Hands Off Our Identity: Get Your Own

AFP/Getty

A couple of days ago I wrote a post “You’re Not Pro-Palestinian: You Just Hate Jews“. That generated a number of impressive comments that rang true. Around the same time Khaled Abu Toameh wrote a piece with a similar thrust for the Gatestone Institute.

The writer of this, Khaled Abu Toameh is probably the best living journalist in Israel. I’m not joking. When he strays from straight journalism and gives us his opinion, it’s clear why he is such a good journalist.

In case you don’t realise it from his name, he’s not Jewish, he’s an Arab of course, and he understands what’s going on here in a way  no foreign journalist or commentator has shown much sign of understanding.

It would also help immensely of these activists came to the West Bank and Gaza Strip to offer advice on, and help in building, proper government institutions, and in combatting administrative and financial corruption. But as far as many of the pro-Palestinian activists in the West Bank and Gaze are concerned, the interests of the Palestinians are not as important as hating Israel.

Pro-Palestinian groups and individuals in the US and Europe are doing Palestinians injustice by devoting all their energies only against Israel.

There is a feeling in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that most of these groups and individuals are more interested in campaigning against Israel than helping the Palestinians.

Being pro-Palestinian does not necessarily mean that one also has to be anti-Israel.

The pro-Palestinian camp in the West should raise its voice against violations of human rights and media freedoms under the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

In the past few weeks, six Palestinian journalists, bloggers and cartoonists were arrested by security forces belonging to the Palestinian government in the West Bank.

The pro-Palestinian activists around the world chose to turn a blind eye to the ongoing crackdown on freedom of expression in the West Bank.

They also failed — even refused — to condemn the Palestinian Authority government’s decision to block web sites that are critical of Palestinian leaders in the West Bank.

The pro-Palestinian activists in the West also refuse to examine what is happening under Hamas in the Gaza Strip. They apparently do not care, or do not want to see, that there are executions, arbitrary arrests, and assaults against women and torture in Hamas prisons.

The pro-Palestinian activists and organizations also do not seem to care if the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are brainwashing Palestinian children and filling their minds and hearts with hatred.

Those who care about the Palestinians should come to the Gaza Strip and work toward promoting human rights under Hamas — of children, women, and journalists.

It would help immensely if hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists came to the West Bank and Gaza Strip to teach Palestinian children English and expose them to the benefits of democracy and Western values, such as equal justice under law, free speech and a free press, and financial transparency and accountability

It would also help immensely if these activists came to the West Bank and Gaza Strip to offer advice on, and help in building, proper government institutions, and in combatting administrative and financial corruption.

But as far as many of the pro-Palestinian activists in the West are concerned, the interests of the Palestinians are not as important as hating Israel.

Anti-Israel messages and campaigns serve only the radicals in this region who do not want either peace or coexistence.

The time has come for the emergence of a genuine pro-Palestinian camp in the West that would focus less on Israel and more on helping the Palestinians.

So the only way forward is for Palestinians and their so-called supporters to stop seeing themselves as anti-Israel.

Just as Islam builds mosques on the ruins of conquered churches and temples, the entire Palestinian identity is a false one deliberately constructed as the anti-Jewish, anti-Israel identity. It is an enormous act of identity theft. They are relentlessly trying to subsume the identity of the Jewish people and our connection to Israel and their big lie, told often enough, is believed by so many.

To really help the Palestinians we have to bury this false and stolen identity, prove it for the falsehood that it is, and allow them to have a real identity. It’s not for us to tell them what that is but until they start to do it, they have no hope and no future.

About Brian of London

Brian of London is not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy. Since making aliyah in 2009, Brian has blogged at Israellycool. Brian's interests include electric cars, world peace and an end to world hunger. Besides blogging here, Brian of London now writes at the Times of Israel. Brian of London also hosted Shire Network News

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  • walt kovacs

    wha? you mean its all an excuse to hate the jew?

    tell me something new

    • http://www.israellycool.com/author/brianoflondon/ Brian of London

      Not new to you, very new to millions.

  • Jim from Iowa

    Great post, Brian. The “pro-Palestinian” crowd does seem to focus a whole lot more on anti-Israel activities than to make efforts to help improve the lives of Palestinians. But if identity theft is at the heart of the problem between Palestinians and Israelis, was does Jewish identity really mean as a foundational principle of a modern nation state? Is Jewish identity purely biological? Well that would leave out everyone from Herod the Great to Ben Stiller, both only half Jewish (and the wrong half at that). And what kind of Jewish name is Brian, anyway?

    • http://www.israellycool.com/author/brianoflondon/ Brian of London

      Jim, as Jews we tried the whole wandering the world without a country to call our own or an army to defend ourselves with. That didn’t work out so well. We’re trying the whole nation in our original place of birth thing again and it seems to be working for us. At least when I see IAF jets flying over Auschwitz I get the feeling that we’re not so easy to slaughter any more.

      I’m fairly open on who can be a Jew: when you learn more about it, it’s a pretty onerous undertaking. And no, Brian is not particularly Jewish, but if it was good enough for the Pythons, it’s good enough for me. I can assure you I’m a kike, a yid, a heebie, a hook-nose, I’m kosher Jim, I’m a Red Sea pedestrian, and proud of it!

      • Jim from Iowa

        That’s the trouble with you kids today, always thinking about sex!

    • ziontruth

      “[What] does Jewish identity really mean as a foundational principle of a modern nation state? Is Jewish identity purely biological?”

      No, it’s not biological, although both Stormfronters (white supremacists) and today’s Marxists (anti-white racists) try very hard to make it so.

      A Jew who holds to the traditional tenets of Judaism could never be a ‘blood and soil’ nationalist. I’m not saying such nationalism is necessarily wrong—I lay the blame of Nazism with its being imperialism, not nationalism, and I hold that non-imperialistic nationalism is all OK—but the fact that Jewishness has from ancient times been decoupled from genetics by virtue of the option of conversion means it’s definitely heterodox and non-traditional to view Jewishness as a biological affair.

      A lot of nations are based on biological descent alone. They are what they are, and as long as they keep to themselves I can’t argue with their definition. However, a biological connection is seldom enough to build a national distinctness even where it does exist. For proof of this, consider present-day Egyptians: Genetically they’re nearly all descended from the Egyptians of Pharaonic times; culturally, the connection is absent, for their language is Arabic and their religion is Islam. The genetic connection can be acknowledged as an academic fact, but otherwise one would be hard pressed to tell how modern Egyptians are connected to the ancient ones.

      Contrast this with Jewish identity. Although the Khazar Hypothesis, that staple of rabid anti-Zionists on both Far Left and Far Right, is false (by lack of evidence), it wouldn’t matter if it were true. Jews today are very much a genetic mix (though the Kohanim genetic lineage persists), but that has never been a valid argument against the Jews being a real nation, for what the Jews “lack” in genetic uniformity, they make up for in a shared ancient cultural heritage—one that every convert too must adopt as a requirement for conversion.

      It would seem as if I have posited Jewish and Egyptian identity as polar opposites, but this is not so: I gave the example of the disconnect between ancient and modern Egyptians to show the insufficiency of genetics for national identity, but at least the Egyptians today have one point to commend themselves over the contrived group of Arab colonists falsely calling themselves “Palestinians”: Just that—that their identity is not contrived. Arguably it may be the result of Western colonialism, much as it is with various disparate groupings in Africa who suddenly became “nations” just because Lord Sandwich and General Sacrebleu drew up some straight lines on the map, but it’s not a purposeful invention for a political agenda.

      The polar opposites would be Jewish identity versus the faux-Palestinian contrivance. The proof of this is that the Arabs used to be more honest in the past when they talked of “the duty of eradicating the Zionist Project” in terms of “Restoring Arab Honor” or “Waging Islamic Jihad.” It was only after they realized that the world was not particularly ready to view the ambition of a score of states to wipe out one single tiny nation-state as justice that their propagandists ingeniously thought up a device whereby the one single tiny Jewish nation-state could be portrayed as a hulking imperialist Goliath: The fraud of a non-Jewish “Palestinian nation” living on the land “from time immemorial.”

      This fake nation narrative has always been nothing but a propaganda stratagem. Once this lie is seen for what it is, nobody could possibly call Jews colonists in the Land of Israel any more than they could view the Greeks as interlopers in Hellas. Furthermore, once the nature of this fraud is unmasked, the truth of Arab/Islamic imperialist aggression against the Jewish state is laid bare, and all the talk of “Zionists coveting other people’s lands” is shown in its utter ridicule. The Arab nation is entitled to exclusive political sovereignty within its indigenous territory, the Arabian Peninsula; as the Arab nation possesses far more than that, all protests that others are stealing their land are examples of humongous chutzpah. The Jews are the only true Palestinians, and it is the Jews whose lands are being colonized and stolen. That is the truth.

      • Norman B.

        You recently alluded to internationalism as the obsession of the world’s left-wingers. Their dogmas therein will soon be put to the test, and it won’t be by Israel or Zionism. It seems that the communist government of China has taken to claiming the South China Sea as its internal lake. This is being vehemently disputed by the communist government of Vietnam and the more democratic government of the Philippines, whose popular president is the son of an assassinated national hero and which has a defense treaty with the U.S. As a result, President Obama has shifted significant naval forces from the Atlantic to the Pacific. All it takes is for large deposits of oil or natural gas to be discovered in the disputed area to trigger an explosion far worse than the Middle East, since hundreds of millions of lives and the economic order of the developed world is at stake. What will the internationalists do when push comes to shove?

  • Shy Guy

    What’s a “Palestinian”?

    • Jim from Iowa

      It’s a guy you just shot because he was trying to kill you by heaving a chunk of concrete at your Honda Accord. You won’t need LifeLock to prevent that guy from stealing your identity, Shy Guy.

      • Shy Guy

        I hope my Toyota dealer isn’t reading this!

    • http://www.israellycool.com/author/brianoflondon/ Brian of London

      The descendants of Arab invaders and occupiers of Israel.

  • al-Moron

    Fathi Hamad agrees with this post

  • spindok

    The identity theft is more in the other direction. By constantly framing Israel in terms of the Palestinian issue Israeli culture and people are simply reduced to “oppressor” and nothing else. All Israeli activities, economic, social, scientific, and cultural are reduced to “tools of oppression”. Even such liberal human rights achievements such as the status of gays is termed “pinkwashing”.

    This is why the boycotters make every effort to ban Israeli musicians, artists, writers, atheletes and scientists from their countries. They do not want anyone to see Israelis as human beings. I actually had a Huffington Poster complain when I linked to a video of the famous “dancing soldiers” that I was “humanizing” them. You can dehumanize people but I dont know how to humanize anyone.

    Palestinians and Israelis both lose because of these self-serving activists. I have actually talked with people online who considered themselves well informed on the issues and thought that all Palestinians lived in fenced in concentration camps surrounded by Israeli guards.

  • Norman B.

    If Khaled Abu Toameh were an American, he would have won a bundle of Pulitzer Prizes by now. He uncovered Yasser Arafat’s grand larceny and money laundering operation, as well as revealing that concrete for Israel’s protective border fence was supplied by Arabs with close family ties to the Palestinian Authority leadership. Since then, he has found no shortage of informants who corroborate his accounts of PA corruption independently of each other.

  • http://www.jdl-uk.org JDL UK

    1) What’s “West bank”?
    2) What is a “Palestinian”?
    3) You say: “To really help the “Palestinians” we have to bury this false and stolen identity, prove it for the falsehood that it is, and “allow them to have a real identity”. It’s not for us to tell them what that is but until they start to do it, they have no hope and no future.”

    What do you mean by that? That the “Palestinian Identity” is false, we all know, but they are allowed to have their own identity, as they have come from countries which are sovereign, i.e. Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon…. do they not have an identity already?

    The name Palestinian was used for Jews and not Muslims. Given that a few Arabs lived in “no man’s land of the Palestinian mandate” but being an Arab does not automatically mean you are a Muslim. Some of us Jews come from Arab families (Mizrachim/Sephardim). Nationality is not equivalent to “Religion”.

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