Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What Do You Mean You're "Pro-Palestinian"?

Khaled Abu Toameh is an award-winning, veteran Palestinian journalist who started out with a Palestinian Liberation Organization newspaper and moved on to work as a columnist, consultant and producer for Israeli and international news organizations like the Jerusalem Post, the Wall Street Journal and NBC News. In this essay, he sets out what legitimate pro-Palestinian work should look like:

If anyone is entitled to be called “pro-Palestinian,” it is those who are publicly campaigning against financial corruption and abuse of human rights by Fatah and Hamas. Those who are trying to change the system from within belong to the real “pro-Palestinian” camp.

These are the brave people who are standing up to both Fatah and Hamas and calling on them to stop killing each other and start doing something that would improve the living conditions of their constituents.

Instead of investing money and efforts in organizing Israel Apartheid Week, for example, the self-described “pro-Palestinians” could dispatch a delegation of teachers to Palestinian villages and refugee camps to teach young Palestinians English. Or they could send another delegation to the Gaza Strip to monitor human rights violations by the Hamas authorities and help Palestinian women confront Muslim fundamentalists who are trying to limit their role to cooking, raising children and looking after the needs of their husbands.

Here is an idea: Let’s substitute Israel Apartheid Week with Palestine Democracy Week, where Palestinians would be urged and encouraged to demand an end to financial corruption and bad government. . .


Blogger Blazing Cat Fur said...

Good stuff Terry.

10:56 AM  
Blogger The Plump said...

I absolutely agree with the contents of the article, it chimes with my position of being pro-Palestinian and anti-pro-Palestinians at the same time. There is huge ignorance amongst oh-so-fashionable pro-Palestinian activists trying to shoehorn a conflict into ideological straight jackets manufactured from a range of materials from the stupidity of anti-imperialism down to the ordure of anti-Semitism.

However, at the risk of starting another argument, there are also a lot of strident pro-Israelis who could do with becoming pro-Israeli as well. To be pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian at the same time is not a contradiction.

To be both is to be a partisan for peace, and the dynamics of peace favour the forces of democracy and good governance. The corrupt, the revanchist, and the irredentist nationalist rely for their very existence on the continuance of conflict. They don't want it to end. We need good, old fashioned international solidarity with the progressive voices for social justice and human rights.

12:36 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Aye to every word you wrote, Gadgie.

5:53 PM  
Blogger Mitka said...

I met Khaled Abu Toameh when I was in Jerusalem a few years ago on a UIA mission. He is unfailinigly committed to the Palestinian cause as he frankly and honestly describes it here.

Im a little nervous that BCF thought this was good stuff. Im sure if he sat down and spoke to Khaled Abu Toameh he would find that the positions he takes are much in line with that of his nemesis CJC and the Canada Israel Committee. Could be interesting

8:55 AM  
Blogger JC said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:54 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

What is it that makes people think they can hide behind the anonymity of made-up identities, initials and stupid nicknames, leave personally insulting comments here, and expect that I won't just delete them?


4:21 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Colvin said...

Terry, I said the West as a whole is behaving hypocritically towards the Palestinians with regards to democracy, and that you appear to agree with this policy of marginalizing Hamas. Not intended to be insulting. Jonathan Colvin

6:35 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...


I don't agree with a policy of marginalizing Hamas. I agree with a policy of overthrowing Hamas.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Colvin said...

The Palestians elected Hamas in a reaction to PLO corruption; Hamas are violent, regressive and intransigent (not unlike the current Israel govt), but they are not corrupt. You are in favour of a "Palestinian democracy week", but also in favour of overthrowing their democratic choice of Government (elected in the only free and fair election ever held in the Middle East, apart from Israel). That hardly seems consistent.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Palestinians elected Hamas, Palestinians should overthrow Hamas. If they can vote them out, and Hamas meekly walks away, great.

12:12 AM  

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