April 27, 2012

"Peddling" the Palestinian cause

We have seen and heard too much of this. One occasion is illustrated by the following, courtesy of MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute, without whom we would continue to be in greater ignorance as to what is being said in Arabic, so often different from what we are told in English.

MEMRI is called a "tool" of Israel by many who "peddle" the Palestinian cause, but rebuttals to the substance of what is being communicated are rarely, if ever, heard. As if what is being said does not matter in the least. It comes from MEMRI and that is all that counts. This way of looking at things escapes me. 

Now to the story, and a brief comment afterwards. .

Faysal Al-Qassem: A Gazillion Times More Syrians than Palestinians Have Been Killed

Following are excerpts from an interchange between Al-Jazeera TV host Faysal Al-Qassem and Lebanese journalist Salem Zahran, on a program that aired on April 10, 2012 :
Faysal Al-Qassem : How do you account for this denial? The Syrian media give you the impression that nothing is happening there. The Syrian people are concerned only with barbeques, and they all hang out in the parks. Today, Syrian TV has run programs on the massacre of Deir Yassin in Palestine, at a time when the Syrian people is being massacred in Idlib, in Deir Al-Zour, in Homs, and in Hama. By God, how can you make a mockery of the people this way? Is this the time to be talking about the massacres in Palestine, when the Syrian people is being massacred in all the towns…
Salem Zahran : No, Dr. Faysal
Faysal Al-Qassem : How do you respond to this denial? Go ahead.
Salem Zahran : First of all, it's beneath your dignity not to talk about Deir Yassin…
Faysal Al-Qassem : Just answer the question, don't give me a lesson in morals. I'm asking you a question, so answer it!
Salem Zahran : Just a moment
Firstly, it's an honor for Syria and its media to deal with the Deir Yassin massacre…
Faysal Al-Qassem : What about the massacres of Deir Al-Zour, Hama, and Idlib? Thousands are being massacred on a daily basis. Who are you kidding?
Salem Zahran : The Deir Yassin massacre is part of our history and heritage. Palestinian blood is our blood.
Faysal Al-Qassem : What about the Deir Al-Zour massacre?
Salem Zahran : Don't interrupt me.
Faysal Al-Qassem : What about the massacres of Deir Al-Zour and Idlib? People are being salvaged from the rubble, and you direct your camera at Deir Yassin?!
Salem Zahran : When you're done, let me know.
Faysal Al-Qassem : Go ahead.
Salem Zahran : First of all, Palestinian blood is our blood.
Faysal Al-Qassem : It's the same old record: "Palestinian blood." What about the Syrian blood?
Salem Zahran : You should not disparage our history, our heritage, and our culture. We've lived for Palestine, and we will die for Palestine.
Faysal Al-Qassem : And you are also "peddling" the Palestinian cause.
Salem Zahran : Don't interrupt me or I won't talk.
Faysal Al-Qassem : Is this the time to be talking about Palestine? A gazillion times more Syrians than Palestinians have been killed.
Salem Zahran : You make tens of thousands of dollars in Doha, so you don't care about Palestine. But for us, Palestine is the frontier, the land of return, the main cause. All the rest are trivial details…
Faysal Al-Qassem : Right, hundreds of thousands dead and homeless are trivial…
Salem Zahran : Palestine is the main cause, and the Syrian media should be commended for mentioning Palestine. We will not make Palestine disappear for the sake of anything else. Dr. Faysal, I didn't think you would fall into such errors…
Faysal Al-Qassem : Call me a traitor and a collaborator. Anyone who doesn't believe your lies is a collaborator. […]
The loaded clip does not run, but can be found here.

"Peddling" is standard fare for many Arabs to deflect that Arabs cause more Palestinian people to suffer than Israel does. This type of "concern," exposed by the TV host as a ruse, is too easily promoted with the adoption of the Palestinian narrative as a form of incontrovertible truth.

I see the deception in how Palestinian refugees are treated compared to international refugees, particularly by their brethren. Why does collective "right of return" cancel the individual's right not to return, but resettle? I think many Palestinians would choose the path to live anywhere in the Arab world, like any other Arab may, according to my understanding. This would allow them to exercise their rights and decrease those who wish to return to Israel.

Many that violate human rights, and others, want to get rid of Israel and Jews, for essentially religious or ideological reasons. Here again "peddling" occurs, to obscure negative intentions, under the guise of self-determination and human dignity, while most Palestinians are denied agency to choose or take responsibility.

These situations are not hard to connect when one is able to step away from the singular narrative as the only truth. Stepping away can be difficult, particularly when a one sided consensus predominates a group and creates an echo chamber where ideas are not rigorously tested against each other. Without honest and deliberative discourse, the quality of analysis is average, and leads to poor decision making where democratic Western values ultimately pay the price.

1 comment:

  1. The fact is that the whole house of cards of Islamic is falling apart. Despite the billions of petro-dollars they have spent funding Western University (propaganda) courses on the Middle East and churning out graduates who think Jihad is a form of yoga, the facts about Islamic idiocy, violence, nihilsim and retardation are harder and harder for them to hide.