The Squad is anything but progressive

One must conclude that the concern of The Squad for the Palestinian people has led them into the same minefield of false narrative as the Palestinians have themselves been regrettably led into by their own leadership. Consequently, the rapidly diminishing Squad credibility has been eroded further even within their own political party and certainly among many of their constituents.

While humanitarian concerns are entirely appropriate for us all their conclusion that racist Israel is solely to blame for the plight of the Palestinians is ill advised, unfounded, and clearly a function of their own underlying antisemitism despite their protestations to the contrary.

In 1948 – 156,000 Palestinian Arabs chose not to heed the advice of the five invading Arab armies that attacked the fledgling Jewish State of Israel in their misguided attempt to ensure that she would be still-born. That was just three years after the conclusion of the period during which 6 million Jews perished in the Holocaust. In 1948 most Palestinians left of their own accord to make room for the marauders at the behest of those Arab armies. Those departing of their own volition were promised by their leaders that they would be able to return to their homes as soon as the destruction of the sole Jewish shelter on the planet had been completed. However, all did not go according to military plan. Israel courageously defended herself against all odds and those displaced by Arab leadership were abandoned by Arab leadership wherever they happened to be, and they remain abandoned by their own to this very day.

Meanwhile, along with their descendants the local indigenous Israeli Arab population that chose to remain has now blossomed to nearly two million people with full citizenship rights, full voting rights and full freedom of religious worship and movement. Indeed, that 21% of the entire Israeli population is accordingly represented in the parliament, on the judiciary (including the supreme court- Judge Khaled Kabub), in industry, in technology, in medicine and in the Israeli universities.

In the same period- 75 short years- since 1948 Israel has absorbed among others- over 135,000 Holocaust survivors, 850,000 Jews expelled from Arab lands, 1.1 million Jews from the former Soviet Union (including Holocaust survivors)  where religion had been forcibly eliminated, and 95,000 Ethiopians (likely one of the lost tribes of Israel) who have escaped famine, war and persecution while traversing deserts and time divides to arrive in their long yearned for homeland.

What is remarkable about all of that is that in Israel there is not one refugee and not one refugee camp- not for adherents of Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Druze, Baha’i or the Hindu faith. Anything racist about that? Where is the apartheid in that?

So clearly the so called ‘Nakba’ – catastrophe of the Palestinian displacement and the sense of hopelessness since then were not caused by Israel. Former Syrian Prime Minister Haled Al Azm stated in his memoirs: “Since 1948 we have been demanding the return of the refugees to their homes. But we ourselves are the ones who encouraged them to leave.”

Talking of Syria, one’s curiosity must be piqued by the lack of Squad reaction to the fact that 500,000 people have been killed and 5 million people displaced from their homes in Syria in recent years. Why the deafening silence on this humanitarian catastrophe? Perhaps because one can’t blame Israel or the Jews?!

Why the deafening silence about the fact that between 1948 and 1967 (when the same Arab armies tried again to destroy Israel) the so-called West Bank was in Jordan and the Gaza Strip in Egypt respectively and yet nothing was done to ease the plight of the refugees in those areas or in Syria or in Lebanon? Nor was anything done in that period or since either by Palestinian leadership where they govern the camps or by 22 independent Arab states some of which are the wealthiest in the world on a per capita basis. Instead, those camps and their unfortunate occupants and descendants have been unwisely subsidized by the UN to the detriment of a long-term solution to the problem. Somehow it has proven more convenient to Palestinian interests to keep the high-profile refugees and their misery as visible as possible so that they can become human shields in times of conflict and political shields in times when peace is being pursued.

Yes, peace has been pursued on numerous occasions by Israel even in the shape of the two-state solution promoted by The Squad. In that regard it should be borne in mind that it was the Arabs who rejected the partition plan in 1948 which would have created two states. More recently at Camp David in 2000 the Palestinians were offered 97% of the so-called occupied territories (disputed is a more accurate term) plus additional land swaps and $30 billion of refugee compensation. The Israeli government ratified the agreement but to the utter astonishment and consternation of everybody involved Yasser Arafat rejected the offer as was confirmed by then US President and peace broker Bill Clinton who wrote the following in his memoirs – “Right before I left office, Arafat, in one of our last conversations, thanked me for all my efforts and told me what a great man I was. “Mr. Chairman,” I replied, “I am not a great man. I am a failure, and you have made me one.”

If one reads the manifestos of the various Palestinian leadership factions it is abundantly clear that they still cling to their dream of a one state solution at the expense of the Jewish State of Israel.

So, by promoting that which has harmed the Palestinian people The Squad continues to sow seeds of suffering and frustration for the people they purportedly care so much about and in doing so they have fallen into the trap of delegitimizing Israel even when they deny doing so. Israel is clearly not the barrier to peace nor is she racist. Those who choose to live in peace with Israel have benefited greatly from her abundant advances particularly in hi tech and medicine. That innovation and creativity is transferable and could provide relief and benefit to so many more if Israel’s open hand was not met with a clenched fist. If Palestinian leadership was less interested in lining their own pockets with international aid money and supplies (including from Israel) and resisted the urge to build terror tunnels and rockets they could afford to improve the lot of their own constituents.

While media coverage is currently minimal (the reason for that is obvious!) it is interesting to note that after decades of exploitation at the hands of Hamas leadership inhabitants of the Gaza Strip are involved in mass street demonstrations against what is universally classified as a terrorist organization that administers the area. Such dissent would historically have elicited punitive punishment from the terrorists but perhaps the genie of sibling rivalry and oppression is finally out of the bottle.

While the imperative of socio-economic improvements for the Palestinians is widely recognized The Squad advocates for BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) apparently to damage Israeli interests. They fail to recognize that such measures almost exclusively hurt the tens of thousands of Palestinians who are permitted daily employment and who benefit from higher wages in the Israeli economy.

Anyway, one looks forward with great anticipation (!) to hearing The Squad speak up for the only sovereign nation on the planet and the only demonstratively democratic one in the region that is threatened with eradication daily by another sovereign nation and her radical proxies on Israel’s borders and beyond. The Squad fiddles while Rome burns although in this case perhaps it is Jerusalem in danger as Iranian zealots continue to develop and deploy weaponry with immense destructive capabilities. Meanwhile Israel- the closest US ally in the region- stands boldly as a bulwark of democracy and freedom against the extremist influences that desire the exact opposite.

Israel has her imperfections (as do we all) but her disproportionately significant contributions to the wellbeing and advancement of mankind are undoubtedly bountiful and perhaps even miraculous for such a young, small country. Israel is a source of pride and not an excuse for scorn.

The Squad’s misguided moral morass of high decibel silence on Israel’s achievements and contributions is more than troubling. As is their blind intolerance towards what is in their prejudiced view- an ALWAYS guilty Israel.

Promoting dialogue, reconciliation, and peace are truly ‘progressive’ ideals that The Squad should stand for but regrettably they have chosen to promulgate conflict rather than pursue consensus. They have elected hate over hope. How very unfortunate!

About the Author
Spent most of my professional career in financial services but for some years now I have been a freelance writer and photographer with a keen interest in and love for Israel. Additionally I have been very involved in civic community relations.
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