When Israel Can’t Be Blamed, No One Cares About ‘Human Rights’
The way that anti-Israel activists describe Palestinians, you’d think that the people who live in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are the most peaceful, kind, hospitable, folks you’ve ever met.
The people who launch rockets, stab and try to run over Israeli civilians with their cars? That’s all fine — because attacking Jews to obtain what has repeatedly been offered at the negotiating table (statehood) is a human right.
But Jewish self-determination, by way of comparison, is a crime against humanity.
As a result, Palestinians can do terrible things to Jews without much damage to their reputation among “human rights” activists.
But when Palestinians do bad things to each other? Well, that scares people in ways that attacking Jews does not.
This helps explain why the “peace” and “justice” crowd has responded so energetically to a January 28 attack on Daoud and Daher Nasser, the proprietors of the “Tent of Nations” in the West Bank.
The attack, perpetrated by Arabs from the nearby village of Nahalin, is a public relations disaster for the “human rights” crowd because the Tent of Nations has, through the years, served as a theme park of anti-Israel propaganda.
For example, a few years ago, folks at the Tent of Nations planted trees on nearby land, which had been uncultivated for decades, to prove it was theirs. When Israelis cut the trees down, attorney Jonathan Kuttab — who, in 1989, defended a Palestinian terrorist who drove a bus filled with passengers into a ravine, killing 16 Israelis — sent out a statement to churches in Europe and North America alerting them to the mean things Israelis were doing to poor farmers at the Tent of Nations.
It was a hugely successful PR campaign, in part because thousands of Christians have visited the farm, and had their pictures taken with the Nassars during their visits. Judging from the smiling selfies Westerners posted online, most of them were just there for an ill-informed self-righteous photo opp based on false and distorted facts.
But now that a mob of masked Arabs have attacked the Nassars, “activists” are doing everything they can to portray Israeli Jews as somehow responsible for the attack or otherwise change the subject.
It’s pretty bizarre, but they have a brand to protect.
Exhibit one: Two days after the attack, Alice Rothchild, an obstetrician from the US who does everything she can to blame Israel for Palestinian suffering (without paying much attention to the failings of Palestinian leaders or Palestinian terrorism) tweeted that she was “heartbroken and outraged, but this is the reality of the Israeli occupation and the state condoned violence of the settlers.”
You read that right. Palestinians attack their fellow Palestinians and Rothchild bangs on about Israeli settlers.
Exhibit two is Jonathan Kuttab’s response to the attack. Writing on behalf of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, Kuttab makes it clear that he won’t be defending the perpetrators in court, stating the attack was carried out by “fifteen masked criminal thugs” who beat the Nassars “with sticks and knives.”
These thugs, Kuttab wrote, “have previously made spurious claims to the land and have attacked the Nassars before” and are “under court orders from the Palestinian courts to stay away from the land, as they have absolutely no supporting documents or legitimate rights to it.”
Interesting. Would this attack have been prevented if Kuttab had been as vociferous in condemning the Arab attackers from Nahaleen as he had been in his condemnations of Israel?
Kuttab then chides both the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority (PA) for failing to protect the Nassars from the attackers, and in reference to the PA, states that it “has shown little interest in protecting or defending the Nassars with anything like the zeal in which they cooperate in protecting any Israeli settler who strays into a Palestinian town or village.”
Forgive me, but I can’t help but wonder if Kuttab begrudges the protection afforded to Israelis by the PA.
The Independent Catholic News (ICN), a media outlet headquartered in England, brings us exhibit three. The ICN reprinted, almost verbatim, a press release issued by the American “peace” group, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP).
Interestingly enough, when republishing CMEP’s press statement, ICN omitted a crucial sentence that revealed the attack against the Nassars was likely perpetrated by Arabs living next to the Tent of Nations. The deleted sentence states, “It is believed — though not yet confirmed — the attack was perpetrated by Palestinian residents of the neighboring village.” (Obviously, the Palestinian identity of the attackers has since been confirmed.)
The upshot is this: Yes, the Nassars were attacked by their Palestinian neighbors, and yes, both the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority have an obligation to apprehend the perpetrators. But pro-Palestinian activists have every obligation to condemn the attack, just as Israeli and American Jews have condemned settler violence. The cause of peace and justice in the Holy Land requires an authentic inventory of the misdeeds of both sides of the conflict.
But that’s not what the people who run the Tent of Nations want.
They have a brand to protect, just like Ben & Jerry’s.
Dexter Van Zile is Shillman Research Fellow for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.