The Muslim world needs to shoulder its responsibility in Palestine

"It’s like an appointment with a dietician. The Palestinians will get a lot thinner, but won’t die," Dov Weissglas, the advisor to the Israeli Prime Minister joked, and the top brass of Israeli government reportedly rolled with laughter. The meeting was called to implement an economic siege on the Palestinian people for daring to vote in Hamas in a democratic election.

For the Palestinians humiliatingly imprisoned in the Bantustans of Gaza and the West Bank, where more than 50% live in dire poverty well below the bread-line and the majority are unemployed, this sadistic remark betrays a vicious streak of inhumanity from a people that claim to represent “Western civilized values” in the hostile Middle East region.

Echoing these callous and inhumane sentiments, the United States of America and the European Union (EU) threatened to halt aid to the beleaguered Palestinians. This same clique forced the United Nations to impose sanctions on Iraq in 1991 that killed one-and-a-half million civilians, 500 000 of them children. The then US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, retorted that the price paid “was worth it.”

Israeli leaders have for decades tried to exert all sorts of pressure on the Palestinian people: from torture, closures, curfews, roadblocks, arrests, targeted killings, collective punishment, shutting out Palestinian workers, offensive operations, the uprooting of trees, the demolition of houses and more. In choosing Hamas, they have opted to resist oppression rather than live in perpetual indignity.

Stunned by the election result, Condoleezza Rice embarked on a tour of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Lebanon, in an attempt to coerce them into isolating Hamas. Whilst concerned at the repercussions of an Islamic victory that could endanger their own illegitimate dictatorships and monarchies, she was rebuffed.

The demands of the USA, EU and Israel that Hamas must recognize the right of Israel to exist, renounce “violence”, and accept all the previous agreements signed by the Palestinian Authority (PA), has been endorsed by some of the insecure Arab puppet regimes. Hamas leader, Khaled Mishaal’s visit to Syria, Sudan and Iran raised anxiety in the West of support for Hamas from these “radical” countries.

The likelihood of Hamas accepting these conditions is remote indeed. Hamas has offered Israel a long-term truce if Israel withdraws to the 1967 border, releases all the political prisoners, and allows the refugees to return to their homes in Israel. Jerusalem will become the capital of the Palestinian state, and Israel will enjoy a truce without recognition. In this, Hamas has the overwhelming support of Muslims the world over.

Muslims are the victims of violent injustice, of persecution, invasion and occupation from Kabul to Kashmir, Baghdad to Chechnya, yet Palestine evokes the greatest rage and anguish amongst all Muslims. The Middle East is the centre of the Muslim world for various reasons, paramount amongst which is the revelation of the Qur’an in Arabic in Mecca.

Jerusalem is the third holiest city after Mecca, the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and Medina (his burial place). The al-Aqsa mosque, which Muslims are deprived of visiting, from which prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was transported to the heavens, is especially significant. Into this Arab heartland of the Muslim world the Western powers decided to implant a Zionist state.

The underlying purpose of the creation of the Jewish entity has been to fulfill the role of being a “buffer state” supported by Western colonialism, and it represents the pinnacle of the western-Zionist danger in the heart of the Islamic and Arab lands. It has split the two separate parts, Asia and Africa, forestalling Muslim unity and thereby weakening them.

To the same degree, it has ensured that Muslims remain divided and incapable of any revival, rotating instead in the orbit of subservience. The chances of the Jewish- Zionist entity continuing to enjoy stability and growth in a hostile environment rest upon an assurance that the Muslim states around it remain weak, disunited and backward. Hamas and Hizbullah have signaled a reversal of this trend, and Muslims globally have to shoulder its responsibility towards Palestine.

Israel repeatedly violates international law and simply disregards numerous United Nations resolutions and the Geneva Conventions with impunity. The USA and its allies always supports the Zionist entity with its veto in the Security Council to prevent the practical enforcement of any of these resolutions, while, at the same time, it advances this presumed international “legitimacy” to consolidate the Zionist state on usurped Palestinian land and entrench its presence there.

Arjan El Fassed wrote in his mock memo, "Mandela’s First Memo to Thomas Friedman" : “Apartheid is a crime against humanity. Israel has deprived millions of Palestinians of their liberty and property. It has perpetuated a system of gross racial discrimination and inequality. It has systematically incarcerated and tortured thousands of Palestinians, contrary to the rules of international law. It has, in particular, waged a war against a civilian population, in particular, children.” [1]

It is absurd to demand that Hamas relinquishes the right of resistance to occupation and oppression, a right granted by international law and the Geneva Conventions. The gains made by Hamas, at enormous cost and sacrifice in human and material terms, will not now be forfeited to satisfy the whims of the nations that caused such profound suffering on the Palestinians.


[1]. "Mandela’s First Memo to Thomas Friedman"
by Arjan El Fassed