Response To Common Inaccuracy: Fight for Palestinians is Same as Civil Rights in US

Inaccuracy: The fight for freedom for the Palestinians is part of the same struggle as those working for civil rights and equality in the United States. Those challenging racism in the U.S. must also be involved in fighting Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

Response

There is no rational connection between the challenge of racism in America and the situation facing the Palestinians. Conflating these two very different issues is neither helpful in dealing with the racial challenges facing the United States nor in solving the complex Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The civil rights movement in the United States has been instrumental in fighting racism, segregation, discrimination and other manifestations. While the U.S. has come a long way, recent incidents, including the tragic deaths of a number of African-American men at the hands of police officers, highlight that we still have a long way to travel on the road to justice in America.

Israel’s relations with the Palestinians are of a completely different character. To be sure, Palestinians encounter restrictions and hardships due to Israeli security policies. However, the fundamental basis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is over territory and competing nationalist narratives. There is no Israeli ideology or policy aimed at discriminating or persecuting the Palestinians.

Comparing America’s history of racism and Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians seems driven by individuals more invested in undermining the Jewish state than in furthering race relations in America, or working towards a constructive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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