"You can''t sit on two pots with one toches".
Rabbi Eliezer Ben Zephyr
The Frozen Rabbi, Steve Stern, 2010, p. 181
- - -
Of all the many oddities I find in the opposition to Israel’s continued administration of the areas of Judea and Samaria, and there are many, one stands out.
Yes, there are those who deem that rule “illegal” and even a “war crime”. The Jewish communities built therein are also “illegal”, a charge that flies in the face of the reality of international law.
Not one of them protested the illegal occupation of the area during the years 1948 – 1967, probably we can presume, because they couldn’t tell the difference between one Arab ruler and another.
Yes, there are those who ignore the violence initiated and perpetrated throughout the years of the League of Nations Mandate awarded to Great Britain, the riots of 1920, 1921, 1929, 1936-1939 and most years in-between which caused the ethnic cleansing of those areas of their Jewish population.
Yes, there are those who refuse to acknowledge that, in the first instance, it was the pre-state Zionist movement and then the state of Israel which consistently accepted territorial partitions and surrender of territories rightfully gained and, in the second instance, that those acts of compromise always failed to placate Arabs.
And the list goes on.
But what truly irks me is that those who fight for “Palestine” based on a humanist, progressive and liberal political philosophy are assisting, knowingly, the establishment of another oppressive regime that will deny its citizens basic civil liberties and human rights.
Palestinian Human Rights Organisations Council Calls Upon the Palestinian Authority to Respect Citizens’ Rights to Freedom of Expression and Assembly;
The Hamas authorities in the Gaza Strip should immediately revoke the summary closure of two media offices;
Abusive System - Failures of Criminal Justice in Gaza.
But all this does not faze human rights activists, like Lori Allen:
When Palestinian youth throw stones at occupation soldiers, when they try to dig holes through the Separation Barrier that eats through the West Bank, when they fight with Israeli settlers who have stolen their land and homes, they are spreading a real culture of human rights.
Lori Allen is Lecturer in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge. Her book, The Rise and Fall of Human Rights: Cynicism and Politics in Occupied Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2013), examines the history of human rights activism in the occupied Palestinian territories.
She and others of that particular stripe are trying to sit on two pots at the same time.
And “Palestine” is the result.