Posts Tagged ‘Gaza and West Bank’

Amira Haas: Not by cement alone

June 10, 2010

The flotilla, like its predecessors and the ones still to come, serves the Israeli goal, which is to complete the process of separating the Gaza Strip from the West Bank.

Amira Haas, Haaretz/Israel, June 10, 2010

The achievement of the failed flotilla to Gaza – mainly, it must be conceded, by its dead – is that the demand is being heard from everywhere that Israel halt its policy of siege. The government of Israel was not willing to listen to the desperate supplications of John Ging, the head of UNRWA in Gaza. Now it must heed French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But unknowingly, this flotilla, like its predecessors and the ones still to come, serves the Israeli goal, which is to complete the process of separating the Gaza Strip from the West Bank. The process, it will be said here for the millionth time, started in 1991 and not after the rise of Hamas rule. It’s purpose was to thwart the two-state solution, which the world understood at that time as based on all of Gaza and the West Bank, and the link between them.

Continues >>

Palestinians Must Unite against Racist Israel

October 10, 2008

Dr Abdul Ruff Colachal

There is a striking similarity in the anti-Muslim policies of the so-called “democracies” like basically conservative India, Israel and USA, both at home and abroad. The anti-Islamic chord has worked quite well to the regimes in covering up their state corrupt and criminal activities in the country and abroad. Practices of anti-Islamism have kept these regimes in good stead at least outwardly. These racist and fascist trends continue to dominate the national politics and, as a result, have resulted in genocide, and torture and insults to Islam and Muslims. Leader after leader, Israel keeps its flock together on an emphatic anti-Arab platform. So much so, any move towards peace with Palestinians evokes loudest protest and regime change in Israel.

ONE:  Israel Racism and Terrorism

In 1948 Israel came into being on lands annexed from Palestine. Palestinians in the West Bank, including east Jerusalem, have lived under Israeli occupation since 1967. The settlements that Israel has built in the West Bank are home to around 400,000 people and are deemed to be illegal under international law. Leaders like Yasser Arafat sacrificed their lives for the establishment of Palestine state and safeguard the lives of innocent Palestinians living at the mercy of a terrorist Israel.  Israel under Ariel Sharon evacuated its settlers from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and withdrew its forces, ending almost four decades of military occupation. But after his disappearance form public scene, things have gone worse for the Palestinians. USA and Israel worked over night to split the Palestinians and they succeeded. After the Islamic group Hamas seized control of Gaza in June 2007 following the dismissal of its elected government by PLO President Mahmoud Abbas at the behest of the USA and Israel, Israel intensified its economic blockade of the Strip.

While Kadima is embroiled in peace talks with the Palestinians, Likud says it will wait until there is a stronger negotiating partner on the other side and try to boost the West Bank economy in the meantime. The Kadima party was formed nearly three years ago when then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon split from Likud in what has been described as a “big bang” of Israeli politics. Instead of throwing out the rebel leaders from his Likud party, he himself came out to float a new party Kadima and came to power in the next poll.  The issue that tore Likud apart was Sharon’s plan to withdraw, or “disengage”, Israeli troops and settlers, first from the Gaza Strip, and then from parts of the West Bank.  It was an abrupt U-turn from a man who had urged Israelis to “settle every hilltop”.

Israel considers the Palestinians as ‘terrorists” because they have been struggling to get back their lands form the terrorist Israel. Racist Jews have been cruel to the Palestinians. More evidence is available to show how shabbily Israel treats the Palestinians whose lands it occupies. An Israeli civil rights group, the Association for Civil Rights, has said racism against Arab citizens of Israel has risen sharply in the past year. In a report, it said expression of anti-Arab views had doubled, and racist incidents had increased by 26%. Christian or Muslim Arab citizens of Israel make up 20% of the population. But the civil rights quoted polls suggesting half of Jewish Israelis do not believe Arab citizens of Israel should have equal rights. About the same amount said they wanted the government to encourage Arab emigration from Israel.

TWO: Human Rights Evasions

Israel considers Arabs less clean and less intelligent than themselves and Americans. Anti-Arab policies being pursued by Israel for decades have created a wedge between them and Arabs. A prominent Israeli Arab politician, Mohammed Barakeh, said the poll results were the natural outcome of what he called the anti-Arab policies of successive Israeli governments. Commenting on the findings of the report, the association’s president Sami Michael warned: “We live in a democratic regime whose foundations are constantly weakening.”

Occupied territories Part of the group’s annual report is dedicated to the situation in Gaza and the West Bank. The report says: “Most of the human rights violations in the occupied territories are by-products of the establishment of settlements and outposts.” Restrictions on the movement of Palestinians designed to allow settlers “free and secure movement”, have virtually split the West Bank into six separate parts. The organization says that the West Bank barrier “does not separate Palestinians from Israelis, but Palestinians from other Palestinians”. The report also asserts that despite its withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, Israel retains “moral and legal responsibility” for the Palestinians there because Israel controls access to the coastal territory.

As usual, a government spokesman Mark Regev responded that the Israeli government was “committed to fighting racism whenever it raises its ugly head and is committed to full equality to all Israeli citizens, irrespective of ethnicity, creed or background, as defined by our declaration of independence”. As Israel keep expanding its illegal settlement projects in Palestine, Israel’s Construction and Housing Minister Zeev Boim said the rights group’s report was biased and without credibility.

THREE: Palestine Unity

The success of the fascist and racist terror forces of India, USA and Israel has much to do with the global “terrorism” trend and inability of the Muslims under siege and tortures to unite against the global enemies. There are many freedom groups in Kashmir, though they have just one point program of gaining sovereignty back from occupying India. Similarly Fatah and Hamas have been waging a mutual war, instead of fighting the enemy tooth and nail. Islamic world is hopelessly divided amongst themselves and unable to fight the global terrorists USA, and its “allies” Israel and Hindu India.

Palestine Authority President Mahmoud Abbas – who is also leader of Fatah – ends his term in office on 8 January 2009. The parliament – which is controlled by Hamas – is currently scheduled to remain in power until January 2010. Hamas MPs have demanded Abbas hold presidential elections before 8 January, and said they would no longer recognize his legitimacy after that time. Many feel this would deepen the already-protracted rift.

There have been strenuous efforts from several quarters to bring about a unity among the Palestinian groups to force Israel to come up with a final settlement plan. Egypt, the mediator in the dispute, has proposed establishing a government of technocrats acceptable to all factions, re-organization of the Palestinian security forces, and new parliamentary and presidential elections. Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk said the factions would form technical committees to discuss the issues. The committees will take their time, one or two or three months, these are issues that cannot be resolved in days or weeks. Another official from Gaza said: “We in Hamas accept that elections are on the table for discussion.” However, he expressed opposition to simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections for the Palestinian Authority.

Israel will finally concede and surrender the Palestinian lands only if they see the need and they are under international pressure to do so and a united force in Palestine. This writer had suggested way back for creating a Islamic Security Organization ISO (ref: Middle East Online) to defend the Islamic states and Muslims the world over from the anti-Islamic forces. Meanwhile the peace move from concerned Muslim nations could continue. Hamas officials in Cairo say they will meet representatives of the rival Fatah movement this month to discuss the timing of fresh Palestinian elections. Hamas leaders, the popular “militant” movement in control of Gaza, made the announcement after talks with Egypt’s intelligence chief in Cairo. Egypt hopes the Palestinian groups will reach a reconciliation agreement including elections and other reforms. But some analysts say there are few signs of a narrowing of their differences. Abbas should, without worrying about reactions form USA and Israel, take bold initiatives to unite the Hamas Fatah factions and form a government or hold the elections for smooth functioning of an elected government. As the senior most leader of Palestine, it is his duty– and has obligation — to take all factions into confidence in whatever he does about the establishment of Palestine state.

Dr Abdul Ruff Colachal has been a university teacher, and worked in various Indian institutions like JNU, Mysore University, Central Institute of English FL, etc. He is also a political commentator, researcher, and columnist. He has widely published in India and abroad, and has written about state terrorism.

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