I often receive e-mails from various organizations explaining how it is “not too late” to take action on this or that issue. Recently the question one organization asked was, “Will the United States do the right thing at the United Nations Security Council, this one time?”

No problem there – innocent question. But the next question posed was, “Will the US government stand up for basic fairness instead of vetoing yet another UN vote on behalf of Palestinian human rights?”

Wait a minute. Palestinian human rights? That’s not at all what the UN vote is about.

But this organization, in its e-mail, claimed, “Palestinians are bringing their case for recognition to the United Nations as soon as September – not because it will suddenly create a viable Palestinian state or end the occupation – but because it could provide leverage to help them press their case for freedom and equality.”

Freedom and equality? But gay Palestinians often flee to Israel from both Palestinian Authority- and Hamas-controlled areas to escape near-certain death. In 2007, Hamas banned music in Gaza, and in 2008 it banned women from smoking water pipes in cafes. Next, women were banned from riding motorcycles, and in 2010, Hamas banned men from working in women’s hair salons. In the same year, the PA banned the recitation of the Koran over mosque loudspeakers (in Israel, it is perfectly legal).

Israel also doesn’t shove Palestinians off rooftops, as both Hamas and Fatah members did in 2007.

This year, The Jerusalem Post reported that the PA had banned Palestinian journalists from reporting about the findings of the Independent Commission for Human Rights concerning abuse of human rights by the PA and Hamas.

In its most recent annual report, the commission said that Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were subjected in 2010 to an “almost systematic campaign” of human rights abuses by the two leaderships.

The same organization appears to center the September vote around two issues that are irrelevant. It asks, “Will the US government stand for Palestinian freedom and independence, or for more occupation?” But Palestinian freedom and independence has always been an option, one they themselves have chosen to reject numerous times. And the occupation, which is, at most, a gray area in terms of what it really is, has nothing to do with September. Israel will not leave the West Bank unless it can guarantee its own security, and it will never relinquish its historical claim to the land. Unilateral Palestinian moves will not change this.

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