The Palestine issue
GIVEN today’s situation, it is very important that we give our children a historical background to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and connect with the current situation.
In this context, DHA Suffa University arranged a webinar, in which the country’s eminent Researcher and Professor Dr Moonis Ahmer and Dr Talat Wizarat put the case of Palestine before the students in great detail.
There is a lot to learn from this scholarly discourse. Here are some excerpts from it:
The Ottoman Empire controlled most of the Palestinian land from around 1517 to 1917. Prior to the Ottoman Empire’s disintegration, the population of modern Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip was not entirely Muslim.
In the mid-16th century, as the Empire ruled, there were only about 10,000 Jews in Palestine, accounting for about 5% of the population.
By the mid-19th Century, Turkish reports estimated that 80% of the 600,000-strong population was Muslim, 10% Christian Arab and 5-7% Jewish.
The British took possession of Palestine after World War-I which ended in 1918.The British support for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” was expressed in the Balfour Declaration (November 2, 1917).
It was made in a letter from British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Lionel Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild (of Tring), an Anglo-Jewish group leader.
It was released by the British government in 1917 during World War I, pledging support for the creation of a “national home for the Jewish community” in Palestine, which was then an Ottoman province with a small Jewish minority.
In 1923, the League of Nations issued a British mandate for Palestine, which granted Britain administrative authority over the territory and included arrangements for the establishment of a sovereign state.
The Zionist Organization sought to ensure the creation of a Jewish national home in Palestine during the Mandate period.
Palestinians who have lived there for a long time and whose ancestors lived there and whose ancestors were also buried there they were extremely opposed to this artificial divide. So a tiring controversy ensued, resulting in thousands of deaths so far.
After a quarter-century of the Mandate, the United Kingdom brought “the Palestine question” to the UN. At that time, the United Nations was just two years old, and war had ravaged Palestine.
Following a survey of various solutions, the United Nations proposed partitioning of Palestine into two separate states, one Palestinian Arab and the other Jewish, with Jerusalem internationalized.
The partition plan failed to bring peace to Palestine and the resulting violence erupted into a Middle East conflict.
And then the issue of Palestine is not limited to just one geography, but it blooms throughout the Gulf.
The whole area of the Gulf was thrown into the fire of war. And its effect on all Islamic countries, especially and all the other countries of the world in general, it affected them all.
The West’s biased and abusive agenda is also revealed. Thousands and millions of Palestinians were forced to become homeless and stateless.
Those who remain there have no guarantee of their lives and no future for their children. They have no Ramazan and no Eid.
The only fear is when the Israeli bombers will attack them and they will have to pick up the bodies of their children and their soldiers.
And their deprived eyes seem to be asking the Muslim Ummah how long their bodies will be traded? How long will they be free from this oppression? When will Muslims unite and come to their aid?
—The writer is contributing columnist, based in Islamabad.