Thursday, August 23, 2012

Daoud Kuttab Finds Something To Complain About

Although Daoud Kuttab has stopped pretending to be an objective journalist a long time ago, his tendency to skew the truth remains as constant as ever. This time he attempts to make some political hay out of the Palestinian residents of "East Jerusalem," not by taking the easy route and simply complaining that their lives aren't good enough, but rather their political situation. He refers to them as "political orphans" because:
"They are not allowed to be part of the Palestinian Authority, do not possess its passport, nor do they enjoy its governance. They are not Israeli citizens, either. Israel grants permanent residency to Palestinians who were in Jerusalem when the Israeli army conquered the holy city and unilaterally annexed it to the state of Israel. "
Let's not linger too much on the standard Palestinian rewrite of history there, that Israel "conquered" the city as if the Jews have no history there, and that Jordan has never been there either.

But let's not be distracted, after all this article is about the Palestinians. As usual they are caught between political pressures and their own self-interest. After all, Israel has offered Israeli citizenship to the Palestinians of East Jerusalem but at every opportunity they refused because to do some would mean "collaboration" with the Zionist enemy. So as usual the Palestinians cut off their noses to spite their faces.

It would be one thing for Daoud Kuttab to have explained all of that. As you can see it didn't take very long. But no. Let's stick with the mean old Israel depriving the innocent Palestinians of their rights. That's a story that Huffington Posters are used to so why inconvenience them with reality?

The rest of the article is devoted to complaining about Israel and ignoring Palestinian refusal to make peace and therefore improve their lives. Here are some truths, however, he may not have mentioned:

  • According to face-to-face surveys conducted according to the highest international standards, more Palestinians in east Jerusalem would prefer to become citizens of Israel rather than citizens of a new Palestinian state. In addition, 40 percent said they would probably or definitely move in order to live under Israeli rather than Palestinian rule.
  • 44 percent of the Palestinians in Jerusalem say they are very, or at least somewhat, satisfied with their standard of living. This is a very high percentage compared to other populations in the Arab world. Only about 30 percent sympathize with either Fatah or Hamas or with the Israeli Arab Islamic movement. Politics is not a major preoccupation.
  • Three-quarters of east Jerusalem Arabs are at least a little concerned, and more than half are more than a little concerned, that they would lose their ability to write and speak freely if they became citizens of a Palestinian state rather than remaining under Israeli control.
  • Significantly, 41 percent thought that the armed conflict probably or definitely would continue even after a peace agreement, and this is from the most moderate population of Palestinians. Only a third say that a unilateral declaration of Palestinian independence backed by the UN would have a positive effect on their lives. Two-thirds say that such a unilateral step would have no positive effect.
  • For people who tend to assume that a fair and practical solution for the Jerusalem issue is for the Arab neighborhoods to become part of Palestine and the Jewish neighborhoods to become part of Israel, these findings suggest that this could be somewhat problematic from the point of view of the people who actually live in east Jerusalem.

In the end it's just another Huffington Post tear jerker piece. But even the HuffPosters are starting to get a little bored, as this one didn't even break 100 comments.

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