... for openness and credibility....

1.     The Iran Issue

Dawat Online (Invitation), New Delhi,

Editorial, 22 December 2010, Wednesday

The United States Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, who is also Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, has announced in Bahrain that the US will defend its interest and interest of its allies at all cost. The Western media reported this saying that the US Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff has reconfirmed to the Gulf countries, “wary” of Iran’s “growing” military power, that the US has kept an eye on Iran’s activities. The US has also planned to defend and counter the Iranian “danger.”It’s not just that it is well prepared but is ready to deal with all kind of situation. He said that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapon, which is a great risk for the entire region and which will completely destroy the balance of power. According to the reports in Western media, he told the same thing to the King of Bahrain while discussing the current situation in light of Iran. He announced this to the public later in which he said that the Iranian efforts to make nuclear weapon is a threat to peace and that it has also created the risk of political instability. This situation has mandated the preparation to deal with the situation, but he was not in agreement with the viewpoint of destroying Iranian nuclear plants saying that people who are articulating a pre-emptive war against the enemy are forgetting that it can be very dangerous and perhaps they are not taking these dangers into consideration but that option is also open. He said that this also is an option but there is no need to employ this option as of now.

The American General has said all this at a time when there is a talk going on between Iran and world powers. It has been said that the Geneva talks aim to convince Iran of keeping away from taking any “dangerous step” and also to assess that how can Iran be prevented from this. On the other hand Iran is trying to clarify and end the doubts about its nuclear programme. Its new Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has stated that Iran gives extraordinary importance to its relations with Gulf countries especially to Saudi Arabia and also the need to further improve their ties. In his first public speech after taking charge of the ministry he said that Saudi Arabia is a special and important country. According to him, Saudi Arabia is a very important country of the Muslim world and if Iran and Saudi Arabia work together they can solve a lot of problems facing the Muslim world. This statement has come after revelations from WikiLeaks that Saudi Arabia considers Iran as a very dangerous country and is in favour of action against Iran and some Saudi leaders have, in fact, given this advice to the US. The US and its Western allies are trying to keep Iran aloof from the Arab world and are intimidating them with nuclear weapons. The US leaders are continuously making efforts towards this end. But they have not yet succeeded in this aim. Once again it has been started by the American forces that Bahrain is a very important country. It houses American military bases. Large troops from its navy are stationed at Bahrain. In addition, America also has an air base there and the statement by US Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff is important from that point. But Iran is also trying to alleviate the fears and doubts among Gulf countries.

Source: Dawat Online

2.     India and Israel

Roznama Rashtriya Sahara (National Sahara Daily), New Delhi

Editorial, 24 December 2010, Friday

The news about growing closeness between Sangh Parivar and Israel have been doing the rounds in newspapers for quite some time, particularly after Israeli embassy issued a statement expressing its disagreement regarding comparison between RSS and Hitler. Simultaneously, a BJP delegation led by its President Nitin Gadkari, visited Israel and strengthened their relations. Netanyahu made telephone calls to the members of the delegation after their return and thanked them for their support to Israel. This relation is not based on any principle as Hitler is Sangh’s ideological leader; the relation is based only on their common animosity towards the Muslims. History of Israel has never seen such warm welcome to any group that admires Hitler and a foreign embassy has condemned a remark by a national leader against Sangh Parivar. It is not known that if the government considers it an intervention in internal matters, but common Indian public is certainly amazed with this remark from Israeli embassy as no embassy has given any clean chit to anybody earlier in the history of our country.

Meanwhile a national English Daily has published very disturbing news, according to which in 1979 the first non-congress Prime Minister of India, Morarji Desai, had threatened Pakistan to attack its nuclear installations with Israeli help. This information has come out of the US National Security Archive’s Declassified Government Document (documents made public after a fixed period of time). These documents have revealed that the Indian Jaguar fighter planes were ready to attack Pakistani nuclear installations. Even the US was not in favour of Pakistan getting nuclear weapons, as it was against nuclear proliferation in South Asia. India had made clear to Pakistan that if it tests nuclear bombs, India will attack its nuclear installations. This was a necessary step from India’s security point of view and so nobody can find fault with Morarji Desai’s threat. Such threats or such talks of attack are not uncommon for both sides. The most disturbing point is that Israel had offered help to India for attacking Pakistani atomic installations.

This incident happened when India and Israel did not even have diplomatic relations and the Indian government used to vehemently support the Palestinians. India and Israel established diplomatic ties in 1992, which makes it interesting to note that the Janata Party government at that time had such close secret ties with Israel which offered its help to attack Pakistani atomic installations. While the common public thought that we are sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, the then government was deceiving the public by hobnobbing with Israel? Israel was willing to have cordial relation with India since its inception, but due to India’s close ties with Russia and its full support to the Palestinian cause, it did not recognize Israel till 1992. But this document issued by the US National Security Archives gives a completely different picture. Interestingly, this document has not been revealed by the WikiLeaks but has been declassified by the US government.

The confidence of Indian public has been shaken by this revelation, because they do not expect double standard from their government. Anyways, these things have become old; Israel now has deep political, cultural, social and defence relations with India. Israeli companies are taking part in most of India’s defence deals. Israel also has continuously tried to influence our diplomatic policies and our relations with Israel’s enemy countries get affected. Whatever may be the government level relations between India and Israel, but secular minded people in the country still take Israel as an occupying country. Indian Muslims also are doubtful about growing relations between India and Israel and they think that apart from government level relations Israeli intelligence agencies are indulging in conspiracy against the public in India.

Source: Roznama Rashtriya Sahara

3.     Chances of another Attack on Gaza Strip

Roznama Rashtriya Sahara (National Sahara Daily), New Delhi

Editorial, 25 December 2010, Saturday

The Israeli government had put feud between Fatah and Hamas with the hope that as the two groups engage in fighting, it will do whatever it likes in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. The Israeli authorities tried to woo Mahmud Abbas-led Fatah in the same expectations and projected him as the uncontested leader of Palestinians to the world but Hamas ruined this Israeli conspiracy. Israel has targeted the Gaza Strip several times in frustration, but despite using disproportionate force and targeting civilian areas, it could not dampen the spirit of Hamas. Israel has completely blocked the Gaza Strip for a long time that even an ant cannot enter Gaza Strip with food particles. There were international efforts to provide aid to the civilians blockaded in the Gaza Strip but Israeli forces even attacked these aid convoys. In spite of these barbarian acts, Hamas fighters did neither lose their resolve nor their patience. It has been reported that Israel is again preparing to attack the Gaza Strip.

As per reports in the BBC, a senior official from Israeli forces has indicated a likely attack saying that until the Gaza Strip is under Hamas’s influence a war can take place in the region anytime. The official accused that Hamas has collected so much arms since the attacks two years ago that it now resembles a fully working strong military. The Israeli authorities have already devised plans for fighting with Hamas and according to the BBC, the Israeli Ministry of Defence has said that anti-missile system will be attached to the tanks that would be stationed near the Gaza Strip. This announcement came after the use of anti-armour Kornet missile by Palestinian militants. In fact Hamas has used an anti-armour missile against Israel on 6 December. This ten kilogram explosive laden Russian-built laser guided missile was targeted against an Israeli tank. As per Israeli authorities this severely damaged the tank but the soldiers inside remained safe.

If this is accepted then it is a major development, even though no Palestinian group has taken responsibility for it. But this attack can also be just a noise to create confusion and get some excuse to attack Gaza Strip. Often Israeli intelligence agencies and Western media try to mislead the world so that in the eventuality of an attack on Gaza they will have a strong excuse. Israel has also said that the rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip have intensified recently and the UN has condemned them acknowledging these attacks.

Israeli Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenzi has added to the seriousness of the matter by saying that the Kornet missile is the most dangerous missile system at this front and this was not used even during Lebanon War. He warned that the situation in South is very tense.

A senior Israeli officer told the BBC correspondent that till Hamas is in power in the Gaza Strip, tensions can lead to war anytime. Israeli motive behind this statement is also clear. It is known to all that Israel wants to displace the biggest political group Hamas from power and it wants to leave Hamas completely shattered by war. Hamas controls the area since Fatah lost in 2006 general elections. These things have been said by Israel to create a premise which shows that Israel has planned an attack on Gaza Strip.

Reacting to this news chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat has also said that tension is growing in the region and another attack on Gaza Strip will cause more blood shedding. He also said that such attacks never help in resolving the situation and make the situation more complicated.

The latest Israeli propaganda against Hamas says that Hamas has used anti-armour missile, even though no evidence could be found that Hamas is involved in the attacks. However Israel says that even if Hamas is not directly responsible for the attack, it would target Hamas installation in the Gaza Strip. What more can be expected from the Israeli authorities? Truth always comes out even if Israel does propagate about attacks on its civilians.

According to the UN, 62 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip in the ongoing year in Israeli actions while only one Israeli was killed in rocket attacks on Israel. This is the trend as far as data about Palestinians are considered. In the attacks two year back and subsequent fights which continued for 22 days 1,300 Palestinians were killed while only 13 Israelis were killed. It seems that Israel is fully prepared to mount an attack on the Gaza Strip and soon the world will see the blood soaked lands in Gaza Strip.

Source: Roznama Rashtriya Sahara

Compiled & translated by Md Muddassir Quamar

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