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On ‘Palestinian Privilege’

The idea is based on the presumption that there are groups of people who gain advantage or become entitled—unearned, exclusive and socially conferred—to the detriment of others.

A Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis. Credit: Andy Witchger via Wikimedia Commons.
A Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis. Credit: Andy Witchger via Wikimedia Commons.
Yisrael Medad
Yisrael Medad is a researcher, analyst and opinion commentator on political, cultural and media issues.

The concept of privilege has become a principled pillar of contemporary discourse. It is based on the presumption that there are groups of people who gain advantage or become entitled—unearned, exclusive and socially conferred—to the detriment of others. This privilege creates a hierarchy of oppression that furthers an unjust status quo simply by belonging to a group. This privilege provides dominance, identification and centeredness.

Most often, it is directed at persons perceived to be “white.” Recently, Jews are being targeted as possessing “white privilege” as a replacement anti-Semitic trope to blame all Jews as being smart, rich or simply somehow superior. Remarkably, it was Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, who was quoted in 2016 as observing, “There’s no doubt that the vast majority of American Jews live with what we would call white privilege,” thus lending credibility to the canard.

A next purposeful step was to directly link it to the current African-American protests, as Rabbis Jessica Rosenberg, and Mackenzie Zev Reynold saw in 2018: “White Jews and white-led Jewish organizations stepping away from anti-racism work or making statements that undermine black leadership when there is disagreement. We saw this in the white Jewish organizational responses to the Black Lives Matter platform, and in the controversy on the scheduling of the March for Racial Justice overlapping with Yom Kippur. And so, we ask: What would it take for white Jews to commit to racial justice without conditions?”

The further stage was, in an intersectional framing, to enlist black anger at Jews and have that transferred to support for the cause of Palestine. The most prominent element in this development was the Deadly Exchange campaign by the Jewish Voice for Peace. All this not only envelopes pro-Palestinian activists in a protective shield from the charge of anti-Semitism, which they very much engage in, and not only permits anti-Zionist progressive Diasporic supremacist Jews to support that cause but hides the very immoral nature of that cause itself and its perversion of the history of its conflict with Zionism.

There is, I suggest, another “privilege” that is not being sufficiently or successfully highlighted. That privilege is the “Palestinian Privilege.”

Palestinian Privilege is asserting your people are descended from Natufians and Canaanites, thus preceding the Jews in the country by 5,000 years.

Palestinian Privilege is ignoring the fact that the Arabs, as a collective, invaded the area of the Jewish homeland only in 638 C.E., conquering it and occupying it.

Palestinian Privilege is denying Palestine was ever a separate country, calling it Southern Syria and demanding the League of Nations Mandate be dissolved and the territory be reunited with Syria.

Palestinian Privilege is constructing a mosque on the site of a Jewish Temple, then denying that it ever existed, despite the fact that the Temple’s Western Wall is quite visible, even if you award it a new name: Al-Buraq.

Palestinian Privilege is when your political leader, Mufti Amin Al-Husseini, reaches out to Hitler in 1933, adopts Aryan anti-Semitic ideology, flees to Berlin and broadcasts pro-Axis propaganda and even prepares for crematoria to be built in Palestine, but nevertheless, accuse Jews of acting like Nazis.

Palestinian Privilege is during 1920 to 1948 engaging in ethnic-cleansing of Jews from locations they lived for centuries and generations, in Jerusalem and its environs—Hebron, Gaza and Shechem, among others—and then accuse Zionists of doing that.

Palestinian Privilege is to reject time after time, peace plans of territorial compromise by Jews—in 1922, when Transjordan was separated from the Mandate, in 1937, 1947, and so on—and yet claim that the Jews are the stubborn and unyielding side in the conflict.

Palestinian Privilege is to accuse the Zionists of apartheid while 20 percent of Israel’s population is Arab living throughout the state, but the Palestinian Authority prohibits land from being sold to Jews.

Palestinian Privilege is to announce Gaza is under occupation when Israel totally disengaged from it in 2005, dismantling all its communities, destroying its synagogues and removing the dead from its cemeteries.

Palestinian Privilege is to accuse Israel of genocide despite the fact that the Arab population has grown consistently since 1948.

Palestinian Privilege is to call the entire Temple Mount compound a mosque even though Al-Aqsa is only at the southern portion.

Palestinian Privilege is to be able to label as a “refugee” an Arab who resided for only two (!) years in the Mandate territory before leaving, even if later living in the Mandate Territory of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and having that definition transferred to children and many-generational progeny through the father unique only to “Palestinian Refugees.”

Palestinian Privilege is the status of being able to initiate aggressive hostilities on the flimsiest of excuses and then demand consideration for being the victim.

Palestinian Privilege is to promote an eliminationist ideology of your opponent while insisting human-rights groups must support the schools, summer camps and social programs that develop and maintain that ideology.

Palestinian Privilege is to be part of the Arab world that participated in the slave trade and yet be supported by the Black Lives Matter group in the name of anti-colonialism; not to tolerate LGBT activists but be supported by groups like “Queers for Palestine”; and to promote Jew-hatred yet be backed by progressive Jews.

Palestinian Privilege is to be able to complain that your voice is muted while every available media outlet and social platform serves your cause and moreover, the academic conversation has been hijacked, and Jewish students cower on campuses.

Palestinian Privilege is being able to promote hypocrisy, prevarications, reverse-narratives and the most anti-humanist values to new levels of irrationality without fear of punishment or criticism; to employ virtue signaling and gas-lighting with impunity; to enlist mob rule whether in college corridors, news studios, media editorial offices or in the streets to bring about domination of your message while suppressing dissent.

Palestinian Privilege is to be clothed in democracy and liberalism while acting like fascists.

Yisrael Medad is an American-born Israeli journalist and commentator.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.

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