PLURALISTIC DEMOCRACY: ONLY ANSWER TO ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT

For over five decades a nation has been attacked, occupied and ghettoized in a manner that would shame even Satan himself. The worst part of this tragedy is that the world powers have so far acted as co-conspirators in this gargantuan crime. Even today these powers are worried about Israel’s safety than the travails of ordinary Palestinians. No other issue has showcased UN’s impotence like this one. Reality is that this is an organization that can do nothing against the dictates of America and hence justice can never be expected from it.

While the President of United states and his allies conspiring to execute a regime change in Iran, ordinary Palestinians languish in jails called West Bank and Gaza.

Those outside live as refugees in countries that will not recognize them as their citizens. There may be few exceptions but here we are talking about the vast majority. Day after day Israeli forces unleash inhuman and unprecedented violence on helpless Palestinians and nobody utters a word. But if one Israeli is killed in retaliation all hell breaks loose.

Here is a nation that occupies another’s land unlawfully, kills, exiles and enslaves thousands of its population. Still, the U.S. and its cronies say Israel needs to defend itself. Defend itself against whom? Palestinian teenagers armed with stones? America has armed Israel to the hilt and Israel uses these weapons to massacre civilians. On the other hand Palestinians have lost their lawful homeland, are cut off from the rest of the world and the only weapons they have apart from stones are guns, grenades and crude rockets and they say Israel needs to be defended. Heights of hypocrisy, is the only way to describe this attitude.

The West harps about democracy but treat the democratic choice of the Palestinians with contempt. What is democracy if you can’t accept popular choices? How will Mr. Bush react if some other nation says that they cannot accept Mr. Bush even after his legitimate election because of some clause in Republican Party’s constitution? It is none of west’s business whether Hamas recognizes Israel or not. It’s a decision Hamas has to take and whether the Palestinians accept that decision is a choice Palestinians have to make. You can’t force choices down anybody’s throat and call it free and fair democratic process.

The Palestinian problem stems from the illegal imposition of the Zionist state in Palestine by the west. The reasons given are that the land belonged to Jews thousands of years ago and the persecutions that Jews suffered throughout the ages, which ultimately culminated in the Holocaust. Well, holocaust was not perpetuated by Palestinians. If Europe wants to atone for the crime they themselves committed, give a piece of their own land, why grab other’s land for the purpose.

The claim of Promised Land is based on the scripture of the Jews. The same scripture states that there were people in Palestine before the Jews reached there after their escape from the clutches of Pharaoh. And these people were none other than the ancestors of the present day Palestinians. Another thought crosses my mind. Will the white settlers ever give back America to the Red Indians? After all that should be the proper step if we apply the logic of “Israel is the homeland of Jews”.

A more practical analysis of this issue is called for. The Palestinians have been living there for thousands of years. Jews too were there, but only a few of them. Palestinians are not all Muslims but include Christians too. After the creation of Israel at least 5 million Palestinians have been exiled and are living as unwanted refugees in different countries.

Those who refused to leave live in the occupied lands as one of the worst persecuted lot in the history of mankind. Jews have been migrating to Israel from different corners of the world. The reason they leave their original homelands is not because of any persecution but due to their quest for a better living. These Jews who land up in Israel are settled in illegal settlements built by the Zionist State. They live a lavish life while the Palestinians, the original inhabitants of the land, live in conditions that even animals would refuse to live in.

You need to be a Palestinian to really grasp the untold miseries inflicted upon them by the Zionist state, to understand the difficulties of life in a refugee camp. The humiliation you face when you need to beg to a foreigner to allow you to cross over to Egypt to give life, say medical treatment to your aged father. The anguish you feel when stopped from getting back in to bury your father in the land that he loved so much. The hopelessness you feel when told by occupation army at the checkpoints that you can’t go to work on that day. The desperation that sets in you when you see your children cry for food. The terror that inflicts you when Israeli bulldozers tear down your home. The disgust you feel when you need to bribe the electrical contractor for all night power on the day of your sister’s wedding. I repeat, only a Palestinian can comprehend the gloom that they are in today.

Nobody is asking for a total destruction of the Jews. What we need is a just solution. A racial, Zionist state has no place in this twenty first-centaury world. A two state solution too will be disastrous. India and Pakistan have already fought three full-scale wars, not to mention the daily skirmishes and numerous proxy wars that are going on between them. A pluralistic democracy is the only answer, a state in which everyone irrespective of his race and religion will have equal rights.

Those Jews who have already made Israel their home will continue to be the citizens of this new nation. But further migration in today’s scale and manner will have to stop. The exiled Palestinians should be given a choice to come back. Also a just redistribution of wealth between the two communities should be done.

This I believe is the only just solution possible.

— The author of the article can be reached via e-mail at shakeelmpa@gmail.com

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