FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Double Standard

The fact that there is a double-standard in effect for all aspects of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, favoring, of course, Israel, is no secret. The mainstream United States media, little more than a pawn for the government, ignores the countless, horrific abuses heaped upon the Palestinians on a daily basis by the U.S.’s sacred cow, Israel.

This double-standard has become so pervasive that the routine atrocities, such as the bulldozing of homes and olive groves, the shooting of unarmed farmers of all ages, etc., barely registers on the collective consciousness. ‘Ho-hum,’ we all seem to say; ‘business as usual in the Middle East.’

It is sometimes hard to judge which atrocity Israel commits against the defenseless Palestinians, all with the consent and financial backing of the United States and some of its more compliant puppets, is the most shocking.  We will leave that determination to the individual reader, as we look at one more.

This action strikes at the core of what many Palestinians hold sacred. Now it must be remembered that what is sacred to Israel is sacred to the world. Apparently, what is sacred to Muslims is worth no more than a place in a garbage dump.

A recent news article discusses an Israeli group in Jerusalem that is using state-of-the-art technology “to map every tombstone in the ancient cemetery on the Mount of Olives, a sprawling, necropolis of 150,000 graves stretching back three millennia.”

One can readily understand the value of this cemetery, not only from a religious, but also from an archeological standpoint. Its size and age alone give it value. Israel, theoretically, is understandably interested in its preservation.  That fact that is it on occupied territory will not be discussed here.

However, Israel isn’t so interested in religion or archeology when it comes to the Palestinians. In a double slap in the face, not only to Palestinians, but to the world community it so obviously disdains, Israel has erected a new ‘Museum of Tolerance and Human Dignity.’ Well, one wonders, what could possibly be objectionable about such a museum? This particular museum is constructed on the site of the Mamilla Cemetery, an historic Muslim cemetery. This cemetery was the final resting place of hundreds of prophets and leaders from the early Muslim period, along with thousands of Christians killed during the pre-Islamic era. It is, or was, sacred ground to Muslims and others.

In August of 2010, 300 Muslim gravestones were bulldozed, witnessed by a French reporter. A ‘stop work’ petition was issued to the courts, where it was rejected, allowing the destruction to continue the very same day.

Later, the Jerusalem city council claimed, incredibly, that fake gravestones had been erected in an attempt to prevent Israel from using the land.

What, one wonders, would have been the anguished outcry from the United States and its several puppet nations, if the Palestinians had desecrated a Jewish cemetery? What consequences would they have suffered? One can imagine U.S. Senators and members of the House of Representatives, many of whom rely on the American-Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC) to funnel vast sums to their reelection campaigns, justifying the bombing of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, to prevent what they would, somehow, see as a threat to Israeli security. What kind of people, they would ask, hands wringing in despair, would desecrate a cemetery?

Please note that this question went unasked in the hallowed halls of Congress when Israel bulldozed the Mamilla cemetery.

Need anyone ask what makes the difference? If there were a Palestinian-American Political Action Committee, able to purchase members of the U.S. Congress the way the AIPAC does, perhaps the playing field would be different.  But no, the Palestinians need to rely on the good will and sense of fair play of the international community, and that, unfortunately, is no match for the almighty dollar.

This writer wonders how many people are even aware of the historic, sacred cemetery destroyed for Israel’s ‘Museum of Tolerance and Human Dignity.’ Closely as he follows the news, he somehow missed this particular news item.

Can one even begin to enumerate the injustices, indignities and horrific crimes that the Israelis commit against the Palestinians? Can one begin to put themselves in the place of these victims? Living in a so-called modern, so-called free society, can one imagine fleeing from one’s home as bulldozers begin to demolish it? Can one feel at all the horror of having seconds to gather one’s children and rush outside to avoid dying in the rubble? After the bulldozers leave, imagine poking around the wreckage, salvaging what can be salvaged, and sometimes continuing to live under parts of the house, since one has nowhere else to go. Lastly, imagine having no recourse to this crime.

President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and their cohorts continue to say that negotiations are the only avenue to peace in the Middle East. Are they not aware of the harsh, deadly oppression the Palestinians suffer at the hands of the Israelis? Or is it simply that, lacking the financial resources needed to purchase U.S. government officials, the plight of the Palestinians is simply not worth attending to?

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ bold move, requesting membership status at the United Nations Security Council, has ratcheted up the pressure on the international community considerably. The U.S. scrambles to strong-arm a sufficient number of Security Council members to vote down this request, promising an embarrassing, and foreign-policy-disastrous, veto, if it is unsuccessful. But that is not important; such a veto will ensure Israeli lobbying moneys continue to be directed to the coffers which Mr. Obama wants to see filled. Justice, human rights, equality and other such terms, often bandied about by the U.S.’s political players, are not to be considered. They are only to be paraded out during campaign speeches, when there is nothing behind them but the hot air of pompous politicians. And it has been generations since the concept of statesmanship was ever mentioned.

Yet there is a glimmer of hope on this dull and dusty horizon. With the Palestinians wisely choosing to bypass the hapless, insincere and ineffectual U.S. efforts for a settlement, the international community has been forced to take a bit more notice. That it favors an end to the occupation of Palestine is clear from the recent vote to admit Palestine to UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), and the fact that, once the U.S. defeats Palestine’s bid for U.N. membership at the Security Council, its acceptance by the General Assembly is assured. The U.S.’s international influence, especially in the Middle East, but throughout the rest of the world as well, will continue to dim, and Israel will become more and more isolated. Perhaps such consequences will force both nations to take a more realistic approach to their roles on the world stage, but one does not hold out much hope of that happening.

Robert Fantina is author of Desertion and the American Soldier: 1776–2006

 

More articles by:

Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).

January 16, 2019
Patrick Bond
Jim Yong Kim’s Mixed Messages to the World Bank and the World
John Grant
Joe Biden, Crime Fighter from Hell
Alvaro Huerta
Brief History Notes on Mexican Immigration to the U.S.
Kenneth Surin
A Great Speaker of the UK’s House of Commons
Elizabeth Henderson
Why Sustainable Agriculture Should Support a Green New Deal
Binoy Kampmark
Trump, Bolton and the Syrian Confusion
Jeff Mackler
Trump’s Syria Exit Tweet Provokes Washington Panic
Barbara Nimri Aziz
How Long Can Nepal Blame Others for Its Woes?
Cesar Chelala
Violence Against Women: A Pandemic No Longer Hidden
Kim C. Domenico
To Make a Vineyard of the Curse: Fate, Fatalism and Freedom
Dave Lindorff
Criminalizing BDS Trashes Free Speech & Association
Thomas Knapp
Now More Than Ever, It’s Clear the FBI Must Go
Binoy Kampmark
Dances of Disinformation: The Partisan Politics of the Integrity Initiative
Edward Curtin
A Gentrified Little Town Goes to Pot
January 15, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
Refugees Are in the English Channel Because of Western Interventions in the Middle East
Howard Lisnoff
The Faux Political System by the Numbers
Lawrence Davidson
Amos Oz and the Real Israel
John W. Whitehead
Beware the Emergency State
John Laforge
Loudmouths against Nuclear Lawlessness
Myles Hoenig
Labor in the Age of Trump
Jeff Cohen
Mainstream Media Bias on 2020 Democratic Race Already in High Gear
Dean Baker
Will Paying for Kidneys Reduce the Transplant Wait List?
George Ochenski
Trump’s Wall and the Montana Senate’s Theater of the Absurd
Binoy Kampmark
Dances of Disinformation: the Partisan Politics of the Integrity Initiative
Glenn Sacks
On the Picket Lines: Los Angeles Teachers Go On Strike for First Time in 30 Years
Jonah Raskin
Love in a Cold War Climate
Andrew Stewart
The Green New Deal Must be Centered on African American and Indigenous Workers to Differentiate Itself From the Democratic Party
January 14, 2019
Kenn Orphan
The Tears of Justin Trudeau
Julia Stein
California Needs a 10-Year Green New Deal
Dean Baker
Declining Birth Rates: Is the US in Danger of Running Out of People?
Robert Fisk
The US Media has Lost One of Its Sanest Voices on Military Matters
Vijay Prashad
5.5 Million Women Build Their Wall
Nicky Reid
Lessons From Rojava
Ted Rall
Here is the Progressive Agenda
Robert Koehler
A Green Future is One Without War
Gary Leupp
The Chickens Come Home to Roost….in Northern Syria
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: “The Country Is Watching”
Sam Gordon
Who Are Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionists?
Weekend Edition
January 11, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Richard Moser
Neoliberalism: Free Market Fundamentalism or Corporate Power?
Paul Street
Bordering on Fascism: Scholars Reflect on Dangerous Times
Joseph Majerle III – Matthew Stevenson
Who or What Brought Down Dag Hammarskjöld?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Joshua Frank
How Tre Arrow Became America’s Most Wanted Environmental “Terrorist”
Andrew Levine
Dealbreakers: The Democrats, Trump and His Wall
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Que Syria, Syria
Dave Lindorff
A Potentially Tectonic Event Shakes up the Mumia Abu-Jamal Case
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail