Meet the Palestinian human rights advocate who opposes boycotts
Bassam Eid is a Palestinian human rights activist. He created Palestinian human rights monitoring group that focuses on human rights abuses by and corruption in the Palestinian Authority. No other "human rights" organizations focus on citizen abuses at the hands of Palestinian leadership both in Ramallah and Gaza. He was jailed by the Palestinian Authority for his work.
Eid's organization focused only on human rights violations perpetrated by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip.
"There are many human rights organizations in Israel, whereas there are and were hardly any organizations in the Palestinian Authority that monitored its actions in this regard," Eid says.
Eid's organization received significant funding from European states and managed to employ researchers who operated in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Five years ago, however, things changed, and the funding from Europe came to an end.
Why should a person who bravely exposes the corruption and human rights abuses of the Palestinian leadership against their own people be suddenly deprived of his funding by European countries?
"I think it happened because European policy in recent years has been to come down hard on Israel and not the Palestinian Authority. They view Israel as the main obstacle to the peace process and want to support the PA. One of the ways to show this support is to stop funding organizations that are critical of the PA."
In an interview with YNetNews, Eid said:
I'm opposed to the boycott because it only ends up harming the Palestinians themselves. Take, for example, the SodaStream plant in Mishor Adumim that is now moving some of its operations to Be'er Sheva. I've met with Palestinians who worked at the factory and were fired because of the move. They told me they were earning an average of NIS 5,000 a month there, and that today they are being offered salaries of just NIS 1,400 in the PA.
People there are deep in debt because they have taken on long-term commitments based on the understanding that their work at the plant would continue; but reality has slapped them in the face because of the pressure created by BDS movement. Today, they are running between the courts and the bailiff offices and is anyone taking any notice of them? Do you think the boycott movement cares about them at all?
For his outspoken truth, Eid was intimidated and prevented from speaking by BDS protesters at the University of Johannesburg in March 2015.
About the Palestinian Authority, Eid told Rebel Media:
The Palestinian Authority is living in one valley and the Palestinian people are living in another valley. There is no communication between the two.
Almost not one Palestinian benefited from the money coming from abroad to the Palestinian Authority.
As a society we are talking a lot about the corruption of the Palestinian Authority. Unfortunately, the international community still has blind eyes on this corruption.
Nobody is talking about the foundation of a Palestinian state.
Palestinian society is split into two main factions – Fatah and Hamas. Both openly call for the destruction of Israel. Can these organizations co-exist?
Forget any kind of reconciliation or unity between Fatah and Hamas. Although the international community is demanding two states for two people, the Palestinians are calling for three states for two people. Hamas is fighting for its own interest in Gaza while Fatah is fighting for its own interest in Ramallah, and Israel.
I am not sure that there is even one Arab state that is in favor of a Palestinian state. If you take the Palestinian case from 1948 until 1967 the West Bank and east Jerusalem was under the control of the Jordanians and Gaza Strip was under the Egyptian control. Did Jordan or Egypt between 1948 and 1967 try to create a Palestinian state? If you are asking me between 1948 and 1967 I am not quite sure that the Arabs are interested in the foundation of a Palestinian state and most of the Arab countries are stuck in their own mud.
The evidence that Arab states really don’t care about improving the lot of the Palestinian Arabs can be seen in the factual statistic that not one Arab country is listed in the top twenty nations that donate to Palestinian humanitarian causes.
To Israel, he says:
You must remember that your country is still feeding 1,800,000 Palestinian in the Gaza Strip. The State of Israel is supplying food, medicine and fuel while 22 Arab do nothing and watch Israeli trucks bring supplies into Gaza.
You are still feeding us Palestinians and, thanks to you, we are surviving.
(Acknowledgements to ynetNews and Rebel Media)
Barry Shaw is the author of Fighting Hamas, BDS and Anti-Semitism.