Who cares about Palestinian human rights?

In recent days no less than 120 Palestinian homes have been demolished and so you might have thought news of this would have made the headlines as the usual procession of NGOs and their self proclaimed ‘Liberal Zionist’ allies turn out to express the deepest sentiments of condemnation they are able to muster.  Yet here in Britain, at least, these events went completely unreported and of course the reason that they failed to stir even the faintest interest is because the demolitions took place in Gaza and were carried out by Hamas.

This is not the first time that Hamas has demolished homes in Gaza nor the first time that such acts have gone unremarked upon by the international press and so called the human rights crowd.  Back in February of this year Hamas demolished a number of houses in the Hamami neighbourhood of Gaza city and prior to that, in 2010, Gaza’s Islamist rulers razed several Palestinian homes in the southern end of the strip around Rafah.

That all of this went by ignored by groups and journalists who make little secret of their antipathy for the Jewish State is hardly remarkable. Such double standards as worthy of note as they may still be, become increasingly unsurprising to anyone who has followed this subject for even a relatively brief period of time.

Yet what about those purportedly pro-Israel groups, run by left leaning Jews, who insist that as Jews (said with a hand placed firmly on the heart) they must speak out against human rights abuses against Palestinians? Wouldn’t you have thought that events such as 120 Palestinian families made homeless would be of some interest to these people? Indeed, the British group Yachad has been waging an entire campaign on behalf of just one Palestinian family in an attempt to prevent the family from being evicted from a Jewish owned house they have been illegally occupying in Jerusalem’s City of David, just minutes walk from the Western Wall.

Now Yachad have found a new cause to champion and have set upon a campaign against the demolition of unauthorised structures in the village of Susiya in the West Bank, although one can hardly imagine such a group campaigning to save any unauthorised homes belonging to Jews in the same areas. In choosing this cause Yachad appears to be marching to the tune of B’Tselem’s drum (the Israeli campaign group with a remarkable capacity for spinning statistics to paint which ever wildly inaccurate picture suites them best).  For the moment the group ‘Rabbis for Human Rights’ has been able to have the order to remove the buildings in Susiya delayed, but presumably their counterparts at Imams for Human Rights had no such success in preventing the destruction of the homes in Gaza.

Groups such as these, that claim to be pro-Israel and yet don’t seem to do anything other than scorn Israeli policy, tell us that as friends of Israel they must publicly criticise Israeli actions for Israel’s own good.  Yet, when these same people fail to speak out against incidents such as the Hamas demolition of Palestinian homes they not only reveal a stark disinterest for the rights of the very Palestinians that they claim ‘Liberal Zionists’ such as themselves must care for, but in doing so they perform a huge favour for those seeking Israel’s destruction.

When I was recently fortunate enough to have met with Natan Sharansky this veteran prisoner of the Soviet Union joked that in Russia he had considered himself a liberal because he was an enemy of dictatorship, but that today if you are a liberal you are more likely the friend of dictatorships.  Those who condemn Israel at every turn but remain silent when dictatorial groups such as Hamas demolish more houses over a couple of days than Israel has in recent years are no friends of Israel, but they are for sure doing the public relations work of Israel’s enemies.

About the Author
Tom Wilson is a British writer and commentator.