Palestine deserves immediate attention of world
by Bhim Singh on 25 Jun 2010 3 Comments

I recently visited in Palestine again after six years. My last visit was in September 2004 when my great friend and world revolutionary Yasser Arafat died in France. There were several speculations and stories about the cause of his death. I had seen him in the humiliating conditions he was forced to live in by the Israeli Government, almost in detention in Ramallah, his office bombarded, cut off from the rest of the world. The towns in Palestine, including Jericho (Ariah, first city of the world) Gaza, Anata, Ramallah were turned into small concentration camps much worse than the Jews lived in under the Nazis. Arafat signed the Oslo Agreement in 1993 with Israeli President Yitzhak Rabin where Israel agreed to recognise the State of Palestine. The Zionists betrayed Arafat and the promise made in the witness of the whole world and US President Bill Clinton was thrown to the winds, an Anglo-American Betrayal not less than the Balfour Agreement, 1917.


A policy of double standards by the United Nations in the Gulf region has created a huge chasm between peace and war. Israel put all UN Resolutions (242, 338 and others) into the dustbin of the Zionist wagon and defied all directions to vacate occupied Arab lands. Israel occupied the entire Palestine in 1967, including the Golan Heights of Syria and Sinai of Egypt. In 1973, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt was forced to sign agreement with Israel in spite of the opposition of the entire Arab and Muslim world. Sinai was vacated, the Suez Canal came back to navigation, reviving the financial situation of Egypt. But Sadat was killed by a soldier during a public parade. Jordon, compelled by circumstances, the New World Order, and the command of George Bush, opened borders with Israel, leaving two main frontline countries, Lebanon and Syria, to confront the Israelis. President Assad of Syria proposed a new and respectable formula, ‘Land for Peace’ which has not been honoured by Israel till date.


The situation I witnessed 40 years ago when I rode a motorbike on a peace mission through the Middle East has not changed much so far as the tension, magnitude of conflict, and threat to peace is concerned. It was less tense at that time compared to the explosive situation created by illegal closures and Israeli military blockades of which Gaza is the latest example. 


It is tragic that Arab Muslims and Arab Christians from Jericho or Anata or Ramallah or Bethlehem cannot visit Jerusalem to pray in Al-Aqsa, Qibla Awal or Sepulture Church (where Christ was crucified by the Romans two millennia ago). Ms. Fatima, sister of Rahman who lives in Anata, can visit Jerusalem because she is teaching in the Arabic School, but her brothers, sisters or mother are prohibited from visiting Al-Aqsa. A Muslim can visit Jerusalem to pray only if 50+ and only on Friday! A Christian can go to Jerusalem on Sunday only.


Another tragedy is looming in Gaza with nearly two million Palestinians locked in the strip because of the extreme position taken by Israel and closure erected by the Jewish Government. They have been locked in since 2006, totally cut off from the rest of the world. We were told a tunnel has been built from Gaza to Egypt for the supply of eatables etc. Neither the PLO nor Fatah has any access to the Gaza administration. We were in Egypt on 31 May 2010 when the Freedom Flotilla was attacked by Israeli commandos; the positive stand taken by the Turkish Prime Minister has received wide appreciation.


The grave threat to peace as I see it today is the Jewish settlements in Palestine, refusal of Israel to allow the return of Palestine refugees expelled from Israel in 1948, and defiance by Israel of all agreements it signed with Arafat and the PLO.


Israel must vacate all occupied lands of Syria, Lebanon and Jordan without delay; remove the shameful closure and blockades; accept all the territories defined in the Palestine map by UN Resolution 181 as the State of Palestine, with Jerusalem as it capital. This is the only way that two states, Palestine and Israel, can coexist and permanent peace return, failing which nuclear disaster may erupt from hidden volcanoes.


The international community should intervene to ensure that all UN Resolutions vis-à-vis Palestine are enforced by invoking Chapter-VII of the Charter of the UN; and the State of Palestine is recognized with Jerusalem as its capital. Flotilla-shipment carrying relief should be allowed to deliver ‘Relief’ to the suffering Palestinians in Gaza. All Palestinians should be allowed to travel to any part of Palestine without restriction. All Israeli soldiers should be withdrawn from Palestine. The sovereignty of Palestine must be accepted by the world community. 


The author is president, J&K Panther’s Party  

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