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'Mr. Palestine, you'll just have to wait your turn'

Every once in a while I get a comment on one of my posts along the lines of: ‘Why don’t you do anything about Syria, huh? If you’re such a human rights activist, why don’t you care about places where people are suffering much more right in your neighborhood? Huh??’ or ‘You know, the Arabs have it much better in Israel than anywhere else! They should count their blessings!’ 

And it makes me wonder…

Settlers throw stones at Palestinians as IDF soldiers stand by in the West Bank village of Asira al Qibliya. April 30, 2013 (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Ring, ring! Ring, ring!

Operator: Atrocities Unlimited, how can I help you?

Palestine: Hello, my name is Palestine.

Operator: Hello Mr. Palestine, what can I do for you?

Palestine: Yes, well, I understand you end atrocities and human rights violations.

Operator: That’s very true. Are you suffering from an atrocity or human rights violation, sir?

Palestine: Yes, I am. I have been under occupation for 46 years.

Operator: Occupation?

Palestine: Yes, occupation.

Operator: Sir, you do understand that we assist on a Worst Come, First Serve basis?

Palestine: Excuse me?

Operator: A Worst Come, First Serve basis.

Palestine: What does that mean?

Operator: It means we deal with the worst atrocity first. You are not the worst atrocity, sir.

Palestine: I didn’t say I was, but… but… I am suffering.

Operator: I’m sure you’re suffering but there are others out there who need our help before you, sir.

Palestine: But…

Operator: …and until then you just have to sit quiet and wait your turn. Will that be it, sir?

Palestine: But wait! OK, OK… so, tell me where I am in line… can you do that?

Operator: 31.

Palestine: 31?!?!? There are 31 peoples before me?

Operator: Yes, sir.

Palestine: But, what does that mean? How long do I have to wait?

Operator: That depends.

Palestine: On what?

Operator: Many things. For example, if there’s an international intervention in Syria, you might move up a space or two.

Palestine: A space or two?

Operator: Yes, sir.

Palestine: I don’t feel well. Who else is in front of me?

Operator: Well, according to my board here, there’s some rough stuff going down in Sudan, China, Mali, Myanmar and others, to name a few. But, it’s all pretty fluid.

Palestine: So… You can’t tackle more than one at a time? I have to wait?

Operator: I’m afraid so, sir.

Palestine: But I’ve been waiting so long.

Operator: Well, have you tried a change of tactics?

Palestine: I’ve tried everything.

Operator: Patience, sir. All I can say is: patience. And thank you for calling Atrocities Unlimited!

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    1. XYZ

      Once again, the “progressives”, like Ami here, practices self-deception, and like all good “progressives”, speaks for the Palestinians, assuming he knows what they think. Here he has the Palestinian say that “he has been under occupation for 46 years”. Actually, the Palestinians believe they have been under occuption since 65 years, since 1948 and not just from 1967. After all, that is why the Six-Day War happened….because Nasser said he intended to end the occupuation that started in 1948, inside the Isaeli Left’s beloved Green Line which the Arab world does not recognize the legitimacy of as a true international border.

      Reply to Comment
      • Hey Hasbara dude, as usual you put words in my mouth and label me when you can’t deal with an issue. Oh, and Btw, I’m willing to change it to 65 years of occupation, I agree with them on that too.

        Reply to Comment
        • XYZ

          Ami, you’re right. Thanks for correcting me.

          Reply to Comment
        • tod

          Good post, Ami.
          One point that you miss in the post. Syrians are suffering form a Syrian regime. Palestinians are suffering since decades from and external occupation. There is a HUGE difference, although this does not make Pals unique in their sufferance.

          Can I ask you why do you continue to answer to people like Kolumn? He is the immorality in person. Whay do you think that a person like that would be able to articulate something different?
          Please refrain from answering to fascists or racists, you just go down to their level.

          Reply to Comment
          • I admit, it’s my weakness.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Syrians are suffering form a Syrian regime. Palestinians are suffering since decades from and external occupation. There is a HUGE difference…

            Is that so?

            Are you saying that Palestinians in Gaza are not suffering from illegitimate regime there?

            Or that legitimate Arafat and Co. who has controlled the WB has not brought suffering on his people?

            You see, control of airspace or capital in certain city are not required for a viable state.

            Reply to Comment
          • shmuel

            No, the people of Gaza are suffering mainly for the besiege of their land by Israel and from the fact that most of them are refugees from majdal, al jura, Najd (present day Sderot, orhaner ect..).
            As a secondary aspect, they also suffer for the policies of Hamas – established also thank to Israel – and this is even more so in consideration of the fact that the Pals have been historically the most secular population in the Arab world.
            Again, Syrians are fighting under a terrible Syrian regime. Palestinians are suffering, for decades, under a brutal “external occupation”.

            Reply to Comment
      • What’s even more pathetic is your extremely weak attempt to deflect from the main issue of the post, which isn’t the first time I’ve seen you do that. Must be tough for you

        Reply to Comment
      • Danny

        “and like all good “progressives”, speaks for the Palestinians, assuming he knows what they think.”

        Firstly, I’d rather be a “progressive” (even in double quotes) than a regressive like you (no double quotes).

        So, progressives don’t really know what Palestinians think, but regressives do. I guess you are an expert in the thought patterns of Palestinians, huh? Prey tell – how did you attain your expert knowledge of Palestinian behavior?

        Here is how I estimate the thoughts, feelings and yearning of an average Palestinian: I project myself into their situation and imagine how I would feel. It’s that simple for me.

        Reply to Comment
      • Danny R. Brown

        Comment deleted

        Reply to Comment
    2. Vadim

      I really think you miss the point.

      The atrocities that happen in other parts of the world are not a reason to ignore what’s going on here, or to stop caring. They should just put what’s going on here in the right perspective.

      Israel’s crimes are many. But I think they pale in comparison to those of other countries, and people believe that we are not being treated justly.

      So – don’t stop caring or ignore the issue, but please stop describing it as the worst atrocity happening in our world.

      Reply to Comment
      • Did I say it was the worst? I think it is you who have missed the point.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Kolumn9

      Ring, ring

      Operator: Welcome to Progressives for Human Rights

      Sudan: We have had wholesale massacres of villagers by the central government and we need help. The government is denying food to many other villages. Thousands are dead, hundreds of thousands are starving.

      Operator: That sounds bad, but a Palestinian kid was throwing stones at Israeli soldiers and got arrested today. Call back later.

      Ring, ring

      Operator: Welcome to Progressives for Human Rights

      Syria: We have a cruel dictator that is trying to suppress the people and without assistance from progressives all our people are turning to militant Islamists for weapons and money.

      Operator: Well, this one is easy, since you are now turning to militant Islamists we would rather have a cruel dictator win the war and in any case an Arab just set up a tent on state land somewhere in Israel and we are busy demanding that Israel recognize it as an ancient Palestinian city. Call back later.

      Reply to Comment
      • Nice try. Didn’t fall for it (and, you’re not as funny) 🙂

        Reply to Comment
      • The thing I love most about people who say I have double standards, is that they have none at all! They just don’t give a fuck about everyone, equally!

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          Not quite. Perhaps we too have double standards where we give a fuck about some people but not others, but if you too have double standards then how are you better than us?

          Reply to Comment
          • I don’t. I care about peoples rights, you don’t. It’s actually really simple

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            If you cared about ‘peoples rights’ you would care equally about the rights of Palestinians, Sudanese, Syrians and Chinese. But you don’t. You have what is known in the world as a double standard where you care about a broken Palestinian fingernail more than a dead Syrian baby. And this is where progressives/humanists/liberals whatever like you either find some flimsy reason why the rights of the Palestinians to unbroken fingernails is more important to you as a progressive/humanist/liberal than the right to life of a Syrian baby or you start insulting me.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joe

            That has no logic to it. It surely makes no sense even in your own head, K9.

            Reply to Comment
          • Scootalol

            Kolumn, my friend, you have a rare blessing. Not all of us have the fortune that you do, to live in a world where reality is shaped solely by our own imaginations. Where everything we say simply -is- as we say it, and nothing we disagree with is ever right.

            Don’t squander your precious opportunity! Instead of wallowing in the more, dreaming ugly fantasies about people who dare not accept your imaginary reality, why not put it towards something pleasant! Why not dream of a world ruled by adorable, lovable puppies! If you’re going to live in a land of utter make-believe, you might as well make it pleasant for yourself, right?

            Reply to Comment
    4. Dear Palestinians, K9 and XYZ would you like you to wait for Syria, China, Mali and all other conflicts to end first – if that’s OK with you, we can move on.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Basically, what they’re saying is, that if I’m a “progressive” and “liberal”, I have to fight for every crime committed by every regime in the world – otherwise, I’m a hypocrite!

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        Yep, if you are a humanist, a progressive and a liberal and you value the human rights of all people in the world you are a hypocrite when you prioritize the objectively minor suffering of a Palestinian over the far greater suffering of people elsewhere.

        Reply to Comment
        • Why can’t I prioritize something I am responsible for???? That’s a ridiculous comment, honestly

          Reply to Comment
          • Conscience

            Ami (and your fellow Leftists) are not responsible for what your Jewish and American enemy does.

            You Leftists ARE responsible for what’s done in “Palestine”‘s name. When your allies in North Korea created a prison state, that was YOUR fault. When Syrian social justice (Ba’athist) activists level a city, that’s your problem. When one of your soldiers blew up the Boston marathon, you were complicit. When you send child soldiers out to throw stones at Jews, you are responsible for the consequences.

            Every dead Gazan is the responsibility of you Leftists who have urged the Shari’ah-adherents to engage in such self-destructive policies.

            But you are NOT responsible for the actions of your Zionist and Crusader enemies, Ami. You are a Leftist and are only responsible for the Ummah’s crimes and what Leftists do. Marxists and Mohammedan have not been appointed mashgiach over their Jewish enemy. In other words: Clean up your own house first, Ami, before you start lecturing others.

            And a good place to start would be North Korea and Syria.

            Reply to Comment
          • What?

            Reply to Comment
          • Conscience

            If an Egyptian believes in Liberty, would you hold him responsible for the actions of the Leftist Ikhwan? Of course not.

            If there is a Syrian who believes in Freedom, would you expect her to go on and on about the evils of Social Justice/Ba’athism? Of course not! She’s not responsible for what her enemy does.

            Do you hold Louis Farrakhan and the Mohammedan-American leadership responsible for the policies of the Bush administration? No!

            Similarly, you Leftists are only responsible for what Leftists and Mohammedan do. Just like Zionists and Crusaders are only responsible for what Zionists and Crusaders do.

            When your Jewish enemy, Ami, engages in a policy you don’t like – that’s really none of your business.

            You are a Leftist, Ami. You are morally responsible for the Syrian and North Korean situations. You are morally responsible for every war crime committed in the name of “Palestine”. You are morally responsible for what your “resistance” policies did to Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s what you should be focussed on.

            But you are NOT responsible, Ami, for what your Zionist enemy does. Frankly, its not any of your business.

            Stop the killing in North Korea and Syria. Stop the Pakistanis and “Palestinians” from engaging in policies that are leading to their own destruction . That should be your focus.

            Reply to Comment
          • Whoa.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            You can prioritize whatever you want. Only when you prioritize objectively minor human suffering over objectively major human suffering don’t argue that you are doing it out of some kind of humanist/progressive notions because it simply doesn’t compute. Even arguing that you are Israeli doesn’t change that unless you argue that your motives are primarily driven by being an Israeli and much less so by being a humanist/progressive.

            I don’t see a logical argument according to which someone who sees all humans as being equal and who insists on caring about the rights of all humans equally will discriminate in his concerns on the basis of nationality.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joe

            Can’t you see the illogicality in your own position? I think you can, you’re just saying this stuff because you’re a total fuckwit.

            Reply to Comment
        • Honestly, your arguments have never been weaker. I love your moral relativism.

          Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            I love your moral relativism too Ami even if you don’t acknowledge it.

            Reply to Comment
          • I have none. I’m just moral. You’re not. If that’s the relativity you meant, then I apologize. Now, can you stop commenting on my channel already, you anonymous coward?

            Reply to Comment
        • Danny

          “you prioritize the objectively minor suffering of a Palestinian”

          Objectively minor suffering? Who gave you the right to deem Palestinian suffering as “objectively minor”?

          Let’s see you try to live like they do for just one year. Then multiply that by 46. Then call it objectively minor.

          Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Oooh. I feel sad because I occasionally need to go through a checkpoint because some people on my side get off on blowing up Israeli civilians. I feel sad because my elected representatives can’t agree on whether they wish to destroy my neighbor now or later and so I don’t have a country. I feel sad because the special UN agency that exists solely for providing me with services doesn’t blah blah blah.

            There are people being slaughtered wholesale in other parts of the world. There are people starving to death in other parts of the world. So, spare me the BS. The Palestinian suffering IS objectively minor.

            And I don’t need to be given a right from your or anyone else to think in order to draw my own conclusions. I don’t wait for some guru of whatever to speak before I regurgitate his words as if they are holy.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joe

            So, let me get this straight: for you, consistent ethics means that you are forced to only speak up for those who by some magic kind of objective measure are shown to be the absolutely worst off, period. Anyone else is irrelevant – because you should only be looking at the worst case.

            I hope you’re not a doctor.

            Reply to Comment
          • Danny

            You SHOULD feel sad that the Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from THEIR lands in 1948 by YOUR country. You should also feel sad that they have endured decades of brutal military occupation, checkpoints, mass arrests, house demolitions and wholesale killing BEFORE 1988, which is when they decided to start resisting. And you should definitely feel sad that all that has occurred in the occupied territories in the last 46 years was done in YOUR name.

            Reply to Comment
          • palsshouldgiveup

            why do you waste your time arguing with these lefty loons. The pals are the least deserving people of their own state, i would hope the kurds get one first

            Reply to Comment
        • First of all, Ami is Israeli. He is actually in a position to do something here, thanks to his physical presence in the region and the particular knowledge of the situation that comes from living in it. I might be wrong, but I doubt he has such intimate knowledge of the Mali, and I am not sure what he could realistically do there to help.

          Knowledge and skills are important. Using your argument you could argue that I am a hypocrite for wanting to be a psychologist when I could have qualified as a medical doctor and saved children with cancer. Except I could never have been a medic, in the same way I could never learn fluent Tibetan and make myself practically useful in Tibet – I just don’t have the right abilities for that. We do what we can with what we have.

          Look at it like this, and it doesn’t matter if a problem is ‘objectively minor’. If I treat a child in England who is depressed after his mum dies in a traffic accident, I am not going to say to him, “Chin up, it could be worse, in Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem I know a girl whose mother was shot in front of her eyes! And then the soldiers wouldn’t let the ambulance through, so she watched her die! In fact, I am going to go and help her as it’s a bit hypocritical if I prioritise your more minor suffering.” Really?

          The sincere thing to do is not to make a list of people who have it worse: it is to do what you can for the ones you are able to help – and obviously to support and encourage the people who are capable of doing the work that you yourself can’t.

          Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            1) The argument for local knowledge is interesting but I fear somewhat weak since it is mostly an argument for global ignorance, which is somewhat strange coming from a progressive who it appears to me is way outside her country of birth. Additionally, the argument that Ami is actually helping somebody in posting article to 972mag and doing biased reporting is extremely weak.

            2) Ami is not treating children. If one is treating children then it is just as hypocritical to proclaim a commitment to global activism on the basis of humanist motives and continue to treat children in London as it is to look for a relatively safe cause celebre for their activism, maybe even worse. In one case one is not even trying and in the other they are but have chosen the fame and exposure of a relatively safe cause over other causes that may and probably do need them even more. They are unlikely to find too many people to argue with about the political situation in Mali or Sudan in order to feel good about themselves and their politics, but is that really a good reason to make a progressive/humanist choice to help some people over others?

            Reply to Comment
          • Joe

            1. Location is important. Otherwise you wouldn’t ever treat a local child for an ear infection given that there is some poor kid somewhere in the world who is dying of typhoid.

            2. Not even sure what this guff is supposed to mean.

            3. Really. That’s the best you have?

            Reply to Comment
          • Joe

            OK, let’s agree that Ami is a hypocrite. In fact, we’re all hypocrites because we could be doing more but don’t and we work from mixed motives.

            If Ami ever makes the statement that claims he is single-handedly tackling the root causes of global injustice and insecurity – and how great he is for that – we’ll all remember that fuck, he is just an ordinary guy and only usually comments about Palestinians. If he ever did that, K9, I will back you up all the way.

            Of course, I don’t believe he is doing any such thing, and I doubt anyone else who is not delusional does either.

            Reply to Comment
    6. Richard Lightbown

      I love the way people who basically couldn’t give a shit about human rights for anyone other than Israelis suddenly find themselves concerned with the suffering of anyone other than the Palestinians. Just how many of you guys have demonstrated outside the Tel Aviv diamond exchange to protest its impacts on the conflict in the DRC?

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        What about the conflict in DRC?

        Few years ago I’ve installed some… special equipment for a company which occupied one and a half floors of one of buildings and half of one of floors was occupied by some DRC… office, so to say.

        Shitload of money these people have, and very… serious connections.

        Unlikely that demonstrations would have any effect at all, definitely not on the conflict – China would buy it all anyway.

        Reply to Comment
        • Joe

          So… because you are incapable of making a moral decision regarding the instillation of dubious equipment for the DRC, that means others should have to take a moral stand on Syria, the Faroe Islands and Djabuti. You are a fruitcake, and an immoral one at that.

          Reply to Comment
    7. sh

      Funny. Not one mention of how harassing, bullying, maiming and killing people who have no forces of order to defend them against violence, no judiciary that will accord them basic rights of ownership and prevent the depopulation of their villages and eviction from their homes and no representation on the world stage because anyone who looks to us like a leader will sit their lives out in our jails or be eliminated, chimes with the Jewishness – recognition of which is a precondition without preconditions for even putting a chair at a table to talk peace – of the State of Israel. That’s my biggest problem. Anyone care to explain?

      Reply to Comment
    8. Arieh

      Applause and kudos to you Ami, you are very humorous.

      Pity though that this is just a gratuitous piece of schmaltz that has nothing to do with reality and is designed to please your adoring fans. Take a bow …

      Why do I say that? Because:

      1. The Palestinian issue is not the last item on the agenda of:

      – The UN
      – The Arab countries
      – The Islamic countries
      – The non aligned nations
      – Europe
      – World leftists.

      It is an all consuming all encompassing agenda on their list at the detriment of every other issue. It is an obsession at the expense and exclusion of everything else. So you can complain all you like when we insist on pointing out that fact but it does not change the fact.

      So why does the occupation continue in spite of that? Because we Jews are just a stiff necked people and some of us learnt that when push comes to shove we can only count on ourselves when trouble comes. Guarantees and promises from third parties are not worth the paper they are written on. So we insist on symbolic gestures from the protagonists of this conflict, before we give up real tangible lands. The fact that they are not even willing to make symbolic gestures in order for us to end the occupation, tells us that they have not yet accepted our presence in the Middle East. So we stand our ground.

      As for your story that you prioritise the suffering of Palestinian Arabs, at the exclusion of suffering elsewhere, because you are Israeli and you feel responsible, that is just hogwash. What’s more, you yourself are aware that it is hogwash. Why do I say that? Because you betrayed yourself with this smart arse retort of yours:

      ” I’m willing to change it to 65 years of occupation, I agree with them on that too.”

      In other words, you agree with them that Israel itself, within the green line, is occupied land. That makes you as much an Israeli as an Italian who would claim that Italy was born in sin and Italy has no right to exist. But yes, as far as smart arse comments go, your comment WAS funny and even I enjoyed it. But that does not make you right. Nor does it make you Israeli. Smart arse comments never make anyone right. Only facts do!

      Reply to Comment
      • That has to be the least convincing piece of Hasbara crap you’ve ever written arieh. Nice try. And not funny at all. I love the “applause and kudos” arrogant touch, makes people think you’re right even before you start your rant. Oh well, I do appreciate the effort, but your comment is not worth much. Still… Kudos to you arieh!

        Reply to Comment
        • Arieh

          You’re right Ami, thanks. I’m a putz.

          Reply to Comment
          • I know. And, by the way, it’s not me who will bring destruction to Israel. Fascists like you already have. Brew on that, Arieh my “friend”.
            (Oh, I’m sorry. Did I get under your skin? Are you used to the other bloggers being nice to fascists like you? Don’t you know my channel is different? That I have no respect for Apartheid activists?)

            Reply to Comment
    9. Arieh

      I’m really sorry Ami. I’ll stop commenting here.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Arieh

      It’s just so hard to stop, because I love your writing.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Arieh

      I’m such a loser. Ami has really gotten under my skin. I must have one huge chip on my shoulder. Ami, can you forgive me?

      Reply to Comment
      • Sure, if you get off my channel. Jeez arieh, how thick are you? Can’t you take a hint? Take your fascism elsewhere!

        Reply to Comment
    12. Arieh

      Since you put it that way, Ami …… No!

      Unless of course you say please.

      Reply to Comment
      • How bout this: you say please to me, and i’LL let you comment again on +972. As a typical Israeli, you have no clue who is privileged and who isn’t.
        Was nice, fascist apartheid activist!

        Reply to Comment
        • Nice try, Arieh. I saw the little tattle-tale with all the name calling. Extremely mature. I guess I was right about you all along. I do hope you get some therapy.

          Still, I’ll give you another chance to comment on +972. I wouldn’t want to take your livelihood away from you.

          Feel free to write me an apology and a promise not to comment on my channel. My email is above.

          Reply to Comment
      • Ciao!

        Reply to Comment
    13. I admit it: If a reckless truck driver hits a bus and kills 30 people in the next city, I care much, much less than if I myself recklessly hit a car and kill only one person. Call it leftist narcissism.

      Reply to Comment
      • It’s leftist narcissism!

        I feel much better.

        Reply to Comment
    14. Eric Nepgen

      Great Article Ami…..

      I think nearly everyone involved with the Palestinians has heard at least one of those lines before….nothing really new here 🙂

      Reply to Comment
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