One is somewhat encouraged by American and European criticism of Israel’s intense, irresponsible and illegal settlement activities in Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories. Criticism alone, however, is not enough. The Palestinians need concrete steps that make a difference on the ground, not words that get dismissed by Israel or forgotten once uttered.
While for a host of historical and political considerations one understands why America and Europe support Israel in general, one finds it totally implausible, even puzzling, why they continue to either support or tolerate outrageous actions that Israel takes against the Palestinians and its Arab neighbors.
Let’s forget for a moment the violence and crimes Israel is committing in Palestine: its demolition of Palestinian houses, erection of countless checkpoints in the West Bank under the pretext of security, and the bombing of civilians in Gaza and elsewhere for the purpose of “defending” Israel. One does not expect Americans and Europeans to continually sympathize and empathize with a people under a barbarous occupation.
What one fails to understand, however, is how America and Europe continue to abet the philosophy, ideology and actions of a state that run counter to core American and European values.
Not long ago, both America and Europe celebrated the demolition of the Berlin wall, considering it a historic event that would usher in a new era of openness and unhindered human interaction.
At the same time, they support an occupation that uses American and European money to erect walls that besiege and isolate Palestinian towns, including the city of Bethlehem, which is sacred to Christians not only in Palestine but also to those in America, Europe and the rest of the world.
What Israel is doing to the Palestinian population — through the erection of walls, fences and checkpoints — is in effect what the Nazis did to the Jewish communities of Europe, which America and Europe never fail to condemn.
America and Europe never fail to remind us that they are continually fighting and condemning racism and segregation. At the same time, they both directly and indirectly support Israel’s racism, segregation and apartheid policies and practices.
America and Europe always speak about the right of people to independence, freedom and peace. And yet, they continue to back a country that blatantly deprives the Palestinian people of the rights to a state, liberty and peace.
America and Europe are primarily secular and capitalist in their thinking and ideologies. And yet they support and abet a state which claims that God, some thousands of years ago, “promised” it Palestine.
There is a difference between supporting Israel’s true security needs and concerns, and its aggression and deviance. At this point in time, America and Europe are supporting the latter. This is both unacceptable and shameful.
Whenever one hears America and Europe speak about human liberty and rights, one cannot but feel sarcastic and disgusted.
Americans and Europeans are called upon to take measures to prevent Israel from committing the crimes they are, rather than utter words that fall short of even condemning the wrong Israel commits daily.
(Ahmad Y. Majdoubeh is a writer for The Jordan Times where this article was published on Dec. 28, 2012. Twitter:@ahmadmajdoubeh)