If proof were ever needed that “pro-Palestinian” activists are not pro-anything, but solely anti-Israel, the latest news out of Syria brings us some glaring evidence.
ISIS has invaded and taken over the Palestinian refugee camp in Yarmouk, Syria (really, why are they still refugees nearly 70 years after the fact? Why haven’t they been resettled? But I digress…), in the process beheading some captives and causing the residents to flee – or at least to attempt to flee. This is in addition to years of starvation caused by the siege by Syrian government forces (so much for intra-Arab loyalty and brotherly love), and now the Assad regime actively bombing the camp, civilian “collateral damage” be damned:
U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) spokesman Chris Gunness said 94 civilians, including 43 women and 20 children, made it out of the camp on Sunday and were provided with humanitarian support.
There are still 18,000 people in the camp, a mixture of Palestinians and Syrians, according to the UNRWA. Yarmouk became a battleground before the siege, and has been devastated by street fighting, air attacks and shelling.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict from Britain, said hundreds had fled over the past two days.
“There have been some civilians who were able to flee the camp earlier today and we call on all parties to show maximum restraint so other civilians who wish to leave can be evacuated,” Gunness said in an email.
The Observatory said the Syrian air force dropped crudely-made barrel bombs on Yarmouk on Sunday. Syrian state media did not report that civilians had been evacuated.
Saeb Erekat, from the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), called on Saturday for the an evacuation of civilians. “Reports of kidnappings, beheadings and mass killings are coming out from Yarmouk,” he said.
“For over 700 days, the camp has been the victim of a draconian siege, which has resulted in the death by starvation of at least 200 Palestinians. The PLO, through its envoys, has been trying for years to lift the siege.”
Funny that. In all those 700 days that Erekat mentions, I don’t remember hearing about mass anti-Assad demonstrations in the streets of Europe or on American university campuses, emergency UN Security Council sessions condemning the treatment of the Yarmouk refugees, or condemnations from the Human Rights Council.
Brendan O’Neill hits the nail on the head in his column in the Jewish News, saying that Yarmouk exposes the callous double standards of ugly Israel-bashers:
If there were an award for double standards, for getting crazily angry about some people’s behaviour while turning a blind eye to other people’s behaviour, anti-Israel activists would win it every year.
These are people who take to the streets to march and holler whenever an Israeli warplane leaves its hangar, yet who say next to nothing about the militarism of France, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and too many other states to mention.
They bang on endlessly about Israel being an apartheid state, yet through BDS they have created a system of cultural apartheid. In their eyes, culture created by us, or by China, or by Zimbabwe, is fine, but culture produced by them, those nasty Israelis, must be hounded out of theatres and galleries lest it infect us all with its contagious Zionism.
These are activists who cry “Censorship!” when a conference of theirs is pulled, as happened at Southampton University recently. Yet they spend the rest of their time agitating for the No Platforming of Israeli representatives on campus and for the shutting down of pro-Israel university societies. “Free speech! (For nice people like me, not for rotters like you)” — that’s their fantastically hypocritical motto.
And now we can see that their double standards extend even to the people they claim to care for: the Palestinians.
Scour the Twitter feed of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and you will find no mention of Yarmouk. There are stories about Israeli forces stopping a Palestinian school bus for two hours, but nothing about the reported shooting and even beheadings of Palestinians in Yarmouk. These guys should seriously consider a name change: how about ‘Solidarity For Some Palestinians’?
What explains this double standard? It’s because, today, what gets dressed up as “Palestinian solidarity” is nothing of the sort. This is no longer a movement devoted in any serious way to assisting the Palestinians; rather, it’s become all about demonising Israel, turning it into a whipping boy for the sins of history that right-minded Westerners can yell about and rage against and ostentatiously oppose.
So for them, Palestinians who find themselves under attack from Israel are useful tools, nice additions to their invented moral drama, but Palestinians who are screwed over by the Islamic State, or by some other non-Israeli force, are not so useful. And thus those Palestinians suffer largely in silence.
In a similar vein, these tweets caught my eye:
And this last one, although not really connected to Yarmouk, but the sentiment is the same: