Friday, August 6, 2010

The height of hypocrisy

It is not often that I link to an article signed by a politician but I shall make an exception for this one by Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon in the Wall Street Journal of about a week ago that has, rather belatedly, come my way. It is, in some respects, out of date as the promised flotilla from Lebanon from Gaza did not actually set out though it seems that the Irish Ship to Gaza Committee is planning to revive the glory days of early summer. It might be a good idea for the tender-hearted Irish organizers to read this article with its description of the life of Palestinians in Lebanon first.
Today, there are more than 400,000 Palestinians in Lebanon who are deprived of their most basic rights. The Lebanese government has a list of tens of professions that a Palestinian is forbidden from being engaged in, including professions such as medicine, law and engineering. Palestinians are forbidden from owning property and need a special permit to leave their towns. Unlike all other foreign nationals in Lebanon, they are denied access to the health-care system. According to Amnesty international, the Palestinians in Lebanon suffer from "discrimination and marginalization" and are treated like "second class citizens" and "denied their full range of human rights."

Amnesty also states that most Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have little choice but to live in overcrowded and deteriorating camps and informal gatherings that lack basic infrastructure.
Perhaps, something should be done to help them. Hmmm?

Then again, little enough was done or said at the time of the ferocious war waged between the Lebanese army and the Palestinian militants who were said to have infiltrated the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp back in 2008, a war that claimed something like 500 lives many of them civilians, and displaced many thousands of people into even worse conditions.

I am glad to say that I wrote about it several times on EUReferendum at the time here, here, here, here and here. The last of those postings was also about the Mohammed al-Dura hoax but at the end I said:
Nobody is going to compare Nahr al-Bared to Stalingrad or any other important battle.

The Palestinians may be perennial victims but some victims are more equal than others. If you want the West to pay attention to what is happening to you, try to ensure that you get under the Israelis' feet. Then it really does not matter that you are treated far better than your brethren in Lebanon or Gaza – the world will know with many advantages of your plight.
All of that remains true.

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