Jordanian Palestinian dissident Mudar Zahran recently addressed the European Parliament, where he spoke out against the BDS Movement.  He praised the Europeans for loving the Palestinians “and dreaming about us in their sleep” but at the same time, noted that they got their priorities messed up by being concerned about the “evil Israeli Zionists while in fact, those evil Zionist Israelis are the ones giving us jobs. They are giving us jobs while Lebanon bans us from all sorts of jobs. They are giving us jobs when the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which occupies 78% of our homeland, prevents us from all sorts of jobs.”

“The king of Jordan can come and present here and talk about peace and human rights while Israeli politicians could get arrested for arriving at your airports,” Zahran noted.  “At the same time, we do not see a single European member of Parliament, not a single European politician, speaking about the oppression of the Palestinians at the hands of the Hashemite Kingdom or the Palestinian Authority. On the other hand, your money is financing the Palestinian Police Force, which oppresses us, tortures us and causes us to disappear. This happens while you are obviously caring for us with good intentions but your judgement is very cloudy.”

Mudar Zahran(Screenshot)
Mudar Zahran( Screenshot)

Zahran criticized the Europeans for targeting the only source of income the Palestinian people presently have: “You cannot grant us justice by denying justice to our Jewish neighbors. They are our neighbors.  Half a million Palestinians every single day cross the borders to work in Israeli settlements, Israeli homes and Israeli hospitals. They work there, achieving European standard payments versus the non-payment of the Palestinian Authority. Oslo has brought us everything that’s evil, everything but happiness and nothing but despair and disasters. At the same time, I can’t see why the European Parliaments or the European governments are an accomplice to our disastrous situation by being against the only sort of hope that we have.”

“Why are you denying me and my people the right to live normally, the right to find jobs by supporting BDS,” Zahran asked the European parliamentarians, noting: “BDS means no jobs for us and the Israelis. When the Israelis move out, do you sign our paychecks when we run out of jobs?  No, you don’t. The only ones you sign paychecks to are the corrupt Palestinian Authority, who are criminals.    I understand that most of you are good people but you are playing an old video.  This game is over.  Oslo is dead. It is time to accept change and it is time to embrace our Jewish neighbors, brothers and sisters.  We want peace with Israel.  We have had enough of this methodological lie of the conflict.”

Zahran warned the Europeans that they must abandon the tyrannical Arab regimes like the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Palestinian Authority or they will suffer the consequences: “unless you drop them soon, you will be ousted from the entire game. Its either you accept change or stay out of it. You have been supporting our oppressors. Enough of the pain that we have suffered.  Enough. And I am asking you, let my people go. Let both our peoples go, the Palestinians and the Israelis.  Let us go.”

Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid also addressed the European Parliamentarians, noting that it is his belief that most leaders of the EU are completely ignorant about what is happening on the ground.  He noted that he believes that economic prosperity will lead to peace between both people and on this front, the Europeans have failed miserably.

Human Rights Activist Bassem Eid (screenshot)
Human Rights Activist Bassem Eid (screenshot)

Eid also added that the Europeans have so far failed to find a political solution to the conflict as well: “It is time for the Israelis and the Palestinians to work together far away from the leaders. A number of Palestinian businessmen received an invitation to attend and participate in this conference and in the last 48 hours, they regret to participate because they received threats from the Palestinian Intelligence Force. Unfortunately, the PA is trying to fight against any sort of cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis because the interest of the Palestinian Authority is how to keep the Palestinians suffering.  By suffering, only we can rule them.”

“The BDS is trying to use the Palestinians in order to gain power and money,” Eid proclaimed.”  If tomorrow Europe will cut the funding of the BDS like Trump cut the funding of UNRWA, no BDS will exist in the next six months. In my view, the Palestinians are seeking dignity rather than identity these days and dignity can only be achieved via economic prosperity. Homeland is not the place where you are born.  Homeland is the place where you can receive dignity, justice and freedom. So Europe should help the Palestinians to put an end to the so-called BDS. It is much better for the EU Parliament to send the money directly to the Palestinians rather than to give it to the BDS. The BDS is just using us. The BDS will never ever help us. The BDS wants to destroy Israel and as a Palestinian, I don’t have time for that. Look at Gaza after the Israelis withdrew.”

According to Eid, some said Gaza after the Israeli withdrawal will look like Singapore and yet, Eid noted that although he has never been to Singapore, he knows that the Palestinians destroyed almost entirely in Gaza what remains from the Israelis. Eid is not happy with this result and believes that this proves that another solution must be found to the conflict.

 

Rachel Avraham is the President of the Dona Gracia Mendes Nasi Center for Human Rights in Middle East (under formation). She is also a political analyst at the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research and Public Relations and a contributing writer at the Haym Salomon Center. Avraham is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media.