[News] The EU, UN and PA masquerade as activists while highlighting their colonial complicity

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Oct 24 12:47:19 EDT 2019


  The EU, UN and PA masquerade as activists while highlighting their
  colonial complicity

Ramona Wadi - October 24, 2019

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the signing of the UN Convention 
on the Rights of the Child. True to form, UN, EU and Palestinian 
Authority representatives abandoned their political roles to pose as 
pseudo-activists for a month, embarking upon the Masar Ibrahim Al Khalil 
trail walk in the occupied West Bank, accompanied by Palestinian 
children, to “raise awareness” and highlight different articles of the 
convention along the route.

Jamie McGoldrick, Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian 
Territory, hopes 
<http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=GW9tWqa113848693860aGW9tWq> “that 
the walks undertaken over these last 30 days further focus attention on 
how to safeguard and promote children’s rights in the very unique and 
challenging context of Palestine.”

Aside from the platitudes which the participating representatives 
reserved for themselves, it is unlikely that the trekking venture has 
contributed to one single change in the lives of Palestinian children. 
Nevertheless, we are told that the children expressed “how happy they 
are to have their rights promoted and respected.” Promoting samples of 
text from the convention is not equivalent to promoting the rights of 
Palestinian children. Quoting what children allegedly said to the 
representatives is not even indicative of the reality that Palestinian 
children face daily as a result of Israel’s colonial violence. But why 
ruin a large-scale propaganda exercise by mentioning the actual reasons 
why Palestinians have no apparent “right to an equal chance to reach 
their innate potential, irrespective of background of circumstance”?

*READ: The UN exploits Palestinian children to further the two-state 

The trail walk made no difference to UN, EU and PA rhetoric; these 
generic statements could have been uttered from the usual podiums. All 
the representatives know full well that background, context and 
circumstance make all the difference when it comes to the illusion of 
equal opportunities. As detached from reality as politicians are, 
including those masquerading as purported activists for a brief period, 
there was no mention of how the UN conventions employ generalised 
rhetoric and fail to address the specifics of political violations. To 
ensure that the trail walk’s “awareness” was rendered completely void of 
significance, the representatives omitted any reference to Israel, 
preferring the euphemism of “the continuing conflict” instead.

As politicians, all representatives have the duty to implement the 
changes which would enable the rights of Palestinian children to become 
a tangible means for achievement. The EU, UN and PA can and should 
prioritise decolonisation as the first step; after all, is the UN not 
supposed to be committed to eliminating colonialism? Instead, the 
collective antics of these institutional representatives have ensured 
the protection of Israel’s colonial violence against Palestinian 
children, while their lack of rights is framed against “obstacles 
resulting from a combination of factors”.

Raising awareness is an exercise performed with the intent to change 
existing injustice. These politicians — let’s call them performers, 
shall we? — have every intention to ensure the opposite. Trail walks and 
a month of sightseeing in occupied Palestine at the expense of 
children’s rights is an abomination, regardless of the EU’s funding of 
the trail to “enhance Palestinian citizenship and identity”. If Israel 
is constantly erasing Palestine and Palestinians, as the UN, EU and the 
PA are well aware, how does a walk to promote the convention alter the 
ramifications of Israeli colonialism, backed as it is by the same 
entities which put themselves and human rights rhetoric on an 
untouchable pedestal?

*READ: Settlers assault 3 Palestinian children in Hebron 

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not 
necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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