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God and arrogant democracies
Qazi Azad

          THE Israeli Justice Minister of the time -- Yosef Lapid, following the demolition of Palestinian homes by Israeli army bulldozers in Gaza in May 2004, said, "The picture of an old woman on the rubble of her home reminded me of my grandmother in the holocaust. There is no forgiveness for people who treat an old woman this way".
Yosef was right. The almighty God-- who creates beings at His own choice -- is not partisan. The Israeli Prime Minister of the time -- Ariel Sharon, who earlier as an army general killed sleeping Palestinians in hundreds in Lebanon's refugee camps, is neither dead nor alive -- in a precarious twilight of a long coma following a fatal stroke that knocked him off from the pomp of power as the prime minister of his country.
Conscientious people are always problems for an arrogant democracy. It is more so when that arrogant democracy is also belligerent in nature. Yosef Lapid is not any more in his job as the Israeli Justice Minister. But what would he say this time on seeing the picture of the seven year-old Palestinian boy whose dead body with the head severed was recovered from beneath the ruins of a building in Gaza, demolished in Israeli bombing the other day? Had this little Palestinian boy kidnapped the teenage soldier of Israel, for which the entire Palestinian community in Gaza is being collectively punished mindlessly by its armed forces?
Madeleine Albright -- the US Secretary of State under President Clinton, in a recent interview with the Newsweek said, "one thing that troubles me is the certainty with which the Bush administration is convinced that God is on their side and they are following a very specific plan". President Bush -- who was described by anti-war American demonstrators prior to the invasion of Iraq as George Hitler Bush, may consult with the former Israeli Justice Minister Yosef Lapid, if he is still living, to know whether God is partisan and whether He will forgive him for defending the current ruthless Israeli aggression?
No doubt, the kidnapping of the Israeli soldier by some supporters of the Palestinian ruling party -- Hamas, was not desirable. On viewing it in the context of their plan to use his release as a bargain for obtaining the release of thousands of Palestinian activists detained for years in Israeli prisons, what should one say? Look at what Bill Clinton -- who has an enlightened human heart, said on Palestine-Israel peace negotiations -- "When Arafat came to see me I tried to work through the next steps with him. Not surprisingly, he saw things differently from Netanyahu; he thought he was supposed to prevent all violence and wait around for Netanyahu's politics to permit Israel to honour its commitment under the agreement".
Netanyahu, as Israel's Prime Minister, was supposed to advance the peace process initiated by his predecessor on signing a peace accord with Arafat at the active interest of President Clinton. But he -- like his successors, also played tricks with the distressed Palestinians overtaxing their patience. If the Palestinians detained in the Israeli jails are prisoners of war -- what they should be, in fact, treated as, they should wait for their freedom until an Israel-Palestine accord for exchange of prisoners. But how long should they wait for that accord to come on a foundation of peace? Should they wait until Israel's domestic politics, as Clinton lamented, permits it to honour the commitment made in the agreement, arrived at during his presidency? Clinton's successor as the US President -- George Bush, is now about to end his second four-year term in office. But the Palestinians are still nowhere near their statehood, as was promised during the Clinton administration.
President Bush -- who holds a degree in business administration, knows that unending frustration and ill treatment make people desperate. The Palestinians and other Arabs in their neighbourhood -- who may include Arab Jews, have been further radicalised in the intervening time since the Oslo accord as the direct consequence of the stalemate in the peace process. The massive victory of radical Hamas in the latest Palestinian general election is a confirmation of that fast change.
The same event should convince Israel and its allies that unending atrocities would deliver good to no party. Rather, it will only breed further hatred and more chaos. Why should one believe that these atrocities might even make Arab Jews angry? Did not Siran Bishira Siran -- an American Jew of Jordanian origin who killed Robert Kennedy, write in his diary his pledge to kill Robert for promising during his presidential election campaign to enhance or resume arms supply to Israel?
Meanwhile, Israel has opened a second battlefield by invading Lebanon -- after Gaza, using the pretext of capture of two of its soldiers by Lebanon's Hezbullah guerrillas, who are supposedly aided by Iran. The UN secretary General -- Kofi Annan, in the recent UN Security Council meeting on Lebanon, held Hezbullah primarily guilty for provoking the Israeli attack. The US permanent representative to the UN -- John Bolton, and the Israeli ambassador to it branded the Hezbullah as terrorists. But one may ask if the Hezbullah guerrillas are terrorists, who have made them so? Has not Siran Bashira's diary opened our eyes by providing a testimony to why and how people turn into terrorists? Obviously, one has to blame Israel and its patrons for the rise of the Hezbullah in 1982 as a terrorist or Muslim defence group to counter Israeli atrocities both in Palestine and Lebanon.
Israeli aerial bombardment has meanwhile turned South Lebanon and a large part of the Lebanon's capital into ruins where indiscriminate killings and maiming have been taking place with no prospect of an immediate end to Israeli atrocities. If he is still alive, Israeli politician Yousef Lapid may visit these devastated places and tell us whether these acts of wanton destruction can be forgiven. But his country's former Prime Minister -- Yahud Barak, was citing in an interview with the BBC the non-implementation of some UN Security Council's resolutions for disarming of the Hezbullah in Lebanon, as the reason for the group to be able to still remain a fighting force that recently kidnapped two of his country's soldiers. But he was not telling the world how many UN Security Council resolutions against Israel were aborted by the US veto slapping on the conscious of majority of world's people. These majority people are now the prisoners of conscious in a broad jail called the world?
This was evident this time as well when 179 UN members expressed themselves in the world body for an immediate cessation of Israeli attacks on Gaza and Lebanon while only the US and the UK alongside the defaulting Israel opposed the proposal.
Dealing a problem at its source is the best way, or the only effective way, to resolve it. As the genesis of the renewed crisis lies in the lingering Palestinian-Israeli conflict, there can be two options for terminating terrorism in the region. Either they should immediately force Israel and Palestine to promptly implement the Oslo peace accord or annihilate all Arabs and Muslims in the region to free it from the magnifying curse of aggravating terrorism.
If they go for the second option, will God -- who is seemingly regarded by them as partisan, helplessly look on? President Clinton's Secretary of State Madeline Albright has given the answer. She told the Newsweek -- "I hope I am wrong, but I am afraid that Iraq is going to turn out to be the greatest disaster in American foreign policy -- worse than Vietnam, not in the number who died, but in terms of its unintended consequences and its reverberation throughout the region".


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