Reflections on the 34th anniversary of the Israeli occupation

June 5th – commemorates the anniversary of one of the longest military occupations of modern history. Israel, the only so called “democracy in the Middle East” has been allowed to maintain the occupation of the Palestinian Territories since 1967. Of course anniversaries are occasions for gifts. And how thoughtful of the Israeli Forces not to have forgotten the occasion by imposing a total siege on each and every town, village and city. A nice momentum for the occasion along with so many other measures lest we forget that we are living under the mercy of the Israeli Occupation. The Birzeit University students and staff seemed to think that life was normal when they took to the road to Birzeit to pursue their studies, but another gift was awaiting them; gas bombs, and rubber bullets to prevent them from reaching the University. That of course is not violence; that is an anniversary greeting. Again thanks to the unwavering support of the USA and its continued vetoes at the United Nations which made it possible for Israel to defy all resolutions regarding the withdrawal of Israel from the Occupied Territories. On the other hand the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait in 1991 which lasted for two months only, was put to an end by a military force initiated by the USA and its allies.

But Iraq has not yet seen the end of the sanctions that were imposed on it because of that occupation. The people of Iraq and especially the children, continue to suffer up till this day as a result of those sanctions, while the Palestinians continue to suffer as a result of the Israeli occupation which has lingered for thirty four years. But that is the irony of it all. In the case of Iraq they were the aggressors; while in the case of the Palestinians they were the victims. But the lopsided logic of the USA and Israel says Iraq should be punished for contemplating the occupation of Kuwait, and the Palestinians should be punished for resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestine. We are damned if we do, and we are damned if we don’t. How come this double standard and this lopsided logic applies to our region? Is it because we are Arab? Is it because we are Muslim, and we should be trampled upon? Is not the USA benefiting enough from the Oil of the Arab and Muslim world that it can afford to take a moral stand, and stop blackmailing these countries, and using them as puppet regimes.

But shame on those Arab countries who dare not use the oil weapon to salvage their dignity and the dignity of their people. But like Israel they are stretching their luck with their people and all the people of the region who are bound to wake up one day and cry out loudly “enough is enough.”

Those cries have already reached Palestinian and Israeli homes, and they hurt dearly. Enough of occupation, enough of autocratic rule in the Arab world, and enough of suffering. Let us by our own will, and for the sake of the future generations make this region flourish like a fairy tale story with love, justice, peace and reconciliation, where everybody lives happily ever after. Dare we hope, or will the logic of the army generals Sharon and Powel continue to prevail and you actually believe that Israel has implemented a unilateral ceasefire?????