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Islam and the West (02 Jul 2012 NewAgeIslam.Com)
Palestine: Few Are the Friends to Rely On

 

By A.G Noorani

June 29, 2012

NONE should be surprised at the statement this month by the president of the Palestinian Authority and chairman of the PLO Mahmoud Abbas pronouncing the peace process with Israel as “clinically dead”.

Last April, former US president Jimmy Carter, in a New York Times article, censured Israel for “establishing more and more settlements in Palestine on confiscated land”. According to him, while the Israeli prime minister and foreign minister “profess their support for a ‘two-state solution’, their actions all aim to create a ‘Greater Israel’, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. Washington has voiced opposition to these steps, but has not made any strong efforts to prevent them”.

In fact President G. W. Bush gave a green signal to settlements, albeit in qualified language in a formal letter on April 14, 2004 to Israel’s then prime minister Ariel Sharon. The number of Israeli settlers has grown from 5,000 in 1981 to about 525,000 now.

Mahmoud Abbas’ exasperation has been welling up in the last few months. In a five-page letter delivered to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on April 17 this year, he warned that “the current status quo cannot continue” and hinted at the dissolution of the Palestinian Authority itself. “As a result of actions taken by successive Israeli governments, the Palestinian National Authority no longer has any authority, and no meaningful jurisdiction in the political, economic, territorial and security spheres. In other words, the Palestinian Authority lost its raison d’être which, if it continues, will make it unable to honour its commitments.” This was a reference to the Oslo Accords of 1993 on which Israel reneged.

Abbas’ position is a purely titular one. Just outside his home in the West Bank, new settlements can be seen. From Ramallah to Jerusalem a mere 20kms away and all across the West Bank, settlements have come up over 59 per cent of the land. Arab East Jerusalem is in Israel’s tight grip. While the talks proceeded Jewish settlements were being built.

Abbas took long to realise that he had been taken for a ride. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s decision to withdraw from Gaza was not a step towards a settlement with Palestine’s leaders but a move to pre-empt it. Gaza makes up only 1.25 per cent of the Palestine Mandate but contains 37 per cent of the Palestinian population. It is now a prison isolated from the world including its neighbours Egypt, Jordan and the West Bank. Its population is denied the freedom of movement essential to any possibility of economic recovery and outside investment.

Dov Weissglas, Sharon’s senior adviser and chief of staff, said in an interview in Haaretz inn 2004 that the disengagement was intended to “preclude the emergence of a Palestinian state of any kind”. He explained that it was “actually formaldehyde. It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians”. Formaldehyde is the liquid in which dead bodies are preserved.

In the elections held on Jan 25, 2006, Hamas won 74 of the 132 seats in the Palestine Legislative Council; Fatah won 45. The US and Israel did their best to nullify the results and create a rift between Mahmoud Abbas who formed the administration in the West Bank and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyerh. Hamas was branded a terrorist body. After a brief period, their national unity government fell apart. Under an agreement signed in Cairo on May 20, 2012 fresh elections would be held to set up a new government of national unity.

It is a fragile unity. Mahmoud Abbas has accused Hamas of refusing to allow registration of new voters in Gaza. “Without elections there will be no reconciliation,” he asserted. He told a delegation of American officials who met him just a day before the May 20 accord was signed that he would not include representatives of Hamas in the interim government he proposed to set up. Meanwhile, he has cracked down on dissenters within his fold.

The internal situation on the Israeli side is as inimical to the prospects of starting the peace process. On May 8, 2012, Netanyahu arrived at a pact on a coalition with his nemesis Shaul Mofaz, leader of the largest opposition party. Kadima which has 28 seats in parliament; Likud has 27. Elections are due a year and a half from now.

It is unlikely that Netanyahu will conduct any serious negotiations before the next elections; as unlikely indeed that President Barack Obama will exert his influence in support of the talks in this election year. The Arab world is polarised. Syria is in an upheaval and Egypt has its problems. The prospects for a settlement are bleak. Meanwhile, Palestinians groan under brutal Israeli repression. More than 35 Israeli laws discriminate against Israeli citizens who happen to be Palestinians. These 1.5 million who are 25 percent of Israel’s citizens are actually second-class citizens. But four million more are not citizens at all.

The scandal that is the judicial system was exposed by the French Scholar Stéphanie Latte Abdallah. She wrote: “In Palestine, prisoners are called prisoners of war (asra) or political prisoners; the Israeli Prison Service (Shabas) calls them ‘security detainees’, a term which does not correspond to legal reality and is defined by the army and the security (Shin Bet) and prison services. The category is reserved for Palestinians, including those with Israeli citizenship. The conditions in which they are held are harsher than those of other prisoners …

“Confessions are essential since 95 per cent of cases do not come to trial: they are settled by lawyers and judges negotiating the sentence once the defendant has confessed. The military justice authorities encourage this to avoid a trial, and those who refuse to confess are given a harsher sentence, after a long drawn out procedure. Most defendants are found guilty.”

Few are the friends Palestinians can rely on to demand justice for them.

A.G Noorani is an author and lawyer.

Source: http://dawn.com/2012/06/30/palestines-dead-process/

URL: http://newageislam.com/islam-and-the-west/a.g-noorani/palestine--few-are-the-friends-to-rely-on/d/7804

 



TOTAL COMMENTS:-   5
  • The whole world says this. However, I beg to differ. From the very beginning, I have maintained that White European race is the dog and Israel is the tail. Now for the sake of shock treatment, there is a phrase too that suggests the impossible – tail wagging the dog. The truth is that it is dog that wags his tail. In fact, we should have little to do with tails. The West (representing powerful states of the European Whites), is running the show. Even if Jews and the State of Israel try their best to befriend Muslim world, the West would not allow this to happen. How do we explain the general perception of the non-Whites about Jews controlling the politics of the Whites? There lies the beauty of the propaganda.
    You have to be an analytical student of history to understand how things have moved and how those are still moving in a logical sequence. Anybody who underestimates the capability of the White highlanders (Some feeble European countries are excluded) , is incapable of rational thinking. And, this group, also called West, firmly wants Israel to be where it is and on their terms. Israel has been made a check-post of the West to keep a watch of and control of the lands south of Mediterranean – this policy is in place since the Roman days- even though the project is very ambitious.
    Muslims down south (of Mediterranean) have a historical duty to understand the problem and organize accordingly which should include befriending – China, India and to some extent Russia. All fights in Chechnya, Uyghur, and Kashmir must be brought to an end first. Only in the second phase, peace with Israel should be attempted because then Israel would feel encouraged and capable to come out of the shackle of the West. However, obviously this is not easy to do. The enemies will do everything to thwart this strategic aim. Peace with the West and the rest of the world will be the toughest because the West has been used to seeing itself as Superior  and would not like to be leveled up with the rest of the mankind. I mean they will not take kindly to these ideas, but may be at some point they may accept universal brotherhood from inside their heart. We should not be hopeless.
    By Manzoorul Haque - 7/5/2012 6:16:51 AM
  • Bhai Satwa, that is why I said —“The Palestinians have more enemies among their ‘Muslim friends’ also to worry about. When they have friends like these who needs enemies? It is shame for the so called Muslim-world!


    By Rashid - 7/4/2012 1:24:38 AM
  • Rashid, Pls read the story of palestine. They have been looted more by egypt and jordon after the formation of israel and both egypt and jordon lost the land after the famous six day war of all gcc nation against israel where they were defeated.   Of course why will the winner listen to the looser. In the history has that even happened whether the winner was a hindu, muslim, jew or christian.  IN reality the american economy is controlled by Israel. All the security related areas they are the forerunners.
    By satwa gunam - 7/3/2012 10:51:28 AM
  • “Washington has voiced opposition to these steps, but has not made any strong efforts to prevent them”. 

    Have we not heard such statement many times over last half a century! America cannot say boo to The Zionists even in US, let alone dictate anything to Israel.

    " I want to tell you something very clear: Don't worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it." --- Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, October 3, 2001, to Shimon Peres, as reported on Kol Yisrael radio.(recorded)

    The above is amply obvious to blind Freddy from the following statement too!

    “In fact President G. W. Bush gave a green signal to settlements, albeit in qualified language in a formal letter on April 14, 2004 to Israel’s then prime minister Ariel Sharon. The number of Israeli settlers has grown from 5,000 in 1981 to about 525,000 now.”

    The Palestinians have more enemies among their ‘Muslim friends’ also to worry about.


    By Rashid - 7/3/2012 1:10:43 AM
  • Palestine will find friends only when they come in terms of reality that the israel is the winner and they have to negotiate with winner.  When the muslim world expect other belief to live within their rules when they are majority how can they expect the jews to give away so easily. 
    Without that, even if they have friend they can do nothing for them. 
    By satwa gunam - 7/2/2012 9:56:04 PM

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