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1. Israel’s Unapologetic Aggression
Roznama Siasat (The Politics Daily), Hyderabad
Editorial, 3 January 2011, Monday
Israeli aggression in the Middle East has reached its peak. Israel, from time to time, targets Palestine and continues with its unapologetic suppressive behaviour against unarmed civilians; but the irony is that the international community remains silent and does not take any action to tighten the noose around Israel. The harshest form of action taken against Israel has been verbal criticism advising it to avoid such actions. In a recent attack the tomb of Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) (PBUH) was targeted. This is a very unfortunate, deplorable and unnerving incident, which needs to be forcefully condemned all over the world and Israel should be pressurised to prevent such incidents. This attack was in fact carried out to build a permanent Israeli military post in the Nabulus district of West Bank. This was not a minor incident but a well planned and organized attack. It was carried out by Israeli military under the orders of Chief of Army Staff Gabi Ashkenazi. Unarmed Palestinian civilians who are already facing various other problems were also targeted in this attack. This is not the first time when the tomb of Prophet Yusuf (PBUH) has been attacked. The Israeli military had attacked many holy Islamic sites during the Intifada in 2000. Once again the tomb of Prophet Yusuf (PBUH) has been attacked and the only motive is to build a permanent Israeli military base in Nabulus. They have not yet succeeded in building any such base there.
The kind of behaviour Israel has been indulging in and the stubborn attitude of the Zionist state can be a real threat for the world peace and security. Israel is involved in such attacks by influencing some international powers and the whole world is silent on its barbaric actions. The whole world starts clamouring whenever the unarmed Palestinians stand up against their suppression in defiance of Israel. The world very well knows that Israel is a nuclear power and owns highly sophisticated and modern weapons, while the Palestinians are struggling completely unarmed. But the world community tried to defend Israeli actions, which is a completely hypocritical behaviour. These developed countries and particularly the US and its allies do not even bother to speak out when Israel attacks Palestine and targets civilians. The international community always debates and articulates on dangers facing security and safety of Israel and the need to eliminate such dangers. Iran is being targeted for the same reason and Iraq was ravaged for this only. But the same countries completely ignore the dangers to the world peace due to Israel and Israeli actions. The way Palestinians are made to suffer and holy sites are being targeted and these cannot be ignored as ordinary incidents. These powers never care about the Muslim world and always keep busy in wooing Israel. The international community should change this hypocritical behaviour and try to influence Israel to keep away from such tyrannical actions. If they remain silent without taking any action then they would be responsible for the dangers facing the world peace.
The way the tomb of Prophet Yusuf (PBUH) was attacked in the presence of Israeli Army Chief and two Jewish religious leaders shows Israel’s further dubious plans. The Muslim world should wake up to these Israeli activities and try to influence the general opinion throughout the world. The regional Arab and Muslim countries should unite and emerge as a power which Israel would fear to put its hand on. These countries should understand that until and unless they unite to defend themselves, other countries in the world will never help them.
Roznama Rashtriya Sahara (National Sahara Daily), New Delhi
Editorial, 3 January 2011, Monday
On first day of the New Year, the foundation stone for construction of a new Palestinian embassy building in the Brazilian capital city of Brasilia was laid down. This is a promising step for the Palestinian cause. This positive decision on part of Brazil shows that despite all the US support the anger against Israel and sympathy towards Palestine are growing at the international level.
Many Latin American countries recognized Palestine as an independent country during the end of the year passed by, which is an indication that howsoever Israel tries to avoid this issue, the stand of international community is tilting towards Palestine gradually. However, this is also a fact that due to the US backing Israeli aggression has not receded at all. The recent example of this was an attack by Israeli military on the tomb of Prophet Yusuf (PBUH) situated in the middle of Nabulus district of West Bank, which has shocked the population in the area. This incident is a proof that Israel is involved in activities hampering peace in the region. In such a situation, it is bound to impact the success of peace talks and the efforts for establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
In spite of such aggressive Israeli gestures, many incidents that occurred last year show that Palestinian cause is gaining support and Israel is losing sympathy all over the world. The first incident was an attack by Israeli Defence Forces on the Turkish aid ship ‘Freedom Flotilla’ and tough stand taken by the Turkish government as a result. The second instance was recognition of Palestine as an independent state or announcement to do so in near future by many Latin American countries. Argentina and Brazil are among countries that have recognized Palestine as an independent state. Bolivia and Ecuador have also agreed to recognize the independent Palestinian state. This state of affairs is again a challenge for the US President Barack Obama so that he intensifies his efforts to resolve the conflict in Middle East and pressurize Israel to come to terms with reality. This step by Latin American countries is a litmus test for President Obama.
Another step forward was the laying down of the foundation stone for construction of a new Palestinian embassy building by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the first day of the New Year. Brazil has already announced that it recognizes the Palestinian state to be formed within the pre-1967 war boundaries. At the ceremony to lay the foundation stone, the PA President Mahmoud Abbas spoke tough against Israel and its supporters saying that the US, Russia, EU and UN are buying time rather than resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict. Mahmoud Abbas directly accused the US of failing to stop the settlement construction in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
This tough talk by Mahmoud Abbas is an indication that the Al-Fatah group which was more or less dependent on the US till now is beginning to realize the dual American policies. Hope regarding the Palestinian issue had prevailed after the taking over of President Obama. The failure to take any step forward in this direction is a proof of failure of American policy in the Middle East. On the other hand, the growing sympathy towards Palestine in Latin American countries is an alarm for the US and Israel that they read the writing on the wall and Israel should recognize the right of Palestinians; or else it will find itself more marginalized at the international level. The strong position of Brazil, the foundation stone laying for the Palestinian embassy building in Brasilia and its inauguration by Mahmoud Abbas is a New Year gift for Palestinian people from Brazil.
Roznama Rashtriya Sahara (National Sahara Daily), New Delhi
Editorial, 5 January 2011, Wednesday
Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, the Chief of Army Staff of Israeli Defence Forces, has said that the Israeli military is preparing for a major war in the Middle East. The General told this in a meeting with the US Congress delegation, saying that a war can erupt between Israel and Hamas or Hezbollah. A letter dated 15 November 2009 by US ambassador in Tel Aviv was published in a Norwegian newspaper, which contains many things with reference to General Gabi. According to the General, Israel would issue a warning 10-12 minutes before any such attack. General Gabi sees Hamas and Hezbollah as a threat to Israel.
The fear in Israel regarding Hezbollah is due to the shameful defeat at the hands of this organization in 2006. Despite of the US support, amassing of lethal weapons, cutting edge technology and latest training, Israel lost 160 soldiers in this war, while it bombarded civilian areas and killed thousands of Lebanese in retaliation. This war changed the perception about invincibility of Israel as perceived by most of its neighbours who do not even dare to speak out against Israel. As far as Hamas is concerned, in spite of limited resources and opposition from major powers, it has not allowed the weakening of Palestinian struggle and has responded to Israeli aggression with full fervour and strength. This is the reason why the US, Israel and their toothless allies term it as a terrorist organization, even though it is the most popular organization in Palestine. The point is that both Hezbollah and Hamas have responded to Israeli stubbornness in its own language giving it the message:
We want peace, but oppose war
If war is inevitable then be it.
If Israel terms Hamas and Hezbollah as a threat to peace, then the only reason is that these organizations are a roadblock for Israeli plan of ‘Greater Israel.’ As a matter of fact, Israel is looking for an opportunity to demolish these organizations since 2006 and it is understood that Israel can go to any length to take revenge for the 2006 defeat. But Israel has not yet been able to do that because of the fear of repeat of 2006. This statement by the IDF chief has made it clear that Israel is looking for excuses to breach the prevailing peace in the Middle East. The main goal behind this is to keep the Palestine issue in limbo and weaken the powers that are emerging as a challenge for it in the region.
Another proof is the revelation by WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks has revealed that on 12 February 2010, the American ambassador to Paris in one of his letters mentioned that the US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates said in a meeting with his French counterpart that Israel can attack Iran without support from Washington. There is no need to repeat Iran’s position on Israel. This is a fact that it is only Iran that has dared to criticize Israel for its terrorism in the region and has stood for the Palestinians and Muslim world. Israel thinks that it is Iran that backs organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah. Further, Israel also fears Iranian nuclear programme. The Zionist state obviously does not want any Muslim state in the region to achieve nuclear power and become a threat for Israel. So if Israel is preparing to go to war against Iran as well then it is not surprising. What is amazing is that despite being in knowledge of such Israeli preparations, the US has not issued any statement which shows its willingness to contain the situation in the region. This proves that even if the US says that Israel can attack Iran without its support, it lends a silent support to Israel. But there could not be any peace in the Middle East with this silent support, whatever peace talks are staged on the screen.
Dawat Online (Invitation), New Delhi
Md Muddassir Quamar is a research student at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Email
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