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