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EDITORIAL: 16-30 April 2002

Who is terrorist in Palestine?

What is taking place right now in Palestine, rather in the rump “22 percent” Palestine, is incredible. An entity which was established to partly undo the historical injustices and partially to satisfy the Palestinian grievances and to redeem hundreds of UN resolutions in support of the Palestinian victims ever since 1948, is being systematically destroyed by a discredited mad general who has been indicted in his own country for his role in Sabra and Shatila massacres and who is facing genocide charges in a Belgian court at this very moment. This maniac precipitated the current, second uprising, intifadah, by insisting to visit Islam's third holiest shrine, Al-Aqsa mosque under the protection of over 2000 Israeli soldiers in September 2000. The events catapulted him to the post of prime minister in a country which has been carved out of Palestine by deceit, outright terrorism and stealing others’ lands and expelling the rightful inhabitants by using sheer force.. 

After the initial grab, Israel has tried ever since to capture even those lands it could not do during 1948-50. Even after ceasefire in 1948 it went on occupying more Palestinian lands including Umm al Rashrash port, now ‘Eilat’, which gave it access to the Red Sea. In 1948 Israel’s illegal forces and terrorist gangs like Palmach, Haganah, Stern, Lehi and Irgun, used widespread terror to grab land and expel as many Arabs as possible from their lands. These refugees now live in camps in West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. 

Israel is the only country in the world which owes its 'legal' existence to the UN which, without any authority in its charter to create new states, succumbed to western pressure to 'recommended' the partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states in 1947. It was created to settle Europe’s Jewish problem away from western countries. And when the international body sent its envoy, Count Bernadette, to Palestine to settle the issues, he was murdered by Jewish terrorists in broad daylight in Jerusalem. 

Thanks to western pressure, especially American and British, Israel was admitted to the UN after offering solemn pledges to implement the UN resolutions regarding Palestine and specifically permitting the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands, a pledge which has been observed ever since only in violation. Nothing of the sort ever happened in the Middle East's 'only democracy'. As Palestinians refugees still live in shanty town on all sides of Israel’s land borders, Jews from all over the world enjoy automatic ‘right of return’ - they become Israeli citizens simply by placing there feet on the soil of Eretz Israel. This concept itself is a major part of the zionist problem. In simple language ‘Eretz Israel’ means ‘Greater Israel’ which has various definitions. The maximalist definition includes the land from the eastern flank of Nile in Egypt to the western flank of Euphrates in Iraq and everything in between including Khaibar in the south, while the minimalist version includes the whole of Palestine which includes what was carved out of mandated Palestine by the Britishers to partly satisfy their war-time promises to the Sharif of Makkah and is now known as the Kingdom of Jordan. Many Israelis believe in the ‘transfer’ of the Arab Palestinians to what they call ‘Jordan is Palestine’. According to zionism, Jews have a god-given right to this land and are entitled to live anywhere within its boundaries. This vision led to sprouting Jewish settlements in the territories occupied in 1967. Today outside the traditional Arab habitations all land has been occupied or acquired by Israel for building or expanding Jewsih settlements which received a great boost when Menachem Begin’s Likud party came to power in 1977. Despite Camp David, Madrid and Oslo, this activity has continued unabated although the whole world looks at them as sheer illegal entities and a clear obstacle to peace while the Palestinians see with their naked eyes the ever-shrinking space they have in the remaining part of their homeland after the emergence of Israel on lands far in excess of what was envisaged in the UN partition plan of 1947. From around 57 percent of mandated Palestine earmarked for the Jewish state, Israel now has 78 percent and eyes even the rest of 22 percent left with the Palestinians and does not want any meaningful state to emerge there so that it may continue to exploit its land and resources. It wants to keep tabs on everything within any Palestinian entity which must be demilitarised while Israel retains the Middle East’s most powerful army thanks to American largesse. Land and water resources in the areas occupied in 1967 are openly stolen while Palestinians are denied any control over them. 

It was within this scenario of ever-expanding settlements and misappropriation of Palestinian rights and resources that the Palestinians’ sole representative, the PLO, agreed to the Oslo accords in 1991 forsaking legitimate claims to what now masquerades as ‘Israel’. Under these accords the sovereign Palestinian state should have emerged three years ago with defined borders to exist side by side with the Jewish state. But nothing of the sort has happened. Israel still controls most of the West Bank and Gaza and keeps re-negotiating issues long settled and offers crumbs as final settlement in a take-it-or-leave- it style. The crucial issues of Jerusalem and the Palestinian refugees expelled from their homelands since 1948 have not even been discussed until now while the Jewish settlements keep sprouting and expanding on the land supposed to be returned to the Palestinians. It was the Israeli assumption that somehow the Palestinians will accept the ‘municipality’ being offered in the name of a ‘state’ while they control the Palestinian state’s security, foreign policy and borders. But this did not happen. And here lies the crux of the issue. The pent-up anger, frustration and daily humiliation by the rude occupiers, have rekindled resistance which is the birthright of every nation on the face of the earth whose lands are occupied by foreign powers. This right is recognised by international law. But, thanks to the current American obsession with ‘terrorism’ in the wake of 9-11, Israel thinks that it can lump genuine resistance as ‘terrorism’ and enlist the support of the world’s lone super power while the whole world watches in utter disbelief the butchery to which the Palestinians are subjected simply for daring to demand their natural rights. The current onslaught is only a new leaf in the zionist terrorism and the perpetrators will pay for it sooner than later. Such tactics will only hasten the dismantling of the unjust entity called ‘Israel’. Oslo allowed them a golden opportunity to gain legitimacy by securing the acceptance of their victims but they have fretted away that chance and the current onslaught is the last nail in the coffin of Oslo.

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