Monday, January 20, 2014

  • Monday, January 20, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Al Akhbar English, a pro-Syrian, pro-Hezbollah Lebanese paper, has a fascinating article that says that the only people to blame for Palestinian Arabs starving and dying in the Yarmouk camp are Palestinians themselves.

The reason it is fascinating is because it reveals the mindset of Hezbollah and Syria and how quickly they turn on the very PalArabs that they pretend they want to defend.

Today, the unfolding events are 100 percent a Palestinian responsibility. This is a fact, and those who deny it should present us with evidence, not slogans. They should admit that Palestinians in Syria enjoyed advantages that their counterparts were deprived of in every corner of the world – advantages not even enjoyed in Gaza and the West Bank. In Syria, Palestinians were citizens.
Um, no, they weren't, although they were treated better than they were in Lebanon and Egypt.
Naturally, Palestinians endured oppression, tyranny, and misery like all Syrians. They also suffered from the practices of some Palestinian forces that took advantage of their relations with Damascus. But what happened to Yarmouk today? What made it a target? What pushed Palestinians in this camp to believe in toppling Bashar al-Assad?

In mid-2011, Yarmouk came to be at the heart of the Syrian crisis. No one imagined it would remain neutral, but no sane person ever figured that much of the camp would raise their weapons in the face of Syria.

The camp witnessed interior clashes, then some residents “rebelled” and took over large areas in the interest of “the Syrian revolution.” They refused to let the Syrian army in, and turned the camp into a haven for opposition armed groups.
This is sort of true, but I don't think it was as widespread as the author says. After 18 months or so of witnessing Syrian atrocities, many Palestinians in Yarmouk were more sympathetic to the rebels, although in general my impression is that most tried to stay neutral in the hope that they'd be left alone.
The Syrian army bombarded the camp. Militants and civilians were killed. This was followed by the great exodus. Those who stayed are the ones who refused to go through a new displacement, as well as members of armed groups and their families. In a few months the camp was transformed into a haven for groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Nusra Front.

The camp’s most prominent group is Aknaf Bayt al-Maqdis Brigades (Brigades in the Environs of Jerusalem), formed by members of Hamas, including a bodyguard of Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Meshaal. Hamas claims the group leaders are no longer within its organizational structure, but still refuses to condemn their actions. Some of these militants provided assistance to armed groups outside the camp and even outside Damascus countryside.

Meanwhile, the Syrian army has not entered the camp, and it doesn’t intend to. This is a decision made by Syrian authorities and well known by all parties, including the camp’s armed groups. No real solution will ever be reached unless the Palestinians themselves force the militants out and decide to distance the camp from any interior Syrian tumult.
The Syrian army has not let food or medicine into the camp since mid-2013, people are starving to death, they regularly bombard it with missiles and barrel bombs, and this columnist is praising them for not entering!

Now, the writer notes that dozens of jihadists from Gaza have fought in Syria, and therefore concludes that Palestinian Arabs are collectively guilty of opposing the Assad regime, and therefore get what they deserve:
Why is a Palestinian youth from the 1948 territories, the West Bank, or Gaza ready to travel to Syria to blow himself up when he can walk a few miles and blow himself up against occupiers of his land? There are a number of facts that indicate Palestinians are contributing to the war in Syria.

According to a December 2013 BBC report, 30 Palestinians from Gazan were killed in Syria, while an estimated 70 Palestinians left Gaza to join the war in Syria. Prominent Salafi leader in Gaza, Abdullah al-Maqdesi, told France 24, “About 27 jihadis left to fight in Syria, some of them came back, some were martyred, some injured and others are still there or left Syria to another country.”...

What are these Palestinians doing? Why are they doing it? Who can stop them or convince them that their battle is elsewhere? Palestinian refugees are the ones called to conduct an overall review.

The one who seeks to liberate Palestine doesn’t join a bunch of murderers who work under US command to serve one occupier and one criminal: Israel.
There are also pro-Syrian Palestinian groups, like the PFLP-GC, in Yarmouk. In an incident in 2011, the PFLP-GC shot and killed 14 Palestinians who were angry at their pro-Assad position and burned down their headquarters in Yarmouk.

Since then, many PFLP-GC members have defected to the other side.

Here is the context for this article.

The Palestinian Arab press in recent weeks has woken up to the dire situation in Yarmouk and has become more anti-Assad. This is clearly making Hezbollah nervous, because Hezbollah pretends that it is a major defender of Palestinian Arabs, and the majority of Palestinian Arabs are against Hezbollah's supporting Assad. Therefore, Hezbollah must declare that Palestinians are anti-Palestinian, and the only parties who really care about them are - Hezbollah, Iran and Syria!

(h/t Yoel)

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