by Bassam Tawil June 5, 2018
A Palestinian mother of five just spent 23 days in prison. During her incarceration, she was held in unspeakable conditions and denied family visitations. She was also prohibited from consulting a lawyer.
This is a story that no one has heard in the West.
Why? Because the Palestinian woman, Samah Abu Ghayyath, was detained not by Israel, but by Hamas, the Palestinian terror group that rules the Gaza Strip.
Abu Ghayyath would have been "fortunate" if she had been arrested by Israel. Then, the case would have reached the pages of major media outlets around the world and "pro-Palestinian" activists would have staged demonstrations and online campaigns to support her and denounce Israel.
By contrast, for instance, consider the example of Ahed Tamimi, a Palestinian teenage girl from a village near Ramallah in the West Bank. In December 2017, Tamimi was detained by Israeli authorities for physically assaulting an Israeli soldier. After agreeing to a plea bargain, she was sentenced to 8 months in prison.
Tamimi has since become a symbol of the Palestinian "struggle" against Israel. She is glorified by many in the mainstream media in the West and advocates of Palestinian human rights around the world, who have turned her into an icon.
Abu Ghayyath, however, the woman from the Gaza Strip, has been less fortunate than the golden girl from the West Bank.
Unlike Tamimi, the arrest of the mother of five in early May by Hamas did not spark an international outcry. Western journalists and human rights organizations did not endorse Abu Ghayyath, as they were quick to do with Tamimi, a girl who hit an Israeli soldier.
Had Abu Ghayyath been arrested by Israel, her name would have appeared on the front pages of The New York Times and in the broadcasts of the BBC and CNN. The only ones who picked up her ordeal and demanded her release, however, were a few Palestinian women's groups and, of course, her family.
Predictably, only a handful of Palestinians -- and no Westerners -- dared to denounce Hamas for arresting the woman.
Abu Ghayyath still has not been formally charged with committing any crime. Hamas will not say why she was held in detention for 23 days. She herself appears to be too afraid to talk about the hard days she spent under interrogation in Hamas prison. In addition, her personal computer and mobile phone were confiscated.
This is yet another reminder of the dangerous double standard of the international community. Where all those who claim to be "pro-Palestinian" and are spewing hatred against Israel and Jews at college campuses in the US and Canada? If they really want to help the Palestinians, let them stand up and shout about the rights of women and gays living under Hamas's repressive regime, and journalists who are being harassed and arrested by Mahmoud Abbas's security forces.
Yelling lies about Israel and Jews does not make one "pro-Palestinian." It only makes one an Israel-hater. Hating Israel does not improve human rights conditions for Palestinians living under Hamas and Fatah. Instead, it serves as a distraction and even facilitates Fatah and Hamas in suppressing public freedoms and human rights.