Facts must not be allowed to interpose themselves when there is an unsubtle agenda to be pursued.
We’re probably all familiar with the narrative that any facts that reflect badly on Palestinians must be twisted in some way so that it looks as if Israel is to blame. A recent (but by no means the worst) example comes from the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, who tried to relativise the horrific attacks by Hamas on October 7th, implying a degree of Israeli culpability.
The Palestinians messed up their COVID19 vaccinations? That’s Israel’s fault. Palestinian healthcare is underfunded and poorly organised? Yep, that one is on Israel too even though Mahmoud Abbas can afford to maintain his own personal luxury jet and keep the pay-for-slay policy going to the tune of hundreds of millions of euro per year.
What about the high levels of violence suffered by Palestinian women at the hands of their menfolk? The UK newspaper, The Guardian, would have us all believe that Israel is to blame for that too. Indeed, it seems that a lot of so-called human rights organisations are only interested in Palestinian human rights if Israel can somehow be found to be at fault, not if the human rights abusers are Hamas or Fatah.
Denying agency to Palestinians
It’s not just that those who promote this view of the Israel-Palestine issue explicitly deny agency to Palestinians. It’s also that they let corrupt and incompetent Palestinian leaders off the hook, allowing them to place the responsibility on Israel when they themselves should be held to account.
Nefarious Netanyahu strikes again!
Anyway, step forward Mary Robinson who was President of Ireland from 1990 to 1997 with the most recent always-blame-Israel assertion. In an interview with RTÉ earlier this week (1), Robinson commented on the split between Hamas and Fatah, claiming that Benjamin Netanyahu was to blame and that he had “driven a wedge” between the two Palestinian factions!
Really? Big Bad Bibi is the reason why Hamas and Fatah loathe each other as much as they loathe Israelis? In the humble opinion of this writer, the civil war in Gaza in 2007 in which Hamas killed scores of Fatah members is a more likely source for the rupture, along with the ongoing crackdown by Fatah on Hamas members in Judea-Samaria. But why should facts be allowed to interpose themselves when there is a none too subtle agenda to be pursued?
By Ciarán Ó Raghallaigh.