}

Palestinian activism: dangers for female foreign volunteers OR go protest the Israeli Security Barrier and enjoy the hookups!

Oh, come on, you mean to say you thought there was no hanky panky going on? Young activists, unattached and full of passion, show up from their affluent Western countries to help the poor, downtrodden Palestinian activists. These Palestinians are, for cultural reasons, predominantly males and in their society young, unmarried women are unavailable to them, especially sexually active females. So, along with UNWRA funding, the West has come together to offer another form of support.

Hookups happen. I mean, they did back when Israel was well-liked by Europeans and they came as volunteers to kibbutzim and hooked up with Israelis. Today, alas, the kibbutz volunteers have been replaced by hard-working, paid, Thai laborers and all the European lovelies and their American counterparts are heading over to the West Bank and East Jerusalem (after a few nights partying in Tel Aviv, of course) where a different type of volunteer work calls out.

There is apparently a dark side to all of this, however. Ha’aretz, Israel’s leftist, pro-Palestinian newspaper reports today (bold is my editorial):

The Palestinian Authority, as well as the leaders of the Palestinian popular protests in villages such as Bil’in, Na’alim, Umm Salmuna, have been trying to keep the following story away from both public knowledge and the media’s eye: One of the more prominent Umm Salmuna activists – a village south of Bethlehem, long entrenched in a battle against the West Bank separation fence – is suspected of the attempted rape of an American peace activist who had been residing in the village as part of her support of the local protest.

The European and American female activists reportedly agreed to let Aladdin stay with them after he had told them he feared the Israel Defense Forces were on his tail, adding that he had been severely beaten at an IDF checkpoint only a week before.

During his stay Aladdin allegedly attempted to rape a Muslim-American woman, nicknamed “Fegin” by fellow activists. The woman escaped, later accusing the popular protest man of the attempt. One villager who had encountered the American following the incident said she had been in a state of shock.

Aladdin then refused to apologize for the incident, when news of it reached the village’s popular committee, the popular protests’ governing body, allegedly saying that the incident had been marginal and normal.

Wait, that’s not all. Ha’aretz then adds:

the Umm Salmuna case is not the only one. Separation fence activists know of other incidents in which Palestinians molested and sexually assaulted foreign peace activists

None of this is surprising, although it is shameful that knowledge of these types of assaults is being kept from visiting activists who are essentially being sacrificed for the cause in which they so passionately believe. If organizers know these assaults are taking place but are keeping them under wraps in order to protect their anti-Israeli movement, they are putting politics far ahead of the personal safety of their supporters. We’ve seen the truth twisted in service of the Palestinian movement to destroy Israel, but this is a twist of different order.

So, if you’re female and planning to go help Palestinian activism against Israel over in the West Bank, do be careful and make sure you’re always around friends, especially when you go to sleep at night.

——

Update: ck quotes from Norman Finkelstein’s Gaza book:

Having just spent several months perusing Mahatma Gandhi’s collected works, and deeply inspired by his commitment to living the life of the impoverished masses, I had resolved to rough it in Gaza. But this was easier said than done. Along with several other delegates I volunteered to stay at a Palestinian family’s home rather than a hotel. Dressed to the nines, hair gelled, and reeking of cologne, several Palestinian youths met our group to select their home-stays. They departed with first one young female member of our delegation, then another, then another. The only candidates left hanging at the end of the evening were middle-aged men. We checked into the hotel.

Yup, the struggle to save Palestine continues. Thank you, young female activists!

—–
On a side note…Amazingly, this article came, as noted above, from Ha’aretz. I was shocked to see it in there and literally double-checked that I was on the right site because they have so few stories covering Palestinian society in any note other than “victims.” The reporting in Ha’aretz typically resembles the leftist-Islamist alliance against Israel that we see in the West today. The Left provides the idealistic ammo against Israel, even as they ignore the fact that they’re supporting a society whose values, beliefs and actions are antithetical to the Left’s own ideals. Ha’aretz editors should wonder whether having given up any pretense of objectivity in their journalism undermines confidence in their reporting. They should ask themselves whether the constant portrayal of Israeli society in heinous terms, while depicting Palestinians as harmless victims of the heinous society, is responsible. Because it sure isn’t fair, objective journalism.

12 Comments

  1. D. Pinsky

    7/16/2010 at 9:43 pm

    Gosh, I’m conflicted. I mean, I understand from this that Arabs are violent rapists, especially the Palestinian variety. On the other hand, with all these wanton Western skanks coming over to allegedly support the Palestinians but REALLY looking for a little sex tourism (Women! Am I right?) it seems you can hardly blame the Arabs. Afterall these disingenuous sluts were practically asking for it, and they should have known better.

    P.S. Your use of obejective; to quote a film “I do not think that means what you think it means.”

  2. themiddle

    7/17/2010 at 5:17 am

    That’s funny, D. Too bad that with all your wit and sophistication, you can’t understand the post. Let me help you out a little since you are a good example of what I’m talking about.

    Your response shows precisely how Leftist political correctness and discourse about this conflict obscures facts and truth, defending the indefensible with puerile rhetoric that evades actual problems. I didn’t write that all Arabs are violent rapists. Nothing of the sort. I did refer to information in the Ha’aretz article that relates the social reasons for some of these assaults. I didn’t write that women who come to support the Palestinians are skanks or that they are engaged in sexual tourism. Nothing of the sort. I did indicate that they are young, passionate people and it should surprise nobody if relationships take place. I most certainly didn’t indicate that anybody was asking to be raped or assaulted and even more certainly did not place even a scintilla of the blame on the female activists. I laid the blame at the feet of the anti-Israel activist leaders and newspapers that hide information from readers for political reasons.

    However, instead of addressing the real problems raised by this information you would rather claim that by writing about this I am somehow debasing all Arabs or female activists who support the Palestinians.

    Too bad. I’m positively sure, reading your comment, that when you send your sister or daughter to a Palestinian village to protest the “occupation,” you will not mention anything about incidents in which Palestinians molested and sexually assaulted foreign peace activists because doing so will indicate that all Arabs are violent rapists and that your daughter or sister is a skank looking to get laid. I’m sure you’ll just tell her that it will be a wonderful experience and she has nothing to worry about.

    ———————-

    The civil society that is Israel, with its liberal values, its democracy, its Western ways, its independent and powerful judiciary, its healthy and strong free press, its moral army, its vibrant cultural life, its relatively incredible technological feats which include many contributions to the world in the areas of everything from software to agriculture, and, of course, its respect for Jewish traditions as well as for the religious rights and traditions of its minorities, is under such constant attack by the Left and the Left’s Islamist friends who constantly proclaim the opposite of the way things are, that in fact all of the things I’ve just written about Israel are mostly obscured or discounted entirely in the public sphere.

    These attacks, of course, are part and parcel of the demonization of Israel as the “oppressor” of the “victim” Palestinians. Their objective is to vilify Israel and lay the groundwork for its destruction. The idea is to change the conversation. Instead of discussing Israel as we would other countries, we only discuss it in the context of its supposedly evil nature particularly as this nature relates to the Palestinians. We see the effective results of these lies and obfuscations in surveys in Europe that (ridiculously) claim Israel is the most dangerous country on the planet.

    There is nothing more absurd to me than to watch the Left support a society that is illiberal, undemocratic, disrespectful of freedom of the press, oppressive to women, threatening to its citizens, unabashed about attacking civilians of other nations, and aggressive in its lies about Israel. The Left has actually made the Palestinian “struggle” into something noble, including its violent aspects, even though the objective of the struggle is to destroy the Western country and create another Arab country (you know, like Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, etc.).

    As a consequence of this absurd situation, you get women from Western cultures much like Israel’s coming to oppose Israel and support its adversaries, even though the adversaries’ values and ideals reject those of these women.

    The female activists should be careful, especially because there is nobody out there to warn them. As the Ha’aretz article shows, the leaders of the anti-Israel activism are hiding these dangers from prospective activists. Not only that, but newspapers such as Ha’aretz – which is indicating in this article that they knew about this problem previously – aren’t reporting these incidents because they are too busy writing anti-Israel articles.

  3. grandmuffti

    7/17/2010 at 11:43 am

    It’s worth noting that the one reported story is full of ‘allegedly’s and the others are simply gestured towards…

    • themiddle

      7/17/2010 at 2:01 pm

      It certainly is worth noting that whenever somebody hasn’t been found guilty, newspapers use the term “allegedly” to ensure they don’t run afoul of libel laws.

      However, in this case, as the article makes clear, the Palestinian Authority itself is involved and therefore, as to be expected from an undemocratic regime that regularly shields its militants even when they engage in suicide bombings, one can be certain that both because a militant is involved as well as the reputation for safety of the entire visiting-foreign-activist project, this article will be just about the only coverage of this story you will ever see because this thing will have to die on the vine as far as the PA is concerned. There won’t be a trial.

      You will note that the article doesn’t hedge or qualify or use “allegedly” when writing “the Umm Salmuna case is not the only one. Separation fence activists know of other incidents in which Palestinians molested and sexually assaulted foreign peace activists.”

  4. josh

    7/17/2010 at 6:49 pm

    Certainly good insight with this paragraph: Hookups happen. But volunteers are still coming to kibbutzim. Thai workers are not replacing the volunteers, but rather the lack of kibbutzniks that are willing to work in the field.

    Occasionally, Haaretz does show integrity. Why is the last paragraph of the post in italics? Who wrote it?

  5. uncle joe mccarthy

    7/17/2010 at 8:51 pm

    personally, i dont care if the arabs line up and run trains on these whores

    btw, in describing his last trip to gaza, finkeldick made light of the entire “hooking up” situation, saying that he and a few other middle aged activists were left alone, while the young arab men came over to pick up the young attractive activists to bring to their homes

    poor norman…cant get any no matter where he goes

  6. ck

    7/18/2010 at 12:25 am

    Excerpt rom Norman Finkelstein’s “This Time We Went Too Far”:

    To preserve my sense of purpose, and keep the Palestine struggle from becoming a lifeless abstraction, I need periodically to recharge my moral batteries by reconnecting with the actual people living under occupation and by witnessing firsthand the unfolding tragedy. From each trip I invariably carry away a handful of stark images that I fix in my mind’s eye to dispel the occasional hesitations about staying the course. When the memories begin to fade I know it is time to return.

    And so, in June 2009, six months after the invasion, I joined a delegation that journeyed to Gaza for a brief visit…

    Having just spent several months perusing Mahatma Gandhi’s collected works, and deeply inspired by his commitment to living the life of the impoverished masses, I had resolved to rough it in Gaza. But this was easier said than done. Along with several other delegates I volunteered to stay at a Palestinian family’s home rather than a hotel. Dressed to the nines, hair gelled, and reeking of cologne, several Palestinian youths met our group to select their home-stays. They departed with first one young female member of our delegation, then another, then another. The only candidates left hanging at the end of the evening were middle-aged men. We checked into the hotel.

    Every time I go into the territories with a young female, I have to tell folks she’s my wife and even then the men can hardly restrain themselves from touching their hands and knees and accidentally/incessantly bumping into their boobs. All manner of sexuality outside the bounds of marriage is restricted in Palestinian society. Mack on a local hotty and you risk setting off a feud. Hook up with her and she may be murdered by her brother. Sex, consensual or otherwise, is a lot easier with foreigners. Often they are willing and even when they are not, their clans and protectors are far far away. As it is, under ordinary circumstances, most rapes go unreported. In the West Bank and Gaza, even more so.

  7. themiddle

    7/18/2010 at 5:50 am

    I wrote that last paragraph and I put it in italics because it’s not really part of what the post is about.

    ck, thanks for the report from Norman.

  8. Mimi

    1/27/2012 at 7:25 am

    lifeinapalesti...
    From a woman who went to West Bank alone and lived with Palestinians for 20 days: your article is bullshit. Please don’t demonize the Palestinians. As a European, I had problems with white men (in UK and in France) and I m not saying all white men are sex addict. There are bad guys everywhere.

  9. themiddle

    1/27/2012 at 2:24 pm

    Um, Mimi, you should really read the post carefully.

    Hey, by the way, did you know that the Palestinian refugee camp you were in could have been closed already since it’s unnecessary? It is being kept open, on purpose, like all the other “refugee camps,” by Fatah, the party behind the leadership of the Palestinian Authority. They believe the camps are an important part of the propaganda element of their fight to destroy Israel.

  10. Mimi

    2/3/2012 at 8:09 am

    Hi
    I have read the post carefully, thx.
    Do you live in Israel? How do you know the Fatah is helping to keep open all these refugees camps? To be honest, when I was there all the palestinians I have met where very upset at their gvt and they don’t support Fatah as they think they are useless. And if these refugee camps are being closed, where the people will go?
    I d be happy to hear from you, if you have more informations about this subject

    • themiddle

      2/5/2012 at 3:01 am

      Sure Mimi, just read the decisions made at the sixth Fatah congress and you’ll see it all there. They make the decision to keep refugee camps open and they openly say that it’s in order to keep the matter open-ended. By the way, in the same congress, Fatah votes to use the apartheid fight against South Africa as their model for fighting Israel. Every time you hear somebody make the claim that Israel is an apartheid state, you would do well to remember that they are, knowingly or unknowingly, simply doing the bidding of Fatah strategists.

      As to whether some Palestinians are upset with Fatah or not, it doesn’t really matter, does it? Fatah rules in Judea and Samaria and Hamas rules in Gaza. They will continue to rule there.

      The refugee camps the Palestinians use are not camps in the formal sense. At least not the ones that Fatah and Hamas control. It’s more debatable if you look at Lebanon. But those inside Judea and Samaria, Jerusalem and Gaza are more like towns at this time. That makes sense if you consider that they’ve been around for 60 years. That’s right, 60 years. These people are not refugees, they are residents of towns that receive subsidies from the international community as if they’re refugees. In some cases their parents or grandparents were refugees, but the vast majority of these people are not (and I’m using international standards that apply to every refugee group except the Palestinians when I state this).

      Where would they go if the “camps” were closed? They’d stay put in their homes. What would change would be the designation and the manner in which they receive aid.

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