"By volunteering in Palestine a person is clearly and publicly siding with the oppressed in their just struggle for freedom and independence. Some of the volunteers involve themselves in Palestinian nation building while others take on a more direct role in the resistance to the Israeli occupation."Nothing like whitewashing the true goals of the Palestinians and their supporters all in one go. Unfortunately five minutes of research on groups like the ISM prove that "freedom" is the last thing on their minds. Nor Rachel Corrie who actively supported violence against Israel, or Vittorio Arrigoni who had "resistance" tattooed on his arm. Of course we all know what happened to him. In the Internet age Kuttab can't claim to be unaware that these "volunteers" are oftentimes even more fanatical than the Palestinians they claim to be supporting.
Oh, and before I forget, no he doesn't mention that it's very common for women activists to be raped by the Palestinians they came to support. This fact alone would blow his whole argument out of the water, but I should know better than to expect honesty from a Palestinian supporter.
Anyway Kuttab singles out the "largely nonviolent" Bi'lin protests and claims that these internationals never throw rocks at Israeli troops though he admits that Palestinians do "at the end." I thought this was interesting too:
"Internationals and Israelis do not take part in these activities, although their presence is credited for keeping the Israeli response from being much more brutal."Yep, so they act as human shields for stone throwers to keep the "brutality" down, but don't appear to have any interest in stopping the stone throwing in the first place. If you ask me, real peace activists would get out of town once the violence starts and let the stone throwers face the consequences of their actions like men. Or "youths" as our resident propagandist prefers to describe them.
Kuttab then skips ahead about some groups that only go against settlers, which is fine, before going back to lying again:
"International volunteers, who usually come from the US and Europe, reach the Palestinian areas through Israeli border crossings. The Israeli government and the occupation forces refuse to recognise and accredit these organisations and so they are constantly having to deal with visa and residency issues....While many are able to slip into Israel gaining a 3-month tourist visa, the Israelis often spot these volunteers, especially after repeated crossings, and turn them back."Clearly Kuttab expects us to feel bad for these people, having primed us to believe that they are perfectly innocent and wouldn't hurt a fly. That being said it's really quite something that he's moaning about Israel not letting Western hippies waltz around a war zone. Isn't a staple of Palestinian propaganda that there is no freedom whatsoever "under the occupation" and the suffering in the West Bank is unparalleled in human history? If that were true, why would he be surprised that random people who have a history of supporting terrorists (not that he would admit that)
And I gotta love the part after the ellipses. Going into a country and then a war zone under false pretenses (which is exactly what they are doing) is probably the #1 best way to get your ass deported, which is exactly what happens. Kuttab keeps expecting us to feel bad for these people but when you lie to border security deportation is the least you would expect. He still has yet to prove what makes these people so great, by the way. They haven't changed anything and they probably never will.
After whining that Palestinians can't control who comes into Israel (seriously) here is his big conclusion:
"Until this crucial issue is resolved, international volunteers will have little choice but to try and slip into Palestine posing as tourists, hoping that they are not singled out and denied entry in the occupied territories."I can't say I'm surprised that a Palestinian supporter would advocate deception, it's what they do after all, but the issue I have here is "little choice." These 'volunteers' could encourage the Palestinians to make peace, after all, if peace were really what they wanted. They could encourage pressure on the Palestinian leadership to make concessions and resume negotiations with Israel. All this could be done at home. But it's not really about "Palestine" of course, it's about them and them looking good. Don't expect Kuttab to tell anything close to the truth about this, of course.