Have you ever noticed how Zionists seek to disguise their racist, colonialist agenda by jumping onto progressive bandwagons such as feminism, environmentalism, and gay and indigenous rights?
To take but two examples: Zionism's key colonising arm, the Jewish National Fund (JNF), now parades as an environmentally-friendly tree-planting group, and macho Israel itself is spun as a gay-friendly oasis in a homophobic Arab/Muslim desert whenever the occasion calls.
Now while greenwashing and pinkwashing are relatively new to Israel's propaganda repertoire, another, older form of '-washing' is experiencing something of a revival. I'll call it Palwashing. Palwashing rears its ugly head whenever you hear stories of cute but ailing Palestinian kids being saved from certain death by the selfless labour of Israeli doctors.
Palwashing is not exactly a new phenomenon. In his 1946 book, Palestine Through the Fog of Propaganda, a Palestinian civil servant in the British Mandate government, M.F. Abcarius, may well have been one of the first to draw attention to this kind of propaganda:
"Next to the claim that Jews are contributing more than their proportionate share to the revenue of the country, the most insistent allegation is that [Jewish] immigration has benefited the country greatly... Common decency militates against the mention among the alleged benefits of Jewish immigration the fact that certain anti-malaria works undertaken by Jews for their own good have incidentally proved of value to neighbouring Arabs. Similarly, the admission of Arabs to Jewish institutions for treatment is a normal phenomenon if the country is really regarded as one. The very fact that mention is made of the admission of Arabs to Jewish institutions clearly indicates that in spite of their repeated professions that they regard the well-being of the country as a whole, the Jews maintain in their minds a sharp cleavage between the two sections of the population. Moreover, in almost all Jewish institutions admission for treatment is subject to the payment of fees, and since the service of professional physicians or surgeons have been commercialised the world over the inclusion of this item in the enumeration of benefits accruing to Arabs from Jewish immigration loses its value." (pp 186-190)
The reason for my introducing the subject of Palwashing at this point in time relates to the contents of the front page (and follow-up article and editorial) of the Australian Jewish News of May 31.
Under a large feelgood photograph of a stylishly-dressed young mother and her cute 5-year old daughter, joyously throwing fallen autumn leaves into the air, comes the bold headline, Miracle of life, followed by these words:
"When 5-year-old Palestinian girl Rozana Sawalhi fell 9 storeys from her apartment, her life was saved by a team at Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital. Now, a new Australian medical initiative named in her honour will see many more Palestinian children receive vital treatment."
This was followed on page 3 by a report on the launch of Project Rozana, under the headline Hadassah's healing hands. PR (how appropriate!) is described as "a collaboration between Christian welfare organisation Anglican Overseas Aid, Hadassah Australia and Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem," and is touted as providing "paediatric intensive care to gravely ill Palestinian children."
Rozana's mother, Maysa Abu Ghannam, is quoted as saying, "Everone knows that while there is conflict between Israel and Palestine, none of that matters at Hadassah. [There] you are a human being, that's all. You are a person without politics, without religion, without colour... [Rozana] is a miracle of life... She is a bridge between Palestine and Israel now."
The initiative is further said to have the support of the Palestinian Authority.
That PR is primarily about, well, PR, is hammered home by the AJN's editorialist who laments that, although the usual Israeli propaganda lines - 'beacon of democracy in a sea of theocratic despotism' is described as a "chestnut" - "while noteworthy, aren't newsworthy, and lose the battle for column inches to buzz factoids like Israel is an 'apartheid state'*... it's satisfying when a positive story about Israel cuts through."
In reality, propaganda of the Palwashing kind merely serves as a cover for Israel's horrendous abuse of Palestinian kids. (Read my 18/4/13 post, The UN Goes to Water, and you'll see what I mean.)
To return to one of the points I often make in this blog: the simple fact remains that if Palestinian kids such as Rozanna can be treated in Israeli hospitals, why can't Palestinian refugees be allowed to return to their homeland and live beside Israelis in a secular, democratic, unitary state? (See my 17/4/13 post If They're Good Enough for the Technion...)
[*The editorialist here has created his own factoid, namely that the ms media is talking about Israel as an apartheid state. To read the saga of what happened when the 'a' word once inadvertently cropped up in the Australian press, see my 3 posts: Consensus At Last (7/5/12); The Other Side of Israel's Jewish Character (8/5/12); and Magic Happens (11/5/12).]