By Dr. Mohammad Ghitreef
Israel is playing with fire and killing a Palestinian child every 10 minutes. Upon witnessing the horrific graphic images emanating from Gaza, both Muslims and non-Muslims in good conscience are shedding copious tears. However, there is good news: their dead will burn in hell, whereas our martyrs go straight to Jannah. The second thing is that freedom is not achieved by conferences and seminars. It is bought by laying down one’s life.
Apparently, Palestinians are very weak and have no resources contrasting to Israeli high-tech might, its gigantic resources, and full western backing. Yet we should not forget the recent example of the Taliban in Afghanistan. America fought them for 20 Years, then was compelled to negotiate a peace treaty and flee the country, betraying their stooge Ashraf Ghani’s puppet government!
Hamas and all Palestinians have so far shown unparalleled resilience, patience and resistance. Western governments are still blindly supporting Israel but their common peoples are not so blind. They are demonstrating in all major cities and capitals of the western world for the human rights of Palestinians, sloganeering “Free Free Palestine”.
Some even hunted the war-monger Joe Biden and his secretary of state Antony Blinken in Congress Hall; they even tried to stop the arms carriers bound to Israel. A good sign for Palestine is that among the pro-Palestine protesters there are 22 Jewish groups in the US and in various European cities who are opposing Israeli aggression and demanding an immediate ceasefire, chanting: “Not in our name”.
Contrast this with what the viral video of an important Hamas leader Moosa Abo Marzooq is telling. With palpable grief and helplessness, he said, “We know that certain Arab rulers clandestinely told the Zionist foe not to stop bombing Gaza until Hamas is eradicated.” The right winger Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself in a video revealed this shocking demand from Arab regimes and dictators.
This is not surprising on the part of the Arab kings and dictators, considering what they have been doing up to now with their citizens.
The situation facing the Palestinians is a real-life illustration of how the Arab world has betrayed Palestine thus far. After all American and Israeli bomber aircraft are flying over Arab countries’ airspace.
If Abu Marzooq’s statement somehow exaggerates the situation then why Arab neighbouring countries like Egypt and Jordan are not denying Americans and Israelis to use their airspace? It is a million-dollar question. Latterly Oman did prevent that yet after 25 days of the conflict and after the brutal Israeli airstrikes bombed and levelled 40 percent of Gaza and killed more than 11000 civilians, including more than 4000 children! What a pity!
Palestinians understand very well that this is their fight and they have to fight it themselves. In one of the talk shows hosted by a Türkiye channel, the Palestinian representative very aptly took on an advocate of Arab regimes when he tried to shed crocodile tears on what is happening in Gaza. He said, “You don’t need to shed tears on us as we see you as dead, and dead persons do not shed tears.” There are some positive steps on diplomatic front too. Colombia was the first to cut its diplomatic ties with the Zionist entity, and Bolivia and Chile also followed suit. Deputy PM in Belgium even talked about imposing some sanctions on Israel. Türkiye also is seeking ways to bring Israel to the International Court of Justice. It recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv too.
For a considerable amount of time, western media outlets, as well as Indian anchors, would playfully contact Israeli war generals, Israeli ministers, or other notable Israeli individuals, conducting interviews with them. Through their remarks, these sources would disseminate pro-Israeli and anti-Palestinian propaganda, characterizing Palestinians as extremists, terrorists, or Jihadists, while wilfully disregarding the rightful Palestinian struggle for freedom. Mainstream media is still fully hell-bent on doing this sin constantly, yet the tide is turned now despite their misinformation and disinformation campaign, as Abu Obaida, the spokesperson of the Al-Qassam brigade, is the top trend on social media now.
Israel and its western supporters most probably have presumed that huge destruction and mass killings would certainly enrage the besieged and beleaguered Gazans on Hamas, resulting in a furious revolt against it but despite all their suffering, facing cruel death and destruction every passing moment the Gazans are as firm as mountain and resisting as lions. There is no mourning, no frustration and no fury against Hamas on the glittering faces of young Gazans, boys and girls and children. Some courageous media persons talked with them about all the grievances and all the misery and agony they were going through; they said alhamdulillah in the end. The whole world is in awe of Gazans’ patience, perseverance, and saluting their bravery.
Palestinians are a nation that was uprooted of its roots by Zionist terrorists with the criminal connivance of western powers like the Great Britain and the US and others. Four million are refugees in neighbouring Arab countries and millions went to Europe and America and they make up a large part of the Arab and Muslim diaspora in these lands. A million fled from their homes and took refuge in Gaza and the West Bank.
More than 75 years have gone and the world has been a mute spectator on this ethnic cleansing and genocidal treatment of them by Israel. The UN and other world bodies have failed them miserably. Not to mention the US-bigoted approach to their plight.
Latterly some Muslim and Arab countries dared to withdraw their ambassadors from the Zionist states like Türkiye, Bahrain, and Jordan. Now there is speculation in American and western circles about the post-war and post-Hamas scenario in Gaza. Israel’s vicious plan is that the whole Gazan population must be forced and displaced into the Senai desert of Egypt. Americans endorsing this Zionist demand also are pondering on this possibility by inducing Egypt to accept that bargain in return for writing off all its debts. So far Egypt and Jordon unequivocally opposed this idea and Palestinians also refused to buy this sinister scheme. It means that history is repeating itself, so to say, once more.
During World War II by a secret contract, Sykes -Pecot it was agreed upon between the western nations and their Arab allies in the battle against the Ottomans that the western powers would transfer the Arab region to their Arab friends, but instead they divided them among themselves. In the aftermath of this western deceit, the Arabs rose up in an uprising which is why the whole unified Arab region ended up in the small kingdoms and sheikhdoms. Now there seems to be one more Nakba (catastrophe) for the Palestinians as Israel believes the West Bank is a part of the Biblical promised land and it does not want to give it to Palestinians.
Blinken visited Israel for the third time. He reiterated that America was fully backing and supporting Israel’s right of self-defence. I wonder if these hypocrites ever forget that not only Israel but Palestinians also have a right to self-defence in the face of the brutal, child killer and occupier, Israel. The goal of his visit perhaps was to pressurize the countries of region like Egypt and Jordan to accept 2 million Palestinians into the Senai desert with the inducement of huge financial aid. This is the original plan of Netanyahu and America is conniving in this criminal act and becoming a complicit in the mischievous gameplan.
Blinken ended his recent tour to the region in Türkiye when he was received very coldly by its foreign minister as President Erdogan went on that occasion on a domestic tour. The Turkish foreign minister asked him a tough question whether he had come as a secretary of state or a Jew. He answered, “As a human being.” In the chamber where the foreign minister received him, there was a Palestinian flag and an image of Al-Aqsa Mosque too. Perhaps the secretary of state had his answer from Türkiye, so he did not dare to have a joint statement with his Turkish counterpart and left Ankara in a haste.
In the end, I think some essential steps must be proposed as under:
- Hamas must not be destroyed as is the plan of Israel and its supporting western forces. Pro-Palestine forces like Iran, Hezbollah, Malaysia, Türkiye, and Qatar should try their best to ensure this.
- The Palestinian Diaspora along with the Palestinians who live in Arab countries must raise their voices forcefully and unanimously to free Palestine.
- Hamas and the PA ought to reconcile with each other immediately and all groups must establish a joint government. And put full force on that Israel should return to the 1967 borders, and vacate the entire West Bank, and should dismantle all the illegal Jewish settlements on Palestinian lands as well.
- With the moral, political and financial support of all the just people and Arab countries, an independent and sovereign Palestinian state should be declared immediately. The Arab League, the OIC, and all the major Muslim countries should immediately accept it, and efforts must be made to get it approved and recognized by the rest of the world. After all, the world is gradually recognizing the Taliban in the same way. Unverified media reports have suggested that Türkiye might be taking unilateral steps toward achieving this goal; if this is the case, it is a positive development.
[The writer is Research Associate with Idara Tahzibul Akhlaq, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh]