Palestinian-American lineman Oday Aboushi was drafted by the (American football) NY Jets this year. He has become a center of controversy because of his out-front support for the Palestinian cause.
Aboushi was criticized for speaking at the convention of the El Bireh Palestine Society, a group which has had other speakers with connections to terrorism, and whose Facebook pages include pictures of terrorists and other “horrifically anti-Semitic, anti-Christian and terrorist propaganda.” The organization’s logo shows the entire state of Israel covered by a Palestinian flag. Aboushi’s own Facebook page contained what was called ‘objectionable’ material, which was removed after a previous exposé. Joe Kaufman, the author of the articles, asks “what will the Jets do?”
Probably very little, given that Aboushi is being criticized for political beliefs, something which doesn’t usually fly in the US unless it’s possible to establish that a person’s beliefs are racist (as in the case of poor Paula Deen), in which case he or she can be ostracized from public life, terminated from employment, etc. But nobody caught Aboushi calling anyone a ‘kike’.
He is only a patriotic Palestinian, and what could be wrong with that?
Abraham Foxman of the ADL supported Aboushi against what he called “smearing:”
Absolutely nothing in the public record suggests that Aboushi is anything other than a young American athlete who takes pride in his Palestinian heritage. His participation in a conference organized by the El-Bireh Society, a Palestinian community organization that was until recently defunct, should not be used to tar him as an extremist. Allegations claiming that he is affiliated with other extreme groups are similarly unsubstantiated and appear to be exaggerated for the express purpose of smearing Aboushi.
There is nothing wrong with someone being proud of their ethnic or religious background, and this should be true regardless of one’s chosen profession. Even if one disagrees with the agenda of the groups whose events he has attended, it is unfair and farfetched to cite those as evidence that he is an extremist.
Being pro-Palestinian does not mean you’re an anti-Semite or an extremist.
I have no idea of what organizations Aboushi is affiliated with and what his degree of affiliation is, or if he is in any sense a racist or Jew-hater. Probably not.
But Foxman is dead wrong: “Being pro-Palestinian” does make you an extremist, and anti-Jewish.
The Palestinian cause is nothing more than the negation of Jewish self-determination and sovereignty in their land. Supporting the Palestinian cause means that you accept the Palestinian narrative that they are an indigenous people whose land was taken from them by colonialist usurpers in a violent nakba, and that you favor the ultimate redemption of that land — all of it — from the hands of the Jews.
As Aboushi tweeted,
Today there is no Palestinian leadership that does not take as its ultimate objective the replacement of the Jewish state with an Arab one, from Hamas and the various extreme factions in Gaza, to the PLO and multiple Fatah factions in Judea and Samaria. They differ on strategies, tactics and timetables, as well as the nature of the state that will replace Israel. But they do not differ on this point.
Sometimes they will even say, in English, that they would agree to coexist with a Jewish state. But permanent coexistence is not part of any of their ideologies, as they express them in Arabic. This is also evidenced, on the part of the supposedly moderate PLO, by their insistence on negotiating terms that are incompatible with the continued existence of a Jewish state, such as the demand for a right of return for the descendants of Arab refugees.
Being pro-Palestinian means that you want to see the end of Jewish self-determination, and probably — according to the policies of the various Palestinian factions — the dispersal and/or death of that half of world Jewry which lives in Israel today. I would call this an ‘extremist’ point of view, and one that is anti-Jewish.
Many Americans who call themselves ‘pro-Palestinian’ would indignantly deny this. They would say that they are for peace and coexistence. But if there are virtually no Palestinian Arab leaders that think the same way, then support for their cause translates into support for terrorism and war.
Oday Aboushi recently said “As for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict … I hope that both sides make peace and live in prosperity.” If he believes this, it places him outside the mainstream of the Palestinian movement. I hope that he does.
But this post isn’t about Aboushi — it’s about the Palestinian cause and what it implies.