Friday, November 29, 2019

Our weekly (and late) column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory




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Hong Kong new year paradeHong Kong, November 28 - Months of pro-democracy and anti-Beijing protests in this former British possession, governed by China for the last twenty years, features zero or very few banners with the red, black, white, and green symbol of Palestinian national aspirations, human rights organizations have noted, which they note indicates the demonstrators are not serious about achieving the political liberty to which they claim to aspire.

Representatives of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International issued statements Thursday relating to the ongoing demonstrations, which began several months ago and have shown no sign of letting up. International coverage of the developments appears to have muted a harsher crackdown by Chinese Communist authorities, but the latter refuse to relinquish tight control over what has to date been an island of economic and political freedom in a sea of Beijing's authoritarian system. The human rights organizations observed that all genuine liberation movements have their roots in the Palestinian national struggle, and thus if the people of Hong Kong truly desired freedom they would hold Palestinian flags aloft in large numbers, not the symbols of oppression and colonialism that the US and British flags they do wave represent.

"Everyone knows it all comes back to Palestine," remarked Omar Shakir of Human Rights Watch. "If your movement doesn't work to free Palestine, it's no freedom movement at all. If the protesters in Hong Kong want the human rights community to take them seriously, they're going to have to get serious about making their struggle about Palestine. Otherwise they can forget about our support."

"I can't help but draw parallels to Iran," stated Amnesty representative Dhimmi Carter. "The ongoing unrest there has some similar characteristics, but the one that stands out in my mind is the similar under-representation of Palestinian aspirations. For the same reason we can dismiss that cause as insincere, especially given all the support for Palestinian rights that Tehran has provided over the years in the form of weapons, military training, cash cash weapons, cash for digging tunnels into Israel, whatever. The arrests, torture, and other mistreatment of Iranians are a problem, of course, but as our colleague Human Rights Watch Director Ken Roth pointed out earlier this week, Iran deserve praise for the way it attacked Saudi Arabia with missiles. On balance, Iran does good, with its support for the Palestinian cause the foremost example."

The rights workers suggested that if Palestinian flags prove hard to come by in Hong Kong, protesters could always express solidarity with Palestinians by attacking Jews.



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