Justin Amler

An inconvenient truth

In my first blog for the Times of Israel, I wrote about the fact that there were no pro-Palestinian demonstrations across the world, while commenting on how there were many anti-Israel and anti-Semitic marches.  I mentioned quite specifically that in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria, Palestinians were being murdered as well as dying of starvation.

So it seems ironic that today, I have read news reports from around the world how the Islamic State has seized large parts of the camp, causing the Palestinians there to flee.  There is, of course, an international outcry, borne out by the fact that this news story has appeared across the globe.

So then, if I may be so bold to ask, what exactly is the difference between August last year when I wrote my blog and today?  Palestinians were still dying then – just as they are now.  Palestinians were still being murdered then – just as they are now.  The only difference is that then, they were either called government forces or Syrian rebels.  Today they are called ISIS.  So am I to suddenly believe the world cares now, but didn’t care back then?

In truth, they don’t care now – just as they didn’t care then.  But the reason they report it now is because ISIS are the main bad guys – as opposed to say Hamas who share the same ideology, but aren’t held in the same contempt, because they are fighting Israel – which is totally cool!  Why bother reporting on Hamas atrocities, where they are easily explained away by the ‘brutal Israeli occupation.’

The reality is that the Palestinians are an oppressed people – but not by Israel.  They are oppressed by the Arab world who claim brotherhood in words, but not in action.  The Arab world is 650 times larger than Israel, yet cannot find a measly piece of land for their Palestinian brothers, or give those who live in their countries the most basic of rights.

Think about that.

650 times larger – yet the claims that we are told by a world too dumb to realise is that the reason that there is Middle East instability is because of the ‘occupied territories’.  Cut Israel in half – and peace will flow through the lands…  Pull out of the ‘occupied territories’ and harmony will reign supreme.  Just take Gaza – um, bad example.  Okay then taken Lebanon – um, bad example.

What’s happening in the Yarmouk refugee camp is a tragedy – it is a tragedy of human proportions.  And it is a tragedy of the world.  Just as the death of so many Syrian civilians is a tragedy of the world.  And the death of so many at the hands of the Boko Haram thugs is also a tragedy of the world.

But the tragedy of the Palestinians is not Israel’s fault or Israel’s responsibility.  The world like to point and shout and accuse Israel of all things, while conveniently ignoring their own history.  The Arab world can cry their crocodile tears, but those tears easily evaporate in the desert sun.  King Abdullah II of Jordan can tell the EU parliament that a Palestinian peace deal is needed to defeat the Islamic State, but after we stop laughing, all that it will prove is that his creative writing skills are better than mine.  It is fortunate that there is no democracy in Jordan, otherwise it would easily have been renamed Palestine by the majority of its citizens who actually are Palestinian.

The inconvenient truth is that Israel has very little to do with the chaos that is sweeping the Middle Eastern world.  And the legitimate tragedy of those innocent Palestinians caught up in the nightmare of being perpetual refugees is the responsibility of the countries in which they have been living for many decades.

Instead of the world pointing their fingers at the tiny sliver of land called Israel, they should show some semblance of courage and morality and point them at the vast Arabian empires and ask them what they have been doing for their fellow Arabs?

But I guess the taste of oil is intoxicating, and the smell of those petrol fumes can be quite overwhelming too.  They say it can cause brain cells to die – and looking around at a world that finds no fault with the Arab world but plenty of fault with Israel – it’s easy to see how.

About the Author
Justin Amler is a South African born, Melbourne based writer who has lived in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.