jews became the scapegoats for problems that were not of their making.
Blaming the Jews for everything has been a popular pastime since the days of the Black Death, when it was assumed that since no other explanation was forthcoming, the Jews must have been poisoning wells. In 2004, several politicians, retired military officers, and journalists asserted that Jews and Israel were responsible for pushing the Bush Administration into the Iraq War (although it is true that some of the Jewish so-called “neoconservative” officials and journalists supported the war, the primary responsibility has to fall on President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, none of whom are Jewish).
Even some politicians who are generally pro-Israel in their actions find it useful to attribute possibly unpopular decisions to considerations related to Israel. For example, President Trump said last week that “one reason [to keep US troops in the Middle East] is Israel.” Defending his decision not to punish Saudi Arabia for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, he said that “Israel would be in big trouble without Saudi Arabia.”
As I’m sure you know, Israel does not expect or want Americans to fight for her, although she is very happy to have an uninterrupted supply of weapons, and appreciates US diplomatic support in the UN. And Israel has no connection to the Khashoggi affair and wants none. President Trump’s decisions are made in line with American interests, not Israel’s. To say otherwise is “not helpful,” in diplomat-speak.
In case anyone needs a refresher, the Jews didn’t kill Jesus, we didn’t poison wells, we didn’t start all the wars of the 19th century, we didn’t stab Germany in the back, we didn’t cause the Bolshevik Revolution, we didn’t poison Arafat, we didn’t knock down the Twin Towers, we didn’t make Bush invade Iraq, we didn’t create ISIS, the PLO is not the NAACP, we aren’t responsible for the actions of American police – and certainly not for the choices made by Donald Trump.
And Ahed Tamimi, who has publicly called for stabbings and suicide bombings (video), is decidedly no Rosa Parks.
QUICK QUOTES ABOUT ARABS AND MUSLIMS PRACTICING SLAVERY
Thomas Jefferson (3rd President of the USA) is condemned for owning slaves by: Liberals, Leftists, Progressives, and Socialists. But amazingly, Mohamed, the founder of Islam, is NEVER criticized for owning dozens of slaves!
QUOTE 1 OF 6:
“Although slavery had been outlawed in Britain and the importation of slaves was illegal in the United States, an active slave trade continued between Africa and the Arab nations.”
SOURCE: South Africa: 1880 to the Present (chapter 3, page 44) by Bruce and Becky Durost Fish, 2001 CE, Chelsea House Publishers, Philadelphia, ISBN 0-7910-5676-7.
QUOTE 2 OF 6:
“Moreover, the ability of the Arabs to pay depended on their success as slave hunters.”
SOURCE: The River War (chapter 1, page 7) by Winston Churchill, year 1899
QUOTE 3 OF 6:
Foremost of the leaders of the revolt [in Sudan around year 1884] were the Arab slave dealers, furious at the attempted suppression of their trade.
SOURCE: The River War (chapter 2, page 27) by Winston Churchill, year 1899 CE
QUOTE 4 OF 6:
“Slavery was a flourishing institution in Arabia in the 1920s, and for several decades thereafter. It was not formally abolished in the Kingdom until 1962. The pilgrimage was the main source. Nigerians and Sudanese would sell their children in Mecca to help pay for their journey home, and the slave trade was one traditional source of the shareefs’ wealth.”
“In Nejd every emir and sheikh had at least one black family living in his household, and their children were assigned as playmates to the children in the household of their age and sex, growing up with them and often becoming their close companions in adult life.”
“When Prince Faisal ibn Abdul Aziz visited New York [City] in [year] 1944 [CE], the management of the Waldorf Astoria [hotel] were shocked that he brought his slave Merzouk with him.”
SOURCE: The Kingdom: Arabia and the House of Sa’ud (chapter 22, page 177) by Robert Lacey, published in year 1981 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York, ISBN-10: 0006365094 ISBN-13: 978-0006365099
QUOTE 5 OF 6:
“The missionaries were particularly appalled by the slave trade in Africa. Although slavery had been outlawed in Britain and the importation of slaves was illegal in the United States, an active slave trade continued between Africa and the Arab nations. The missionaries wanted to create other commercial ventures so that Africans could make a living without being dependent on this odious system.”
SOURCE: South Africa: 1880 to the Present (chapter 3, page 44) by Bruce and Becky Durost Fish, year 2001 CE, Chelsea House Publishers, Philadelphia, http://www.ChelseaHouse.com ISBN 0-7910-5676-7
QUOTE 6 OF 6:
Brigitte Gabriel said:
“Mohammed himself owned dozens of slaves. His followers continue to do so today.”
SOURCE: They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It (chapter 9, page 183) by Brigitte Gabriel, year 2008, year 2010, St. Martin’s Press, 288 pages, ISBN 0312571283, ISBN 9780312571283.
“The government [of Saudi Arabia] hurriedly purchased the freedom of 4,000-or-so slaves in the kingdom [of Saudi Arabia] for £1,000 each, more than three-times the going rate-per-head in the Buraymi market, and shrugged-off questions as to why, at every UN debate on the subject up until the autumn of [year] 1962, Sa’udi delegates had strenuously denied the existence of any slavery in their country.”
SOURCE: The Kingdom: Arabia and the House of Sa’ud
(chapter 37, page 345) by Robert Lacey, published in 1981
by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York,
ISBN-10: 0006365094 ISBN-13: 978-0006365099
This is as usual a very good article. I would however qualify one aspect of it. At present not all Arabs are our enemies. Some are covert allies at least for a time. This brings to the other point. Radical Islam is the enemy without question, whether Sunni or Shiite. The fact is that at the moment our most dangerous enemy is non- Arab Iran, and its surrogate Hizbollah.
As for the horde of ignoramuses who mouth the ‘intersectionality manta’ and UN goons who cannot even condemn a non- state that is racist and aims to destroy the Jewish state we can only apparently do little to inform them. However there are many in- betweens and the effort has to be continually made to somehow move them, as it moved many states during the vote to condemn Hamas to be a bit sensible and decent.