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Anti-Israel protest in Dublin Photo: AFP
Anti-Israel protest in Dublin Photo: AFP
 
 

Why does the world target Israel?

Op-ed: By singling out Israel, human rights activists abandon those who really suffer from apartheid

Kasim Hafeez
Published: 02.20.13, 20:41 / Israel Opinion

Genocide, ethnic cleansing, apartheid; if you've ever had the pleasure of speaking with some of the more zealous haters of Israel you'll hear these phrases at some point, normally yelled at you by a delightful middle class keffiyeh-wearing student.

 

I guess to some extent, sadly, we have become slightly accustomed to these libels. The hypocrisy of those claiming to be pro-Palestinian and champions of human rights and their obsessive hatred of Israel has led to the abandonment of those who suffer true apartheid, genocide and ethnic cleansing.

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Detractors will undoubtedly be quick to ask why supporters of Israel point to other regimes to exonerate Israel. But this is not really what I'm doing. Israel needs no exoneration as, fortunately, Israelis are able to protest, challenge and choose their governments. That's democracy folks. But, just for the sake of argument, let us say all the malicious lies have some truth to them. Still the question remains: Why is Israel singled out for protests and global marches lauded by the 'enlightened' regimes in Tehran and Damascus, yet some of the world's human rights catastrophes carry on daily, completely ignored, by the same holier than thou activists?

 

For me, a particular source of pain and anger is the situation of minorities and women in my parents' homeland. In Pakistan, not a week goes by without a story of rape, murder, humiliation and torture. In this Islamic country, terms such as Jesus Christ are banned in text messages and a young girl is shot for demanding basic education. Yet apart from the attempted murder of Malala Yusufzai, these stories rarely make it to the press. The brutally oppressed Christian minority suffers at the hands of an archaic blasphemy law, yet, apart from small-scale protests held by Pakistani Christian groups, there were no calls to boycott Pakistan and no flotillas were planned. I guess murdered Pakistani Christians maybe not a trendy enough cause. I wonder if a British newspaper would publish a cartoon of a Pakistani mullah murdering minorities to pave the way for a Sharia state. Our journalists love freedom and liberty, but the love their lives a little bit more.

 

Obsessed with destruction of Israel

The House of Saud promotes religious apartheid, destroys history and spreads wahhabism, yet the world remains silent. Maybe the cause isn't cool enough. Or maybe we should just allow people to suffer and dismiss it as a cultural phenomenon; maybe we should say this is how things are in that part of the world and focus on the need to stop 'apartheid Israel,' which just elected another Knesset member of Ethiopian descent.

 

Remember when a handful of Darfur nationals and real human rights activists protested outside the UN Human Rights Commission against the atrocities in the region? Well, the instigator of the ethnic cleansing, Sudan, sat on the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

 

Once again, so many of our activists remained silent because Israel was not involved. It is interesting to note that some of Israel's fiercest enemies like Syria, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain dismissed the UN report on Darfur, penned by Nobel laureate Jody Wolfe, and acted to protect Sudan at the UN.

 

Why are the self-appointed defenders of Palestinian rights silent while Palestinians are being massacred in Syria by Assad's regime? And why do they remain silent when a Palestinian girl is murdered in the name of honor? Where were they when Hamas fired rockets from inside a school in Gaza? Oh, I forgot, they were outside the nearest Israeli embassy chanting slogans in support of Hamas.

 

I know there are many people who genuinely care about Palestinians and want to see them live in peace with their neighbors, but there are too many modern-day Jean-Paul Marats who are full of fiery rhetoric and demand blood. People have become obsessed with the destruction of Israel. These people should be ashamed of themselves, emulating the Nazis by urging boycotts of Jewish businesses while murder, rape and humiliation are rampant in so many nations. Real apartheid, genocide and ethnic cleansing are occurring on our watch, yet these people have become so obsessed with the end of Zionism that the suffering of others had become a side show.

 

Protest the oppression of women in Saudi Arabia and you'll have my respect. Protesting against an Israeli theater group is pathetic.

 

Numerous Middle East countries consistently violate human rights, yet the UN vilifies Israel. Is it just me or is something deeply wrong with our moral compass?

 

 

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