Anti-semitism has no place in the Palestinian movement but many Pakistanis haven't gotten the memo

Published 20 May, 2021 11:20am

Images Staff

PTI MNA Kanwal Shauzab's recent glorification of Hitler shows we are ignorant of the differences between Judaism and Zionism.

Pakistan is standing in solidarity with Palestinians but many people don't seem to understand the difference between supporting Palestinians and being anti-semitic. For many, these are two sides of the same coin but this is far from the truth.

The most recent example of this is PTI MNA Kanwal Shauzab's hate speech in the National Assembly. In her speech she glorified Adolf Hitler and said he left some Jews alive during the Holocaust as a lesson. A video of her speech was posted by the South Asia Media Research Institute on Twitter but has since been removed as it violated the platform's rules.

You don't need to listen to her speech to get the gist of it — Jews are bad and Hitler wasn't so bad after all.

It should be common sense for anyone, most of all a public representative, to not glorify a maniacal dictator responsible for the genocide of millions. Don't fight hate with hate and, for God's sake, don't try to justify genocide. But this sudden glorification of Hitler isn't new to Pakistan.

Veena Malik praised Hitler recently (though she later retracted it and said she had been hacked) and countless Tweeps have been vocal in their abuse of Judaism and Jewish people.

To make it clear, Hitler is not someone to praise: praising a homicidal maniac isn't helping Palestine. It's detracting from the cause and is adding to claims that opposition of Israel is anti-Semitism. Israel does not represent Judaism anymore than the Taliban represent Islam. We must learn to separate the religion from the people committing human rights violations.

We also need to separate Judaism from Zionism. One is a religion and the other is an ideology and nationalist movement for the re-establishment of a Jewish state. These past few years we have seen how nationalist movements such as those espoused by Trump in the US and Modi in India are breeding grounds for hate.

Hating one group of people is not the solution. Jews aren't doing this, Israelis are and not all Jews support Israel. Palestinians are the victims of genocide and ethnic cleansing but that doesn't mean people should be justifying the genocide of millions of Jews.

The Palestinian movement isn't benefitting from your bigotry and anti-semitism. It's being discredited.

Thankfully, people called out the misguided MNA on Twitter.

People asked if this is the level of the elected representatives who are supposed to represent us.

Anti-semitism has no place in the Palestinian movement.

This is a time to help Palestine and focus on amplifying Palestinian voices rather than spreading bigotry and hatred. The world has enough of that, as we are witnessing today. We don't need to add to that by damning an entire religion because of the actions of a group of hateful people.