Blood in the holy land
A ceasefire has been reached after 11 days of ferocious bombing, airstrikes and ground offensives by the Israeli military against an unarmed civilian Palestinian population. Around 230 Palestinians and 10 Israelis have been killed and on the Palestinians side, the causalities have been mostly civilians, women and children. This is not a conflict anymore, it is genocide by every definition of the word. The Western media continues to paint it as a two-sided war but it is now a popular freedom struggle with a volunteer army based on youth on the Palestinian side and a full-fledged army with an air force, tanks, drones and advanced weaponry supplied mostly by the United States. The situation is as unsustainable as it is unfair but there is a prominent change in the narrative, and the new global stance on the matter has the potential to turn the tables.
Looking at the basic background of the dispute, the origins lie in the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire. After the First World War, the region of Palestine with the holy city of Jerusalem came under the control of the British Empire. From the 1920s to the 1940s, Jewish immigrants were systematically settled in and around the West Bank. After the Second World War, the victims of the Holocaust from Europe also found a home in the region where Western Nations actively took part. In May 1948, the Jewish population in collusion with
American and British masters declared the independence of a Jewish State called Israel. The Arab nations did not recognise the newly created State and a war ensued. A two-state solution by the UN was rejected and in the subsequent war, the Israeli army was supplied with enough equipment and weaponry to overpower the huge difference in numbers. The Arab nations kept initiating military struggles and that gave Israel the opportunity to claim self-defence and the Western nations used the false narrative to bolster the Israeli army. The status quo continued till the 1960s. Frustrated by the response of the UN as being an organization that was created by mainly Western and European Nations and now looked after the interests of only those particular nations, another war called the Six-Day War broke out in 1967. Once again, the Israeli army not only defeated heavy odds, it captured key lands from Jordan and Egypt alike. A ceasefire was once again a loss for the Arab nations. Following the loss of the war, the matter now fell into the hands of volunteer freedom fighters from all over the world. And so, PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) was born and after much failed negotiations, Hamas came into existence as a popular struggle to bring about some results, and a reply to Israeli aggression protected by the Americans. The Hamas struggle movement got indirect support from many Muslim nations, both neighbourly and those afar. Among those nations is Iran. The Iranians after the ouster of Shah in 1979, based their entire country around the revival of the true spirit of Islam and with the famed Revolutionary Guard, the Hezbollah was born, as a military arm of the revolution. Through Lebanon, the Iranians actively took part in continuing a military struggle against Israel where many Arab nations decided to put their aims and objectives first. Thus, Iran is now the most imminent threat to Israel and more than half of Israel’s efforts in global diplomacy have been to economically cripple Iran and keeping it from developing a nuclear bomb. Hamas and Hezbollah are the only signs that the Israeli aggression does not have a clean chit.
Beginning from the early 1920s, the Israel-Palestine dispute is now 100 years old and still no end in sight. Israel continues to encroach on Palestinian lands, evicting them from the outskirts of Jerusalem and forcing more and more into the distant Gaza strip. Talks of a two-state solution are a back and forth matter and progress is lost each time at the spur of a minute military episode. The UNSC and the Oslo accords gave some hope of a diplomatic solution but nothing tangible was ever reached. Meanwhile, Israel has gained more ground. Diplomatically, they have managed to leverage American influence on countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and other Gulf nations to resume friendly ties or backdoor channels. This gives legitimacy to Israeli atrocities. The royal family UAE in particular has ignored the plight of the Palestinian Muslim brothers and sisters in the ambition to be the dominant military and economic power in the Middle East, surpassing Saudi Arabia and Iran through military cooperation with the United States and Israel. It is something that the Palestinians and history will not forget.
Pakistan since the Great Quaid has been unwavering in its stance towards its Palestinian brethren. Pakistan and Israel were both founded on religious ideologies. But Pakistan has repeatedly provided moral and diplomatic support to the Palestinian struggle. Even with a dwindling economy, Pakistan has never given in to the demands of Israeli supporter nations. Pakistanis around the world are one with the people of Palestine in their struggle against a
historical injustice, brokered by corrupted powers of the world. The Jewish Corporate bodies in the United States and the United Kingdom have countered the Pakistani narrative through their media-controlled outlets and corporate tools but modern times are bringing in a new revolution with its state-of-the-art social media and direct power of the people model. A few days ago, the Foreign Minister of Pakistan Mr Shah Mahmood Qureshi was verbally attacked and confronted by a CNN journalist Bianna Golodryga(a Jew herself) and called out for AntiSemitic comments to which the Foreign Minister gave subtle and balanced answers. In reality, he spoke the truth that the Israeli controlled media is trying to hide. The Twitter and Facebook accounts across the world spoke words of Mr Qureshi as, “deep pockets and influence of Israel” and “genocide” perpetrated by the Israeli army. The Muslim populations across the world are all praise for the Pakistani Foreign Minister. Congratulations to the people of Pakistan and salute to the Foreign Minister as it is a cause to raise our heads in pride and say, “Justice and not Might is the greatest Right”.
The new world of 2021 is unlike the world a few decades ago. Actions are no longer hidden from the World eye. Where media outlets like AP and Al-Jazeera, who were reporting the killing spree of civilians by the Israeli, were bombed and decimated, the citizen journalism is now changing the world. Palestinians with smartphones documented and broadcasted every single event of the 11-day war and the whole world saw it. Once again, in the words of the Pakistani Foreign Minister, “Israel is losing out”. What he meant to say is, it is impossible to hide dead bodies now, and the people of the world are waking up. No wonder streets in New York, London, Madrid and countless cities other cities were clogged with Pro-Palestine rallies and crowds. A revolution is inevitable and only a matter of time.
Israel thrives on war crimes and bombing civilians at the behest of the United States vetoing every move against it in the United Nations or anywhere else. But America itself is losing power to new blocks of power like that of China, Russia, Pakistan and Iran. We can learn from history that the past is not a good predictor of the future, and in that sense, the future is promising and that all those lives lost by the Palestinians will one day yield a free and peaceful Palestine.
The writer is Chairman of Jinnah Rafi Foundation.