Full article @ ThinkScotland.org
MUCH HAS BEEN written about the conflict in the Middle East but few people really understand the complexities of the situation.
There is not one simple answer but somehow, in the world of politics and propaganda, simplifying is the name of the game.
In advertising, this is called the USP – Unique Selling Proposition.
Advertisers understand that if you want to change a significant number of peoples’ behaviors fast, you should focus on one single USP, repeating it over, and over, and again, and again. It has to be short and catchy and it should be emotional.
Tagging Israel as an “apartheid state” is just such a USP that disregards the difference between the South African native population and the Palestinian population.
South Africa, under apartheid rule, was a country that was ruled by a minority to the detriment of the majority of its citizens.
The state of Israel is a democracy that is ruled by the majority of its citizens including the 1.6 million Israeli Arabs who enjoy full democratic rights.
Palestinians living in Gaza might want their plight to be seen as a result of Israel’s existence but it is in fact autonomous and self-ruled and therefore, logically, there is no sign of apartheid here either.
That leaves the Occupied Territories that are not legally a part of Israel but are under Israeli government.
It is 100% true that the Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories do not enjoy the civil rights that their brothers enjoy in Israel or in Gaza since they are neither Israelis nor are they Gazans.
These people are living on land that is disputed and for which no agreement has yet been reached between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
Of course, none the above can help the Palestinians to gain supporters to help their cause. Too much information, too complicated, too tiresome.
It is much easier to show pictures of hurt/dead babies (many of which are fake) or by calling for a boycott on Israel.
This is a simplistic message that is easily understood and easy to take to heart and this is the message that is calling for supporters of Palestine to bully artists and cultural figures out of performing for Israeli audiences.
The calls to boycott continue, supported by some genuine activists and a lot more gullible and naïve human rights supporters who get sucked in by a simplistic call to act without a good understanding of the complexities involved.
You want to unleash your power as a human rights activist?
Go ahead and do so. But before you do, get informed and distrust easy answers and solutions because this conflict is anything but easy.
Because if you don’t you might find yourself to be a Pawn in the grand scheme of the Palestinians who want to destroy the State of Israel not live alongside it.