Israel-Palestine conflict as much about American hypocrisy as it is about violence
By Ray Hanania
Arabs and Muslim in dozens of American cities held protests in the wake of the heightened violence taking place between Israel and Palestine, protesting the hypocrisy and bias of U.S. politicians and the mainstream news media.
For more than a year, Israel has been targeting the Palestinian civilian population including unlawful arrests, brutal beatings, the destruction of homes and confiscation of lands, and the indiscriminate killing of people Israel asserts are terrorists but never has to justify their murder with evidence or facts.
When Israel kills a Palestinian, they issue a press release and call the victim a terrorist and American politicians and the mainstream media simply accept the one sided propaganda as “fact” when it is not.
More than 200 Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers, police and Jewish terrorist settlers since the beginning of the year, and the Israeli violence has been treated like unavoidable consequences of an unending conflict that isn’t worthy of much news reporting.
Even when an Israeli sniper shot and killed an American journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh last year on May 11, 2022, outrage from American politicians and the U.S. mainstream news media was muted. The politicians defended Israel’s actions as a consequence of alleged “Palestinian terrorism” calling her collateral damage rather than admit the truth, that she was the victim of a growing Israeli hatred of Christians and Muslims in the never ending conflict.
The religious tensions have been aggravated especially in recent months where Israeli Jewish citizens and Jewish Settlers have been permitted to step up their protests at many Muslim sites like the Al Aqsa Mosque and at Christian churches in East Jerusalem. Social media is inundated with videos of Jewish settlers spitting on Christians pilgrims and Christian icons as expressions of their rejection of non-Jews.
Israel’s Minister of National Security Itaar Ben-Gvir, one of the nation’s most rabidly extreme anti-Palestinian activists, gave police and soldiers permission to use live weapons to respond to Palestinians who protest against Israel confiscation of Palestinian lands, destruction of Palestinian homes and evictions of Palestinian families.
These Israeli policies didn’t just start with the rise of Israel’s extremist government coalition led by Benjamin Netanyahu, a foe of Palestinian rights and statehood, but has been ongoing for decades.
But, it is only when Palestinians step up their resistance against this ongoing intolerable Israeli brutality and engage in their own violence that American politicians and the American mainstream news media pay attention, as they did this past weekend when Hamas launched a massive wave of retaliatory missile strikes against Israel and targeted Israelis in their defensive resistance campaign.
In some instances, Hamas fighters engaged in atrocities against Israeli civilians, atrocities that are totally unjustified morally and undermines the just cause of the Palestinian people.
But just as worse is how the Israeli exploit those atrocities to stereotype all Palestinians, asserting that the Hamas violence was the equivalent for Israel of America’s Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Remember when on Sept. 11, 2001 Israeli and American media took a video of a Palestinian woman dancing and handing out candy asserting that she was “celebrating” the Al-Qaeda attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center Twin Towers, damaged the Pentagon and killed nearly 3,000 innocent civilians.
There is no “fact checking” when the propaganda embraces pro-Israel lies then and not now either.
The outrage from American politicians from President Biden and Democrats to Former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy and Republicans denouncing Hamas and Palestinians across the board as “terrorists” is an outrageous assault on truth, justice and the rule of law.
In fact, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who has been muffled in responding to past Israeli atrocities against Palestinians, launched a pro-Israel wave of telephone calls to Arab and European leaders and appearing on every major media news program demanding they denounce Hamas “terrorism,” never once mentioning Israeli violence that preceded the Hamas action which has taken Palestinian civilian lives with impunity.
The hypocrisy is outrageous. And the Arab World should not succumb to the pro-Israel lies or the American lobbying and believe for a minute that the Hamas assault this past weekend was not provoked by an ongoing campaign of long-term violence, racism and discrimination by Israelis against Palestinians.
The Arab World should join those Arab Americans and Muslims who are demanding fairness in coverage of the conflict, rejecting the one-sided false portrayals that exonerate Israel of its war crimes and defending the rights of civilians to resist oppression.
Arab World normalization with Israel has provoked this conflict by giving Israel confidence to step up its ongoing everyday violence against Palestinians and aggravating Palestinian concerns about their being abandoned.
When they call for the release of Israeli hostages, they should also call for the release of Palestinian hostages being held in Israeli jails.
When they call for an end to the violence, they should also call for the end of Israeli violence against Palestinians, to end the theft of Palestinian lands for settlement expansion and the destruction of the homes of Christians and Muslims.
You cannot condemn Hamas violence if you have been silent on the ongoing violence of Israel against Palestinians that began long before Hamas fired rockets over the prison borderlines.
In fact, if you have been silent on the ongoing everyday Israeli violence against Palestinians, you are complicit and responsible for the conflict we see today and the continuing loss of life on both sides.
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