By Vacy Vlazna
“People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.” — Proverb
Western governments that have servilely abrogated to a foreign power, i.e. Israel, their responsibilities to uphold international law can no longer claim national sovereignty nor a moral high-ground.
These states have become bystanders to Israeli war crimes and genocide and are corrupt mouthpieces parroting Zionist platitudes that undermine Palestinian rights, particularly the right to resist and to defend Palestine’s freedom and land from its brutal occupier/ land-thief.
Two recent typical examples of glass house hypocrisy are Belgium and Norway.
Belgium had been a generous benefactor of school funding in Palestine, having to date built 23 schools in the Israeli occupied West Bank with plans to build a further 10 schools.
Palestinian parents, living in forced impoverishment are aware of their children’s dismal present and future, and so value education for their children even more.
It is, then, of great concern that at the behest of Palestinian Media Watch on the 7th October the freezing of Belgian school funding was announced because the Beit Awaa Elementary Girls School, Hebron region, built with funds from Belgium in 2012-2013, was renamed the Dalal Mughrabi Elementary School.
Dalal Mughrabi, was a 19-year-old PLO freedom fighter who led an attack in 1978 against the Israeli occupier which left 35 people dead and more than 70 injured. Her sister, Rashida Mughrabi, proudly states,
“I have no regrets about what my sister did. The Israelis are the ones who forced her to carry out the attack because they expelled us and stole our lands. They caused us a great injustice by turning us into a nation of refugees, and, if it weren’t for the occupation, Dalal would never have carried out the attack. Maybe she would have raised a family and pursued a career.”
Consider the double standards by the Belgium Ministry of Foreign Affairs when Belgium has many statues of King Leopold II, (who was not a freedom fighter) a vicious colonial exploiter responsible for atrocities that led to the deaths of more than 6 million Congolese. “[T]he most potent symbol of colonial brutality” was the severing of hands plus taking women and family members hostage to force workers to collect rubber. There is even a city in Limburg named after him, Bourg-Leopold.
Furthermore, in this instance, Belgium is shamefully indulging in the manipulative Zionist discrimination against Palestinian resistance to the Zionist scourge which is in effect – state terrorism.
Does Belgium regard Churchill, resisting the Nazi scourge, as a terrorist for ordering Operation Thunderclap- the bombing of Dresden which blew up and incinerated approximately 35,000 German civilians including children? Churchill also made a request to President Truman that Britain be represented in the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki that slaughtered an estimated 226,000 Japanese civilians including children.
There are numerous schools named after Churchill in the UK.
And then there is Truman, as Commander in Chief ordering the bombing of the Minerva car factory in Antwerp that mistakenly killed 936 Belgian civilians including 209 schoolchildren.
There are many schools in the USA named after Harry S Truman.
Belgium by freezing school funding is adding to Israel’s educational abuse of Palestinian children especially at this time when,
“At least 55 schools in the occupied West Bank are currently threatened with demolition and “stop work” orders. What’s more, many pupils turned out full of hope for the new year, only to find that hundreds of their classmates are languishing in Israeli jails. In occupied Jerusalem, others were struck by the news that their teachers had been dismissed, purportedly for “incitement”.
“As for the children in the Gaza Strip, their challenge is of an entirely different order. Israel’s ten-year blockade continues to test their resolve to the limit. Electricity is in short supply; thousands study by candle light, when candles are available; and to make matters even worse, the Ramallah authority has forced scores of teachers to take early retirement and stopped paying the salaries of hundreds more.” — Education is a right being denied to Palestinian children, and Israel is the culprit
(Ironically the home of the Nobel Peace award)
In September 2017, Norway obediently responded to the lobbying of the Palestinian Media Watch by demanding a refund of $10,000 donated to a women’s center in Burqa named after Dalal Mughrabi.
The money was willingly refunded because the name “was chosen by the villagers to commemorate a Palestinian hero who sacrificed herself for her country and therefore they have no intention to change its name regardless of the price.”
The head of Burqa village council, stated,
“Instead of fighting a community center that does not exceed 50 square meters in area and works on serving young women in the community, they should be objecting to regular attacks by (Israeli) settlers against the village and its people and to allow farmers to reach their land that was taken away from them in spite of an Israeli Supreme Court ruling to return this land to its rightful owners,”
Norway’s hypocrisy can be summed up four words – ‘SF Hydro’ and ‘Knut Hamsun’.
In February 1944, Norwegian commandoes blew up a Norwegian ferry, SF Hydro, transporting containers of heavy water, a key component in nuclear weapons, killing 18 people including 14 Norwegian civilians.
In 2009, after years of popular revulsion, Queen Sonia of Norway opened the yearlong festivities, called ‘Hamsun 2009’ commemorating 150 years since the birth of Knut Hamsun. The Norges Bank, the central bank of Norway, also issued a commemorative coin. Famous as a Nobel Laureate for Literature, Hamsun was a rabid racist,
“The Negros are and will remain Negros, a nascent human form from the tropics, rudimentary organs on the body of white society. Instead of founding an intellectual elite, America has established a mulatto studfarm.”
and a rabid Nazi sympathizer,
“the Germans are fighting for us, and now are crushing England’s tyranny over us and all neutrals.”
He wrote an obituary for Hitler in an influential Norwegian newspaper and sent Goebbels, Hitler’s minister for propaganda, a gift of his Nobel prize medal. The Knut Hamsun Centre museum and educational center in Hamaroy, is dedicated to his life and work.
Glass Houses of Hypocrisy
The ultimate shattering of Belgium and Norway’s glass houses of hypocrisy is that neither have frozen trade and arms deals with Israel given there are schools and army camps named after Israeli terrorists (note the systemic promotion of Zionist killers):
- Yitzak Rabin High School in Kfar Saba and Camp Rabin, the headquarters of the IDF general staff: ‘Yitzhak Rabin signed an expulsion order for the children of Lydda to be ethnically cleansed “quickly, without attention to age.” Rabin was a warmonger who as Israel’s chief of staff planned the 1967 attack on Egypt.’
- Camp Yaakov Dori: from 1939-46 he was Chief of Staff of the Haganah, a paramilitary group that perpetrated terror bombings killing innocent civilians and became First Chief of Staff of the IDF.
- Camp Yigael Yadin: was operations officer in the Haganah, and became the second Chief of staff of the IDF.
- Camp Ariel Sharon, Israel’s largest military base located in the Negev: Ariel Sharon was in charge of the Qibya massacre and the Sabra and Shatila refugee camp massacres. Sharon was the 11th prime minister of Israel.
- Darca Menachem Begin High School – Gedera, Menachem Begin Road is a major thoroughfare in Tel Aviv, Menachem Begin St, Yehud: Menachem Begin Museum and Menachem Begin Heritage Center, Al Quds: Menachem Begin was a commander of Irgun which bombed markets, hotels, police stations, British convoys and was declared a terrorist organization by the UN, UK, and US governments. Begin was a wanted criminal by the British mandate police. He became the 6th prime minister of Israel.
- Yitzhak Shamir School, Holon: ‘Yitzhak Shamir had Britain’s Lord Moyne and Sweden’s Count Folke Bernadotte assassinated, and was also involved in the Deir Yassin massacre and other acts of terrorism. He was a leader of a Jewish terrorist group called the Lehi.’ He was Israel’s 7th prime minister.
The aforementioned Israeli ‘heroes’ are in fact real terrorists who made their merciless contribution to the preemptive destruction of 670 Palestinian villages, to the forced expulsion of 750,000 Indigenous Palestinians, to the establishment of the colonial apartheid regime of Israel, to the decades of mass incarceration of Palestinians including children as young as 10 years old, and to the mass murder and extrajudicial killings of thousands of Palestinian civilians and freedom fighters.
On the other hand, Dalal Mughrabi is a true hero, revered because she represents the courage of Palestinian resistance; a decidedly handicapped resistance of guerrilla fighters with guns, homemade bombs against the nuclear military might of the Israeli colonial army, navy, air force. Mughrabi is not a terrorist, her actions are legitimate under United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/33/24 of 29 November 1978:
“2. Reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, particularly armed struggle;”
It is heinous that western countries, like Belgium and Norway facilitate rather than prevent Israeli state terrorism that continues to commit daily war crimes against the infants, children, women and men of Palestine. On any given day, e.g. 13 October 2015,
“Are Belgian and Norwegian farmers denied access to their farms or have their life-supporting farmlands and crops seized? Is Belgian and Norwegian civilian movement blocked by checkpoints making access to schools, hospitals, and extended family impossible? Are Belgian and Norwegian parents terrified their children will be ripped from their beds in dawn military raids to be beaten and tortured under interrogation? Are their shops closed down? Do they have restricted access to their places of worship? Are their lawmakers incarcerated for no reason? Are rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs and concussion grenades fired when Belgians and Norwegians protest in the streets? Are Norwegians and Belgians denied entry to or exit from their country?”
The answers of course are ‘No’, except when Belgians and Norwegians were under Nazi occupation for a mere 5 years (not 50) which promoted clandestine civilian resistance. You get the drift?
– Dr. Vacy Vlazna is Coordinator of Justice for Palestine Matters and editor of a volume of Palestinian poetry, I remember my name. She was Human Rights Advisor to the GAM team in the second round of the Acheh peace talks, Helsinki, February 2005 then withdrew on principle. Vacy was convenor of Australia East Timor Association and coordinator of the East Timor Justice Lobby as well as serving in East Timor with UNAMET and UNTAET from 1999-2001. She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.