No Jews, No News: Why the forced displacement of Muslims from a Muslim country means nothing to  the UN Security Council

“No Jews, no news” is a well-known expression summarizing global preoccupation with this unique Middle Eastern indigenous ethnic group.

Its latest public expression occurred at a Jan. 12 meeting of the UN Security Council meeting, where Algeria was granted a special briefing for what it called the threat of forced displacement of Gazans by Israel.

Israel’s UN Permanent Representative Gilad Erdan denied this charge – all the movement of Palestinians from one part of Gaza to another has been both voluntary and aimed at protecting as many civilian lives as possible in a war against Hamas terrorists – while rebuking the Council for not condemning actual displacements taking place around the world.

“As we speak, there are over one million Muslims being forcibly removed from their homes, all of their possessions taken from them as they face poverty, famine and disease. No, I am not talking about the situation in Gaza, but about Pakistan’s forced displacement of 1.3 million Afghans,” said Erdan.

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“Why does the forced displacement of Muslims from a Muslim country mean nothing to the Algerian representative and the council? I’ll tell you why: No Jews, no news,” said Erdan.

Erdan could easily have added that most ethnic groups in the world have no sovereign state of their own nor any hope of ever obtaining one.

One of these ethnic groups is the Muslim Kurds, a people with their own language and distinct culture going back to at least the Middle Ages. Numbering between 35 and 50 million people, they are the world’s largest stateless nation.

Denied a promised state of their own in 1920, they continue to live in exploited minority status in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. Tens of thousands have perished in 40 years of off-and-on fighting between the militant Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) and its many regional enemies with hardly a murmur of outrage from the outside world. No Jews, no news.

Indifferent to the weak relation between ethnicity and statehood, Western political elites endlessly keep pushing for two sovereign states in a region the Roman invaders named Syria Palestinia during their short-lived conquest (63 BC to 66 AD). A major conquered people, most of them later exiled, were indigenous Jews divided into two independent states.

No such people as the Palestinians existed at that time. No such people are mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, the Christian New Testament, or the Muslim Quran.

As for the Muslim Arabs who only began widely identifying as Palestinians after 1948, their national identity developed in opposition to Israel’s statehood: had Israel never been re-created by the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, there would never have been any call for a separate Palestinian people or state.

Seemingly ignorant of this history, on Jan. 18, Prime Minster Justin Trudeau opined that “Canada’s position is crystal clear. We believe the only way forward for the region, indeed the only way forward for a safe and secure Israel, is to have a Palestinian state that is also safe and secure with internationally-recognized borders. We believe in a two-state solution.”

Such “crystal clarity” is difficult to discern, especially given that the Palestinians already have a state of their own – the Kingdom of Jordan – a newly created post-First World War nation where they form most of the population and where it is illegal for Jews to live.

None of the bombastic oratory about a two-state solution has given recognition to the threat Palestinian sovereignty would pose to Israel’s survival or that neither of the two main combatants is demanding a two-state solution: countless political polls, including very recent ones, show most Israelis and Palestinians seek only a single state of their own from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

If anything is “crystal clear,” it’s the words of its 2017 Hamas charter: “Hamas rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea.”

With enemies this keen to enact a Nazi-like Final Solution of the Jewish Question, statehood for the Palestinians would only strengthen the antisemitic call for the liquidation of the descendants of the indigenous people of Israel by strengthening it with political independence.

Hymie Rubenstein, a retired professor of anthropology at the University of Manitoba, is editor of REAL Israel & Palestine Report and REAL Indigenous Report.

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