Israel back at expansionist game
The Israeli government is said to take "retaliatory and punitive measures" against Egypt if it continues to impede further normalization between Israel and Arab countries.
These measures were I strongly suspect deliberately leaked by certain sections of the Israeli foreign ministry. The aim was to test whether the down and out Arabs will be able to cough some kind of protest.
However the tough stand taken by Egypt and some segments of the largely inert Arab media surprised the Israelis. Earlier, Israeli leaders spelled out clear their aggressive intentions by threatening war against the Arabs.
Observers who have been following the developments over the past few weeks also would have noticed the subtle campaign orchestrated by the United States and Israel against certain Arab countries. However, one fails to understand why such provocative statements have been made especially when the so called peace process is underway.
What is surprising however are the punitive measures recommended by Israel against Egypt. They include the downsizing of economic and military aid to Egypt; transferring the venue of talks with the Palestinians from Cairo and inclusion by Israel of the Nile River in the multilateral talks over waters. It is not enough that the Israelis aided by the Zionist lobby in the United States have stolen enough Arab water from rivers in Jordan and Lebanon.
It is also not enough that the population of Jewish settlers founded by US based institutions have increased by 5 percent since the signing of the Oslo accord in 1992. It is not enough that over 700 Palestinians including women and children have been brutally shot and wounded by the Israeli army and settlers using their freely supplied M-1 assault rifles.
But what are the Arabs to do? They are being accused of all crimes under the sun. The word Arab is once again becoming synonymous with terror. Seeking enemies after the destruction of the Soviet Empire the West has turned towards the Arabs. And in Israel it has found a willing and cunning partner. No one hates peace. No right minded Arab would want to have Phantoms streaking from the sky showering them with cluster bombs. The memories of 1982 Lebanon are still there.
An Arab world torn to shreds by internal squabbling, incoherence, lack of objectivity and a feeling of helplessness cannot confront hostile intentions let alone action. The struggle to find a place in the New World Order goes unabated. The ordinary Arab asks many questions.
The Israelis on the other hand find it easy to simplify the conflict in Western propaganda terms. The Arabs are fundamentalists and terrorists. Whereas Israel is perceived to be the torch bearer of peace and progress in the area and is looked at as a bastion of democracy.
But what democracy ? A country that has occupied other peoples lands and subjected them to slavery can hardly be a democracy. A country that has 12,000 teenagers in jails without trial surely does not hold any respect for human rights. A country whose soldiers deliberately fire to maim Palestinians in their own lands cannot represent any ideals. Scorched earth policies and blowing of houses of young children accused of throwing stones at well armed Israeli soldiers are routine.
What does the poor Arab do? He is helpless. Fleeced of his resources by dubious means he is powerless to offer any resistance or justify his actions . He sees Rabin giving the go-ahead for work on 270 new homes near the controversial settlement of Efrat, south of Bethlehem. He listens to jingoistic tirades by the Israeli prime minister.
And he further asks whether this hastily signed peace process is going to give him any benefit. He is told to accept the peace process and not even question its usefulness.
The Israelis are a cunning lot. They are good at semantics and manipulation. They are doing what they can to interpret the UN resolutions 242 and 338 and the clauses of the so called peace treaties in their favor.
They are working feverishly to surround Jerusalem by a wall of fortress colonies, making it impossible to eventually restore it to the pre-1967 boundaries. They have banned the Palestinians from prayers in their own mosques and churches. How can this peace process succeed ?
The euphoria following the signing of the peace accords did not fool the intelligent Arabs. Talk of a new Middle East where the future will be chalked by using Arab resources and Israeli technology did not cause hysteric amongst those who are aware of Israel's insidious program.
The United States which for years aided and abetted Israel in its shenanigans in the area now wants Israel to play a different role. It was within the parameters of its strategic interests in the area that Israel play a pivotal military role. And Israel itself was happy to play this role since it was the recipient of freely supplied weapons of mass destruction. However the disappointment to Israel and some elements in the United States came when it was deprived to play a role in the major Middle East conflict.
However Israel can now play an economic role and is being tailored to be an economic master of the area. It was in this context that economic summit for the area was held. The Arabs were being asked to reach out and touch Israel's bloody hands. They were asked to forget Dier Yassin, Hebron and other massacres. The past is over was the admonishment given to them. In certain Arab countries American ambassadors were writing to Arab businessmen to take part in the conference. It has thus become very obvious that the game is up. No amount of cover up could conceal this carefully laid out plan between Israel and its ally to maintain Zionist hegemony over the area.
The Arabs have been giving in for the sake of peace ever since the Madrid talks. They have accepted the proposal put down in the peace process. They have tried to give peace a chance. They have done so despite Israel's obvious contempt for UN resolutions. They have looked the other way when Israeli Phantoms rained death and destruction on villages in Southern Lebanon.
They have kept quiet when Palestinian kids were rammed to the ground by Israeli troops. They have said nothing to a system that produces intense sufferings to their own brothers living under the yoke of Israeli occupation. They accept Peres description of the shooting of poor Palestinians as " the result of a misunderstanding". But they now have come to believe that this is all hogwash.
Israel's brazen attitude is due to the unqualified political, economic and military support of its chief patron - the United States. This will never change. And it is the most foolish among us who believes that this joint plan for the area will ever change.
The Arabs must not give in. Yes, they are weak, disunited and up to their necks in misery. But with proper planning, resolute action and faith in themselves they will be able to contain and foil threat against them. They should not trap themselves in a time warp. Societies should be more open and institutions where a meaningful dialogue between all should be set up.
There with forthright vision and boldness the Arabs will be able to discuss their predicament. The Israelis have rapidly turned this clash between them and the Arabs into clash of two cultures, two peoples and two civilization.
Let us prove to all that it is not. It is a freedom struggle for liberty and identity. Let us play our cards well.
Topics: Foreign Policy, Occupation