Gaza,  Hamas

The strange solidarity of Richard Silverstein

Cifwatch recently flagged a most bizarre exchange between Richard Silverstein and a Gazan woman called Sally Idwedar.  You can read the whole thing here on IsraellyCool. It reminded me of a post I wrote some time ago on Palestinian solidarity.

‘Solidarity’, in a political context, is used to denote a non-judgemental identification with, and support for, a particular group.  ‘Unconditional’ is a word often used in conjunction with ‘solidarity’, and this of course explains, or is used to explain, the tolerance for hateful views and violent actions which is sometimes on display in the Palestinian solidarity movement.

I went on to say that whereas I would not actively seek out an argument with a peaceful Palestinian who supported boycotts, even though I disagree with that position, some ‘solidarity’ types are very suspicious of Palestinians whose views are less zealously anti-Israel than their own.

Silverstein’s attitude towards Idwedar exemplifies this latter type.  Whereas there are in fact plenty of pro-Palestinian voices who are no fans of Hamas, Silverstein’s hatred of Israel is so all-consuming that he lashes out furiously at Idwedar when she has the temerity to criticise her own government. (And he refuses to acknowledge that she is also clearly sharply critical of Israel, as a glance at her own timeline will reveal, though willing to enter into dialogue with those who hold different views.)

Your anti-Hamas bias shines through

He gives her a chance to recant her heresy – she refuses:

I gave u opportunity 2 blame Israel 4 the sewage treatment plant not being built yet u preferred blaming Hamas

She asks him dryly if he has had an opportunity to live under Hamas. He replies:

But if I had choice 2 live in free Palestine under Hamas or Occupied Pal. under Israel I know which I’d choose

And then responds to a peaceable intervention from another tweeter:

U call 4 sympathy 4 this Hamas hater who shills for Fatah? Yuck.

This exchange took place on 12 October, but he was still going on at Idwedar this morning.

Refusing to reconsider bigoted views isn’t something to be proud of.

As she rightly points out, Silverstein has an ‘obsession for telling Palestinians what to say’.

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