PalSoc’s antics are an embarrassment to a worthy cause
Palestine deserves better than a gang of self-righteous ego-maniacs
There’s an interesting pattern that occurs in the perpetually flamboyant Cambridge political scene.
The groups that are the loudest, the most annoying, by far the most desperate to have their names and faces plastered all over your facebook feed, tend to be the ones who utterly refuse any kind of rational engagement or cooperation with others to strengthen their cause.
Despite the Israel-Palestine conflict being the most complex geopolitical issue to blight international affairs in the modern era, apparently Cambridge PalSoc have cooked up an ingenious solution: they’re going to boycott ‘Peace Week’.
But don’t they want a peaceful resolution? Isn’t that what two-states is all about?
A peaceful two state solution is what the oppressed and periodically butchered people of Palestine want. However, what the whiny teenagers running PalSoc want is fairly different.
They just want your attention.
They don’t want to raise money for starving women and children; they just want you to see them raising money. They don’t want to make some kind of meaningful progress and promote edifying discussion; they just want headlines, even if it’s for being aggressive, uncooperative, and thoroughly incompetent.
And they’re more than happy to steal and pervert the words and images of an oppressed people. No moral price is too high when you get to look like a heroic freedom fighter, winning the war on oppression from the comfort of a middle-class living room.
They’re not trying to help Palestine when they shout ‘Scum!’ at people queuing to hear out the Israeli ambassador. They’re not preventing the shelling of UN schools and hospitals when they refuse to cooperate at all unless Netanyahu is dragged to the Hague and locked up. They’re not raising awareness when they refuse a chance to promote peace and understanding, in favour of another bafflingly misguided attempt to make themselves look as childish as possible.
The plight of the Palestinians is a deeply worthy cause. Whatever views you hold, it’s a fact that thousands of innocent men, women and children have been killed, and, no matter the context, that’s unequivocally a tragedy.
But PalSoc’s nonsense is what happens when a bunch of perpetual adolescents get hold of a worthy, difficult cause: it becomes just another avenue for their social lives, a hijacked movement perverted for likes, retweets, and the heavy ego-petting that comes with pretending you’re somehow in the same boat as a people who need permits to go to the emergency room.
You don’t make a difference by appropriating oppression, by screeching your views until everyone is definitely looking at you, and by claiming anyone who disagrees supports genocide.
When PalSoc refused to engage in the inconsequential but sweetly intentioned ‘Peace Week’, they weren’t fighting neo-apartheid or highlighting an issue; they were making the Palestinian people look like dogmatic, uncooperative ideologues who don’t care about an end to war, but only care about getting sympathy and making noise.
But these are not the actions of an oppressed people; they’re the actions of some very boring people with very few morals running a very poor excuse for a Palestinian Society.
PalSoc is an embarrassment to Palestine. No-one should equate their behaviour with genuine activism.