Damascus, July 19 – Just a few dozen kilometers to the southwest of the Syrian capital, Israeli soldiers have been delivering food, medicine, and other essentials to beleaguered Syrian civilians caught in a war zone, while others have evacuated wounded for treatment in Israeli hospitals, in a routine that has persisted for several years. The humanitarian relief measures cast a positive light on the Jewish State, a development that sets off alarm bells among those who know for a fact that if something can be made to make Israel look good, it must be a calculated policy to distract from Israel’s brutal treatment of Palestinians.
Further to the southwest, in Tel Aviv, homosexuals from autonomous Palestinian areas find refuge from their homophobic society and clans, and revelers from around the world gather each year for the largest pride parade in the Middle East. Tel Aviv has become a gay Mecca, a turn of phrase that both disgusts Israel’s neighbors and showcases the contrasts between the country and its illiberal surroundings. By facilitating such a stark demonstration of Israel’s liberal ethos compared to the rest of the region, Israel must be pursuing such a tolerant culture not because it embraces tolerance, but because it pretends to be liberal as a way to deflect or mitigate criticism over treatment of Palestinians.
Similarly, Israeli innovations in eco-friendly technology and methods must perforce be attributed not to Israeli aims of improving the world and the environment, but of leveraging Israeli technology against any possible economic or diplomatic backlash over its treatment of Palestinians.
Experts explain that the only truthful way to judge Israel remains through the lens of Palestinian victimhood. “The axiom states that the Palestinian cause must take center stage in the world’s consciousness at all times,” noted Saeb Erekat, a Palestinian official. “This means interpreting every development as a function of Zionist perfidy and cruelty. That necessitates finding ways in which even otherwise positive contributions to humanity can be recast as cynical, manipulative, insincere, or hypocritical. Only then can the fact of Israel performing these actions, or making these contributions, be assimilated into reality.”
Erekat also gave the example of technological innovation, for which Israel has become a byword. “I am offended by the term ‘Silicon Wadi,'” he protested. “It’s the Jews pursuing success and prosperity only to make Palestinians, and Arabs in general, look like backward barbarians by comparison. They are not actually interested in making anyone’s lives easier, except themselves. All those achievements in human rights, health care, scientific research, innovation, ecology, cuisine, hospitality, art, literature, dance, and every other conceivable arena are just a smoke screen. They couldn’t possibly mean it.”
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