Dear Brothers and Sisters in Palestine, make this your moment too.
Through the Egyptian people Allah Subhanahu wa ta'la has suddenly presented you with an unbelievable opportunity. Even a few months ago, no one could have predicted the coming of anything like this. Mossad, the CIA and Egypt's own myriad of intelligence agencies and every other busy professional speculator failed miserably to have the slightest inkling of what was coming. Allah alone knew and has brought this opportunity into being for all the victims of oppression and deception. So be thankful to Him and grasp this moment with all your heart. Like the Egyptians, you also need a radical change and now you have seen how to bring it about.
First and most importantly, unite like your brothers and sisters in Egypt. Then, shake off your own Abbas and his likes, as Egypt shook off the man who did his best to harm Egyptians for three decades. Abbas and his associates have not only rendered themselves totally irrelevant to your hopes and aspirations, they effectively block your way to the attainment of your most cherished goals.
Once you have united, you will have fulfilled the first and most important condition of your emancipation - freedom and dignity. You will be an irresistible force before which Abbas and his cronies will be powerless and will have to give way.
Only then will you have qualified yourselves for the second round of your struggle: to stand up to Israel like one man with one voice. And if you can show the courage, integrity, solidarity and patient perseverance, as the people of Egypt so magnificently have done, no one will be able to ignore you any longer. Egypt has thoroughly exposed the hollowness and vulnerability of tyrants and schemers.
Your enemies have been caught off guard and are still reeling from the shock. It has been particularly intense because those who enjoy long success become arrogant and cannot imagine failure. So when failure comes unawares, in spite of all their carefully laid plans, the bewilderment and pain is even more intense.
The world has noticed how frantically and unashamedly America and the rest of the bandwagon were trying to control and direct the Egyptian uprising to suit their own interests. They repeatedly set their terms before Mubarak and then to those in Tahrir Square, as if Egyptians and their leaders were America's servants. How dare servants act independently without orders? How could those who they despised as less than human suddenly behave with such courage, dignity and humanity?
Your enemies are momentarily thrown off balance. But only momentarily, for remember that your enemies' nature has not changed. They will soon be at their old game again. They are hell-bent on finding ways to counter their defeat. They need only time. Brothers and sisters in Palestine, do not grant them the time.
You have already seen what Abbas and his ilk are really like, how false and hypocritical they can be, how low they can sink in shameless servility to their foreign masters, in treachery and betrayal of their own people. You have seen how selfish, incompetent, irresponsible and untrustworthy they are. After Abbas' throttling the Goldstein Report at the UN, the revelations by Al Jazeera in the Palestine Papers, and his open support of Mubarak till the very end, what sane man or woman can have any more illusions about him? The mask has been torn away.
Yet Abbas still hopes to keep on fooling the Palestinians, thus his recent promise of fresh elections in occupied Palestine. A man with zero credibility offers free and fair elections under his own supervision? It might almost be humorous if people's lives and welfare were not involved. This is exactly what Mubarak did in his last days, desperately clinging to power, promising concessions. Like Mubarak, Abbas has suddenly discovered the existence of his own people and is trying to appear virtuous to them.
The truth is that Abbas and his associates have panicked after the turn of events in Egypt. They are suddenly, painfully aware of their own vulnerability. Every Palestinian needs to also be aware of Abbas' vulnerability. Even if Abbas is willing to change, he is totally helpless. He has collaborated with the enemy so much, so deeply and for such a long time that he is now entirely in their hands. He cannot free himself. At the slightest sign of disobedience they will crush him under their feet. This has become his tragic destiny. We can only feel sorry for him.
There is no room for any more illusions about the 'peace process'. In fact, there has never been any process toward peace. From the beginning it was a 'deception process', and it has served Israel wonderfully well. But you can see what it has brought for the Palestinians. Remember your dead leader Yasir Arafat and what happened to him in the end. When he woke up to the hoax of the 'Peace Treaty', he was shattered. As he painfully, gradually realized the true nature of the game being played and began to show signs of refusal to do Israel's and the West's bidding, he was treated as filth and mercilessly wiped off. All this is recent memory. Israel and its backers might still need the so-called 'peace process' to complete the final capitulation of the Palestinians. But the Palestinians certainly do not need this 'peace-process' noose around their necks.
Also, do not look toward America for sympathy and help. America is not an honest broker, and never has been. Whatever Israel has done to dispossess and humiliate the Palestinians all these years has been done in partnership with America. Israel is nothing without America: the two are inseparable.
Remember America is an empire and, like every empire, has its own interests and impulses. The impulses of an empire may even at times get the better of its interests. This diabolical blind force has driven all empires throughout history and keeps the monster of empire going still, and eventually brings about its own doom. Today the impulse of the American empire is against Arabs and Muslims. Palestinians lose on both counts - so don't expect America to treat you with kindness and fairness.
Think back to what happened to the original inhabitants of this great land, the Native Americans. How many Americans really feel sorry for what has been inflicted on them? How many really care? Precious few. The much vaunted lofty American idealism has not served the dispossessed Native Americans in the least.
The American conscience is one of the strangest things under the sun. Think of how the US treated the people in its backyard, Latin America. Think of the slaughter the United States has caused all over the world in the last 100 years; think of the slaughtering machine it possesses and continues to refine day and night. Think of all the military bases it has all over the world. Are we to believe that the bases are there for cultivating flowers? Insensitivity, callousness and cruelty are the hallmark of the American government and the corporate giants that wield such enormous power and influence. The American establishment does not hesitate to kill, maim, humiliate and destroy, and then demand that its victims show gratitude. Failure to show gratitude only earns the unfortunate victim the epithet of 'peace-breaker'.
The oppressed can never hope to persuade the oppressor with logic and reason. How strangely illogical it seems to the Muslim world that the very worst Arab leaders are constantly praised by the West as 'moderate'. The very rulers who betray their own people, ruthlessly quash any legitimate aspiration, and plunder their country's resources, offer smiling servility to the American government and thus earn themselves the glorious label of 'moderate' from the global guardians of democracy. It defies all logic, but those who have the means to inflict pain and humiliation wield their own logic. It does not matter whether you agree or not; brute force combined with limitless cunning sanctions its own definition of logic.
Do not be duped into swallowing the line that history began on 11 September 2001. You can go back at least as far as 1798, when Napoleon landed on Egyptian soil. Nothing has changed since then. Victims and collaborators alike lost the moment they trusted the words of Western powers, who laugh at the credulity of their nave victims. Look at their newspapers and TV shows, read their travel accounts, diaries, autobiographies, letters, official memoranda, fiction and even scholarly historical accounts and you will get a glimpse of their deep-seated contempt for Arabs and Muslims. Minds don't change overnight. Allah (swt) alone knows when or if their minds ever will change. Of course, there are exceptional individual Americans who deserve respect, but they are exceptions nonetheless.
The Arab rulers have also been found out. They have all abandoned you. They are an utterly shameless and worthless bunch. You do not need their high-sounding, hollow words, ridiculous postures, deception and betrayal. Do not waste your time and emotion on them.
But you have friends all over the world, ordinary people in the Arab and the Muslim lands and beyond. They all expect you to rise above your petty differences, to get united and stand up as one man with one voice against your so-called leaders.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, you have just seen in Egypt the power of unity of the people, unswerving courage and determination and pure dignity in the face of tremendous power of oppression and intrigue. You have seen the failure of raw power and fathomless cunning in the face of unity, courage, determination, patience and perseverance of ordinary people willing to make sacrifices, without getting hysterical or distracted. They did not even require party organization.
You have also seen all over the world, how hungry men and women are for examples of decency and dignity in the face of provocation and terror, examples that can be truly respected for the way they conduct themselves. The sympathy, support and respect the people of Egypt have earned brought great strength to the Egyptian people and unnerved the tyrants. As long as you preserve your dignity and humanity in your painful struggle against the evil of occupation, oppression and willful humiliation, you will have the sympathy and support of all your friends the world over. With the passing of time their number has swelled and continues to swell. They eagerly wait and pray for you to seize this unique moment and redeem your terrible situation.
One grim truth must always be kept in mind. The Palestinian people will be required to make tremendous sacrifices. But you have already been making sacrifices every day, every minute - but without any benefit. The time to act is now and the first condition for your success is unity. If you find yourselves leaderless now, take heart, for the gate of Allah's Mercy is open and leaders will emerge when you are united and ready. Your cause is just.
A. K. M. Mohiuddin is a retired university professor of English literature living in Bangladesh. He can be reached at this address: akmm45 [at] yahoo [dot] com
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