Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Who Really Cares About the ‘Palestinian Cause’?

There’s an idea in certain foreign-policy circles that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the driving force behind many of the problems in the Middle East. But as recent events have illustrated, it’s democracy, not the “Palestinian cause,” that has been the main rallying cry of the uprisings across the Arab world.

To be sure, there is a prevalent anti-Israel sentiment in Egypt. But while Muslim Brotherhood leaders have engaged in a lot of bravado about ending the peace treaty, little has been said about ending the blockade of Gaza, which Western pro-Palestinian activists have been vocal in condemning. And while Arab leaders are eager to use the “Palestinian cause” as another way to bludgeon Israel, their actions indicate that they care little about the Palestinians.

Jordan, which has seen protests similar to the ones in Egypt in recent weeks, is known for its discriminatory treatment of Palestinians living within its borders. And it’s noteworthy that the U.S., Japan, Canada, and a host of European countries are the top donors of foreign aid to the Palestinian territories, despite the vast wealth of many oil-rich Middle Eastern nations.

As Brendan O’Neill writes at the Australian, the Palestinian issue has mainly been taken over by Western leftist activists:

Emptied of its nationalist vigour and militancy, the Palestine problem, it seems, is now of little immediate interest to protesting Arabs and is instead the ultimate cause celebre for Western liberal campaigners who like nothing more than having a victimised people they can coo over.

O’Neill notes that there is “a profound narcissism in the pity-for-Palestinian movement,” and he is correct. It has become a way for Western activists to feel good about themselves. The people of the Middle East, encumbered by their own problems, don’t seem to have the energy to worry about the problems of others.


Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.