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1.     Attack on Mosque in Bethlehem

Dawat Online (Invitation), New Delhi

Editorial, 10 October 2010, Sunday

The burning and vandalism of the historic mosque and copies of Quran and Hadith by Jewish settlers in Bethlehem in the occupied Palestinian land of the West Bank is deplorable. This incident has enraged the entire Islamic world. As per reports, the miscreants not just tried to burn the mosque but also collected the mattresses inside and put them on fire. Many copies of Quran and Hadith were also burnt, achieving martyrdom. Many other religious books were also burnt to ashes. Even this did not satisfy the vandals, so they wrote blasphemous phrases against Islam and Muslims around the mosque and at some places it was found written that Muslims should be killed and mosques should be burnt.

This was an organised attack by Jewish settlers because it was done at a time when the mosque was empty. The mosque was attacked on the intervening night of 2-3 October and the lock was broken before burning up the place. When the Palestinians got to know of the incident, they rushed to put off the fire but were attacked by the Jews who held them up until most of the goods inside the mosque were burnt to ashes, later running away from the place. But, as is evident from pictures, the brave Palestinians have not stopped offering prayer in the mosque. So the Jews, in fact, did not achieve success in their prime motive. Hamas took notice of the incident and pressurised the Palestinian Authority to take notice.

This is not a first incident of attack and burning of mosque in the occupied West Bank, similar incident occurred at Hawara in April this year. A mosque was also burnt at Yasuf in Bethlehem some time back and blasphemous phrases were written in and around the mosque against the Prophet as well as Islam. Three such incidents within ten months cannot be passed off as trivial and this is the tip of the iceberg as far as Jewish motives in the West Bank are concerned. This shows the complacent behaviour of the Israeli government in achievement of these targets. It neither stops recurrence of such incidents nor does it takes action against the Jewish settlers. Even though, the government has announced that it has taken serious note of the incident but the question is that if it would have really taken it seriously such incidents would not have occurred repeatedly.

This burning of mosque has been done at a time when efforts are being made to save the recently started talks between Israel and Palestine, which the Palestinian authorities do not want to continue due to the resumption of settlement construction after end of the construction moratorium. They had threatened to keep themselves away from the talks in case settlement construction is resumed. Even then Israel did not extend the moratorium, which ended on 26 September, and now this incident has occurred. This shows that neither the Israeli government nor the Jewish settlers are serious about peace. Another conclusion that can be derived from this is that these people do not want establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

The repeated burning of places of prayer in the occupied West Bank is nothing but an effort to clear it off its Muslim populace so as to increase the Jewish population. The Zionist conspiracy is that to tilt the balance of population towards Jews to trivialise the Palestinian claim to the land. The Palestinian state would then be confined to Gaza Strip and if any Palestinian state comes up with Gaza Strip and West Bank then Palestinians would not be able to take over it and the Zionist can take over the power. An attack on a place of worship should not be taken in simple terms as it affects the local populace as well. This is a deep rooted and organised conspiracy that aims at decreasing the Palestinian population in the West Bank and growing the Jewish concentration.

Source: Dawat Online  

2.     Arab League’s Demand

Roznama Rashtriya Sahara (National Sahara Daily), New Delhi

Editorial, 11 October 2010, Monday

The Arab League Foreign Ministers’ meeting held in Libya’s capital Tripoli has demanded that the US resolve the ongoing crisis facing the Middle East peace process. The Foreign Ministers of Arab League countries have agreed to give a month to the US to solve the crisis. However, it is not clear what measures the League will take if the crisis is not resolved within one month. Obviously, the League of some pitiable Muslim countries cannot do much to solve the burning problem of Middle East. Again, it would be too much to expect the US to help make the conditions in Middle East conducive for talks in one month or one year or to resolve the ongoing crisis. The reason is that to make the conditions in the Middle East conducive for talks, it would be important to reign in Israel by talking tough to the Zionist state and force it to take a softer stance with respect to Palestinians for the sake of peace, which is beyond the US capabilities. Can the Obama administration facing the economic crisis afford to anguish the Jewish lobby? No need to mention that the course of US economy is in the hands of the Jewish capitalists who completely sympathise with Israel.

Probably the Islamic world would learn some lesson from Jews. It is a detailed and completely different debate, but it is very much clear that the US is completely unable to resolve the ongoing crisis because it cannot stop the construction of new Jewish settlements in occupied areas. Likewise, it would be almost impossible to bring the Palestinians to the discussion table in case of the continuation of settlement construction. The Palestinian Authority or Al-Fatah knows that if it agrees for talks with continuation of settlement construction, it will lose the support of the remaining Palestinians. Majority of Palestinians support Hamas, which has been kept out of the peace process by the US and Israel. There was little possibility of success of the peace process but now, after refusal of the Israeli government to extend the construction moratorium compelled Mahmud Abbas and Palestinian negotiators to remain out of the discussion table, making any positive outcome is completely impossible.

In such a situation, there is no hope for any outcome without forcing Israel to change its behaviour. This is the reason the Arab League Foreign Ministers have asked the US to make the conditions conducive for talks and have supported the stand of Mahmud Abbas. But the world knows that a weak Arab League’s support for Palestine does not mean anything practically because some diplomatic statements cannot solve the Palestine problem; otherwise the problem would have been solved long back. On the other hand, the US has always supported Israel in all its right and wrong moves in all possible manners.

Many term the Arab League as ‘naive’ for asking the US to for resolve the crisis, the US whose blind backing to Israel has complicated the matter to this situation. It would be nothing less than self-deception to expect the US to solve the crisis in one month. The fact is that until and unless the Islamic world emerges as a powerful block and challenges the US and Israeli wrong doings, there is no chance of resolving the Middle East conflict. However, the Arab League Foreign Ministers are not ready to accept the hard reality.

Source: Roznama Rashtriya Sahara  

3.     The Real Face of Judaism

Roznama Urdu Times (The Urdu Times Daily), Mumbai

Editorial, 13 October 2010, Wednesday

Nearly a week back, The Times of India and other national dailies published an Israeli news item but it did not attract any discussion. A correspondent of the French news agency AFP, reported with reference to the popular Hebrew newspaper from Jerusalem (sic), Yedioth Ahronoth, that a famous Rabbi Ari Shvat has ruled that, ‘the Jewish women can engage in the act of seduction and illicit sex with enemy agents for the sake of national security which would be an important mitzvah. Jewish laws (Halacha) allow such acts. Seducing terrorists for getting important information from them is going above and beyond and an utmost mitzvah.’ According to Rabbi Ari Shvat ‘even though the act of illicit sex is almost always forbidden but it can be done to help Mossad for the sake of national security.’ This is the present state of affairs in Judaism! But we are not amused because it is already mentioned in Quran that they used to make the forbidden as legal and legal as forbidden as per the whims of their religious leaders. Distortion of the holy book and holy religion is their old habit. Israel and its supporters, the US and Europe, never get tired of shouting their commitment to human rights and modern democracy but the world has recently witnessed, what they did with the ‘Freedom Flotilla’ which was taking aid to the Gaza Strip on humanitarian grounds and how they have forced the Palestinians in an ‘open jail’ and have erected 650 km long and 10 meter high ‘hate wall’ and have completely subjugated the 1.5 million population of the Gaza Strip by a complete economic blockade. Their latest democratic achievement is that Israel has arrested and tortured the Nobel Prize winner catholic Irish woman Mairead Corrigan Maguire just because this brave 66 year old lady has been actively campaigning for the rights of Palestinians in Europe for years. She was also on board ‘Freedom Flotilla’. She was immediately released that time but when she returned to Israel on 31 August 2010, she was arrested and jailed. Earlier, a ‘persona non grata’ use to be immediately deported from Israel at arrival. It is more than one and a quarter months that Maguire was arrested, but the spokesperson of Israeli Defence Ministry has responded to the efforts of Irish, British and other European Human Rights agencies for her release by stating this woman has been arrested for interfering in Israel’s internal matters and she dared to come to Israel despite knowing well that she will not get Israeli visa and now she will be handled with iron hands.

Prof. Ian Buruma of Human Rights and Democracy department of ‘Bard College’ of Israel, in his latest book, has justified the suppression of Palestinians, the Gaza blockade and hate wall by giving unimaginable arguments. Prof. Buruma’s theory is that, it is a fashion in the world to blame Israel of all the crimes to hide their crime. He said that ‘the Syrian President Hafez al-Assad killed thousands of members of Muslim Brotherhood in 1982, but nobody said anything about it.’ According to Prof. Buruma, ‘Muslims themselves kill more Muslims than Israel, not even the US has killed so many Muslims, but only Israel is termed as Oppressor, even though more than four million people have been killed in the civil war in Congo alone, six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust by Nazis, but the world sees only Israeli suppression.’ According to Prof. Buruma, ‘those who oppose Israel are Neo-Nazis.’ So, this is the Jewish standard of protection of democracy and human rights?

Source: Roznama Urdu Times  


4.     Israeli Offer and Palestinian Response

Roznama Rashtriya Sahara (National Sahara Daily), New Delhi

Editorial, 14 October 2010, Thursday

Palestine has rejected the Israeli Prime Minister’s offer of recognising Israel as a Jewish state for extending the moratorium on settlement construction in Palestinian areas. The ongoing peace talks are in limbo due to Israeli refusal to extend the construction moratorium. Israeli government wants to continue the talks with the Palestinians while it does not want to stop the settlement construction. The Palestinian Authority and its negotiators as well as the US, at least superficially, are exerting pressure on Israel to extend the construction moratorium, which Israel had already refused.

Suddenly, now the Israeli Prime Minister has offered a new proposal to Palestine. The offer is that if Palestinians recognise Israel as a Jewish state, it will stop new settlement construction in occupied areas, but the Palestinians rejected the offer saying they have already recognised Israel as a state and the reason for this crisis is the construction of illegal Jewish settlements.

In fact, this Israeli proposal has neither any justification nor any utility at this point in time. Even if unwillingly, a number of Muslim countries have recognised the state of Israel, then what is the need to ask them to recognise Israel as a Jewish state? This incident is another example of Israel’s malicious intentions. Equally it tells of the black-mailing and bullying character of the Zionist state. Israel may have agreed to come to the negotiations table but it had never been interested in taking the negotiations to its logical end and it has not changed its behaviour even now. The resumption of settlement construction is nothing but a conspiracy to sabotage the peace talks and put the responsibility on Palestinians. The other side of this story is related to the rights of 20 percent non-Jewish population of Israel. The Palestinian stand is that if it accepts Israel as a Jewish state, it will affect the rights this population, who may face more discrimination. Apart from that, it will also affect the right of return of Palestinian refugees. This is the reason why Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat termed this Israeli offer as a ‘ploy’ saying that there is no connection between nature of the state of Israel and Jewish settlements. The fact is that this offer from Netanyahu is just a ploy to derail the peace process and blackmail the Palestinians. The doubts raised by Palestinians in accepting this offer can be held justified in view of the long history of Jewish politics of deception and treachery. Israel is trying to harm the Palestinian cause and promote its own interest even after agreeing for peace talks, and this offer is also a part of such policy.

Source: Roznama Rashtriya Sahara

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