Gaza killings and Muslim Ummah
Dr Raja Muhammad Khan
It is over five days now that, Israeli airstrikes are pounding thousands of bombs of thousands of pounds on the population centres of the strangulated Gaza Strip in Palestine. As per international press, Israel got prior consent of the US President and key decision makers for its current barbaric attacks on the helpless Palestinians; the Gaza dwellers.
In this regard, Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu is constantly in touch with President Obama, who is on his way to Asian tour, the first after his re-election as the US President. In the so far barbaric attacks, Israeli airstrikes have killed over 80 innocent Palestinian, mostly women and children. Besides, the aerial raids wounded over 650 Palestinians in last 100 hours offensive. Rocket fires of Palestinians (Gazans) has killed three Israelis and wounded eighteen. Israel claims that, Hamas military wing rocket attacks have compelled it to retaliate with the aerial strikes.
Apart from the US President, the Israeli attack has been fully supported by both Houses of the US Congress. In this regard, the US Congress passed a unanimous resolution, giving Israel the “inherent right to act in self-defense.” The right of self-defense cannot be denied to any nation or community as per the UN Charter. But, the question arises, who gave the right to Israelis to forcibly occupy the Palestinian land and then target them as and when it wishes so? If the U.S and international community are conscious about the applicability of this right, have they ever asked Israel to abide by this in its dealing with Palestinians too.
With the exception of few military wing commanders of Hamas, the bulks who have been killed during the attacks are women, children and innocent civilians. Is there any justification for such aerial strikes? Is there a balance of power and compatibility between military strength of Israel and Palestinians? No one finds any justification for the rocket attacks by Hamas, but, going for almost an all out attack against the innocent is not justified either. Everyone living in Gaza is neither part of Hamas nor militant. Then, if Israel and its supporters want an end to these, then they have to address the very cause of these attacks. The addressal of the cause calls for the right of Palestinians on their native land. Have the UN and U.S done this most needed task?
Whereas, everyone talks about the right of self-defense, what about the “the biggest prison on Earth”, created through the blockade of Gaza people by constructing a barricade by Israel and another by Egypt. After this barricade, the poor people of the Gaza have no opening to the world. Then, what option has been left for the poor dwellers of the Gaza? Israel has stopped them from entering into its occupied territory, where they use to earn their living. Indeed, their frustration and revolt is natural. After all it is not the war munitions they are looking for, rather they are hard pressed for the earning of their bread. Have someone including Arab Monarchs ever thought on these lines.
Is peace the real desire of the world community and Israel in this region of Middle East, then give Palestinians their right to live on their own territory? In 2006, Hamas came into power through a fair election system. Immediately after the formation of new Hamas led Palestinian Government, Israel arrested and imprisoned many sitting ministers of the Palestine.
This democratically elected government was rejected by US and many other champions of the democracy, which exposed their double standards. Together with the West, Al-Fatah and Arab monarchs conspired to end this elected Hamas led Government. Then, there was a reign of terror on the poor Gaza people by Israeli defense forces. As it was not enough, there was fuelling of an infighting between Hamas and Al-Fatah groups; Gaza vs West Bank. The process continued until recent past.
There is yet another dimension of the Israeli aggression on Gaza. As per the exclusive analysis of DEBKAfile, dated November 17, 2012, “Israel will strike Gaza so long as Khamenei nixes talks with Obama.” US, Israel as well as the Arab monarchs considered Hamas closer to and backed by Iran and Syria. This series of continuous airstrikes by Israel may have some connection with Israeli plans to strike Iranian nuclear sites in the subsequent phase, taking the plea of Iranian support to the Hamas. In this regard, prior consent of President Obama to Israeli Prime Minister and some key visits and indicators are critical.
Then the key statement of US policy making guru, Henry Kissinger is very significant. Henry Kissinger in his article in the Washington Post on November 16, 2012 writes; “The most urgent decision facing the president is how to stop Iran from pursuing a military nuclear program. The time available for a diplomatic outcome shrinks in direct proportion as the Iranian enrichment capacity grows and a military nuclear capacity approaches.” He emphasized US administration that, “We cannot afford another strategic disaster.” All that, this US Foreign Policy maker old man was stressing President Obama that, take action against Iran, before it attain the capability of nuclear weapons. Kissinger and some US nuclear experts feel that Iran is nearing to achieve the weapon grade uranium enrichment. It “already has in place the technological infrastructure for quickly raising its 20-percent enriched stocks to the 90 percent bomb-making level.”
Therefore, the possibility cannot be ruled out that the renewed closeness between Israeli Prime Minister and Obama is a step towards a larger agenda in the Middle East. U.S has already taken on board the Arab Monarchs of GCC, who differ with Iran on ideological basis. Bulk of these monarchs follows the Wahhabi form of Islam, which is anti-Shia school of thought in Islam. These monarchs would also like the neutralization of Iranian nuclear programme, even at the hands of Israel. But the question arises, under the prevailing circumstances, what would be the after effects of any such misadventure by Israel or US on the region, which is GCC dominated? After all, Israeli nuclear programme is acceptable to them and its counter weight; the Iranian is an irritant for them? Indeed, Muslim Ummah needs a sense of proportion, logical thinking and the unity and harmony. How long can we afford playing at the hands of others?
Muslim Ummah as a whole should stress the international community for the resolution of its all outstanding issues under the single banner, rather being divided on the basis of various schools of thoughts. Palestine and Kashmir are two such issues need international attention and immediate resolution, if world wants peace at the global level. As per UN Charter and International Declaration of Human Rights, it is totally unjust that aggressors are appreciated and backed by the civilized international community and those oppressed by the same class of aggressors are further exploited and discriminated. What justification Israel and US has for a consensus and consistent airstrikes on poor people of Palestinian. Neither these countries along with their regional proxies should have any right to attack the Iran or its nuclear programme. Rather, Arab world should force the global powers to end the sanctions, imposed on Iran over the years. Through a collective will, we must resolve our issue ourselves without involving external powers.