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Conrad Black

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Israel's Enemies Are Harming the Palestinians More Than Israel

Posted: 05/15/2013 5:27 pm

One of the many almost unmentioned aspects of the plight of the Palestinians is that there are nearly 300,000 Palestinians who have been driven from their homes in the violence in Syria, and 500,000 that have fled to Lebanon. Their condition is pitiable in both places and bears no comparison to the steadily rising prosperity of the West Bank, and the comparative stability even of Gaza. In Lebanon, the Palestinians, and not just the 55,000 recent arrivals, despite all the crocodile tears shed on their behalf by Hezbollah and other Lebanese, endure an apartheid regime where they are not entitled to education or any medical or social benefits and are not eligible for any but the most menial work, and their travel outside the teeming camps in which they are confined is severely restricted. Within Syria, they are routinely in the line of fire, and over 2,000 of them have been killed by both and all sides in the civil war there in the last two years. The Assad regime expelled 6,000 refugees from one of the camps in Syria a couple of weeks ago, amid the customary impenetrable silence of all the Arab powers, including the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the Hamas regime in Gaza. None of the Arab powers has lifted a finger or uttered an audible word in support of these helpless victims, while they continue to peddle to the credulous idiots of the West their tear-jerking fable of Israeli genocide against Palestinians.

One of the factors well-known to anyone conversant in the least with Middle Eastern affairs, but rarely mentioned in our largely Jew-baiting mainstream Western media, is that the Palestinians are discriminated against in most Arab countries and are despised as a talented and avaricious minority, not unlike the Jews and the Christian Lebanese. As has been the case throughout the life of the State of Israel, the Arab powers use the presence of the Israelis as a pan-Arab provocation and outrage with which to distract the Arab masses from the corrupt and brutal despotisms most of the Arab populations have riveted on their backs. Israel perseveres and prospers and is steadily less vulnerable to its Arab neighbours, and the only inroads the Arab powers are making with their masquerade of concerned solidarity with the Palestinians is in the eyes of the gullible West. In these latest tragic displacements of the Palestinians, there has not been one motion for a United Nations airing of the issue from any of the Arab states who have been known to call for emergency debates on the flimsiest and most fictitious pretexts to pillory Israel for (usually, though not always) imagined abuses. Just as silent have been the civil and human rights organizations, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, and others. It is puzzling to try to imagine when the Western media will begin to recognize that they have been sold a false prospectus by the Arabs and have been as thoroughly distracted by what is, now that Israel is prepared to agree to a Palestinian state, as unfounded a distraction as that sold to the Arab masses about Israel, with no comparable excuse for their willful submission to this profound ignorance.

Also completely unpublicized is the building freeze imposed by the Netanyahu government on Jerusalem beyond the Green Line. In practice, this means that the Arabs are free to build but the Jews are not free to add one apartment. This is, of course, a complicated issue and these freezes are imposed from time to time and may be lifted quickly. Not too much should be read into it; but the point is that Prime Minister Netanyahu has been relentlessly taxed for inflexibility in the West while he has, in fact, incurred the wrath of his more conservative followers for his liberality and conciliatory attitude. As long as the Palestinian leadership is prepared to provide the cannon-fodder for this prolonged divertissement from the political and economic realities of the Arab and some other parts of the Muslim world, the Arab powers may be assumed to continue to promote conflict. The Arabs could have peace in 24 hours if they were prepared to accept the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state, albeit with borders to be determined. The restoration of an even-handed perspective in the West would play the last worthwhile card the Arabs have in their prolonged effort to reverse and defeat Israel. The overwhelming majority of people in the West are not anti-Semitic and the majority believe Israel has a right to exist, but a distressingly large number has been sold a bigoted and false misconception of the correlation of moral force in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Israel is not without fault, and the Palestinians deserve sympathy and support toward statehood, but they will be retarded and not helped by continuing Israelophobic misinformation on a scale that caused the otherwise inexplicable boycott of an annual Jerusalem conference by eminent scientist Stephen Hawking. Israel's enemies are doing more harm to the Palestinians than to Israel.

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Captions By The Associated Press

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  • Turkey

    Turkey has struck the Syrian military repeatedly in response to shelling and mortar rounds from Syria since Oct. 3, when shells from Syria struck the Turkish village of Akcakale, killing two women and three children. The incident prompted NATO to convene an emergency meeting and Turkey sent tanks and anti-aircraft batteries to the area. Turkey's military has also scrambled fighter jets after Syrian helicopters flew close to the border. <em>Caption: Turkish soldiers patrols as Syrian nationals pass the border between Syria and Turkey on November 10, 2012, near the town of Ceylanpinar. (BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)</em>

  • Turkey

    There are about 120,000 Syrian refugees sheltering in Turkish camps, with up to 70,000 more living in Turkey outside the camps. Thousands more wait at the border, held up as Turkey struggles to cope with the influx. Turkey also hosts much of the opposition and rebel leadership. <em>Caption: A Syrian-Kurdish woman refugee sits in the courtyard of a house in the Turkish town of Ceylanpinar, bordering Syria, on November 10, 2012. (PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)</em>

  • Turkey

    Turkey has called for a buffer zone in Syria where the opposition and civilians would be protected, a step that would likely require international enforcement of a no-fly zone. Russia and China have blocked robust moves against the Syrian regime at the U.N. Security Council, and the United States has been reluctant to use its military in another Mideast conflict. <em>Caption: Turkish soldiers patrols as Syrian nationals pass the border between Syria and Turkey on November 10, 2012, near the town of Ceylanpinar. (BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)</em>

  • Israel

    Israel on Monday became the second country to strike the Syrian military, after Turkey. An Israeli tank hit a Syrian armored vehicle after shells from fighting in Syria exploded in Israel-controlled Golan Heights. A day earlier, Israel fired a warning shot near a group of Syrian fighters. <em>Caption: Israeli tanks, one in position, the other getting into a firing position in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights overlooking the Syrian village of Bariqa, Monday, Nov. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)</em>

  • Israel

    Syrian shells have exploded inside the Golan several times in recent weeks damaging apple orchards, sparking fires and spreading panic but causing no injuries. In early November, three Syrian tanks entered the Golan demilitarized zone, and in a separate incident an Israeli patrol vehicle was peppered with bullets fired from Syria; no one was hurt in the incident and the Israeli military deemed it accidental. <em>Caption: Smoke rises after shells fired by the Syrian army explode in the Syrian village of Bariqa, Monday, Nov. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)</em>

  • Israel

    There is concern in Israel that Assad may try to spark a conflict with Israel, opening up the potential for attacks by Lebanon's militant Hezbollah and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Israel has also warned that Syria's chemical weapons could be turned on the Jewish state. Still, while no friend of Assad, Israel is also worried that if he is toppled, Syria could fall into the hands of Islamic extremists or descend into sectarian warfare. <em>Caption: Israeli troops and UN peacekeepers inspect on November 8, 2012 the area where three mortar shells fired from Syria landed in Alonei Habashan in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, which Israel seized from Syria in 1967. (JALAA MAREY/AFP/Getty Images)</em>

  • Lebanon

    Mortars and shells from the Syrian side regularly crash in Lebanon, causing several casualties, though Lebanese forces have never fired back. More dangerously, Syria's conflict has heightened deep rivalries and sectarian tensions in its smaller neighbor. Lebanon is divided between pro-Assad and anti-Assad factions, a legacy of the nearly three decades when Damascus all but ruled Lebanon, until 2005. Assad's ally, the Hezbollah militia is Lebanon's strongest political and military movement. <em>Caption: Lebanese army commandos deploy in the Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen neighbourhoods where clashes are taking place between Sunnis and Alawites in the northern city of Tripoli on October 23, 2012. (JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)</em>

  • Lebanon

    On Oct. 19, a car bomb assassinated Lebanon's top intelligence chief, Wissam al-Hassan. Many in Lebanon blamed Syria and Hezbollah for the assassination. The northern Lebanese city of Tripoli has seen repeated clashes between Sunni Muslims and Alawites – the Shiite offshoot sect to which Assad belongs. Battles in the city in May and August killed at least 23 people total and wounded dozens. <em>Caption: A memorial poster of Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, who was assassinated Friday, hangs near the spot Friday's car bomb attack that killed Al-Hassan, in the Achrafieh district of Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)</em>

  • Lebanon

    The kidnapping of Lebanese Shiites in Syria by rebels has also had repercussions in Lebanon. In May, Shiites blocked roads and burned tires in protest over the abductions, and later in the summer a powerful Shiite clan took 20 Syrians and a Turk in Lebanon captive in retaliation, all of whom have since been released. Lebanon also shelters about 100,000 Syrian refugees. <em>Caption: A Syrian man Firas Qamro, 31, who was injured during clashes that erupted between supporters and opponents of the Syrian regime, in the northern port city of Tripoli, Lebanon, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)</em>

  • Jordan

    Jordan has taken the brunt of the refugee exodus from Syria, with some 265,000 Syrians fleeing across the border. Around 42,000 of them are housed at Zaatari, a dust-filled refugee camp, where riots have broken out several times by Syrians angry over lack of services. A growing number of stray Syrian missiles have fallen on Jordanian villages in the north in recent weeks, wounding several civilians. <em>Caption: In this Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012 photo, a Jordanian army vehicle carries Syrian refugees who have fled violence in their country having crossed into Jordanian territory with their families near the town of Ramtha. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)</em>

  • Jordan

    Late last month, a Jordanian border patrol officer was killed in clashes with eight militants trying to cross into Syria. Hours earlier, Jordan announced the arrest of 11 suspected al-Qaida-linked militants allegedly planning to attack shopping malls and Western diplomatic missions in Jordan. <em>Caption: Jordanian border soldiers guard newly-arrived Syrian refugee families after they crossed the border from Tal Shehab city in Syria, through the Al Yarmouk River valley, into Thnebeh town, in Ramtha , Jordan, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012. (AP Photo / Mohammad Hannon)</em>

  • Iraq

    Sunni and Shiite fighters from Iraq have made their way to Syria to join the civil war – the former on the side of the opposition, the latter siding with Assad's regime, according to Iraqi officials and Shiite militants. Sunni al-Qaida fighters are believed to be moving between Iraq and Syria, and some al-Qaida fighters in Iraq's western Anbar province have regrouped under the name of the Free Iraqi Army, a nod to the rebels' Free Syrian Army, Iraqi officials say. <em>Caption: In this Saturday, March 17, 2012 file photo, Syrian security officers gather in front the damaged building of the aviation intelligence department, which was attacked by one of two explosions in Damascus, Syria. (AP Photo/Bassem Tellawi, File)</em>

  • Iraq

    About 49,000 Syrian refugees have temporarily resettled in Iraq, according to the U.N. refugee agency. The United States has pressured Baghdad to stop Iranian planes suspected of ferrying arms to Syria from using Iraqi airspace. Iraq has so far acknowledged only forcing two planes to land for inspection and said it didn't find any weapons either time. <em>Caption: Syrian refugees rest as they have crossed the border by the Iraqi town of Qaim, 200 miles (320 kilometers) west of Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)</em>

 
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