- About Us
- Sign up
1. It is Jerusalem Day Tomorrow
Roznama Urdu Times (The Urdu Times Daily), Mumbai
Editorial, 1 September 2010, Wednesday
Recently, an American Foreign Service official, deputed in India, advocated the Jewish cause and complained about Muslims in these words… ‘Mecca and Medina are the holy places of Muslims; similarly Jerusalem is a Jewish holy place. If Jews who were ‘homeless for five thousand years are resettled there, then what problem do the Muslims have?’ The above mentioned Foreign Service official, who is on a mission to change the perception of America among Muslims, said that the negative image of Muslims in the US is due to incidents like the hostage crisis after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the 1993 attack on World Trade Center, attack against American naval ship (USS Cole) in Yemen and the 9/11 incident. There was no mention of Palestine or American foreign policy in his long discussion. Although, William Blum, author of the book ‘Rouge State’, American intellectual Noam Chomsky and Nobel Prize winner British play write Herald Pinter think that the real culprit is the American foreign policy itself. All three agree that ‘America is facing terror mainly due to its own actions.’ None of them are either Muslim or poor or even a Palestinian! As far as the question of Muslim opposition to Jewish settlement in Palestine is concerned it was answered seventy years back by Iqbal thus:
If Jews have a claim to the land of Palestine
Why no right of Arabs on Spain?
Muslims populated Spain for eight hundred years like their home. If these eight hundred years are removed from the history of Spain, what remains there except the darkness of ignorance? And it’s just five hundred years when Muslims were dispersed from Spain. If this five thousand year theory is accepted then Muslims have a right to Spain! The problem is that, these people who never get tired of repeating the elegy of five thousand years, have a very bad memory and they suffer from dementia. They do not remember the history of sixty-seventy years and they ask us to come out of the past and look forward! Millions of Palestinians were ousted of their ancestral lands just 62 years back. Why nobody thinks of their resettlement in their homeland (Palestine). The predecessor of Obama, George Bush’s statement is on the record: ‘the Palestinian refugees have no right to return’.
This American official who visited many Muslim organizations said about this ‘…what remains there for them? Neither those homes remain nor those villages, everything has changed now…!’ But he did not have any answer to the fact that ‘these changes have been made by the occupiers, what is the fault of those who were forcibly ousted from their homes?’ The worry about people dispersed five thousand years back has completely taken over the American thought process but they cannot see the right of people forcibly ousted from their homes just 62 years back? And if this theory is accepted that …the people dispersed five thousand years back have the right to go back and establish their rule, then those millions of Aborigines and Red Indians also have the right to establish their rule in Australia and United States of America, who were dispelled from their homes by European goons just five hundred years back. Are the ruling and so called upper class people of the US and Australia ready to go back to Europe? The Jews and Americans are so weak in arithmetic that they cannot differentiate between 62 and 5000 and above all the Americans are very ‘poor’ in history. The Muslims in their period of governance never oppressed either Jews, Christians or the local populace right from Arabia to Spain and from Turkey to India. The Jews were never ousted from ‘Jerusalem’ by Muslim rulers. Instead the ‘Jews’ were most well placed in Muslim governments.
The editor of The Washington Post reminded George Bush after the invasion on Iraq that when King Ferdinand occupied Jerusalem from Muslims, large scale blood shedding occurred and Muslims were killed, but when Salahuddin Ayyubi recovered Jerusalem then he announced a general amnesty and not a single Jew or Christian was killed after the victory. (To be continued...)
Roznama Urdu Times (The Urdu Times Daily), Mumbai
Editorial, 2 September 2010, Thursday
But it did not have any effect on the above mentioned American Official. He has been brain-washed to the utmost possible extent and this is the reason he was given the task of brain-washing the Muslims! He innocently defended the Jews in these words, ‘…they are very sober people, civilized and scholarly’, adding, ‘…who does not make mistakes? But who concedes a mistake? Who asks for pardon?’ and finally the most favourite sermon ‘…we should come out of the past and look forward to the future!’ It means that only Jews are entitled to make mistake after mistake, to not concede their mistake and to not ask for pardon, because they are gentlemen, civilized and scholarly. So, to stick to the past, the five thousand year old past, is also a patented right of the Jews who even formulate their future plan keeping in mind their past. Only they have the right to keep all their religious symbols alive. They can reconstruct their Haykal (that is, Haykal al-Suleiman or Temple Mount) that was demolished One Thousand Nine Hundred and Forty years ago, even if they had to destroy One and Half Thousand year old Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of Rock and all old structures of al-Haram al-Sharif. These civilized, scholarly gentlemen have the exclusive right for remembering the past as they want to recreate the great Israeli empire of the time of Prophets David and Solomon. Even if it requires the forced occupation of Palestine, continued death and violence in other parts of the world and even if the ‘Gaza city’ of 150,000 population needs to be put under social, financial and economic blockade to make it the ‘Valley of Abu Talib’ of the 21st century. They can do all these because, according to the US, they are, ‘sober, civilized and scholarly’! Afghanistan and Iraq were not attacked because they posed a threat to America or if Iran would be attacked and its nuclear sites would be destroyed, which they are trying to destroy for the last five years, it would not be because Iran would make a pre-emptive attack on US, Israel or Britain but only because the Zionist establishment is about to give the final push to its plan to completely occupy Jerusalem. According to former CIA agent, (Michelle) Shower, ‘…if Al-Qaeda is (decisively) defeated in the next few months, then it will become imperative to attack Iran…’ the American Zionist think tank Bill Kristol and former CIA director, James Woolsey, have said to Muslims that ‘…you should understand that we and our allies are united against you for the fourth time in this century. This plan of clash of civilization is to give a new shape to the Middle East. Not just Iraq and Afghanistan but we will also occupy other states like Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arab and other Arab states. Now the Muslims should be ready for their genocide. We will not leave anyone, neither Shias nor Pan Arab Nationalists nor Wahhabi fundamentalists…the enemies of US and Israel same. ‘Axis of Evil’, Iran and Syria want to destroy US and Israel….now is the time for large scale genocide to destroy the enemies of Israel…we Americans shall now be ready to attack Iran and Syria in any condition…’ So, it is clear that the West is in agreement that without occupying the Muslim world, without large scale genocide of Muslims and without enslaving the remaining Muslim population, it would not be possible to establish the great Israeli government which would be head quartered at ‘Jerusalem’! Today, there is only one call from the Al-Quds al-Sharif: O’ Muslims, Unite…Unite. Those who will respond to this call will be successful in life and here after. Allah and his prophet have no concern for those who leave the ‘pious religion’ and remain stuck in their groupings. Then is there any that will receive admonition?(Quran Surah Al-Qamar (The Moon), verse 15).qa
Roznama Hamara Samaj (Our Society Daily), New Delhi
Editorial, 2 September 2010, Thursday
The American President Barack Hussein Obama kept his word, as promised to his people, and formally announced the end of American military mission in Iraq. So, Iraq is an independent and autonomous country now, as the current ruler Nuri al-Maliki stated in his address to the nation. As per the announcement, all soldiers would be withdrawn by the end of next year. Till now more than ninety thousand American soldiers have been withdrawn from Iraq. Entire security of the country has been handed over to Iraqis. The American President had promised during his election campaign that if he won, he would recall the American forces in Iraq. His success was a clear proof that the American people liked his promise and he was elected as President. This is the reason that there is an atmosphere of joy in America, since the American soldiers have started to return. It is a welcome decision for the people of Iraq as well, but the question is: will the Iraqi Security Forces be able to spread peace and security after the kind of devastation brought about by the American forces in Iraq and the kind of anarchy that prevails in Iraq? As the continuing bomb blasts have devastated Iraq, the number of victims of suicide bombings is increasing day by day. Iraq now has been completely turned into ruins. Houses, roads and hospitals are in bad shape and without basic facilities the entire system will hardly be able to satisfy the needs of the common people. This is a major issue. Elections were held several months back, but the process of government formation has not been completed yet. Only a coalition government is possible as no party has achieved a majority, but the people of Iraq will have to bear the brunt of any delay in government formation. So, there is no permanent government in Iraq or a stable system. American forces are back to their bases after dispelling their responsibilities. The terrorists have found an open field to strike calamity in such bad situations. They are terrorising people at their will. The most dangerous thing that the American forces did during their stay in Iraq was creating division between Shias and Sunnis. No such thing was there in Iraq earlier, but now any terror act is termed as Shias or a Sunni terror activity. The world is very well aware of the fact that during Saddam Hussein’s rule, nobody could even have imagined of suicide bombings. Iraq was a fast developing country. It was taking lead in all aspects of life. Perhaps this was the thing which, the then American President, George W. Bush did not like about Iraq and took the responsibility of its devastation in his hands, making the 9/11 incident an excuse. As a result, the ‘welcome with shoes’ incident happened.
Here, the world community should stop and analyse what America gave to Iraq and the world by invading it? And what did it achieve and lose? It should be made responsible for the death of thousands of soldiers and Iraqis. Simultaneously, the American policy should be responsible for the increase of terror in the world, including Iraq. Britain has stated in clear words that there was no reason for invasion of Iraq. It did not have weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or terror camps. On the contrary, the terrorists have made Iraq a safe haven now. They are working overtime to achieve their goal. The US tried to show some reason for attack on Iraq, but could not get any. Recovery of WMDs would have satisfied the world community but it did not get anything. This policy of Bush ousted his party from power and understanding the public mood Obama made it an election issue. There were widespread protests all around the world against American invasion of Iraq, there were protests in America itself, but the then American President, Bush, intoxicated by power, could not have thought of anything else but to bring devastation to Iraq. To revenge one destructive act, many such acts were played and to avenge the death of five thousand people more than five hundred thousand were killed. Two countries were completely devastated. America lost its respect due to this policy among the world community and Bush lost power. Nobody knows when the people of these two countries will be compelled to pay the price. However, Obama has tried to satisfy the perception of American public, but it still has to be seen what measures are taken for the reconstruction of Iraq after this destruction by America and to what extent Obama will be successful in this.
4. The Question of Iraq’s Reconstruction
Roznama Inquilab (The Revolution Daily), Mumbai
Editorial, 2 September 2010, Thursday
Barack Obama in his promise to ‘correct’ the ‘mistake’ of his predecessor, George W Bush, also promised to withdraw American forces from Iraq and hand over Iraq to its people. This promise and its fulfilment was a compulsion as there was no other escape route. The loss United States was suffering due to this imposed war on Iraq was a big worry for the people of America and they wanted a ‘change’. Barack Obama won the presidential election on the slogan of change and reached The White House. Either take it as a compulsion wrapped in the promise or a promise wrapped in compulsion, Obama had to do justice to this promise and this is what he is doing. This, however, is done in a manner as if America is doing a favour to Iraq and Iraqis by withdrawing its forces!
On the one hand, it is good to see that Iraq is getting freedom, while on the other hand it is disturbing to see the unstable condition which America has left Iraq into. The process of government formation is still on hold after six months of elections. The deadlock faced by Baghdad from the day one, still persists. It’s a ‘neither this nor that’ kind of situation that refuses to end. The US itself knows that this deadlock would not be easy to resolve. The American Commander in Iraq, General Raymond T. Odierno, said clearly in his statement that if the situation persists, new elections will have to be called. This can give an impression of the political instability in Iraq.
If new elections are held, it may not be free from violence and rigging. Every group and class would try to influence the elections to get political power. This can (God forbid!) lead to a civil war that will further devastate Iraq. The Iraq which is facing a war, or war like situation, for the past seven years cannot afford any more violence. The American war on Iraq has completely destroyed Iraq and if it starts to reconstruct itself from now onwards, it will take several decades to get back to normalcy. So, the conclusion is that there cannot be another election right now. There should be a government on the basis of the recent elections. The parties involved shall form a government through mutual understanding and shall work for the welfare of the people of Iraq, else the Iraqi leaders would be responsible for the loss, more than America, as Iraq now is itself responsible for its fate.
Interim Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki, has expressed his confidence that Iraqi security forces and police are very much capable of defending their ‘independent and autonomous’ country, but this is a mere statement. It would be as difficult a task as it was difficult to forcibly remove the American forces.
Roznama Siasat (The Politics Daily), Hyderabad
Editorial, 4 September 2010, Saturday
Israeli and Palestinian leaders met in Washington, for the first time in two years, due to the efforts made by the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She was, for quite some time, trying to bring the Palestinian and Israeli leadership on the negotiations table, but without much success. Palestinian Authority President, Mahmud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu met in Washington in the presence of Hillary Clinton. The two leaders decided to meet again after this and vowed to continue the process of dialogue. The meeting could only come to the decision that Abbas and Netanyahu will again meet on 14-15 September somewhere in the Middle East, most probably at the Egyptian resort of Sharm-al-Sheikh. It was also decided that both leaders would make effort to achieve some success in the negotiations so that some long-term permanent solution to the problem could be arrived at. In today’s meeting, Hillary Clinton said that the Obama administration wants both parties to sign an agreement as early as possible to establish peace in the region. Hillary Clinton will also participate in the next round of talks. She said that there were negotiations earlier between the two parties and there would be negotiations in the future as well. The past dialogues faced roadblocks and encountered problems. Likewise, future processes can also face problems, a small example of which was seen last week in West Bank, in the form of Palestinian attacks on Israelis. But the need of the hour is that the two parties do away with these roadblocks and problems and arrive at some acceptable, permanent and long term solution to the problem.
Many countries in the world want to see a consistency in efforts for resolution of Israel-Palestine conflict and people want the resolution of problem with Palestine and Palestinians getting their legitimate rights. Hillary Clinton can see the roadblocks in small attacks on Israel but she cannot understand the Israeli aggression and tyrannical measures. The United States did not take any concrete step to reprimand Israel after the flotilla raid incident and restricted itself to verbal condemnation. Barack Obama tried hard to make his Cairo university speech historical. He mentioned the Israel-Palestine conflict as well, but when it comes to practical measures, the US has proved to be an ally and companion of Israel rather than an objective mediator. To put Israeli aggressions under cover has become America’s habit. Israel has always taken a stubborn stand towards the issue, and has made life tougher for Palestinians. As a result of Israeli aggressive policies and behaviour, the people living in Palestinian Authority area are facing huge problems, even medicine and milk for children have been made inaccessible. There is shortage of food and, even then, the US has failed to prevent Israeli aggression. Israel continues with its aggressive behaviour. Recently, an Israeli religious leader has said that the Palestinians should be executed and wiped out of the world. This was a very aggressive and threatening statement, but the US and Hillary Clinton failed to take note of it and pressurise Israel to curb such rhetoric. It seems to confirm that Israel has back stage American support to its aggressive actions.
It is easy to express the desire for a permanent and mutually agreed resolution of Israeli-Palestine conflict, but difficult to make it happen. Any resolution would not be possible until Israel stops its aggressive and brutal behaviour and sheds its stubborn attitude. If America really wants to see any solution of this problem, as it states, then it has to play the role of an objective mediator rather than playing the role of Israeli companion. The Arab state shall unitedly put pressure on the US to curtail Israeli aggression and do justice to the suffering Palestinian people. In absence of any such step, any wish to see an agreement between Israel and Palestine, can be attributed as day dreaming.
Roznama Sahafat (Journalism Daily), Delhi
Editorial, 5 September 2010, Sunday
Barack Obama should be given the credit for terming the Iraq war as ‘foolish’, the moment he broke into the wider political scene. It was perhaps his education, courtesy and sophisticated persona that prevented him from calling names, but a foolish can also understand that his indication was towards George Bush. Time has proved that soon after, the world intellectuals agreed that Obama’s opinion was correct. Even though, the Israeli leadership did not agree with Obama’s opinion and there is no point reasoning that. After all, it was the Israeli leadership that instigated George Bush saying ‘Charh ja beta suli par, Ram bhala karega’ (Hindi saying loosely translated as: ‘Climb up the gallows, God will take care of you’) to invade Iraq. The invasion came to an end last week with the withdrawal of the last combat American soldiers from Iraq. The departure of American soldiers from Iraq was a simple affair compared to their much hyped arrival. America could not find the chemical weapons of mass destruction that, in Bush’s words, Saddam was hiding in his courtyard. But this absence of chemical weapons proved very costly for the American economy, military might and political ambitions. How much the US economy suffered from this war, nobody can tell better than those American citizens who lost their jobs in the recession. The American economy suffered its worst recession after 1933 due to this war. Fifty thousand American soldiers were injured or disabled in this war. Another 5,000 American soldiers and officers died. George Bush wanted to free Iraq from dictatorship and make it a democracy so that, the US can take credit for eliminating a brutal dictator; but it cannot claim that Iraq has become a democracy. The democracy which can be seen in Iraq is very weak, but Iraq would not fall under the trap of another military dictatorship because it no longer has a military that can challenge the civilian government. Neither does the Baath party remains, which can form a one party system. Now there would be elections in Iraq in which only citizens and political elements would participate. It would have been something to cheer about, had it been done by the Iraqis themselves. However, the best part is that Iraq now is in the hands of Iraqis. The real matter is about America, in fact. What is the condition of America? As a matter of fact, the condition is bad. Barack Obama’s problems are not solved with withdrawal from Iraq. The people of America have termed the Iraq war as ‘Bush’s bad war’, but they are now increasingly fed up with Barack Obama’s ‘good war’ in Afghanistan which he is fighting Al-Qaeda and Taliban. According to a recent survey, every six out of ten Americans are against this war. This is a new turn in this story of two wars. This opinion of American people would have shocked those countries which take the war in Afghanistan as rightful. However, the kind of leader Obama is, he understood the public mood and has prepared a plan for withdrawal from Afghanistan. We wanted that, the way America gave an Eid gift to the people of Iraq, the mothers and sisters of Afghanistan should also get a similar gift. But, if not this Eid, next Eid would be an Afghan Eid. God Willing!!
Roznama Siasat (The Politics Daily), Hyderabad
Editorial, 5 September 2010, Sunday
US President Barack Obama had announced the end of American military combat in war ravaged Iraq by taking the decision to withdraw American forces from the country. After he took over as President, Obama revised the American policy towards Iraqi administration and withdrew nearly 100,000 soldiers. As part of the promise to hand over the responsibility of Iraq to Iraqi security forces, he also removed American arms and weapons. Hundreds of military camps were also closed down. The promise Obama made to give an independent, autonomous Iraq to the people who will have the right for self determination needs practical action. Even though the end of American mission from Iraq has been announced, it seems America is leaving Iraq at a time when it has failed to control the insurgency and is leaving an Iraq that is more insecure. . Fifty thousand American forces are still deputed in Iraq. While Obama has fulfilled his promise to hand over the security to Iraqi forces, the question of security of common public still persists. Iraqi Security Forces took over the charge of security system in Iraq from 1 September. Rather than post-war reconstruction and trying to solve the day to day problems facing Iraqis, the US has reaffirmed its pledge to have strong participation with Iraqi government after announcing its pull out from Iraq. The important aspect is that, Iraq has been left to itself when it faces several challenges. The people who are facing a war-like situation for almost a decade will have to go through rigorous problems for coming out of the bitter situations. Iraq, on the one hand, faces security problems, while on the other hand, it also needs political and diplomatic support to counter the growing insurgency in the war hit nation. The American military did not take any effective measure to curb the insurgency during its long stay in Iraq. It had only a one point agenda to keep Iraq in a warring condition, which resulted into the ruining of all corners of Iraq. Now the US wants to silently move out of Iraq by handing over the ruined and ravaged country to its people. The way the Bush administration launched attack on Iraq in 2003 was completely opposite to the departure of Iraqi forces in the darkness of night, showing the deteriorating military might of the so-called super power. It is because the people of Iraq and the officials, who now have taken charge of Iraqi security, think that the American forces have decided to leave them at a time when all their national, security-related and economic situations have reversed and insurgents have grown in strength. The chief of Iraqi Joint Forces, Let. Gen. Babaker Zebari has expressed his wish to extend the stay of American military. During the Baghdad Conference the Kurdish General demanded extension of American forces in Iraq till 2020, keeping in mind the fluid security situation in Iraq. This shows that America has not prepared the Iraqi forces fully as promised. The American decision to withdraw from Iraq may be acceptable to the people and the government, but the demand of military chief Babaker Zebari shows that Iraqi Armed forces are not prepared to take the security challenge of Iraq. However, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki rejected Zebari’s demand. The government of Iraq wants to show political maturity, but he cannot refuse to take note of the fact that Iraq will have to face various challenges in coming days, months and years. Other countries will also withdraw their standing forces from Iraq after American withdrawal. But the regular suicide bombings and blasts in Iraq are a continuous threat to the people. The American forces failed to stop these bombing and blasts during their seven year stay in Iraq. Now the Iraqi government and people will have to work on the ground to solve this problem. The superiority of rule of law, protection of human rights and preparation of a strong military only can give a new lease of life to Iraq.
Roznama Rashtriya Sahara (National Sahara Daily), New Delhi
Editorial, 5 September 2010, Sunday
Suicide bombings have become a part of life in Pakistan. Every now and then suicide bombers blow themselves in mosques, tombs, madrasas, play grounds, shopping malls, five star hotels and government offices. At times, these blasts are meant to give fire to Shia-Sunni riots and sometime to start a Wahhabi-Hanfi fight. The Qadyanis (that is Ahmadiyyas) become target sometimes and, at other times, it is the Barelwis. Muslims engaged in worship are killed at times and people waiting to break their fast in Ramadan reach their final destination. Targeting women and children and innocent people engaged in shopping is nothing new. This is not an end. Even political parties have faced the ire of suicide bombers. Former President, Pervez Musharraf, could come out safe from a terrorist attack, but former PM, Benazir Bhutto, did not have the same luck and she was swallowed by the ghost of terrorism. Terrorism seems to have become a part of Pakistani culture, but it was strange to see these self proclaimed anti- Israeli and anti-American groups targeting a march meant to protest the illegal Israeli occupation of Jerusalem.
On Friday, Imamia Student Organization came out with a protest march in Quetta, Baluchistan, against Israeli occupation and suppression of Palestinians, on the occasion of Jerusalem day. This march is organized every year after the last Friday prayer of Ramadan and this programme has been organised in different parts of Pakistan for thirty years. Nobody had any problem with this and both Shias and Sunnis participate in it. The Israeli government, however, always tried to make these protests a failure. Nobody was shocked to see whatever happened in Lahore on Wednesday, it was easily termed as sectarian violence. So, the Western media very easily termed it as sectarian violence and got away with it. But, even though, the Friday protests in Quetta were called by a Shiite organisation, every Muslim of the world is party to the cause of this protest, what so ever may be their affiliations. So, what was the purpose of this attack? No Muslim organisation would have benefitted from it. The purpose was to raise a voice in favour of a nation suffering under occupation for the last sixty years. No doubt that these attackers wanted to benefit Israel. The interesting point is that two organisation, Tahrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, took joint responsibility for the attack. This gives credibility to the common Muslim’s perception that these organisation work for the benefit of the US and Israel. Muslims have, on a number of times, reiterated that these people who take innocent life in the name of Islam have nothing to do with Islam. They acquire Muslim names, and are working against the cause of Islam and Muslims from inside. Another strange thing was that the Indian media, that highlighted the Wednesday blasts as sectarian violence, completely ignored the Friday blasts in Quetta and instead was busy reporting the news of Pakistani cricketer’s involvement in match fixing. Perhaps the reason behind this was that the international news agency, which provides news to the Indian news agencies, was trying deliberately to hide this news. It was done because questions would have been asked for the purpose of the protest march, and it would have become clear that it was a march against Israel. So, such a huge attack was deliberately prevented from coming to the fore. Mainstream English newspapers in India termed it as an attack on Shia demonstration. Instead, it should have been termed as attack on anti-Israel protest.
It had become amply clear form this incident that there are people in the ranks and files of terrorists who are working for Israel. To run such a big network of terror, these organisations need funds. They no more get donation from Muslims, and Israel is the best source for this funding. This attack has benefitted Israel immensely and it can affect the participation of people in such protests in coming years. The government of Pakistan has also surrendered before these terrorists and has asked the people to avoid participating in these demonstrations. So, there may be no protests in Pakistan for next Jerusalem day, which will be a big success for Israel.
Source: Roznama Rashtriya Sahara
Roznama Rashtriya Sahara (National Sahara Daily), New Delhi
Editorial, 8 September 2010, Sunday
The Islamic world is not very hopeful about the peace talks between Israel and Palestine, but Netanyahu’s insistence for continuing with the Jewish settlements has further aggravated the possibility of its failure.
Israel has given indications that it can restart the construction of new Jewish settlements in West Bank. In fact, Israel had earlier put a unilateral moratorium on settlement construction for 10 months. The moratorium comes to an end on 26 September, but the problem is that if Netanyahu decides to restart the settlement construction, it will certainly affect the Israel-Palestine peace talks. The success of this peace talk, which does not include Hamas, is already in doubt, but if the settlement construction in the West Bank is restarted, then Palestinian Authority President, Mahmud Abbas, will pull out of the talks. In that case, the whole responsibility of deterioration of the situation and break down of talks would lie with Israel. On the other hand, Netanyahu also faces a dilemma due to approaching elections in Israel and the fact that his party is in alliance with an extremist political organisation that advocates Jewish settlements and opposes peace talks. The dilemma with Netanyahu would be that, shall he prefer peace talks or go with his alliance partners.
If one examines the history of Israel-Palestine talks, it would become amply clear that, in recent past, the efforts at negotiations between the two have been sabotaged by Israeli announcements for construction of new settlements in occupied areas. Recently, when the US envoy for Middle East was about to visit, Israel enraged the American envoy by announcing construction of new settlements, who termed this Israeli step as against efforts for peace in the region. As a matter of fact, Israel has always insisted on talks on its own terms against the ethos of ‘Give and Take’, to salvage its own interests. This is the reason why the Palestine problem still stands unresolved. Israel had never been true in its efforts for peace in the region and it had never stopped its conspiracies against the Palestinians. That is why the Israeli Foreign Minister rejected the peace negotiations instigated by the US, making it clear that Israel neither wants peace in the Middle East, nor is it ready to give any concession to Palestinians. Rather, it has a one point goal of seizing the rights of Palestinians, forcibly occupying the Palestinian lands and realising the evil designs of ‘Greater Israel’ at the cost of peace in the region. Israeli Foreign Minister, (Avigdor) Lieberman, is the leader of the extremist group that advocates the continuation of settlement construction in occupied areas. Lieberman has expressed his opposition to any further extension of the unilateral moratorium on settlement construction by Israeli government saying, his party will not allow any such move to be passed by the parliament.
The above mentioned statement by Lieberman shows that Israel has no interest in continuing with the talks and resolving the Palestine issue. On the contrary, it tends to sabotage any nominal move for resolution of the problem. Even though Netanyahu expressed his desire for success of peace talks, saying that these peace talks should achieve success after 17 years of failed efforts, but as the situation indicates and the way Israel is insistent on construction of new settlements, it seems very remote that any fruitful result will come out of the peace talks and the Palestinians will salvage the dream of a Palestinian nation.
Md Muddassir Quamar is a research student at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
As part of its editorial policy, the MEI@ND standardizes spelling and date formats to make the text uniformly accessible and stylistically consistent. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views/positions of the MEI@ND. Editor, MEI@ND: P R Kumaraswamy