Those of us who were fortunate to hear Khaled Abu Toameh when he was last in in Australia, appreciate the breadth of his knowledge and understanding.
He has 2 recent brief columns that are worth reading – first The Palestinian Authority Threats and what to make of them, and The Palestinian Refugees – why everyone if lying to them.
Toameh’s article fits well with a thoughtful piece by Jason Koutsoukis in last weekends Sydney Morning Herald about how the Lebanese pay only lip service to the plight of the Palestinians in Lebanon. If the so-called pro-Palestinians activists would actually try to help the refugees in Lebanon to integrate, they would be doing some good – but it doesn’t fit the “narrative”.
Toameh had an excellent piece last year where he indeed posed the question “what does pro-Palestinian really mean?” As he noted
“In recent years there has been a significant rise in the number of non-Palestinians who describe themselves as “pro-Palestinian” activists. These people can be found mostly on university campuses in North America and Europe (and Australia).
What is striking is that many of these “pro-Palestinian” activists have never been to the Middle East, let alone the West Bank or the Gaza Strip. In most cases, they are not even Arabs or Muslims.
What makes them “pro-Palestinian”? In their view, inciting against Israel on a university campus or publishing “anti-Zionist” material on the Internet is sufficient to earn them the title of “pro-Palestinian.” But what these folks have not realized is that their actions and words often do little to advance the interests of the Palestinians. In some instances, these actions and words are even counterproductive. It is hard to see how organizing events such as “Israel Apartheid Week” on a university campus could help the cause of the Palestinians. Isn’t there already enough anti-Israel incitement that is being spewed out of Arab and Islamic media outlets? If anyone is entitled to be called “pro-Palestinian,” it is those who are publicly campaigning against financial corruption and abuse of human rights by Fatah and Hamas. Those who are trying to change the system from within belong to the real “pro-Palestinian” camp.”
Toameh concludes “Being anti-Israel does not necessarily turn one into “pro-Palestinian.” On the other hand, promoting coexistence, peace and good government would be more beneficial to the Palestinians. The Palestinians do not need students and professors on university campuses to tell them that Israel is bad. They have already had enough of this incitement from Hamas, Fatah and other Arab media outlets and leaders. It is time for the “pro-Palestinian” camp in the West to reconsider its policies and tactics. It is time for this camp to listen to the authentic voices of the Palestinians – those that are shouting day and night that the Palestinians want good leaders and an end to lawlessness, anarchy and financial corruption.”