The Only Democracy In The Middle East?
Palestine’s fate was sealed when the newly formed UN—that upholder and protector of universal human rights—decided on the UN Partition Plan of 1947: a third of the Jews would get 56% of Palestine, while the two-third Arab population would only get 44%, even though they owned 95% of the land. UN very early on revealed its European colonial bias against people of the East, as the people wanting Palestinian land were all European Jews.
The only democracy in the Middle East has yet again committed war crimes and ethnic cleansing. Israel has become the most destabilizing and belligerent state in the region since its founding, which has included invading and occupying Lebanon, bombing Iraq in the 1980s and 1990s, and bombing Syria to this day, not to mention assassination of Hamas military commanders, and Iranian nuclear scientists.
In December 2008, Israel launched air and ground attack on Gaza, killing over 1,400 Palestinians and injuring thousands more. Over a period of 3 weeks, the Israeli military dropped some 600 tons of bombs on civilians in Gaza. Given the small area packing some two million civilians, the hapless people of Gaza had nowhere to go for protection during the intense bombing. Israel broke a ceasefire by launching an attack on November 4th of that year, using the cover of the historic election that saw Obama win the bid for the White House, blaming Hamas for launching attacks, when in fact Hamas had not fired a single rocket.
Again, in 2012 and 2014 Israel launched deadly attacks that killed thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza strip including many children, each time during the month of Ramadan, showing no humanity or compassion to the people who had not eaten or had any water to drink. The entire Israeli propaganda machine allied with the American propaganda machine (Fox News, CNN, NY Times, US State Department, etc.) each time discounted Israeli military’s killing of Palestinian civilians, and blamed Hamas for their deaths. In the words of Netanyahu, “they use telegenically [sp] dead Palestinians for their cause. They want, the more dead, the better.” The only female Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir, in 1969 blamed Palestinians for Israeli bombs that killed Palestinian children: “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children, but we can never forgive them for forcing us to kill their children.”
Imagine if this statement had been made by Arabs about Israeli Jews and Jewish children? That would surely set off all sorts of analogies to Hitler and a cacophony of anti-semitism would reverberate ceaselessly. Political leaders of a “democracy” who utter so much racist lies and propaganda want the world to believe that Palestinians want to “destroy” Israel, while Israel has completely obliterated and denied the existence of Palestine.
As another Israeli onslaught against Palestinian rages on this week, we witness helplessness of the Palestinians who have been reduced to nothing in Gaza through over a decade of sanctions, and again war crimes against an entirely civilian population are happening without a murmur of condemnation from Western heads of state. Cut off completely from the rest of the world, thanks in large part to the sealing of the border with Egypt because of its ruler, General Sisi, accountable and answerable only to Uncle Sam. Even though at the behest of Donald Trump Israel has been officially recognized by several Arab states of the UAE, Morocco, Sudan, and Bahrain, the Jewish state’s treatment of Palestinians has not improved by even a fraction.
Just as the US inflicted genocide and ethnic cleansing against the indigenous communities in order to steal their land, so has Israel followed down the path of Uncle Sam in stealing land from the Arabs through ethnic cleansing and genocide. And just as the US ensnared native Americans, Spain, and Mexico into wars in the 19th century to cease and steal land, that is exactly what has unfolded in Palestine last 70 years with Israel making war to steal as much land as possible and totally and entirely erase Palestinians and their history.
Only a global anti-racist civil rights movement, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, for justice, human rights, equal economic opportunities, and reparations holds any hope of creating a peaceful world for non-European people on this planet.
Dr. Khalid Afsar is a researcher and holds a PhD in education.