UK-based, Lebanese-born, Western-educated Palestinian activist and Kings College lecturer Rafeef Ziadah ticks all the ‘right’ boxes: BDS activist: Check. Apologist for Palestinian terror: Check. An opponent of Israel’s existence who even refuses to appear at events with ‘Zionists’ (i.e., most of the world’s Jews): Check.
So, quite naturally, the Independent deemed her fit to publish an op-ed comparing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Though we’ve written previously about the egregious failure of moral logic and ignorance of history at play when comparing Ukrainians to Palestinians, it’s notable that Ziadah’s plea casts Palestinians entirely as passive victims, the Israelis entirely as oppressors, while completely erasing the role played by Palestinian terrorists in fomenting violence and perpetuating the conflict.
Ziadah devotes two paragraphs to describing last May’s war between Israel and Hamas, and the events in Jerusalem leading to the war, without mentioning the Palestinian rioting on the Temple Mount and, especially, Hamas’s decision to launch rockets at Israel – the action which triggered the 11 day conflict. Instead, she’d have readers believe that Palestinians worshipers were randomly “brutalized” at the al-Aqsa Mosque by “Israeli occupation forces”, which was followed by the IDF raining “high-tech missiles and bombs…on the occupied, blockaded and fenced-in [Gaza] enclave”.
The only time Ziadah uses the word terrorist is in quotations when deriding Israeli ‘claims’ that they were targeting Hamas “terrorists” during the war.
This big lie by omission about Palestinian terror and extremism is also increasingly the case with anti-Israel NGOs, such as Amnesty International, whose 280 page report accusing Israel of ‘apartheid’, CAMERA revealed, failed to include a single mention of any particular Palestinian terrorist attack – an omission that makes it impossible even fair-minded readers to understand Israel’s security fence or the state’s Gaza-related security measures.
What’s telling is that, increasingly, anti-Israel activists, and activist organisations, no longer feel the need to even performatively condemn Hamas and other terror groups – not so much as a brief moral throat clearing to stress that they, of course, oppose Palestinians who promote the kind of medieval and often annihilationist antisemitism that’s common with extremist groups and within popular Palestinian culture.
Any morally and intellectually serious observer of the region would know that there are countless articles, cartoons and videos aired or published at official PA media outlets – and speeches by government or religious leaders – depicting Jews qua Jews (not ‘just’ Israel) as an evil and malevolent force:
The reasons why Ukrainians have garnered the sympathy of most of the world is because, entirely unlike the Palestinians, their peaceful, democratic country was the victim of a completely unprovoked and brutal invasion by a tyrannical, expansionist regime that considers it an “artificial” state.
A modest proposal: If pro-Palestinian activists want Palestinians be seen as sympathetically as Ukrainians, perhaps they should encourage them to embrace their own moral agency, nurture values such as peace, tolerance, democracy and liberalism, whilst rejecting terror, extremism and antisemitism.