When Guatemala followed the United States and moved its Embassy to “Israel” from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem/Al-Quds, there was palpable indignation among the pro-Palestinian on-line activist community. But in an age where open economic bribery from both Washington and Tel Aviv was the clear motivational factor behind Guatemala’s move, one cannot blame a non-Arab/non-Muslim and for that matter a non-Jewish nation for following what for its interests was a pragmatic move.
To think that Guatemala’s decision regarding its embassy had anything to do with a Guatemalan decision that was somehow unilateral or made within a vacuum is to be wilfully naive to the point of being crudely insincere. The reality is that the moving of the US Embassy to Al-Quds was an open conspiracy between the governments of the US and “Israel”, others who follow are simply asserting in public that their economic future lies in placating Washington which is keen to build up a kind of “coalition of the semi-willing” in order to take some of the international heat off a move which was entirely unilateral in its origin and execution.
What’s more worrying is that activists, many of whom are non-Arabs and non-Muslims and a large number of whom can neither be described as Christian nor Jewish, have taken the time to slander Guatemala when Guatemala as a developing nation necessarily has more in common with the Palestinians than with their occupiers and exploiters.
But the ire of many Palestinian online activists was not limited to Guatemala. Rumours in the pro-Zionist media were rife regarding a decision made by the government of The Philippines to relocate its embassy to Al-Quds. This turned out to be fake news. Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano has clarified the position of his country in the following way,
“We have communicated clearly to all our friends in the Middle East that there hasn’t been any discussion or move to move our embassy from Tel Aviv.
…To be fair to Israel they haven’t told or asked us to transfer our embassy. In fact, they clarified reports to their friends that the Philippines did not communicate to them that we will transfer or not”.
Because of my own support for President Duterte and his millions of Filipino supporters I was personally subjected to a barrage of online abuse from self-identifying pro-Palestinian activists, none of whom were Arabs and most of whom were white European, American or Canadian secularists. There narrative was that The Philippines, a country both historically, geographically and culturally removed from the situation should somehow do what the superpowers China and Russia haven’t done and what the richest Arab nation Saudi Arabia hasn’t done, as well as what the largest Arab nation Egypt hasn’t done and take a unilateral position in favour of Palestine in league with Iran, Syria and increasingly Turkey under President Erdogan.
In reality, The Philippines has a moderate stance on the Palestinian issue in line with that of Russia and China. It is true that The Philippines has good relations with Tel Aviv, just like China, Russia, Jordan, Egypt and (covertly) Saudi Arabia do. It is equally true that President Rodrigo Duterte has more open sensitivities and sympathies with the Moro (Philippine Muslim) minority than any of his predecessors and even sent a heartfelt Ramadan message to the Muslim community asking for believers to pray for peace, unity and good inter-communal relations.
While The Philippine economy is growing at a rapid rate thanks to President Duterte’s reforms, it is by no means a wealthy country and is still a part of the developing world. With this in mind, it is all the more disgusting that pro-Palestine activists from wealthy nations have the unmitigated audacity to criticise The Philippines for maintaining a policy of neutrality on the conflict in Palestine, especially when one considers how far removed The Philippines is from the issue at hand.
Many developing African nations whose dignitaries attended the opening of the US Embassy in Al-Quds were also met with ire from the online activist community. The African nations in question were Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Cameroon, Congo, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, South Sudan, Angola and Ethiopia.
What all of these nations have in common is that they were victims of colonial exploitation and while it may superficially seem hypocritical for them to attend a celebration of Zionist colonialism in Al-Quds, it is equally hypocritical for Palestinian activists in places in the US and EU to thrown proverbial stones at poor, developing, ex-colonial nations who are in no place to be criticised by those whose activism is selective and narrow in scope and whose own lives are removed from anything that could be called a struggle.
The fact is that if the United States, the most powerful nation in the world did not make the first move, nobody else would have remotely considered moving its embassy to Al-Quds. In spite of this, the US seeks to shift the blame they are rightly incurring, onto a collective group of nations who either sent dignitaries to the US Embassy open ceremonies and other events and those like Guatemala who are following the US to Al-Quds.
In this sense, the US has used other nations to set a trap for participants in the wider global information war and many Palestinian supporters in western nations took the bait – they feel for the trap that Washington purposefully set for them.
The pro-Palestine movement has become a reflection of the Arab world itself. Instead of speaking out against the real opponent, they have allowed the United States to divide them so that they can be distracted enough to fight among themselves while losing sight of their actual goal.