Israel seeks war not peace

By Asif Haroon RajaMiddle East

In the 19th century, the Muslims strength in Palestine was 86% and that of Jews only 4%. Despite the overwhelming majority, the Muslims treated the Jews justly. In later part of 19th century, the Jews spread all over the world started to shift to Palestine under a calculated plan and Great Britain helped them in their relocation. In the 1st World War, the British and the French deceptively offered the Arabs independent Arab States in return for their help in toppling the Ottoman Empire. Amir of Mecca Hussain bin Ali fell in the trap and initiated Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire. Balfour Declaration in 1917 laid the foundation of Jewish State in Palestine. In 1920, the colonial powers after dividing the Empire shared the spoils among them and ditched the Arabs.

After 2nd World War, when the entire world was sympathetic to the Jewish sufferings, America and Europe persuaded the UN to create Israel by dividing Palestine in 1948 against the will of Palestinians. The UN granted the Jewish State 55% of the land even though the Jews constituted only 30% of the population. Palestinians realized then that they had also become victims of Zionist funded Holocaust. The world made them pay for something that they did not do, persecute Jews. In the 1930s and 40s, even before Israel was created, Zionist militia organisations like ‘Hagana,’ ‘Irgun,’ ‘Stern Gang,’ etc. conducted terrorist campaigns, perpetrating 33 massacres and wiping many villages out  against the native Palestinians to drive more than 700,000 to the refugee camps of the neighboring countries. This is the excruciatingly painful background of Arab-Israeli conflict.

Over 67 years have gone by and despite inflicting grievous pains and applying disproportionate force causing massive death and devastation; Israel could not drive the Palestinians away nor humble them into submission or snuff out their yearning and determination for dignity and self-determination. However, it is equally exasperating to see Israel bent upon using brutal methods to obliterate the Palestinians or force them to abandon their quest for self-determination and return to their occupied land.

In his book ‘The Jewish Paradox’ and in other writings, Nahum Goldmann, the founder of the World Jewish Congress and the then President of the World Zionist Organization, advised Israel that the State of Israel could not be made secure through  militarism, excessive use of force and military victories; rather it would do disservice to Zionism. He cautioned that excessive use of force would make the mortified and enraged Arabs more determined to fight back with greater vigor. The bloodshed and turmoil that would ensue would degrade Jewish values and character. He urged Israel to build friendly relationship with the Arabs, negotiate and make concessions, offer the expertise and experiences of Jews to help build prosperous societies for the Arabs, approach them with humility and understanding, stop going for settlements and expansion of Israel, hand over the areas acquired in 1967 war, accept the border as per the UN Resolution 181 of 1947, earn the trust and confidence of the Arabs and the neighboring countries and establish peace in the region. He urged Israel to rely more on the good relationship with the Arabs than on the West.

In an article published in Foreign Affairs 30 years ago, Nahum Goldmann grieved that too many chances of peace had already been missed. He again warned Israel and others that it would amount to be a ‘historical crime’ to let-go of the Sadat peace initiatives and the reconciliatory gestures from many Arab counties if either Israel or the Arabs “by their intransigence on unneeded details, were to demolish the prospect of beginning an era of good neighborliness, friendship and real cooperation.”

Nahum’s sane advices were brushed aside by hawkish Israeli leaders. Drunk with military power and its diplomatic clout together with patronage of the US led west; Israel relied on its military muscle and chose the path of brute force. Resolution of the Palestinian dispute through peaceful means didn’t interest Israel. Overtures of peace made by the Arabs or non-Arabs were either shunned/stalled by Israel, or peace process sabotaged by placing impracticable demands, or laying down irrational pre-conditions, or indulging in false flag operations to project Palestinians as terrorists, or indulging in building more settlements, thereby rendering the peace process futile. Israelis know that they will have to sheathe their weapons in case of negotiations and may have to compromise. Enjoying power and influence, Israel is in no mood to grant any concessions or shed away what it illegally occupied.

Israel occupies 78% of the Palestinian land by force, violating UN Resolutions 242 and 338 and disregarding world opinion. Having dispossessed the Palestinians of their lands, homes and property, the illegal occupiers want them not to complain and to concede more concessions if they want to live in peace. Concessions and generosity cannot be expected from the people who lost it all: their land, their dignity, their freedom and decent livelihood. It is the occupier, the one that is immensely powerful, who should approach its victims with concessions and proposals of justice. This is the only way peace can be achieved.

When late Anwar Sadat undertook the historical journey to Tel Aviv in 1978 and signed the peace agreement which was solemnized into Camp David Accord in 1979, Israel returned Sinai to Egypt. Although the Arab world accused Sadat of betraying the cause of Arabs and boycotted Egypt, the Palestinians remained hopeful that their ordeal would also be ended amicably. Hope made the PLO passive and there was a sharp decrease in their violent acts against Israel between 1978 and 2000. Rather than cashing in on this opportunity, Israel kept up its aggressive stance and in that period demolished over 28,000 Palestinian homes and continued with its policy of settlement of Jewish families. Oslo Accord envisaging co-existence of two-states signed in 1993 was a deception to create rift within PLO ranks and weaken their resistance. It eventually triggered First Intifada in September 2000 and led to birth of Hamas.

Nahum Goldmann asserted that two-state formula is the only way Israel can survive in the long run. The two-state is not possible without dismantling the extensive network of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. However, during the last decade or so, the settlers and the Zionists so-called religious parties in Israel that are fierce supporters of expansion of settlements are becoming ever more dominant in the Israeli politics. There is no leadership strong enough now in Israel to attempt to dismantle the settlements without creating mayhem or even a civil war. Israel has, many times in the past, blown up chances to establish a Jewish state in Palestine with the approval of all the stakeholders.

Had Israel been interested in two-state solution and to live in peace, it could have taken full advantage of the changed situation when Hamas emerged victorious in Gaza in 2006 elections. Recognition of Hamas led government by Israel and the US and giving it a helping hand to build Gaza and make it prosperous would have gone a long way in healing the wounds of the Palestinians, dispersing clouds of distrust and antagonism and in promoting goodwill between the two antagonists.

Israel launched a brutal land/air offensive in Gaza in July 2014 on the excuse of home-made rockets lobbed from Gaza that killed a handful of people. Israeli leaders complained contemptibly not realising that rocket attacks were in reality desperate moves by Hamas and others to lift the blockade Israel has placed on Gaza since 2006. Henry Siegman, the former head of the American Jewish Congress, vehemently condemned Israeli persecution of Palestinians. He lamented: “No country and no people would live the way Gazans have been made to live.”

Israeli atrocities assumed more dangerous proportions when 80% of Israelis supported heinous acts of their government. The youth celebrated the killings of the Palestinian men, women and children and urged the military to kill more and wipe them out. It manifested the depth of moral decay of a nation that does not care about inflicting enormous injustice and misery on others. Albert Einstein warned the Jews in Israel long ago about this moral failure if they fail to live in peace with the Arabs.

Israel demonstrates no interest for peace. Every time a peace process is undertaken either by Arabs or non-Arabs, Israel either stalls, or demands impossible pre-conditions or does something objectionable, such as building more settlements, that renders the peace process futile. By now it should have become amply clear that Israel has no intention to settle the Palestinian dispute through negotiations and compromise since it can get more using its power and influence. Rather, the Zionists are vying to absorb Gaza and West Bank as well.

One must not forget that the Zionists objective is to establish ‘Greater Israel’ stretching from River Nile to Euphrates and subsequently rule the world. With this aim in view, the Jews played a key role in influencing the neo-cons to bring George W Bush junior to power, carryout 9/11 false flag operation to start a Muslim specific global war on terror and take on stronger Muslim countries one by one. Prevalent chaos in the Middle East is in line with sinister plans of Israel founding fathers as well as that of Adid Yenon and Col Ralph Peter’s plans. All efforts are now geared towards toppling Basher Al-Assad regime in Syria and preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Apart from the irksome States in its neighborhood, nuclear Pakistan is Israel’s number one target.

The writer is retired Brig, war veteran/defence analyst/columnist/author of five books. Director Research Centre, Member Board of Governors TFP.


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