So Long as Palestinians Are Treated as Exceptional, They Will Never Be Able to Overcome Their Woes

July 22 2021

In the Middle East and across the globe, there are numerous stateless nations, refugee problems, and longstanding struggles over territory, yet the Israel-Palestinian conflict is treated as if it is fundamentally unlike all others, and has been treated thus from its inception. Hussein Aboubakr examines this strange situation:

Very few, if any, causes and ideas can gain the support . . . of so many disparate ideologies the way the Palestinian cause does. From the ideological projects of Islamism, jihadism, and Arab nationalism to Third World liberation ideologies, feminism, and wokeism, the Palestinian cause serves as a rallying call to disharmonious groups. Palestinian “refugees” are considered a unique breed of displaced humans, utterly different from the tens of millions who were displaced since World War II. The recent wave of protests against the oppressive rule of the Palestinian Authority proved to be [of little] interest to the Western supporters of the [Palestinian] cause, many of whom hold up the slain Saudi journalist Khashoggi as a Christlike figure.

The magical exceptionalism of the Palestinians turns appalling acts of violence . . . from terrorism into resistance. It turns common real-estate disputes into a struggle of justice, Islam, Arabness, feminism, wokeism, socialism, etc. It turns the cowardice of Islamist terrorists into heroic self-sacrifice. . . . And finally, it turns the nauseating toxic anti-Semitism, which is now proliferating the world over, into a banner of self-righteousness and equity.

The reason the star of the Palestinian cause is dimming among Arab nations, while ironically getting brighter in the West, is [that] we don’t see the Palestinians as exceptional anymore. . . . Ultimately, the biggest losers of Palestinian exceptionalism are none but Palestinians who seek a better future for their people.

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Read more at Hussein Aboubakr

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Palestinian refugees

Will Costco Go to Israel?

Social-media users have mocked this week new Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich for a poorly translated letter. But far more interesting than the finance minister’s use of Google Translate (or some such technology) is what the letter reveals about the Jewish state. In it, Smotrich asks none other than Costco to consider opening stores in Israel.

Why?

Israel, reports Sharon Wrobel, has one of the highest costs of living of any country in the 38-member Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

This

has been generally attributed to a lack of competition among local importers and manufacturers. The top three local supermarket chains account for over half of the food retail market, limiting competition and putting upward pressure on prices. Meanwhile, import tariffs, value-added tax costs and kosher restrictions have been keeping out international retail chains.

Is the move likely to happen?

“We do see a recent trend of international retailers entering the Israeli market as some barriers to food imports from abroad have been eased,” Chen Herzog, chief economist at BDO Israel accounting firm, told The Times of Israel. “The purchasing power and technology used by big global retailers for logistics and in the area of online sales where Israel has been lagging behind could lead to a potential shift in the market and more competitive prices.”

Still, the same economist noted that in Israel “the cost of real estate and other costs such as the VAT on fruit and vegetables means that big retailers such as Costco may not be able to offer the same competitive prices than in other places.”

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Costco, Israel & Zionism