Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90
Palestinian politician Hanan Ashrawi in her office in the West Bank city of Ramallah

Prominent PLO spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi is demanding that the international community declare Israel an “Apartheid State.” Her demand was included in a statement she published in Ramallah this week, accusing Israel of incitement against Arabs and of violating international laws. How come she never mentions the incitement of Palestinians against Israelis in the Palestinian government-issued textbooks, or in the schools and summer camps named after terrorists, or in the government-controlled TV stations which just last week again glorified terrorists with video celebrations of the tenth anniversary of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine [a group that over the years has killed dozens of Israelis, including many children]?

How come Ashrawi never mentions that in Saudi Arabia there is not only gender apartheid — in which women have virtually no rights and are kept as virtual prisoners, unable to travel without the permission of a male guardian or relative, even if he is a child or developmentally disabled or mentally handicapped — but also that there are separate roads marked for Muslims to drive on and for non-Muslims to drive on? One is not even allowed to bring a Bible into the country. How come those acts do not register as “Apartheid”?


How come Ashrawi never mentions that here in Jordan the government has been trying to strip thousands of us Palestinians of our Jordanian citizenship — a move Israel never took against its Christian and Muslim citizens.

As an Arab Christian, Ashrawi would have done better if she had chosen to focus on the plight of her fellow Christians in the Palestinian territories, many of whom continue to complain about persecution and harassment from Muslims.

Has Ashrawi, the self-declared human right rights advocate, never heard of thousands of the Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip who try to infiltrate into Israel every morning in search of work and a better life?

Why has it become the dream of many Arab Christians and Muslims to immigrate to the “Apartheid State”? Is it possible that all of these people are uninformed? Or do they really know the truth about Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East? In Egypt, Syria, and Iran, for example, government officials put journalists in jail, but Israel is the only country in the region where a single obscure journalist nobody can put a government official in jail.

In the past few decades, many Christian families from Bethlehem and even the Gaza Strip have moved to  Israel because they feel safer in the “Apartheid State” than they do among their Muslim “brothers”.

Has Ashrawi ever asked herself how come dozens of Christians and Muslims from neighboring Arab countries and Africa try to infiltrate the border into Israel every day, or how come so many of her fellow Christians want to live in the “Apartheid State”?

Is Ashrawi aware of the fact that while Christians are being persecuted and slaughtered in the Arab world and Africa, the Jewish state remains the safest place for them to live? Is she aware that the Christian population in Israel is on the rise while in the Arab and Islamic world it is dwindling — and even faster in places such as Nigeria, Egypt and the Sudan where Muslims are slaughtering Christians?

What has Ashrawi done to promote the rights of women and freedom of speech under Hamas and Fatah?

On the same day that she issued her appeal to the international community, a Palestinian court in the West Bank sentenced a man to only five years in prison for murdering his sister. And on the same day also, Palestinian policemen raided a university campus near Ramallah and threatened peaceful protesters and reporters.

Tens of thousands of Arabs and Muslims have put their lives at risk by crossing the border into Israel from Egypt, where border guards often open fire at women and children.

Does Hannan Ashrawi really care about Palestinians, or is she just being paid by Europeans and Western NGOs to keep bashing the region’s only democratic country, which, though admittedly not perfect, still tries harder than any other to treat all of its people with decency and equality?


Originally published by Stonegate Institute

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Ramzi Abu Hadid is a Palestinian journalist and researcher based in Jordan.