A Guardian op-ed characterised Palestinian terrorists who’ve murdered Israeli citizens as “political prisoners”. The piece (“Israeli settlers on the rampage isn’t a shock – it’s daily life for Palestinians in the West Bank”, Feb. 28) was written by Nimer Sultany, a reader in public law at Soas University of London and an Arab citizen of Israel.
Here’s the relevant sentence:
A recent example of this is the Israeli parliament’s enactment of a law, with an overwhelming majority, that empowers the interior minister to revoke the Israeli citizenship or residency status of political prisoners convicted of terror offences who receive financial aid from the Palestinian Authority.
The most widely accepted definition of “political prisoners” refers to those who detention “has been imposed in violation of one of the fundamental guarantees…in the European Convention on Human Rights and its Protocols (ECHR), in particular freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of expression and information, freedom of assembly and association“.
Murdering Israeli civilians – which many of the terrorists in question are in prison for – is obviously not one of the human rights protected by the ECHR.
Elsewhere in the op-ed, the extremism of the Guardian contributor – who previously took to Twitter to defend comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany – is evident. Though his piece is putatively about the settler violence in Huwara earlier this week, he also used the opportunity provided him by Guardian editors to demonise Israel with lies and distortions.
First, Sultany, employing the deceitful tactic used by such propagandists, blurs the distinction between Arab/Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians governed by Hamas and the PA, when he writes that “Israel rules over all Palestinians between the river and the sea, does not grant them equal rights and denies millions of them the right to vote”.
This is of course absurd, as Israel doesn’t “rule” over Palestinians in Gaza, and most West Bank Palestinians are governed by the Palestinian Authority – neither of which, it should be noted, has held an election in 17 years. Further, is Sultany seriously suggesting that justice demands Palestinians in Gaza being granted the right to vote in Israeli elections?
Additionally, Palestinians/Arabs who are citizens of Israel (most of whom reject the label “Palestinian”) are of course “ruled” by Israel because they are Israeli!
Later, he writes:
The “iron wall” doctrine seeks to make Palestinians’ lives miserable so they would leave or acquiesce to their inferior status.
First, the words “iron wall” refer to an essay written by Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky in 1923, and it has no relation whatsoever to a desire to “make Palestinian lives miserable” so that they would “leave or acquiesce to their inferior status”.
If you read essay, it’s clear that Jabotinsky was arguing that Jews would face ceaseless Arab violence until they convinced the Arabs that their violence wouldn’t force the Jews to flee – an accurate observation given subsequent decades of Arab and Palestinian rejectionism, war and terror. Six years after Jabotinsky’s treatise, the 1929 Palestinian riots, which included the Hebron Massacre, erupted. Seven years later, a three year long Arab revolt broke out.
Sultany then writes:
Public figures who made threats to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians, promising them a “second Nakba”, are part of the mainstream discourse in Israel.
First, let’s recall that the Zionist leadership accepted the partition plan that would have created a Jewish and Arab/Palestinian state in the territory of the British Mandate, whilst the Palestinian leadership and their Arab allies rejected it.
Further, Palestinians were not “ethnically cleansed” in 1948-49, and there is no mainstream support in favor of doing so now.
So much of the Palestinian discourse is wedded to this moral inversion, omitting that the 1948 war was launched by Arab states to annihilate – that is, ethnically cleanse and/or murder – the 600,000 or so Jews living in the land at that time, while simultaneously claiming that Palestinians who fled, for varying reasons, the Arab war were themselves victims of Israeli “ethnic cleansing”.
In fact, a large percentage of Israeli Jews living today can trace their roots to the 800,000 Jews who – in the 1940s, 50s and 60s – were truly ethnically cleansed from Arab lands where many had lived for generations.
Finally, the lie promoted by the Guardian contributor is even more egregious given that, within mainstream Palestinian discourse, in both Gaza and the West Bank, there is the consistent promotion a future without Israel – hate speech which is documented daily by groups such as Palestinian Media Watch.
But, of course, concrete evidence of Palestinian malevolence towards Jews and the Jewish state isn’t consistent with the Guardian narrative of immutable Israeli villainy and Palestinian victimhood. It’s simply not the story that they want to tell.