Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Al Nakba - The Palestinian Holocaust

Al Nakba - The Palestinian Holocaust
by: Dr Zulaiba Ismail

Much has been documented in great detail of the events that unfolded when a grand plan was hatched more than 100 years ago to create a homeland for the Jews by carving out the heart of Palestine. It was on the 14th of May 1948 that the state of Israel came into being literally with blood on its hands as a result of the forcible seizure of villages and land from the Palestinians who had lived there for centuries.

The Zionist disinformation machinery propagated the view that a land without people should be given to a people without land. Thus the Palestinians were slaughtered and ethnically cleansed so that their land could be transferred to the Jews who were supposedly in need of a homeland.

In May 1949 the United Nations invited the newly created state of Israel to become a member while the erstwhile state of Palestine was relegated to oblivion. The Palestinians had become an indistinct mass of refugees – not a nation, not a political entity, only a problem, and not a major one at that! If the United Nations, led by Zionist stalwarts Britain and USA were sincere in being fair to both States in this partition plan, surely they would have recognized the state of Palestine as well. Over the last 60 years the Israelis have succeeded in telling the world that their State is beleaguered and faced by the onslaught of Arab aggression.

Ilan Pappe of Haifa University has documented how Plan Dalet, spearheaded by David Ben Gurion in March 1948, succeeded in expelling 800,000 people, and destroying 531 villages and 11 urban neighbourhoods in six months. This was a clearcut case of ethnic cleansing involving coldblooded mass murder and other atrocities such as bombardments on a civilian population.

It has been reported that the British army under the Mandate closed one eye and allowed another 250,000 Palestinians to be expelled. The Palestinians have termed this the Nakba or catastrophe, which till today remains an unresolved crime against humanity. The Holocaust lasted six years and the Nakba has been going on for more than 60 years! The pro-Israel nations were quick to hold a tribunal at Nuremberg to try Nazi war criminals but has any International court done anything to bring justice to the Palestinian victims?

Sir Gerald Kaufman, Member of Parliament in Britain and who was an early advocate of Zionist ideology, acknowledged in Parliament earlier this year that Israel was born out of Jewish terrorism. Her further elaborated that Israel exploited the continuing sense of guilt felt by the West as justification for the slaughter of Palestinians, the massacres of Deir Yassin in 1948 and Sabra and Shatila in 1982, to name a few.

Palestinians have always been advised to forget the past and start anew wherever they may be. The paradox is that they live out the consequences of the past every day as oppressed people under a violent military occupation: as a powerless minority in Israel: or as marginalized exiles in refugee camps in neighbouring countries. Yet the Israelis will not allow the world to forget the Holocaust and ironically it is the Palestinians who have been made to pay a heavy price.

George Galloway referred to the “original sin” of the Balfour Declaration that led to the birth of the illegitimate state of Israel. The Jewish orthodox group, Naturei Karta (Guardians of the Faith) have chosen to live in exile in Britain and USA rather than migrate to Israel as the birth of Israel was not by divine decree but rather by a Zionist ideology that rejected many of the teachings of Judaism. This sect looks forward to the day when a free Palestinian state is established, one in which they would most readily reside.

Gaza Under Attack

The present day political quagmire of Palestinian disunity, i.e. Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank only serves to highlight the empirical adage of debasement of human nature to the point of ‘when dog eats dog’! The exploitation of Palestinian disunity and the blatant manipulation of using Palestinians to wipe out Palestinians is a game that has been perpetuated through centuries of colonisation wherein natives were pitted against natives. It is plain to see that the intra Palestinian murderous conflict going on now is just a case of history repeating itself.

Today we have a situation in which the world sits on its hands and watches while a democratically elected Hamas government which won 76 of the 132 seats in the internationally monitored Palestinian elected is rejected and boycotted by most world leaders and the United Nations. Is this not a case of abiding by Israeli dictates? Former US President Jimmy Carter was present during this election exercise and respects the decision of the Palestinian people. He recently urged President Obama to recognize the Hamas government but it remains to be seen whether doublespeak about democracy will still rear its ugly head in this newly elected American government.

Israel’s publicity stunt in 2005 when it withdrew 8,000 settlers from Gaza was just a smokescreen to tighten its control over Gaza’s air, sea and land spaces. The terrorising of the Gazans continued with nightly assassinations and incursions. Gaza’s atrategic and economic value (especially with the discovery of gas reserves offshore) was too high for the occupying force to ignore. So when the people voted in a Hamas government, Israel and its allies instituted a crushing blockade of Gaza, imposing a stranglehold over its 1.5 million people such that it has become the world’s largest concentration camp.

A ceasefire initiated by Hamas was broken by Israel in November 2008 with the killing of several Palestinians. This provoked a Hamas response which the Israelis welcomed with the unleashing of the most brutal and murderous onslaught on the people of Gaza at the end of the year. This lasted for over three weeks, with more than 1,300 dead (mostly civilian men, women and children) and several thousands permanently maimed and injured. The whole of the Gaza strip was reduced to a rubble. Against this horrific Palestinian tally, only 13 Israelis were killed, most of whom were invading soldiers!

Even UN sanctuaries, clearly marked and constantly communicated to the Zionist forces were not spared. Television footage and web-based media recorded the gory details of this carnage, providing proof that the invading forces had made abundant use of depleted uranium, white phosphorous. D.I.M.E and other nuclear-based illegal weapons, not to mention F-16’s and other sophisticated weaponry supplied by the USA. All this was unleashed on an already emasculated population, most of whom depended on food aid from shoestring agencies since unemployment had exceeded 60 per cent.

No Cause For Celebration

The present scenario presents an even more dismal future, if indeed there is a future. The reconstruction of Gaza continues to be obstructed by the Zionist blockade despite the fact that the perpetrators would be beneficiaries of the profits accruing from redevelopment projects funded by so-called sympathetic government who preferred this route to that of outright condemnation of Israel.

After the merciless attacks on Gaza, the people on Israel voted in a decidedly right-wing coalition as if to signal the coup de grace of any attempt at a peace process.

Indeed there is now the unashamed declaration to increase the number of illegal settlements and a defiant open campaign to confiscate Palestinian properties around Jerusalem, thus completing the Judaisation exercise. It will be interesting to see how President Obama (who had earlier urged a halt on new settlements), will deal with this Israeli defiance.

Dr. Salam Abu Sitta. At the Palestinian Right of Return Coalition in San Francisco in 2006, summarized the Palestinian struggle in the following manner:

In the 90th year in the Palestinian struggle for freedom and peaceful life in our homeland of Palestine since 1996 – a campaign of Genocide has been waged against the Palestinian people….

A Genocide of killing
A Genocide of elimination
A Genocide of exile and banishment
A Genocide of decapitating organizations by assassinating their leaders
A Genocide of slow death by cutting sources of food, water and medicine
A Genocide of civilised life by destroying schools, universities and hospitals
A Genocide of oblivion by destroying the national identity and denying the rights for citizenship and nationality.

Needless to say, the pain of the Palestinian people is a pain that all peace loving people throughout the globe share. It is a pain caused by unbridled injustice at the hands of modern day barbarism. It is the pain of the entire Muslim ummah, who together with oppressed people throughout the world, suffer the hypocrisy of a supine leadership whose main agenda is to appease the aggressors.

The Al Nakba is a reflection of the catastrophe being played out in the various theatres of war in the Muslim world. Witness the aggression against the ummah in Iraq and Afghanistan, the destabilization of Pakistan, the targeting of Iran, the dismemberment of Bosnia and Sudan, the degradation of Somalia and the destruction of Chechnya.

Where Israel is concerned, political correctness prevails everywhere and diplomatic decorum stands in the way of the bully’s nose getting bloodied, even when the bully has contemptuously violated UN resolutions for the last 40 years. It is a slap in the face for the defunct world body when Israel refuses to allow any form of humanitarian aid into Gaza. The UN cannot guarantee the passage of ships carrying humanitarian and medical aid in the international waters off Gaza. Yet no one in the United Nations has ever condemned or called for the removal of the Zionist state from its membership. The UN Security Council has never taken decisive action with respect to Israeli war crimes as member states know full well that USA and Britain would use their powers of veto to protect the rogue state.

And so the Palestinian tragedy remains the greatest moral blight on the conscience of the world today.

-Former Professor and Dean of The Graduate Centre, UiTM, Di Zulaiha Ismail has for the most part of 20 years actively partnered Palestinian NGO’s to ameliorate the conditions of refugee life in the camps, especially in Lebanon. Among her other various interest, she is also a Trustee of the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalize War.

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