Dr Syed Javed Hussain
Israel has struck Gaza again. This time more than 275 peoples including innocent men, women, and children have been killed. Around 600 people have been injured, a majority of them being in serious condition. Six months old ceasefire between Hamas and Israel , that ended last week, has resulted in the mass murder of innocent Gazans. Israeli propaganda machinery is already working overtime to justify its barbaric act. Israel is very responsive to holocaust which is embedded deep into the psyche of its leaders; hence no amount of human casualties can shake their toughened sensitivities: they remain the wronged party. The myth created around holocaust, which finally benefited Zionists enabling them to create a country in the heart of the lands of Islam, has hardened Israeli leadership to the extent of being diabolical.
In the last six months when there was ceasefire, Israel did not allow any inflow of things that were essential to maintain life and social fabric of society. There were no fuel supplies, essential foodstuff, medicines and surgical tools for hospitals etc. Further, cash starved Gazan administration was not able to repair civil amenities which were destroyed by Israel in its earlier attacks before the ceasefire. Israel never respected the ceasefire agreement and avidly continued with the blockade of Gaza and its policy of collective punishment. All the time while blaming Hamas for the firing of rockets from Gaza, Israel forgets that they are a nation under siege/occupation and under the human right charter of the UN they have the right to fight for their independence. They have become violent now and are firing rockets, even though one may not agree with their tactics, because they have exhausted all political means to end Israeli occupation.
A couple of days ago, Hamas hinted at renewing the ceasefire, however, it did no get any response from Israel . In fact, Israel does not want to deal with an Islamist party. In cahoots with most disgraced American president in its history, George W. Bush, Zionist leaders want to neutralize any Islamist movement/identity on Israeli borders. Earlier they tried to neutralize Hezbollah and failed, since then they have been trying to neutralize Hamas in Gaza. Secular Al-Fatah under Abbass has the same objective. Mutual incrimination of the secular and Islamist elements in Palestine have encouraged Israel to attack Gaza so blatantly, disrespecting all human rights considerations.
Commenting upon Israeli attack and innocent loss of life, Mr. Abbass, has further blamed Hamas for the tragedy as its own policies had brought this on Gazans. It is nothing short of sprinkling salt on fresh wounds. Mr. Abbass expects Hamas to compromise and handover its hard earned leadership role to the most corrupt, ineffective and proven dishonest Al-Fatah, whose overbearing secular posturing have tempted the West as the only viable partner for peace in the Middle East. However, to think that political bickering between two political parties, having the same objective – ending of the occupation, can linger on and do so much damage to internal peace and stability, thereby, providing an excuse to Israel to continue with the occupation as well as do damage to the life, property and peace of the subdued people.
The West as well as intelligentsia within the lands of Islam needs to maintain distinction between Islamists and Extremists, between Freedom fighters and terrorists. They must also be alive to the fact that terrorism is also a tool that is employed by aggressive governments to keep people under control –the State Terrorism. The obvious examples of Islamists as political force defending their rights and serving their people on popular basis are Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine . There are other Islamist political parties in the lands of Islam that are vying for political powers in Muslim societies. However, Islamic societies in general have not favoured them, as these Islamist parties have, at times, failed to distance themselves form Extremists. This is the only cause of their failure. Otherwise Islam in its pristine glory has the most liberal outlook of society. In the Quran God says, “There is no compulsion in Religion.” 3:256 What does it mean? It means everyone is free to spend the life whatever way one wishes to live, only while doing so he should no be a nuisance to others. Islam does not intervene in the personal life of a nonbeliever. Islam does not force itself on other; it only offers its blessings as a service to humanity.
Since September 11, 2001 , the US has done great disservice to humanity by eliminating the distinction between a freedom fighter and a terrorist. The war on terror under George W. Bush, has been the most inhuman, unscrupulous and unprincipled war in human history. It is high time we maintained that distinction if we still have some humanity lift in us. Freedom fighters can’t be equated with terrorists. One fights for independence and glorifies the greatest human value-liberation- with sacred vows and known intentions. The other is a thief who hijacks an ideology and promotes his own personal agenda to glorify himself committing gross human right violations. In this context we need to have different readings of the liberation movements in Kashmir and Palestine . States suppressing them are the roots of evil, not those who are fighting for their birth right.
—The writer is a noted columnist and analyst presently teaching at a foreign university.