If you are pro Palestine, you can be pro-Israel. You can support a two-state solution. For many, being pro-Palestine means being pro ‘justice’ for a people.
Being anti-Israel however doesn’t mean you support Palestine. It means you simply hate Israel. These people support Hamas, Hezbollah, even ISIS. On the far right, we saw Palestinian flags being held during the Whitehall neo-Nazi march purely to antagonise.
I recently spoke to the chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Hugh Lanning. He made the distinction. He said, when asked about Hezbollah flags flying at the anti-Netanyahu protest: “We’re totally opposed to it. We try the best we can to make sure there is no anti-Semitic views, and that we are an anti-Racist organization”.
Those who fly Hezbollah flags, are flying the flag of a proscribed terrorist organization, that wants to kill Jews. Its goal is destruction of Israel, and enforcement of Islamism. Not support for Palestine.
Even the staunches critics of Israel are thus smart enough to see that within the movement there are bad apples, that want death and Islamism instead of justice.
These bad apples hide behind palatable rhetoric and embed themselves in acceptable norms, like waving any anti-Israel paraphernalia, that can be passed off as being pro-Palestine. This includes Hamas and Hezbollah flags, blood libel signs, inverted Holocaust analogies, you name it, they do it.
ISIS has shown they are intent on destroying anything inconsistent with their interpretation of Islam. Most are Muslims. Non-Muslims in Iraq and Syria have become like Jews in Nazi Germany. In hiding or constant persecution.
Oh, and when ISIS came to Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria – largely populated by Palestinians, they beheaded them too.
Islamists don’t care about Palestinians or Palestine. They see it through the lens of secular nationalism and void of religious fanaticism. In their views Palestine would be part of their evil ‘caliphate’.
So, If and when ISIS come to Israel, the movement that claims to support the Palestinians has a choice: Israel is in the way of ISIS. Do you support Israel? Yes or no?
Let me stress; It’s not the time for political posturing about short-term disagreements over policies.
It’s the time for consideration about the long-term impact of Islamic State getting a foothold in the region beyond Iraq, Syria and Northern Africa.
Whatever the criticism of Israel’s policies, actions, history or problems; it is infinitely more desirable than ISIS, or Hamas or any other strain of toxic fascist Islamism.
Some who support Palestine will begrudgingly endorse an Israeli fight against Isis fighters, in the way that allied forces did for the Soviets during world war two, fighting the Nazis.
Temporary ideological disagreement can be cast aside to defeat a common threat.
Other groups will rub their hands with glee at the prospect of ISIS wiping out Israel.
If Israel wins, no doubt they’ll then engross themselves in some conspiracy theory about Israel creating ISIS in the first place, and pulling all the strings like some evil cabal.
Ultimately, if and when ISIS comes to Israel, if you’re a pro-Palestinian activist, you have to chose if you ever want your human rights.
Let’s ensure you can fight for them in the future, by stopping a fascist Islamist threat now. Otherwise, you’re no more than a phoney.