The Pitfalls of Palestinian Exceptionalism

(Hussein Aboubakr) Hussein Aboubakr Palestinian "refugees" are considered a unique breed of displaced humans, utterly different from the tens of millions who were displaced since World War II. Yet Palestinian exceptionalism remains the biggest obstacle to a better Palestinian future. The status of Palestinian refugees is treated as an extraordinary problem, the likes of which the world has never known. The international community established a unique body, UNRWA, to deal with Palestinian refugees, an honor not granted to the most impoverished and crushed refugees from significantly more destructive conflicts. The Western righteousness industry seems to be deeply interested in democracy, freedom of speech, and human rights violations in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, but is disinterested in the same issues within Palestinian society. Their magical exceptionalism turns appalling acts of violence by Palestinians from terrorism into resistance. The Palestinian cause is waning among Arab nations, while ironically getting brighter in the West, because we don't see the Palestinians as exceptional anymore. The story of the Palestinians fits with the stories of people of most Arab countries, where Arab society is struggling through its transition to modernity against tribalism, factionalism, Arab despotism, chauvinism, and the total lack of a social basis for democracy or modern notions of human rights, of a society whose most important struggles are within itself. The writer, a Muslim Arab imprisoned by the Egyptian military for his activities to combat anti-Semitism, is a full time educator and speaker for StandWithUs.

2021-07-29 00:00:00

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