Palestine and Quaid-i-Azam

By: Hamid Mir      Published: 01:00 PM, 18 Sep, 2020
Palestine and Quaid-i-Azam
File photo.

There may be numerous loopholes in today’s democracy but it would become very arduous to establish a dictatorship in the name of democracy if the judiciary and the media are independent. The same is the case in today’s Israel where Netanyahu has been the prime minister since 2009. He has been accused of using undemocratic tactics to prolong his rule but the independent media stands in the way.

The media exposed the corruption committed by Netanyahu and his wife and there was widespread support for the demand that Netanyahu and his wife must be tried in a court of law. But, here in these difficult times, US President Donald Trump jumped into to help out Netanyahu and launched a Middle East peace plan last year to support him.

The US shifted its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018 which was a sheer violation of the UN resolutions on the Palestine issue. But, this Trump administration’s decision gave a much-needed political boost to Netanyahu. However, he still could not succeed in obtaining a clear majority in the elections held in March 2020. This compelled Netanyahu to strike a deal with the opposition under which he will govern the country for one and a half year and then the opposition leader will head the government for one and a half year.

Netanyahu retained the prime ministership but a trial against him on corruption charges had started in a court in May 2020. A recording of a meeting between Netanyahu and the owner of an Israeli newspaper is also out in which both men were discussing ways to bring down another newspaper. Trump again came to his help. Trump administration by getting established diplomatic ties between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain, scored political points at home and also provided political strength to Netanyahu.

Now Oman is being cornered for setting up diplomatic relations with Israel. Trump administration is persuading Arab countries to have ties with Israel in the name of peace in the Middle East. But, whoever enters into ‘friendship’ with Israel, protests against that country start in the occupied Palestinian lands, because Trump’s proposed Middle East peace plan is not aimed at resolving the Palestine issue but to gain political mileage out of it.

Becoming a part of the plan about which the poor Palestinians are up in arms is not to establish peace but is to help out Trump and Netanyahu. Much before the US presidential election in November this year, Trump has been able to advance his so-called Middle East peace plan and he has also been trying for a breakthrough in the Afghan peace talks but the Afghan Taliban are moving very cautiously in this regard.

I will talk about the ‘real plan’ about Afghanistan of US policy-makers some other time. Now, Netanyahu wants Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to somehow enter into a diplomatic relationship with Israel by the yearend. Netanyahu will become a hero if this happens, and the corruption trial against him would automatically hit a speed-breaker. There was no doubt that Israel had been trying since 1948 that Pakistan recognizes the state of Israel but the basis of Netanyahu’s efforts is quite different.

Netanyahu had spread the notion in 2015 that the Grand Mufti of Palestine – Amin al-Husseini – was the mastermind of the actions taken by Hitler against Jews in WWII.

Several Israeli intellectuals negated the claim made by Netanyahu. But soon after this claim, a pro-BJP Indian intellectual Ravi Nandan claimed that Allama Iqbal, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Mufti Amin al-Husseini were the supporters of Hitler’s anti-Jews thinking and that’s the reason why Palestine was repeatedly mentioned in the Pakistan Movement.

The same Indian intellectual also used the images of Quaid-i-Azam and Liaquat Ali Khan with Mufti Amin al-Husseini but he forgot that the All India Muslim League had started mentioning Palestine from the WWI, not the WWII.

At the 1918 annual meeting in Delhi presided over by AK Fazlul Haq, the All India Muslim League condemned the British occupation of Bait-ul-Muqqadas (Jerusalem) and Najaf Sharif and also rejected the Balfour Declaration at its 33rd annual sitting in 1933.

Some Israeli historians claim that Muhammad Ali Jinnah used to secretly provide financial assistance to Mufti Amin al-Husseini. However, the All India Muslim League’s record shows that the Palestine Fund wasn’t secret. In fact, the donations collected from common Muslims were given to Mufti Amin al-Husseini.

The exchange of letters between the Grand Mufti and Quaid-i-Azam is available in the Quaid-i-Azam Letters. According to a declassified document of the American CIA, Mufti Amin al-Husseini not only expressed support to the Kashmir independence movement by reaching the Ori Sector of Kashmir when he visited Pakistan in 1951 but also went to Kabul and made efforts to ensure Pak-Afghan friendship.

The Pakistan government also arranged his visit to Wana where he told the tribal elders of Waziristan that they should make Pakistan stronger. The UK government had declared him a war criminal and this person wanted by the British became a guest of Pakistan government. The Grand Mufti didn’t visit Pakistan after the assassination of Liaquat Ali Khan but Netanyahu still recalls him although not in a polite manner.

The relationship of the Pakistan Movement leadership with this Palestinian scholar is a slap on the face of those who declare Allama Iqbal and Quaid-i-Azam as supporters of the British and they are now going berserk for Pakistan-Israel friendship.

Recognising Israel without solving the Palestine issue means protecting the interests of Netanyahu and Trump, not of Pakistan. Therefore, you may have many disagreements with Imran Khan but he is moving on the path of Quaid-i-Azam by refusing to recognise Israel. He should keep in mind that protecting media freedom is also a path set by Quaid-i-Azam.