Remember all the hubbubs that Dr. Mahathir's OIC speech generated when he mentioned how the friends of Israel 'run' our world? Forgotten then was the fact that in Oct. 2001, an Israeli radio station reported that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in a moment of pique towards his foreign minister, Shimon Peres, bellowed, "Don't worry about American pressure (on Israel). We (the Jewish People) control America, and Americans know it." Hyperbole aside, Sharon revealed that even the darkest suspicion about the U.S.-Israeli alliance is not without some merit.
Looking at the events in Sydney, one cannot be too surprised. There, the NSW Premier Bob Carr's decision to present this year's 'Sydney Peace Prize' to the Palestinian activist and founder of the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH), Professor Hannan Ashrawi, was challenged by pro-Israeli Jews and their friends in Australia.
The Sydney Peace Prize jury unanimously awarded the prize to Hannan Ashwari in August. Ashwari gave her Peace Prize Lecture on November 5 and received the prize from Mr. Carr in NSW Parliament on November 6.
Mr. Peter Wertheim, a past president of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, was quite upset about the Premier's decision. Fearing Jewish backlash, the Sydney University withdrew the use of its Great Hall for the presentation of the peace prize. The lord Mayor of Sydney, Lucy Turnbull, dissociated the City of Sydney, sponsor of the prize, from the presentation. One can guess the reasons behind her decision: Lucy's husband Malcolm is trying to get a nomination for a parliamentary seat and without Jewish support it is impossible to get elected in Sydney.
Wertheim's disgruntled voice (Sydney Morning Herald, Oct. 23) was not unexpected given the fact that people like him have not been able to rise above their 'boxes' and see the world as it is from a neutral point. As far as the Palestinian-Israeli crisis is concerned, his views are arrogantly partisan and myopic. For years, the leaders and diehard supporters of the rogue state of Israel have tried everything to obliterate the Palestinian identity. To their dismay, however, nothing seemed to have worked. The Palestinians are a bunch of 'difficult' and 'uncompromising' people: neither would they go away nor would they give up on their rights to statehood on the 20% of historical Palestine! Nearly 80% of their territory was snatched away from them, hundreds of thousands uprooted from their ancestral homes, basic human rights denied, schools, colleges, commercial centers, homes and hospitals demolished, Palestinians killed like 'vermin' and 'cockroaches;' still they like to hang on to that tiny piece of land - the pre-'67 West Bank and Gaza, truncated by settlements and settler-roads, road-blocks and Apartheid walls that have reduced the territory to 'Bantustans.'
Image is an important weapon in the battle for winning neutral hearts. Only an adept craftsman who is able to draw a hideous image of the villain wins that battle. The Nazis and Fascists were brilliant in their demonic portrayal of European Jewry before Hitler and Mussolini collaborated for a 'Final Solution of the Jewish Problem.' And it worked, millions of Jews were killed and others were forced to immigrate to Palestine. The propaganda against these Holocaust victims was so successful that during the climax of 'Final Solution' (1939-45), (if I am not mistaken) even a paper like the NY Times had no more than half a dozen coverage on this sad saga. For years, none of the Allied Powers (including the USA) came to rescue these victims. (Britain at one time even thought of allying with Hitler's Germany.) The Zionists have learned this tactic only too well from their one-time persecutors to practice it upon their uprooted hosts. They have even perfected this tactic by exploiting the politics of 'anti-Semitism.' Anyone (even a believing Jew) who questions the Zionist savagery, the God-given right to discriminate non-Jews in God's real estate, ought to be an anti-Semite! So when Gideon Levy of the Ha'aretz reports that pregnant Palestinians are stopped in Israeli checkpoints and are sometimes forced to give birth in open fields without proper medical help, and that new born babies sometimes die, the journalist is labeled as an anti-Semite.
Character assassination (outside physical assassination - a tactic employed by Mossad, IDF and the armed settlers) has, therefore, become a powerful arsenal to muffle the Palestinian resistance movement. None is immune from such caricaturisation - from its farmers to intellectuals to leaders. When it comes to depicting Palestinians, it is always an angry mob bent on revenge and when it comes to Israelis, it is an Israeli hospital with wounded settlers or a Jewish graveyard with a sobbing Israeli family. The western media won't show daily Palestinian humiliation, the cold-blooded murders of children like Muhammad al-Durra and a peace-activist like Rachel Corey among them. They won't publicize the UN report, which blames Israel for causing starvation in the Occupied Territories. Palestinians are depicted as 'terrorists' and the Israelis as the ones whose 'security' was at stake. Forgotten are the facts that it is the state of Israel which is terrorizing the people of the Occupied Territories and violating the charters of the Geneva Convention, committing war crimes. It is the Israeli Zionists who are and have always been against the notion of coexistence, who are against peace, who want the full piece of the pie. No one questions: why are the settlers there to begin with in the Occupied Territories? Does not Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention clearly state: "The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies?" The root causes of the Palestinian unrest are ignored and symptoms are treated. Thanks to Goebbles and his spiritual children!
Wertheim accused Ashrawi of not supporting the Oslo Accord and Palestinian Roadmap to peace. Having read Ashrawi's speeches in various nets and newspapers over many years, I believe Wertheim's claims are unjustified and belong to similar campaigns, orchestrated by pro-Sharon/Israeli groups that try to smear the images of leaders and intellectuals of the Palestinian community.
Prof. Ashrawi, like late Prof. Edward Said, has been a very articulate spokesperson for the Palestinian cause. In an article 'Anatomy of Racism,' Dr. Ashrawi wrote, "Blaming the victim has been the common resort of the guilty in rationalizing and distorting the horror of the crime itself. ... The essential prerequisite, of course, is the total dehumanization of the victims and the elimination of their most basic rights and attributes as well as claims to protection. Inevitably, the resultant compound victimization is further enhanced by increased vulnerability, distortion, and exclusion from the protection of human consideration and moral imperatives. Hence, the latest eruption of confrontations between the Israeli occupation army and civilian Palestinian protestors became the playing field for the full force of the Israeli spin machine in a most deliberate, concentrated, and racist exercise of deception and dehumanization directed against a whole people."
The Oslo Accord was supposed to bring into reality a sovereign Palestinian state living side by side with Israel. As a representative of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr. Ashrawi played an important role in the peace process. Most racist, militant and fanatic Israelis, especially the Likudniks, on the other hand, did not like that their dreams for an Eretz Israel be dashed. [The recently concluded Jerusalem Summit, dated Oct. 14-16, 2003, gives enough credence to the fact that Zionists and their supporters within the Bush Administration are working hand in hand to ensure that the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the River of Jordan remain under Israel with Jerusalem as its eternal capital.] Netanyahu and Sharon's Likud party dubbed Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin, one of the main architects of the Accord, as a traitor, and soon thereafter a militant Jew murdered Rabin. This event facilitated the coming into power of anti-Oslo, anti-peace, Likud Party. Through a Draconian process, Netanyahu's government tried everything to undo the Oslo Accord, thus sabotaging peace and frustrating the hopes of the Palestinian people. Speaking after the conclusion of the Cairo summit, Dr. Ashrawi said that the peace process "exists only as a fiction in the minds of a few, merely in the minds of Arab leaders, who still think that they can salvage peace from the jaws of destruction and war that is being waged against us."
Then came Yehud Barak, who was elected on the premise that he would honor the implementation of the Oslo Accord. Instead, under him, the armed Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories increased. Home demolitions, the denial of water rights, and the institutionalized torture of Palestinians continued. Instead of the projected withdrawal of the Israeli military from the occupied territories, the world witnessed a nakedly brutal state of siege. Each "confidence building" stage was obstructed by Israel, and Palestinians, who had watched this, rightfully felt less trustful and more angry. Ashrawi echoes this despair of never-ending waiting: "Palestinian people seem to have lost faith in the peace process, having waited for seven years after the signing of the Oslo accords and realized that Israel has no intention to honor its commitments." (Frontline magazine, India, Oct. 28, 2000)
During the Clinton-brokered peace initiative, Barak proposed something that was less honorable, less than the moth-eaten 20% of the historical Palestine. There would be corridors connecting the Jewish settlements in the occupied territories to Israel proper. Jerusalem would remain the undivided city under Jewish tutelage. The grand Israeli strategy was to reduce Palestine to the status of a "Bantustan." Ashrawi said that Barak had "managed to rob the peace process of any credibility, any legitimacy, any substance and any relationship to reality". Worse still, he let the genocidal maniac Sharon visit the Haram al-Sharif, an event that triggered the birth of the Second Intifada and his own 'political Waterloo.' Soon thereafter, Barak mobilized his IDF on an all-out war against the Palestinian people. Rather than a construction of 'Peace' he dug the 'Grave of Peace.'
However, as usual, the victims of Barak's onslaught by IDF were blamed for causing the unrest. The 'blame-game' was so ludicrous that even the Israeli foreign minister Shlomo Ben Ami was reported to have said, "accusations made by a well-established society about how a people it is oppressing is breaking rules to attain its rights do not have much credence." These words were not spoken by Edward Said or Hannan Ashrawi or any other eloquent Palestinian intellectual; they were uttered by the Israeli Foreign Minister. (Time Online Edition, Feb. 13, 2001)
And what to say about the mediator - the USA? As expected, she was not neutral; she was so biased to the Israeli position that before the Israeli team put up their demands, the American delegates had already relayed the same earlier to the Palestinian delegates. Since the signing of the Oslo Accords, truly, the US has allowed claims of Israeli "security" to trump every Palestinian motion towards statehood and independence. The failure of the Oslo Accords brought Washington's complicity and biasness in the Israeli occupation into unusually sharp focus before the world. So when Dr. Ashrawi, an inside observer, stated the obvious - that "the Peace Process has lost its credibility" - she hit on a truth that was difficult for many hypocrites to swallow. Such statements by Ashrawi don't make her an anti-peace activist, something that Wertheimer tried to sound. That is calling 'a spade a spade.'
In her speech at the U Penn, Philadelphia, on October 25, 2000, Dr. Ashrawi envisioned that a future Palestinian state, in contrast to the Jewish State of Israel, would be a non-racial and democratic republic; a state that won't deny or limit the rights of citizen's on religious or racial grounds. This pluralist vision for an independent Palestine is something that none of the Israeli leaders are ready to commit to in their part of the territory. And then to complain that Dr. Ashrawi is against finding a permanent peace in the region is a mere hogwash.
Rather than questioning Ashrawi's sincerity for finding peace in the Occupied Territories, a more appropriate question would have been: Did Mr. Sharon, the current Israeli PM, ever accept the Oslo Accords? The answer is a resounding 'No.' How about the vast majority of the Israelis? How sincere were they in their yearning for peace? If the Israeli people genuinely opted for the implementation of the Oslo Accord, why did they then elect Sharon, a war criminal with a history of massacre of thousands of Palestinian people, adjudicated to be "personally responsible" by Israel's own Kahane commission of enquiry, and one who opposed the Oslo Accords, to power?
Has Sharon, the war criminal, evolved into a dove now? No. Even before the so-called Palestinian Roadmap was launched by the Quartet, Sharon and his militant Jewish ministers were complaining. Sharon was quoted in B'sheva, an Israeli weekly newspaper, as saying, "I am here to preserve the land of Israel, not divide it.... After all, nothing will come out of this Road Map planning anyway..." What's that 'land of Israel' he was talking about? It was everything from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. His Minister of Tourism Benny Elon, who is also the leader of the neo-fascist National Union, was on a tour of the U.S. in May '03, accompanied by Christian Zionists, promoting his program of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians: 'Jordan is Palestine,' something that was again echoed in the recently concluded Jerusalem Summit.
In total contempt for the 'Roadmap,' Sharon is expanding the Settlement activities. Knowing the strength of the neocons within the Bush Administration and the support base from evangelical Christians, his own deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, among many Likudniks, is now openly calling for cementing the dream of Eretz Israel. Independence of Palestine is an oxymoron to this bunch of Zionists. Their activities only remind me of the remark of Bertrand Russell, who on January 31, 1970, said: "Traditionally, the imperial power wishes to consolidate its authority with the least difficulty by appealing to reason and negotiations what it has taken by violence. Every new conquest becomes the new basis of the proposed negotiation from strength, which ignores the injustice of the previous aggression. Every experience is an experiment to discover how much more aggression the world will tolerate." How well his remark fits the Israeli official policy! After 1948, came the wars of aggression of 1956 and 1967, followed by the 1982 invasion of Lebanon - every time extending the border of Israel, and every time uprooting a people from its ancestral homes to make such territories exclusively for Jews - a simple race-based solution to Israel's annexation policy. During the ensuing negotiations that were to follow, Israel would always speak from a position of strength, thus, limiting the discussion to her latest excesses.
Through a very calculated measure, Sharon's government has ensured that Arafat is reduced to a man without any 'real' authority, with his security forces totally destroyed by Israeli bombs and bulldozers, a fact that has been validated by EU. There is no police station that is intact. Sharon openly called for the murder of Arafat and laments the fact that in the early 1980s, he did not complete this task in Beirut. Can anyone imagine this coming out from the elected Prime Minister of a state that calls itself the 'only democracy' and above all, 'an outpost of civilization' in the Middle East? This overt declaration to murder the elected leader of the Palestinian people is so immoral that when the UN General Assembly voted to condemn Israel's decision, there were 133 votes in favor and only 4 in opposition. Besides Israel, the opponents included the US, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands. By casting that vote, what message of higher moral ground was Bush trying to send?
Since his coming to power, Sharon has demolished some 4000 Palestinian homes. He is starving Palestinians to death. A UN report, by Jean Ziegler, a Swiss sociologist and UN special envoy, blames Israel's security policies for "collective punishment" of the Palestinians. The 25-page report says 22% of Palestinian children under the age of five suffer severe malnutrition, and most families have only one meal a day. "The Occupied Palestinian Territories is on the verge of humanitarian catastrophe as a result of the extremely harsh military measures imposed by the occupying Israeli military forces since the outbreak of the second Intifada in September 2000," the report warns.
The Apartheid Wall is constructed, more Palestinian land seized, more settlements built, more orchards and commercial centers destroyed, many leaders of the resistance movement assassinated, thousands detained, bombs and shells dropped indiscriminately on civilian targets - all these in violation of scores of international laws and Geneva Convention. Just in the Rafah refugee camp alone, the IDF recently demolished hundreds of homes making nearly 1300 people homeless, and murdered nearly a dozen people. In its Oct. 13 press release, the Amnesty International declared, "Such wanton destruction is unlawful and constitutes a war crime."
Only a dim-witted person can believe in the sincerity of the Israeli government towards establishment of a Palestinian state within the borders of the pre-'67 (now Occupied) Territories of West Bank and Gaza. And Prof. Ashrawi is no fool. She has studied the Israeli policy of 'annexation and slow but sustained death' of her people for too long to be fooled by all the shenanigans and hypocrisies. As a genuine human rights activist and intellectual, she has tried to open our eyes to the realities of her dispossessed people. She is not against a peaceful coexistence but understands that there can never be peace without justice. Hers is a noble cause and should be applauded and helped, not abused.
People like Wertheim shut their eyes to the marauding activities of their co-religionists in the Jewish state and, instead, opt for finger-pointing those who resist such abuses of human rights and international laws. They should be ashamed of their abhorrent behavior. That kind of partisan attitude is simply immoral and should be shunned.
(About the author: Dr. Habib Siddiqui lives in suburban Philadelphia, PA, and is the author of the book Islamic Wisdom. He can be reached at [email protected])
Wake up and face the fact... YOu know the following statement is 100% accurate. Grow up and LEARN TO SHUT UP!!! Can't handle the truth. Well, you got NO choice.
"Don't worry about American pressure (on Israel). We (the Jewish People) control America, and Americans know it."
Note the Jewish lobby, organization, use of their position, status, wealth, etc, etc.
This UMMAH can learn from that...not to do with our collective infulence what the Jews do with theirs...but from their UNITY behind a specific cause.
Unfortunately, Muslims with wealth, power and position are too busy FILLING THEIR FAT BELLIES AND THEIR SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS.
Al Qur'an states that it is incumbant upon every soul that calls him/herself Muslim TO SEEK KNOWLEDGE.
Gone are the days of the bearded mullah's that run, lead and guide and THINK for whole communites of peoples.
WE NEED EVERY MUSLIM to not be able to only recite Qur'an...but to be well educated in the arts, sciences, math and the like.
WE NEED A REVOLUTION OF THE MUSLIM MIND....
We need to strenghten our minds so we can move beyond the ways of desert pagens and their fear of change.
Bida is the changing of Islam.... everything thing else is keeing abrest of the times.
Wake up my brothers and sisters....
We are falling behind and it's our own faults.
I think that the article is a little one-sided. I think that there is plenty of negative action being committed by all sides of the dispute, as is the case with most arguments. Clearly the Jews are not the ONLY ones comitting brutal violence. Palestinians are as well. I live in the USA, and while the coverage is undoubtedly slanted towards pro-Israel, someone who is trying to be objective can see that BOTH sides are violating EACH OTHER'S human rights. To suggest otherwise seems myopic, or biased.
With regard to `why' the Irsaelis are `there,' it seems to me that nobody really has an inherent `right' to any piece of the earth--it is Allah's earth, and we merely occupy it for a very, very short while. This is why we should be extra careful, Palestinians, Israelis, Americans, Europeans, everyone, to treat the land with respect, and each other with respect.
Diversity is a gift from Allah, He says as much several times in the Qur-an, that He could have made us all the same, but He chose not to. I don't think that it is any of our jobs to judge who is correct or incorrect in that struggle, it is Allah's job. It is our job to try to help the people in that region come to a PEACEFUL resolution...
I enjoyed the article, and I agree with the author's point of view. Unfortunately, the quote ("Don't worry about American...")in the opening of the article which is attributed to Sharon does not have any substantiation. I heard this quote before and thought it was a unique and candid insight into the mind of Mr Sharon. I wanted to use this quote in an article of my own, but found it had no basis in fact upon research. The source is usually attributed to Kol Yisrael radio, but not only do they deny making this report, nobody has ever produced any evidence they did. It appears the quote was fabricated by IAP News who used it in an article and cited Kol Yisrael as the source. I know that Sharon is a genocidal tyrant, and I do not doubt he believes he dictates American policy in the region (as a matter of fact, that's exactly what it looks like he's doing). The fact remains that Muslims have the truth on their side in the conceptual war against Zionist aggression, we should take care not weaken our position with unsubstantiated claims.
We have to stand up for our beleifs and show Israel that they are committing sins that are horrendous in nature. Their superority complex and oppression of surrounding nations will come to an end once their neighbors have realized they have had enough. Let's free Palestine by ending the corruption and granting the people a life free of terrorism, bigotry and fear.
I sincerely beleive that the PLO wants to work towards workable objectives at obaining peace, but Israel consistently overlooks ther concerns and has no intention of formulating peace in their region. The US has to stop supporting Israel in order to end its misconception around the world as a tyrannical state, like Israel itself. Until the world steps in to organize peace, peace will never manifest. I do in fact believe that it never will. Armageddon will most likely occur in the Middle East and the world will be at war there - nation against nation, good against evil. Read the INGIL (Book of Revelation) and you will see what will become of Palestine.
The simple fact of the matter is: That land then belonged to, now belongs to and will always belong to the Palestinians. Period. It never belonged to the Zionists and it never belonged to the British, and it never will. The Israelis will always (as long as they do) continue to live on "stolen" land, in the world's largest settlement now known to the world as the state of Israel.
But you don't care about what the Israelis did to the Palestinians, do you? After all, they are not human beings, right Mr. Norman? You keep me wondering whether Ariel Sharon can ever surpass you in bigotry and injustice!
Before Zionists moved into Palestine, Europeans, Africans, Iranians, and even Russians, AND JEWS, lived in peaceful coexistence within PALESTINE!
So when you sit there with your Star of Zion, and deny history so blatantly and FORGET that Israel is the occupier, the agressor, the transgressor, then you are yourself being a one-sided yapping duck that doesn't know when to put a sock in it.
Dude you talk so much crap and still you don't get the point that your totally a Zionist, and that you in itself are Anti-Semitic against Arabs.
Palestinians don't see this as a religious war, people like you, Zionists do. You claim the name of Judaism for your Nazi-like tactics.
Go back into hiding in your little hole...you support removale of 95% of settlements yet a giant damn wall is sticking up around the West Bank and Gaza. Your full of crap buddy...removal of settlements isn't enough, you gotta do better than that. Like I said, go creep back into your hole.
The Israeli gov't should bull-doze Hannan Ashrawi's home and snatch away the award and give it to Ariel Sharon. It's Ok, let the Israelis have eveything....
The definition of "lowness" needs to re-defined.
How can a state, the new Palestinian state be non-racial when the entire Jewish population has been ejected from the West Bank and the Gaza strip? I happen to be in favour of the evacuation of 95% of the settlements, as envisaged by the so-called "Geneva Accords" and the Ayalon-Nusseibeh "Peace Plan". Both of these call for the evacuation of settlements and removal of the Jewish settlers. However, without a Jewish population, the new Palestinian state will be virtually Arab, and with the exception of some three hundred (300) Samaritans in Nablus, it cannot, by an stretch of the imagination no one will be ablke to consider it as a non-racial state. This will be an Arab and Muslim state. The writer should stop kidding himself, the Palestinians and the world community. By contrast, Israel has an 18% Arab minority plus, also, some 300 Samaritans. There are also many more non-Arab, non-Jewish citizens in Israel than there will ever be in Palestine.
My second observation is that the Nazis being so thorough in their persecution of Europe's Jews that they forced many of them to go to Palestine, and the British having given a promise to set up a Jewish homeland in Palestine, why have the Palestinians not sent their suicide bombers against German, Austrian and British targets? It would have been more honest to bomb a MacDonalds in Berlin, Vienna and London or to have targeted Christian churches rather than Jewish synagogues. None of this was done, so what we have is really an Arab, a Palestinian and a Muslim expression of anti-Jewish hatred. Instead of punishing the perpetrators of the Holocaust and European antisemitism that led to the displacement of the Palestinians, the Palestinians chose to punish and murder the survivors of the Holocaust. It does not seem logical. What does Mrs. Ashrawi say?