This piece has been republished in The Algemeiner.
Jihadist fighters from ISIS are terrorizing Palestinians in the Yarmouk refugee camp outside of Damascus. Snipers are shooting people as they attempt to flee the fighting between ISIS and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Assad’s air force has indiscriminately dropped unguided and inaccurate, but lethal “barrel bombs” onto residential neighborhoods in the camp. The UN has not been able to get food or medical supplies into the camp.
A humanitarian crisis is unfolding and outrage is building. But one group, purportedly dedicated to promoting the welfare of the Palestinian people, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), has largely ignored the crisis. Its website, Facebook page and Twitter account offer hardly a word of condemnation for the violence inflicted on the helpless inhabitants of Yarmouk.
The reason for this is quite obvious: Israel is not involved, and as a result, the suffering is not worth SJP’s attention.
No less guilty than SJP is the UN Human Rights Council. In the words of Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch: “ISIS has taken over the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria and is beginning to behead Palestinians. But the UN Human Rights Council won’t adopt a single resolution, convene a single emergency session, or create a single commission of inquiry. Why? Because Israel can’t be blamed.”
SJP has not always ignored the situation in Yarmouk. Last January, while Bashar al-Assad’s forces were butchering thousands of Syrians as part of that country’s ongoing civil war, SJP at Cornell published a statement about conditions there among Palestinians. However, when they declare that “To make the Palestinians of Yarmouk a pawn in anyone’s game in unacceptable,” they hypocritically do just that by blaming Israel for Yarmouk’s existence and by laying the blame for Yarmouk’s problems at Israel’s feet. What is ostensibly a plea for justice is really nothing more than a hit piece against the one democracy in the Middle East.
SJP and other groups were all-too-eager to protest Israel’s rightful use of force against Palestinian terrorists during and after last summer’s war, but the fact that there has been silence on the part of those who claim to care for ALL Palestinians, and not just those in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank, is too big to ignore.
I’ve yet to see a statement similar to last year’s, or a demonstration, or other event voicing concern about the terrible crimes currently being perpetrated in Yarmouk by ISIS. However, since SJP can’t find a way to blame Israel, the Palestinians of Yarmouk who are enduring these crimes suddenly have no advocate. SJP, the UNHRC, and other groups who are supposedly interested in justice are silent, and their silence is deafening. It shows that their pro-Palestinian agenda is opportunistic, a vehicle for promoting their anti-Israel sentiment. They are not voicing concern for the lives of Palestinians caught in ISIS’ cross-hairs.
Well, this Jewish, Zionist Israel-supporter is.
If one did not know better, one would assume that SJP is less concerned with Palestinian “justice” than with demonizing Israel. Of course, to anyone paying attention, this truth is all too clear. When SJP holds demonstrations supporting the Palestinians in Yarmouk, as well as demonstrating against Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, who are true enemies of the Palestinians, I may be able to see them as something other than hypocrites.
By Ben Einsidler, a CAMERA Campus Coordinator.