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Off limits

Publication Date : 11-07-2014


It is tragic what is happening in Gaza. Israel’s all-out war on unarmed and hapless Palestinians - foreign media channels have captured shots of Palestinian women and children running for their lives - has not drawn a word of condemnation from the so called civilised world.

For three Israelis killed in an ongoing war, the Palestinians are being bombed relentlessly in an undeclared war with the Zionists clear that for them even the retributive ‘eye for an eye’ approach really means the body and soul for a nail.

The Palestinians over the years have been pushed, and literally walled into controlled territories in the West Bank and Gaza. Movement through the West Bank is completely controlled by the Israelis, with the Palestinians unable to even visit each other in the tract of land without going through numerous check points.

Needless to say the search is humiliating, to put it mildly, with women and children too treated to Israeli chauvinism and vulgarity on a regular basis. In Gaza the Palestinians are not even safe in their own homes, with regular bombardments, target attacks that are chilling in their accuracy making a mockery of rights and international laws.

 As the beautiful Palestinian poem "Eye to Eye" reads,

“You worry about your education/ And the bills you have to pay/I worry about my vulnerable life/And if I’ll survive another day.

 "Your biggest fear is getting that ticket/As you cruise your Cadillac/y fear is the tank that left/Will turn around to come back."

 The unity between Hamas and Fatah, achieved after much effort and after the sane Palestinian voices were able to carry the day instead of the shrill bitterness between the two, has clearly worried Israel and its supporters. Tel Aviv policy is clearly keen to keep the Palestinians caged as rats, to be picked out at will, to be arrested, to be bombed, and to be kept at the mercy of the Israeli military. Walls and check points are supported by satellite surveillance, that is further supported by the Israeli military and of course full and complete US support where any violation is within the law.

The relentless bombing of Gaza should have outraged the world. There should have been united pressure on Israel to stop the barbaric atrocities on a hapless population. But no, there was silence. And not just from the West, but from the Arab nations led by Saudi Arabia that have contributed as much, if not more, to isolating the Palestinians and helping Israel further its plans for the region. In the name of religion Saudi Arabia has done tremendous damage to West Asia, to the Palestinians and to Muslims in general but this is another story.

The Arab League has been reduced to an ineffectual ‘yes master’ body that has no views and no legitimacy even in the eyes of its own members. Iran has been left fighting its own battles, Syria is under siege, and Iraq has been reduced to a war zone by those who went in there with their fighter jets and tanks and troops to ‘liberate’ it. And instead brought in terrorism that is now taking over what is left of the country and the proud civilization. Egypt that could have taken a stand is fighting for its own survival, as the international players delve in to create chaos and confusion.

Saudi Arabia - and its royal family - remains untouched in all this, and continues to enjoy the luxuries of survival, as it follows the will of its ‘masters’. And ensures that it feeds into all demands, so that its ticket for survival at the cost of the Palestinians and all others in the region, is renewed regularly and remains valid.

The Americans, at the undisguised instance of Israel of course, picked and finished the weakest of the countries standing up for Arab rights, sovereignty and the rights of the Palestinians. Iraq, under sanctions for 12 years, was crippled from within and while its leader Saddam Hussain had changed policies to become more inclusive he was still branded by the world media as the old tyrant and killer.

Weapons of Mass Destruction was the lie perpetuated to attack Iraq with a military might not often seen in this era, and to hunt him and his supporters down as if they were barbarians out to destroy the world. An embedded media turned the lie into the truth, and the rest is history. Iraq thus was taken care of and justified by the Bush-Blair duo, and it is only now that the world - or at least parts of the world - are waking up to the kind of lies that were spread to justify the worst atrocities on innocent people. 

The same powers are now silent about the ISIS militants that are marching across to capture the land, and perhaps set up another government -like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt - that has the covert support of the Americans and Israel.

It is no secret that militant regimes, and a show of primitive ideologies and mindsets, helps countries like Israel to use military might against perceived resistance, even if it be as mild as a procession down the streets of Gaza.

The guns are trained not at the ISIS or such forces, but at the real resistance that has come to Israel from the Palestinians and sporadically from countries like Egypt (in the past), Iran, Iraq and of course Syria. The source of true fundamentalism, Saudi Arabia, is feted and dined at the high table.

The Palestinians are not the usual Arabs. They are courageous, honest, and fierce in their passion for their homeland. No other peoples could have taken this level of attack and trauma without complete subjugation, but as any and every Palestinian will tell you, in their case it only adds to their resolve to have their own homeland.

The spirit is not breaking, despite the deaths, and the imprisonment of thousands of young, old, Palestinians. It is this resistance that the Israelis cannot understand, this passion they cannot reconcile with. And the Palestinians know it, and yet their is no weakening of their resolve to continue the struggle for their own country.

And as the poem states again more eloquently than prose can:

"Terrorism breathes the air I breathe/It’s the checkpoint on my way to school/It’s the curfew that jails me in my home/And the penalties of breaking the curfew rule."

 And goes on to say that the Palestinian struggle will continue until the homeland is secure adding:

"If that day shall never come/Never will we see a day of peace/I will not be thrown from my own home/Nor will my fight for justice cease.”




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