Views from Srinagar
Dr. Javid Iqbal
RAZAN al-Najjar aged 21, angelic in demeanor was trying to help an injured protestor near
the Gaza border fence on Friday, June the first, 2018 when she was fatally shot by an Israeli soldier. It was murder, most foul, profane in extremes. It epitomized the bestiality and brutality of Israelis. Her murderer was American born from Boston, soldering for Israel. Razan had her white apron on, when she was shot. A witness told the ‘Reuter’ news agency, “she raised her hands high in a clear way, but Israeli soldiers fired, and she was hit in the chest”. She was targeted, in spite of Geneva Conventions clearly laying out that targeting a medic is a war crime. But then isn’t Israel prone to trample upon international conventions regularly and persistently? Shielded by Americans, Israel stays without a care of humanitarian concerns and international opinion. US veto provides the protective cover for any punitive action that international community might contemplate. The brazen US support insulates Israel—by any definition a pariah state, an international rogue.
Israel, a state conceived by Zionism, midwifed by Arthur James Balfour, was adopted by United States post World War Second. It continues to be an illegitimate state, sustained by land grab, ethnic cleansing and forced eviction of Palestinians. Israel continues to keep two million Gazans in a state of siege, and developing exclusive Jewish colonies in Palestinian territories. To tighten the siege, Israel is helped by US backed regime Of Gen. Sisi in Egypt, the plea being radicalism of Hamas. Pro-west regimes in Arab World are not comfortable with Hamas. The organization is accused of being Iran driven. Such regimes would rather deal with West Bank based Mahmoud Abbas—Palestinian authority head, who is soft spoken and taken to be benign. However, of late, even the largely passive Palestinian authority have lost faith in Trump led US administration. Donald Trump has done away with the veneer of neutrality of his predecessors in White House and openly sided with Israel. Trump administration is seen supporting Israel through thick and thin. Nothing could demonstrate it better than shifting the US embassy to Jerusalem and virtually burying the Oslo process.
The Oslo process envisioned the twin states of Israel and Palestine existing side by side, with the fate of Jerusalem subjected to further consultation. It did not provide carte blanche to either the Israelis or their backers—the Americans to decide its fate without an international consensus. For the US to move its embassy to Jerusalem was an act without an international consensus, hence a violation of Oslo agreement. Jerusalem is moreover the center of reverence for Abrahamic faiths—the Muslims, the Christians and the Jews, hence for any state to act unilaterally would amount to breach of faith. Additionally, Jerusalem is an occupied territory; hence a final decision on its fate needs an international consensus to be worked out in United Nations.
On grounds of international norms, it cannot be left to an arbitrary action by Israelis and Americans. And, if Palestinians are protesting, they have a right to protest, as annexation of Jerusalem amounts of violation of international norms.
Israel ever since its creation in 1947/48 has been violating international norms. It has displaced more or less 750,000 Palestinians to create room for accommodating Ashkenazi-the European Jews. This was in a land where Muslims, Christians and the Asian Jews were living in harmony for ages; the peace of their composite living was disturbed to accommodate the European Jews coming in large numbers. Zionism wanted a state of its own, banking on biblical evidence of state of Israel in times of Saul, David and Solomon. Seven decades down the period, Gazans in their sieged enclave are protesting hard for over two months now. The protests began on March, the 30th. The protests refer to what Palestinians label as Nakba. It marks the forced removal of Palestinians from their home and hearth. Nakba translates as ‘Catastrophe’ which fell to the fate of Palestinians, as way was cleared for the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. Seven decades since the Nakba/catastrophe of 1948, Palestinians in the sieged enclave of Gaza are organizing the ‘Great March of Return’ rallies near Gaza’s fenced border with Israel.
The rallies are held along the fence with Israel, with the demand of their right to return to the homes and land their families were expelled from 70 years ago. The rallies are held on Fridays. Israel has responded with all its might, which resulted in killing more or less 124 Palestinians in Gaza and injuring 13,000 persons up to last Friday, June, the 8th. On that day, more deaths were reported and several injured. Israel is facing international condemnation for its brazen acts of force against largely defenseless protestors. Several countries have recalled their ambassadors’ from Israel to mark their protests. Major European powers have called for inquiries into show of force, only to face the American censor. United States is bent upon blocking every move in United Nations that seeks to censor Israel. It is fast becoming the lone savior of the rogue state.
United States may be able to save Israel from international censor over a period of time, but not for all times to come. The rogue state shall have ultimately to address the Palestinians concerns, in a spirit of live and let live.
—Courtesy: Greater Kashmir
[Yaar Zinda, Sohbat Baqi [Reunion is subordinate to survival] [Dr Javid Iqbal is a veteran Kashmiri writer based in Srinagar]