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Future of Palestine Must be Decided by Palestinians

By Dr. Mohammad Ghitreef

After so much destruction in Gaza, the global conscience finally woke up and the UNSC on Nov. 15 passed a resolution to end the deadly Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, yet Israel didn’t waste a minute to refuse its implementation.

It is supposed globally that the UNSC’s adopted decision is imperative and mandatory for every member country, yet the fact of the matter is that it is not the first time Israel has defied its resolution; there are nearly 150 UN resolutions violated by Israel with impunity, with the brazen US connivance. Had it been any Muslim country to dare a defiance of any such resolution, the world powers would have invaded it vehemently, wasting no time as they did with Iraq when the latter invaded and captured Kuwait, resulting in the first Gulf War.

Americans’ wickedness, bigotry, blind and biased support for Israel has grown so much that the whole world is crying out and demanding to stop the massacre of innocent children, women, and elderly people in Gaza, but the American administration believes in the Israeli stories that Hamas has built its command centres underneath mosques, refugee camps, and hospitals wherefrom they conduct underground and secret activities. The United States does not even ask for any evidence thereof from Israel.

Just by believing in Israel’s statements, Biden’s administration is excusing Israel on its unscrupulous bombardment of Gaza and not urging it for an immediate ceasefire.

The whole world saw what happened in Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital. All the evidence that the Israeli army presented in support of their claim crumbled. Al Jazeera reporters showed that one by one they were all lies. Some weapons were secretly carried by the Israeli army itself in food packets to show the world as ‘evidence’ of their claim and so on. The propaganda of the latter is being done by Western media and the mainstream Indian media as well. But in today’s era of social media, the truth is coming out to the public. That the Israeli propaganda is completely false and the result is that no one in the world is ready to believe further in this propaganda. This is why the sympathies of the whole world are with Palestine today. It is a great shift in terms of opinion because war has its own dynamics, although over 14,000 people were to sacrifice their lives for this, including 5,000 children and 1,000 women.

The Palestine story is not complete without mentioning the dubious role of many neighbouring Arab countries.

There is no will in the neighbouring Arab or Muslim countries to resolve the conflict and stop Israel from continuing the war. What they say publicly condemning Israel is mere lip service for consumption of their common masses who are in rage and who took to the streets. Every country has its parochial national interest first. The Ummah is a distant dream, a delusion! And the Palestinian lives do not matter to them. It is not that they have no power, rather they have no will.

They showed their powers when it came to their national or personal ego. We can cite here some recent examples to make our point home. Some time ago when Jamal Khashoggi, an American citizen and journalist of Saudi origin, was murdered inhumanly allegedly by Saudi secret agents inside the Saudi Embassy premises in Ankara, again allegedly on the behest of Bin Salman, the US President Joe Biden termed Bin Salman as a “pariah”. Then the enraged MBS at once decreased the daily oil production leading to collapsing of the dollar value. Then Joe Biden sent a special envoy to Riyadh to placate him.

When Canada uttered some critical remarks against Saudi Arabia’s record of human rights violations, MBS threw the Canadian ambassador out of the kingdom and recalled his ambassador from Canada. After some time, Canada also sought to restore its relations with the kingdom.

Türkiye too is no exception. It bombed Kurdish separatists in Syria and Iraq. Though secular Kurds have been in the American camp for a long time, Türkiye was not hesitant to do so. While intervening in Cyprus, which has a sizable Turkish population, the US or EU backlash could not deter him from intervention. So Saudi Arabia and Türkiye have the clout and power to punish Israel yet they lack the will to do that. Yet Türkiye stopped a deal in the energy sector between Türkiye and Israel and called its ambassador from Israel. Erdogan has dubbed Israel as a terrorist state in the Turkish parliament as well verbally, not officially. But it didn’t stop its trade with Israel and supply of oil and other commodities. However, some media reports suggest that Türkiye has asked US navy not to enter the Black Sea. In Jordon, the parliament is thinking of reviewing its relations with the Jewish entity; they also cancelled a deal. These are symbolic gestures that cannot stop the Israeli hegemonic aggression.

Also, many Arab and Muslim countries have no high moral position to stop Israel from bombardment of Gaza as their human rights violations and suppression of political dissent also have been reported time and again. They may participate in rebuilding Gaza and give a good deal of humanitarian aid to ruined and displaced poor Gazans, yet they have no genuine intention to stop Israel.

The Vision 2030 and modernizing (read Westernizing and secularizing) Saudi Arabia are more important to MBS. They even did not cancel Mausamur Riyaz (a concert) for that matter. It shows their apathy and audacity as well. Although there is a reconciliation between Riyadh and Tehran for the time being and Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi took initiation when he went to Riyadh and MBS also welcomed him very warmly, there is a fact that Riyadh still is suspicious and concerned about Iran’s geopolitics in the region. We regret to say that the Iranians are seen by Arabs as an immediate security threat greater than Israel! This is why it didn’t freeze its normalization process with Israel – only delayed it for the time being. It is highly likely to come on the table once again after the war on Gaza will come to an end.

Now in the face of the ongoing brutal and inhuman Israeli onslaught on Gaza, it seems that Hamas eventually may lose its control on Gaza. It could have been prevented with the build-up of greater pressure on Israel by Muslim world bodies, Türkiye and Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately, this has not happened.

In this very critical phase of history, the PA led by President Mahmood Abbas should not stand on the wrong side of history. There may be some differences of opinion and strategy on how to face the oppressive occupation between PA and Hamas, yet after all both fully agree with the basic goal of freedom from the occupying Israel. The criminal war on Gaza is a war on all the Palestinians, hence there should be full solidarity with Gaza on the part of PA.

Palestinians have no option but to resist the aggression and to fight back the oppression with all available means, and to fight with conviction that in the end, they will prevail.

Palestine belongs to the Palestinians. There can be no compromise on it. All of which has been usurped by Israel. However, the area that remained until 1967, which is internationally recognized as the legal Palestinian territory now, includes Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. Israel also nearly absorbed the West Bank with its hundreds of illegal Jewish settlements and security check posts. It had been engaged in Judaizing East Jerusalem to the core so it should lose its Islamic and Arabic character. And the establishment of a free and sovereign Palestinian state should be an unfulfilled dream forever. America and the West and unfortunately some neighbouring Arab countries also are participants in this Israeli conspiracy. And now they plan to forcefully push the Palestinians out of the area. Or, at least, to put their favourite cronies at the helm of affairs in Palestine.

It is now up to Hamas and its regional backers to guarantee that the Palestinian people have the freedom to select their representatives and will cede control of their government to whomsoever they please. Anything less than that will not be acceptable to the just world.

[The writer is Research Associate with Idara-e-Tahzibul Akhlaq, AMU, Aligarh, India. mohammad.ghitreef@gmail.com]







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