Friday, March 27, 2020

  • Friday, March 27, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
The PLO Department of Public Diplomacy and Policy today issued a statement saying that they "hold the Israeli occupation fully responsible for the lives of our valiant workers, families, and people in the Gaza Strip and occupied Jerusalem."

This mirrors the statements of idiots like Ariel Gold that "Israel is culpable for every COVID-19 death in Gaza."

Let's pretend that Israel completely controls Gaza. In fact, let's pretend that Israel annexed Gaza. Would it make sense to say that Israel is responsible for the lives of every single person who gets infected with the coronavirus?

Would anyone ever say that Switzerland is responsible for the lives of every Swiss citizen and culpable if they die from a worldwide pandemic?

A government can and should be held responsible for protecting its citizens, of course. That is in fact its primary responsibility, way above protecting others. The decisions a government makes in times like these are made with incomplete information and competing priorities. It is fair to say that one disagrees with their decisions or their prioritization or their pre-existing planning.

But these statements aren't saying that Israel is responsible for doing all it can to stop the spread of Covid-19 in areas under its control, which it is. They are saying that Israel is responsible for every single person who dies, citizen or not, under their sovereignty or not, despite their efforts.

Which means that these people are ascribing God-like capabilities to the Jews. (They aren't talking about the high percentage of health care workers in Israel who are Arabs.)

In short, they say that the all-powerful Jews have full responsibility.

Which sounds a lot like the idea that the Jews control the world.

We've seen this before, of course. Palestinian leaders regularly say that Israel is culpable for prisoners who die from heart disease or any other cause. It is partially propaganda, but a great part of it is teaching their people the idea that Israeli Jews have Elders of Zion-style superpowers in controlling every aspect of everyone's lives in the world.

The corollary to that is that  Palestinian Arabs have no agency to protect themselves, because everything is up to the Jews anyway. And that gives the Palestinians the message that they don't even have to try to take responsibility for their own lives.

This idea has hurt the actual Palestinian people far more than anyone is willing to admit.

Luckily, not all Palestinians have internalized that message. A number of clothing and shoe manufacturers in the territories have pivoted and now manufacture masks and protective clothing. There are certainly Palestinian health care workers who take their jobs seriously.

But on the whole, blaming Israel for everything means taking responsibility for nothing. This is antisemitism that hurts the Palestinians more than it hurts Israel.

It is a shame that not one Palestinian can say this publicly.




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