When protestors only show up for certain victims and conflicts, what is the takeaway?
The Palestinian terrorist political party HAMAS launched thousands of rockets into Israel in May 2021, seemingly ready to add a fourth war to its tally since it took over Gaza in 2007. In short order, the streets in major cities around the world were full of protesters raging about the hundreds of people who were killed by Israel’s retaliatory attacks on the HAMAS terrorist infrastructure.
Yet no one has taken to the streets regarding the multi-year ongoing war that has killed 250,000 people in impoverished Yemen. Thousands of children have been killed in the bloody campaign but the loss of life of these poor Muslim Arabs gathers neither tears nor shouts. The United Nations and news agencies don’t post daily death totals on that tragedy. Or weekly. Or monthly.
That’s an Israel phenomenon.
In over six years of war, one cannot find a single article about protestors in Australia assembling in the streets to protest the carnage in Yemen. The best one finds is an opinion piece from two and one-half years ago, arguing that Australia should stop supplying Saudi Arabia with weapons because of the 85,000 children who died either directly or indirectly from the war which was only four years-old at that point in time.
The situation is identical for “Pro-Palestinian” protests in South Africa, Brazil, the Netherlands and the United States. Though tens and hundreds of thousands more Muslim Arabs in Yemen and Syria may be being killed, the streets only fill with protestors for Palestinian Arabs.
Which begs the questions as to why.
It is not as though the dynamics are unique with various state actors like Saudi Arabia/ Iran/ Yemen in one situation compared to Israel versus a non-state entity like the Palestinian Authority in the other, as many countries like Brazil and South Africa recognize Palestine as an actual country.
It is also a fact that Israel is not waging war against the Palestinians generally; it is targeting the terrorist group HAMAS, much like the U.S. targeting the Taliban in Afghanistan (another situation which has gathered virtually no global protests despite the war raging for twenty years).
The streets seemingly echo the halls of the United Nations, which adopted the Palestinians as its perennial wards, thereby making it incapable of condemning its own foster children regardless of its continued war crimes. Palestinians are always, and can only be victims.
But the protestors are even angrier than the U.N. The United Nations does not – at least openly – seek the destruction of the Jewish State. The same cannot be said of many of the agitators with signs ranging from “From the River to the sea“, “Hitler was right” and chants “We don’t want no two states; we want ’48.” These activists assemble in plazas where Nazis destroyed synagogues – literally on the ashes of Jews – to try to label Israel as the actual terrorist group rather than HAMAS.
It is in watching the protests that the answer to the uniqueness of solidarity with Palestinians shines through: it is not the nature of the victim or scale of the battle which brings out the anger but the underlying cause itself. The protestors do not see HAMAS as a terrorist organization or its charter calling for the destruction of Israel as unjust. They do not believe in the legitimacy of Israel and want it dismantled, and believe that IT CAN be dismantled.
Pro-Palestinian agitators aren’t seeking to protect Palestinian civilians as much as they want to pressure their own governments to make Israel vulnerable – politically, militarily and economically – to facilitate HAMAS’s goal of destroying the Jewish State.
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