The struggle for Palestinian freedom is among the most noble causes in the world. For decades, Palestine has struggled against colonial occupation under the most severe circumstances imaginable. Because of this, it is difficult to criticise any supporters of Palestine, but some of them deserve rebuke nevertheless.
There is a danger that because in the un-conscious minds of many, Palestine has become a ‘lost cause’, that it has consequently been reduced to a mere fashion statement. Because many so-called Palestine supporters do not actually believe or even care to imagine a world where a South African style one state solution might bring both justice and peace to the people, they are happy to support a struggling people in order to cleans their conscience, while deep down failing to even understand just how wicked the occupier of Palestine is, while also failing to grasp its historic and contemporary crimes against the wider Arab world, outside of Palestine’s borders.
While she suffers in an “Israeli” dungeon, the young Ahed Tamimi has become a symbol of Palestinian resistance even for many who do not often talk about Palestine. In the same way that the Peter Gabriel song Biko, about the slain anti-Apartheid hero Stephen Biko became a family friendly singalong for those who wanted to publicly express emotions they themselves could not articulate about the racist regime in pre-1994 South Africa, so too have photos of the young Ahed Tamimi become a rallying point for those who want to express sorrow for Palestine, without thinking of the wider political issues surrounding the struggle.
The danger is that Palestine – that most harrowing cause has been made ‘safe’ for certain so-called virtue signallers. Such people are exposed as the frauds that they are when they ignore or even lie about the fact that hundreds of ‘Ahed Tamimis’ are being killed, virtually on a daily basis in Damascus because of an enclave of Takfiri jihadists who have been occupying the suburb of Eastern Ghouta for years. Because the Syrian Arab Army has been focused on cleansing the area of jihadists in recent weeks, the terrorist rocket attacks against civilians in Damascus have increased. These attacks purposefully target the known locations of schools, hospitals, public parks and aid centres in Damascus.
The photo below shows just some of the recent victims of the terrorist attacks – men and women of all ages, including the director of an opera company in Damascus, a school girl and a teacher.
These men and women are the Ahed Tamimis of Damascus but far from being a rallying point for supporters of justice and peace in the world, their names have been slandered even in death by some prominent activists.
Dr. Norman Finkelstein who has spoken out heroically about Palestine, recently shared the following Facebook status comparing the Syrian government which is fighting jihadist terrorists who themselves are cheered on by “Israel”, to the “Israeli” regime which has terrorised Palestine for decades. Making matters even worse, the status carries an implied accusation that China and Myanmar are guilty of violent crimes, which is simply not true. By slandering the record of governments fighting terrorism, Finkelstein has tainted the cause of Palestine, even beyond that which many Palestinian political groups have already done themselves.
While Hamas happily joined the jihadist cause in Syria, fighting alongside al-Qaeda and while Fatah continues to scratch its head over which foreign power can help it to best give away its own land to an occupier, the Syrian Arab Republic has consistently stood by the cause of full Palestinian freedom, even when Palestinian groups like Hamas literally stabbed Syria in the back by taking up arms against Palestine’s only genuine remaining friend in the Arab world.
Now, many famous Palestine supporters have joined in the circus of ingratitude based on the lie that the Syrian government is doing something other than defending its people against violent terrorist rockets. If the Syrian Arab Republic were to do what Egypt and Jordan did and shake hands with the occupier of Palestine and agree to live next to an occupier of Arab land, the conflict in Syria would end. There might still be some minor skirmishes among Saudi funded terrorists trying to install a Takfiri regime, but “Israel” would not longer aid the terrorists destroying the country along with “Israel’s” American friends if Syria had taken a path of submission as Jordan and Egypt did. When one surrenders one’s dignity, there are short term rewards – just ask President Sisi in Cairo or King Abdullah II in Amman who have both failed to lift a finger to help a fraternal secular Arab state in a time of need.
Syria is the last of the Arab Nationalist states that realises that so long as any part of the wider Arab world is occupied, all Arabs will be occupied. Syria states this openly, even as other Arabs, including some Palestinian factions, not only stab Syria in the back but join with “Israel” in wishing for the demise of the Syrian Arab Republic.
Syria’s noble stand is worthy of a Braveheart style Hollywood film, but there are no films, songs or chants from the west about the dignity and bravery of Syria, save for a handful of independent journalists including Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett. The cause of Syrian dignity has not been and cannot be sanitised by pro-Zionist western mainstream media as certain events in Palestine have been and therefore it is ignored or demonised.
Far from being an apologist for the Syrian government, I have called it strategic suicide to allow any volunteers to get near the Turkish border and I believe that the overall position of Damascus vis-a-vis the Afrin conflict is totally wrong and extremely foolish. I nevertheless stand by Syria in its struggle against Zionist occupation and Takfiri jihadist terrorism throughout the country and especially in Eastern Ghouta. I also support the position of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party as an anti-Zionist, anti-imperialist, anti-sectarian party that is one of the few in the Arab world left with any dignity and any productive, progressive ideas.
Syria isn’t asking for friends, Syria is just asking for so-called friends of Palestine to open their eyes. If certain parties and people are so blind to what is truly happening in Syria – the only real friend of Palestine in the Arab world, then such activists have been fooling the world all along. They do not care about the cause of Arab liberation, they merely found an endless conflict within the Arab world to endlessly promote, all while offering no solutions and refusing to accept wider regional truths.