One of Australia’s members of Parliament, Melissa Parke, recently made a short speech in the Parliament calling for unilateral recognition by Australia of a Palestinian State. She said it is time to recognise the state of Palestine because of Israeli actions against the Palestinians.
She said, “This comes at a time when violence has intensified in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, as Israel continues to violate international law by building settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and tensions rise over the prevention of Palestinians praying at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, and right-wing Israelis visiting that compound.
“Eight Israelis and at least 37 Palestinians have been killed so far this month, the disproportionate casualty numbers reflecting the power imbalance between the parties. While much of the Western media has focused on the Israeli victims, less attention has been paid to the more numerous Palestinian victims.”
She also quoted Al-Jazeera that Israel was “assassinating Palestinians and bombing towns and cities when it sees fit.”
I couldn’t agree with Melissa Parke more that the Palestinian quest for self-determination in creating a state of their own should be fulfilled.
And it needs to come appropriately, but for a much more important reason than suggested.
Because Israel is so blindingly bad, in Melissa’s view, the Palestinians need a state. And in keeping with the underlying Palestinian-as-victim and Israel-as-villain narrative, facts that don’t fit and inconveniently challenge and force a rethink of this world view are discarded.
To take one example; Israel threatens Muslim worship at Al-Aqsa mosque and “assassinates” Palestinians, Unlike Melissa, I was in Israel and Palestine during October and lived through the random stabbings occurring daily. It takes a determined frame of mind to turn the victim into the aggressor. There is no excuse for 2 teenagers to set upon a 13 year old boy riding his bicycle home from school and stab him over 12 times. Unless of course, that bicycle rider is Jewish and the teenagers are Palestinian.
There is no excuse on this earth for a man to drive into a bus stop crowded with civilians, then get out of that rammed car and, with a butcher’s cleaver, stab wildly at the bodies of the victims you have run over. Unless of course the main victim is a Rabbi and the driver a Palestinian.
There is no reason to think people are being assassinated when the terrorists themselves, if they survive their suicidal attack, are treated only in Israeli hospitals.
No Melissa. Statehood does not come from religious incitement that ‘your mosque’ is under threat from the Jews. Banning Jews from their Temple Mount is giving in to the anti-semitism of the worst kind of Arab politics. Unless of course you actually do agree with Abu Mazen that “the Jews filthy feet” have no place there at all. 2 peoples living in peace respect religious domains holy to the other party. They don’t burn Jewish holy sites – like Joseph’s tomb being bombed a few weeks ago – nor disparage access to the Muslim holy site of Al-Aqsa – as some crazy Israelis suggest.
And that is precisely the point why Melissa Parke and her ilk are so wrong on Palestinian Statehood. The Palestinians need a state so they can self-determine under the leadership of secular nationalists, and not the 7th Century Jihadists who are sweeping the Middle East. There can be no room for Jihadists like ISIS, Jabat Al-Nusra and Hamas, who publicly lynch gay people, give no rights for women, close all education for girls, behead ‘infidels’, set fire to captive held in cages, and impose a version of Islam they would take everyone back to the darkest of dark ages. These are the book burners and archaeological destroyers. Don’t tell me you think they should run a state.
When both parties get past victimhood, and eject the racists in both camps, we will build the peace nearly everyone there truly craves. I saw it on the ground during my visit.
Both Israel and Palestine will have a lot of soul-searching to do in order take majestic steps for real peace.
I know the far-left Melissa Parkes and Jeremy Corbyns of this world see the Palestine-Israel conflict in simple black and white Oppressor-Oppressed terms.
But really, to coin that great phrase, you know nothing Melissa Parke.