Tuesday, May 24, 2011

  • Tuesday, May 24, 2011
  • Elder of Ziyon
An eye-opening article rom "This Week in Palestine:"

Ala’adin from Al-Bireh used to greet new foreign arrivals to Palestine with a cheerful, “So you’re here to save my country too?” He was fond of mocking good intentions.

Still it’s fair to say that most international visitors to Palestine, particularly those in relief or activism campaigns, do so at least partly out of conscience. In Britain, and I daresay most of Europe, Palestinian liberation is widely seen as a “good” cause. While many Palestinians feel abandoned by the international community, surely Egypt has taught us not to confuse a nation’s rulers with its population.

In London, where I grew up, this conflict was a “red-line” topic. If you took the wrong position on Palestine-Israel, it was as bad as supporting the death penalty, or liking Margaret Thatcher, and you would be considered the devil incarnate. As I overheard at a Kensington dinner party: “You cannot be a good person if you think the Occupation is okay.”

...While the vast majority of ex-pats living here genuinely believe in the cause of liberation, it is far from the only reason for our mass invasion. Since the International Solidarity Movement was established in 2001, over 200 NGOs have sprung up in the West Bank and Gaza. Their presence is proof of how favourable Palestinian conditions have become.

Palestine is the best-kept secret in the aid industry,” I am told by Emily Williams, an American project manager at a medical NGO. “People need field experience and Palestine sounds cool and dangerous because it can be described as a war zone, but in reality it’s quite safe and has all the comforts that internationals want. Quality of life here is so much higher than somewhere like Afghanistan, but we don’t tell anyone so that we are not replaced or reassigned.”

That quality of life is becoming rapidly more apparent in the “A” areas. In cities like Ramallah and Nablus, expensive restaurants and high-powered financial institutions are common now. Nightlife and entertainment is expanding to cater for international tastes.

At times these tastes sit uneasily with local values. More than once I’ve heard the fear voiced that our influence will damage the traditions of Palestinian society. Most internationals at least attempt to be culturally sensitive, but our differences can be striking. I can only imagine how West Bankers feel to see us breezing over to Jerusalem or even Tel Aviv, but these trips have an allure to visitors from the West, who can be somewhere more like home just half an hour away. In my experience, these guilty pleasures are also popular among young Palestinians with the necessary ID.

It is no coincidence that a rise in the number of international visitors here coincides with economic downturn in the West and a shrinking jobs market. With the proliferation of NGOs, the degrees that were just paper back home entitle us to prominent positions in growth industries.

For media professionals, there is a wealth of material to be uncovered here, along with the experience of working on such a major issue. Palestine has been a reliable source of news stories since the conflict began, and it receives forensic, albeit often misguided, analysis across the world. For Western students, Arabic language skills are becoming increasingly desirable and many English universities now arrange placements in exchange for volunteer work. Throw in a warmer climate, Palestine’s natural wonders and holy sites, lower crime rates, and a preposterously welcoming host population, and it’s little wonder that Bi’lin resembles a model United Nations on a Friday morning.

Here we see the truth. Being "pro-Palestinian" (which means, of course, anti-Israel) is trendy and cool. Going there establishes one as a daredevil, willing to risk one's life. Thousands of young, faux-humanitarians go there to find a use for their useless degrees, and get paid by hundreds of NGOs that pop up to accommodate them, who can always be counted upon to raise all the money needed to keep the Palestinian Arab NGO industry going. But these same Israel haters will happily travel to Tel Aviv to enjoy the comforts of home.

And the NGOs, flush with cash from Westerners who feel that this is the holiest cause on Earth, dutifully churn out reports about how horrible the conditions are, as they live it up in this "war zone." Those reports, filled with lies and exaggerations, are used to raise more money so that these fake adventurers can continue to live it up.

Money that could be used to actually help people in need is instead diverted to help young people live it up and write anti-Israel reports.

This article raises the curtain, only a little, on an entire industry dedicated to demonizing Israel.

It is an entire financial and social ecosystem where everyone knows they are part of a game but they do not want to let the world in on the truth, because it would risk them losing their comfort, stature and prestige - not to mention their salaries. They raise money by claiming life in the territories is terrible and dangerous while they happily flock to live there because it is so safe and comfortable.

It is a scandal - but the only people who can expose it are the ones who are profiting from it, so it remains a dirty little secret.

(h/t Anne)

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz

Loading...

comments

Speaking

follow me

Follow by Email

Contact

Elder: elder -at- elderofziyon dot com
Mrs. Elder: mrs.elder -at- elderofziyon.com


translate

E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever

Hasbys!

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون
This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 11 years and over 23,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

Donate!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Tweets

Compliments

The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs

Categories

Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz book review breaking the silence Cardozo Chanukah Christians conspiracy theories Cyprus Daphne Anson Davis report DCI-P double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada EoZNews eoztv Erekat EU Euro-Mid Observer Fake Civilians 2014 Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian gunness Haaretz hamas Hamas war crimes hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Juan Cole Judea-Samaria Kairos Karl Vick ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Miftah Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco music Muslim Brotherhood Nakba Natural gas Nazi News nftp NGO NIF norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peter Beinart Petra MB poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist purimshpiel Qaradawi Qassam calendar Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shujaiyeh SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Yemen zahran zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive