Championing the Palestinian cause
Dispelling misconceptions about the Arab/Israeli conflict is a focus of Efraim Karsh’s writings, and in his oped in today’s NYT, he brings to a wider audience key facts about the character of self-professed Arab champions of the Palestinian cause. He lays out a historical case that Arab states — who routinely jockey to be seen as advancing Palestinian goals — have in reality exploited that cause for their own power-seeking ends.
Agreeing with the thrust of Karsh’s article, I’d add this point: even if these backers had been genuine in their motivations and truly sought to serve the cause, that too would be deplorable. From my reading of the issue, the Palestinian movement has at its root an antipathy to Western political values, such individual freedom, and it has pioneered in the vile tactic of terrorism. Regimes that back that movement, for whatever reason, are complicit in its aggression.
(I explore the Palestinian movement and its goals in a course on the Arab-Israeli conflict. In chapter seven of Winning the Unwinnable War, I touch on a prevailing dynamic in Mideast politics that sheds light on what motivates contemporary backers of the Palestinians (e.g., Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia).)