“There are three kinds of lies,” Mark Twain said, attributing the insight to Benjamin Disraeli, “lies, damned lies and statistics.” Turns out there is a fourth: “pro-Palestinian.”
Virtually everything described as pro-Palestinian is not. That is, it does not pertain to improving Palestinian Arabs’ lives in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza Strip, let alone in United Nations-maintained Palestinian internment centers—euphemistically labeled refugee camps—in those territories and Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
Ever attend a rally or lecture advocating improved standards of living or civil rights for Palestinian Arabs under jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank? On behalf of those repressed by the Hamas Islamic theocracy in Gaza? Or those subject to the authoritarian governments of neighboring Arab countries? Me neither.
Such pro-Palestinian events don’t happen. Instead, events ballyhooed as pro-Palestinian can be described accurately as anti-Israel.
Anti-Israel propaganda dressed up as pro-Palestinian has a long history. In 1958, Ralph Galloway, a former director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), discussing regimes’ treatment of Palestinian Arab refugees from Israel’s 1948-1949 War of Independence, said:
“The Arab states do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as an affront to the United Nations and as a weapon against Israel. They don’t give a damn whether the refugees [numbering approximately 500,00 – 600,00] live or die.”
Hence, UNRWA established camps instead of promoting resettlement in Arab states. This was at a time, the late 1940s and 1950s, when more than 800,000 Jewish refugees from Arab lands were being resettled. Roughly three-fourths went to Israel, the rest to Western countries.
Several end-of-2022 news items served as reminders that maintaining the “pro-Palestinian” fraud as an anti-Israel weapon continues. One was a Christmas season commentary about Bethlehem.
Raymond Ibrahim, writing for Gatestone Institute, reviewed 2022’s developments regarding the town’s Christians. Headlined “The Death of Christianity in Bethlehem,” the article noted constant persecution and intimidation of Christian Palestinian Arabs by Muslim Palestinians.
The Palestinian Authority does not support the former but rather exerts pressure on them so anti-Christian violence is not reported to news media. International headlines could damage the authority’s image with major foreign donors.
From 1947 to 2016, according to Ibrahim, the percentage of Christians in Bethlehem, the religion’s birthplace (under PA administration since the 1993 – 1995 Oslo accords) has dropped from 85 to less than 16. And following Hamas’ 2007 takeover of Gaza from the PA, the Strip’s remnant Christians either fled or live virtually underground beneath Islamic rule.
Persecution of Palestinian Christian Arabs by Palestinian Muslim Arabs rates little or no media coverage, generates no public outpouring and little political investigation. Not being inherently anti-Israel, it doesn’t rank as pro-Palestinian.
In a related year-end development, Jana Zakarneh, 16, was shot and killed while filming a battle between Palestinian gunmen and Israeli troops in the northern West Bank city of Jenin. Long a hotbed of Palestinian terrorism, Jenin this year has been the site of frequent Israeli raids to abort attacks by Fatah spin-offs like the “Lions’ Den.”
Zakarneh’s uncle allowed her to go up to the roof to film the combat and a Palestinian gunman let her stay with him. According to a Jewish News Syndicate commentary, her cell phone revealed this wasn’t the first time the girl worked as a photographer for terrorists.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ office called Zakarneh’s death “shocking” and demanded an investigation. Of whom? The Palestinian Authority and Hamas? Their schools—often affiliated with UNRWA—news outlets and pulpits that incessantly demonize Jews and delegitimize Israel, urging “martyrdom” on children? Of the United Nations itself, which this year adopted another 15 anti-Israel resolutions, compared to 13 dealing with all the organization’s 192 other member states?
Zakarneh’s killing was less shocking than predictable, another such result of the anti-Israel death cult in which Palestinian leadership marinates its people. If Secretary-General Guterres is serious, he can begin his inquiry by consulting Palestinian Media Watch, say with its December 27 report, “Important admission: Fatah takes children as terrorists, says mother of terrorist.”
In the West Bank, Fatah leader and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is in the 17-year of his four-year term. In Gaza, Hamas, unlike Fatah, does not bother to call elections before postponing them. Both quash any dissent.
A genuine pro-Palestinian rally or U.N. resolution would call for liberation of Palestinian Arabs from their Palestinian tyrants. Until then, it’s the old anti-Israel vaudeville.