What About The Arab Apartheid?
How come the Lebanese students who recently talked about Israel's "war crimes" in the Gaza Strip during Israel Apartheid Week on many North American college campuses had nothing to say about the fact that tens of thousands of Palestinians have been massacred in Lebanon over the past four decades?
Dozens of refugees were killed and hundreds wounded in the three-month offensive that also destroyed thousands of houses inside the refugee camp. Reporters said it was the worst internal violence in Lebanon since the civil war that hit the country between 1975-1990. And just three years ago, the Lebanese Army used heavy artillery to bomb the Nahr-al-Bared refugee camp in north Lebanon.
Yet who has ever heard of a United Nations resolution condemning Syria or Lebanon for committing horrific atrocities or discriminating against the Palestinians?
The Lebanese, Syrian and Jordanian students and professors who took part in the anti-Israel events on campuses have clearly "forgotten" that their regimes probably have more Palestinian blood on their hands than Israel. In the early 1970s, the Jordanians slaughtered thousands of Palestinians in what has become known as Black September. Can somebody point to one United Nations resolution condemning that massacre?
And where was the United Nations when Kuwait and several Gulf countries expelled more than 400,000 Palestinians in one week? The exodus took place in March 1991, after Kuwait was liberated from Iraqi occupation. Ironically, the first week of March is being celebrated on university campuses as Israel Apartheid Week with no reference to the mass expulsion of Palestinians from the Gulf.
Although there are more than 400,000 Palestinians living in Lebanon in twelve refugee camps -- which human rights organizations and Palestinians say have the worst living conditions of all the refugee camps in the Middle East -- as in most of the Arab countries, these Palestinians have been assigned the status of "foreigners," a fact which has deprived them of health care, social services, property ownership and education.
Even worse, Lebanese law bans Palestinians from working in many jobs. This means that Palestinians cannot work in the public services and institutions run by the government such as schools and hospitals. Unlike Israel, Lebanese public hospitals do not admit Palestinians for medical treatment or surgery.
Can somebody imagine the outcry of the international community if Israel's parliament, the Knesset, passed a law today prohibiting Arabs from working in certain professions or receiving medical treatment? Ironically, the Arab citizens of Israel enjoy more rights in the Jewish state than their Palestinians brothers do in any Arab country.
The same applies to Palestinians living in most of the Arab countries. While Israel has never stripped its Arab citizens of their citizenship, Jordan has begun revoking the Jordanian citizenship of thousands of its citizens who are of Palestinian descent. Jordan was the only Arab country that has ever granted Palestinian Jordanian citizenship. In recent years, however, the Jordanians appear to have regretted that decision.
As for the rest of the Arab countries, Palestinians can only dream of obtaining citizenship. It is almost impossible to find a Palestinian with Egyptian or Moroccan or Kuwaiti citizenship.
Is it not absurd that Jordan and Egypt have been arresting Palestinians who demonstrate in support of their brothers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip or collect donations for them while Israeli citizens hold almost daily protests inside Israel in solidarity with the Palestinians?
And is it not ironic that the government of Binyamin Netanyahu is doing more to boost the Palestinian economy in the West Bank than any Arab country? .
At first glance, it looked as if the students who were distributing leaflets and posters that depicted the suffering of Palestinians inside Israel and the Palestinian territories, particularly those living in refugee camps, were actually talking about the suffering of Palestinians in their own countries - Lebanon and Egypt.
How come there was no talk on these campuses about the plight of Palestinians living in most of the Arab countries, where they have been subjected to discrimination, massacres and intolerance?
Perhaps the time has come to start paying attention to the plight of the Palestinians in the Arab world.
Perhaps the time has come for these students and professors behind Israel Apartheid to consider holding not Arab Apartheid Week, but a year-long seminar to discuss repression and discrimination against Palestinians living in various Arab countries. Of course one week would not be enough for this topic and that is why there is need for a whole year.
We have heard enough how "awful" Israel is. Let us take a look now at what is happening to the Palestinians in the Arab world. Or is something the organizers of Israel Apartheid Week do not want to hear about?
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by Khaled Abu Toameh
"Armed robbery in broad daylight." — Palestinians, after Hamas "seized" $750,000 from Gaza bank.
Fatah accused Hamas of "squandering" $700 million of financial aid earmarked for the Palestinian victims of war. Fatah wants to ensure that the millions of dollars intended for the Gaza Strip will pass through its hands and not end up in Hamas's bank accounts. Relying on Fatah in this regard is like asking a cat to guard the milk.
The head of the Palestinian Authority's Anti-Corruption Commission revealed that his group has retrieved $70 million of public funds fund embezzled by Palestinian officials. Arab and Western donors need to make sure that their money does not end up (once again) in the wrong hands. Without a proper mechanism of accountability and transparency, hundreds of millions of dollars are likely to find their way into the bank accounts of both Hamas and Fatah leaders.
by Mudar Zahran
"If Hamas does not like you for any reason all they have to do now is say you are a Mossad agent and kill you." — A., a Fatah member in Gaza.
"Hamas wanted us butchered so it could win the media war against Israel showing our dead children on TV and then get money from Qatar." — T., former Hamas Ministry officer.
"They would fire rockets and then run away quickly, leaving us to face Israeli bombs for what they did." — D., Gazan journalist.
"Hamas imposed a curfew: anyone walking out in the street was shot. That way people had to stay in their homes, even if they were about to get bombed. Hamas held the whole Gazan population as a human shield." — K., graduate student
"The Israeli army allows supplies to come in and Hamas steals them. It seems even the Israelis care for us more than Hamas." — E., first-aid volunteer.
"We are under Hamas occupation, and if you ask most of us, we would rather be under Israeli occupation… We miss the days when we were able to work inside Israel and make good money. We miss the security and calm Israel provided when it was here." — S., graduate of an American university, former Hamas sympathizer.
by Ben Cohen
Now, with the Islamic State's self-proclaimed caliphate having captured key oil wells in the Middle East this year, foreign oil has become an even more lethal financial weapon-of-choice for those seeking to destroy democracy and further escalate the War on Terror.
That President Barack Obama failed even to mention oil as a critical factor in the war against IS during his speech to the nation on September 10, is an omission both revealing and dangerous in terms of how his administration wants to depict the stakes involved in this latest confrontation with the jihadis.
by Lawrence A. Franklin
One Pakistani recruiter of child suicide bombers describes these children as "tools provided by God."
Another Muslim cleric in a madrassa [Islamic boys' school] describes child suicide bombers as "a gift from Allah that we have an unlimited number willing to be sacrificed to teach Americans a lesson."
Using children as suicide bombers will stop when... they stop "condoning the killing of innocents."
by Denis MacEoin
"No religion condones the killing of innocents." — U.S. President Barack Obama, September 10, 2014.
"Islam is a religion of peace." — U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, September 13, 2014.
"There is a place for violence in Islam. There is a place for jihad in Islam." — U.K. Imam Anjem Choudary, CBN News, April 5, 2010.
Regrettably it is impossible to re-interpret the Qur'an in a "moderate" manner. The most famous modern interpretation by Sayyid Qutb (d. 1966), the Muslim Brotherhood ideologue, leads the reader again and again into political territory, where jihad is at the root of action.
If they deviated from the true faith -- as we are seeing in the Islamic State today -- "backsliders," like pagans, were to be fought until they either accepted Islam or were killed.
In India alone, between 60 and 80 million Hindus may have been put to death by Muslim armies between the years 1000-1525.