Monday, 26 October 2009

Does Anyone Really Care About The Palestinians?

It sometimes seems as though people don't really care about the Palestinians, unless there's a way to demonise Israel. For example, on the very rare occasions that Hamas is criticised, it is for their rocket attacks against Israel, but not for using their own people as human shields. Recently though, the Independent reported on something we don't hear about very often: the suffering of Palestinian refugees in other Arab countries. On the other hand, there was an article by the Daily Mail on Sunday that got quite a strange response. The article stated that:
"The Government is sending British police and intelligence officers to the West Bank to try to stop a wave of brutal torture by Palestinian security forces funded by UK taxpayers. Their mission is to set up and train a new ‘internal affairs’ department with sweeping powers to investigate abuse and bring torturers to justice."
An official from the Palestinian Authority admitted "that torture, beatings and extra-judicial killings have been rife for the past two years, with hundreds of torture allegations and at least four murders in custody" Head of the PA's human rights department said they want to "instill respect for human rights as part of the security forces’ daily behaviour and to teach them how to treat prisoners properly". Victims, most of whom were arrested for involvement with Hamas, told of their experiences of "torture, including beatings, being suspended from the ceiling and electric shocks". Now I think is a great idea. Anyone who really follows what goes on in Gaza and the West Bank knows that many Fatah and Hamas officials just have no idea how to treat their fellow human beings, let alone their brothers. They need help. We go on about Israel and human rights, but no one really talks about the way the Palestinians treat each other. These are the heartfelt comments below the article:
"If the Palestinians need help & expertise, then they should be paying us" "We're still in recession, and yet our government is behaving like the saviours of humanity spending our money on something which let's face it isn't even going to benefit anyone." "Stop wasting our money - it's none of our business!" "sort your own problems out first before sticking your nose in elsewhere." "Brown and co are sticking their noses in again where they have no right" "why cannt [sic] we concentrate on putting our own house in order?"
If Israel had been accused of torture and beatings and suspending Palestinians from the ceilings and giving them electric shocks, the world would be in uproar. (Kind of how it is now with the very exaggerated and misleading Goldstone report). As it is, it's only the Palestinians who are the accused now, and so the Palestinians and their well-being isn't our business anymore, and we shouldn't waste our money in trying to get them to stop torturing each other. Perhaps the money would be better spent on Gaza where Hamas will steal it and use it for their own purposes such as making and smuggling weapons.

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