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Moderate Palestinian Action is the Key to Ending the Conflict

Naser Khader

It’s frustrating to witness how it’s always pro-Hamas people or someone from the far-left that argues on behalf of the Palestinian cause. Not only does that simply diminish the chance of a successful outcome for the Palestinian cause, it also worsens the climate of debate. The ability to listen actively and sometimes agree to disagree seems to be non-existing. That’s a tragedy for the moderate Palestinian powers that indeed exists, but rarely speaks publically. I know they’re there, because they often contact me. I’ve asked them why they don’t say the things they do to me publically. They reply that they can’t due to fear of pro-Hamas people. That’s a direct violation of freedom of speech. Society needs to provide a safe environment for the moderate Palestinians to speak their mind, and the moderate Palestinians need to dare put their much-needed input forward. Otherwise, we will have an endless debate solely with pro-Hamas people, who worsen the situation for those on whose behalf they think they’re speaking.

Disguised agendas
In the past few months I’ve been criticizing Hamas, and with good reason I believe. The European Union has listed Hamas as a terror organization and it should be treated as one.

What’s typical for most Palestinians publicly debating me is their lack of nuance. Because I criticize Hamas they automatically assume that I’m only pro-Israel. I’ve even been accused of being a Zionist, which would be laughable had the conflict not been so serious and the problem important to solve as quickly as possible, especially for all the innocent lives being taken on a daily basis. If the public figures speaking on behalf of the Palestinian cause had done their homework, they would have known that I have always supported a two-state solution. They also would have realized that I think Netanyahu is greatly overreacting.

I have, and always will, try to view a conflict from both perspectives, because the truth about the Israel-Palestine conflict is that you can’t solely support one side. Hamas is a terror organization, and Israel, with Netanyahu as its leader, is flexing muscles in an unnecessarily violent manner. There’s only one way to get out of this lose-lose situation, and that’s activating moderate Palestinian voices all over the world. Those are the ones that should be listened to and debated with, not pro-Hamas people or the far-left wing. The moderate Palestinian people owe that to the world, and the world owes that to the moderate Palestinian people.

Hypocrisy without borders
If the past few months have taught me anything, it’s that there is hypocrisy among these public Palestinians, a great deal of it actually. What happens in Gaza these days is terrible. Civilians, including women and children, are killed. My deepest sympathies are with all these innocent Palestinians.

However, the amount of innocent Palestinians being killed in Gaza in a week equals the amount of innocent Palestinians being killed in Yarmouk, a refugee camp in Syria, every single day. Assad has surrounded this refugee camp, and horrible attacks on these Palestinians happen continuously. Where are the protests against Assad’s attacks on the Yarmouk refugee camp? I have not seen even one. That’s hypocrisy from the pro-Hamas and far-left people. If their intention were to speak on behalf of Palestinians, I would assume they would put more effort into speaking for the Palestinians at Yarmouk. I fear that they don’t because Assad isn’t a Jew and Israel can’t be blamed. Again, we need the moderate Palestinians to come forward, because I know they care about all Palestinians equally and desire a peaceful solution.

A two-state solution requires international backing
It is of crucial importance that the international community, especially the West, backs the Palestinian case. Look at Kurdistan, which has grown economically and, most importantly, peacefully. Hamas intents to establish sharia law in a Palestinian state, which of course is something that would never gain support from the West. That’s the exact reason why moderate Palestinians should come forward. They want a peaceful Palestinian state with basic human rights for everyone, and I have no doubt the international community would support such a Palestinian voice and put pressure on Netanyahu to accept it.

The environment I have described here is mainly my experience with Palestinians in the public debate in Denmark. In America I see a much more thoughtful and reflective way of debating and arguing from Palestinians. To me this proves that such people indeed do exist, even in Denmark, and it is greatly needed for many more of them to come forward. When they do, it’s society’s responsibility to provide safety from destructive and violent pro-Hamas people.

Today, pro-Hamas Islamists and the far-left wing have taken over the Palestinian cause, and it’s such a shame, especially for the general Palestinian population. I sincerely wish and hope for the moderate powers to push forward and participate publicly in much larger numbers. Not until then will Palestinians get their own state and peace, which they deserve.

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