Copyright © 2006 riceNpeas
On 25 January this year, Hamas, the armed Palestinian militant group, won a surprise victory in the Palestinian Parliamentary elections claiming 76 of the 132 parliamentary seats. Fatah, the party founded by the late Yasser Arafat and headed by Mahmoud Abbas, won 43 seats, with the remaining 13 seats going to independent candidates.
Whilst western world leaders recoiled in disbelief, many Palestinians took to the streets in celebration: celebration that democracy had hopefully delivered them from the corrupt, dithering and sterile government of Mahmuod Abbas. For what real victories could the Palestinian people point to under Fatah? What could they honestly point to as victories gained or grounds won in this 58-year, never ending battle for dignity, self respect and independence?
These people are still refugees in their own country; they are still brutalised and humiliated daily and they are still waiting for that government, whichever government, that will deliver them from this evil they call “occupation.” It is this factor and this factor alone which led to scenes of jubilation as Hamas supporters turned out in their thousands for their victory parade.
The people of Palestine are the innocent pawns in a game which has been played for decades between successive US and Israeli administrations: the game to undermine any and every representative of the Palestinian people. We are told that both Washington and Israel refuse to deal with Hamas until they renounce violence. We are also told that they refuse to make any deals with Abbas as he does not have the support of the people. Yet, when Abbas had the power of Parliament, the real decisions leading to the eventual independence of Palestine were stalled until the Palestinian Authority could bring Hamas militants under control. The goal posts change as and when the Israeli and US governments so choose.
The people of Palestine are paying a very dear price for their democracy. Hypocritical western governments now wish to penalise the Palestinian people for their choice of government by financially strangling their elected administration into submission and, in effect, fomenting a possible civil war which they will no doubt blame on the corruptions and failings of both sides. Whilst the Palestinian Authority crumbles and civil authority disintegrates, Israel hastily and unilaterally prepares blueprints for eventual borders between their two countries, blueprints which in effect seize large portions of Palestinian territory.
One has to ask, where are the United Nations in all of this? Why has the United Nations remained outside of the negotiations for the eventual creation of an independent Palestinian state? Why should the UN be solely a rubber stamp for US foreign policy, called out as and when it is needed?
It is bizarre that the United States government bankrolls Israel’s defence industry to the tune of billions of dollars each year, provides Israel’s government with F-16 fighter jets and Apache helicopter gunships, and provides its army with M-16 assault weapons, and then claims to be the independent arbitrator of peace. It is even more bizarre that the Western media very rarely makes reference to these facts.
Let’s not kid ourselves with this talk of stalled peace talks until Hamas renounces violence; let’s not kid ourselves that Israel will withdraw to the borders of 1967 as demanded by United Nations resolution 242, and let’s not kid ourselves that the US administration is independent in its overseeing of this Middle-Eastern conflict. It is a shame on the world, the United Nations, the so called “International Community,” and those media broadcasters and newspaper editors who rush to bring us headlines of Zimbabwe, Dharfour and Somalia, yet have shamefully and shamelessly failed to tell the world the true story of the destruction of Palestine.
Ishmahil Blagrove, Jr.
1st June 2006
EDITORIAL: Israels Apartheid
By Ishmahil Blagrove, Jr.