Forgive me, ‘war’ implies that both sides are equal and we all know that definitely is not the case. It’s the 100th anniversary of the First World War this year. Now that was a ‘war’ as all sides had a working government, had similar weapons, and held a strong organised army and navy. All of which, Gaza has not.
I want to add, I have noticed that the media, even on Social Media have one way or another labelled the people of Gaza ‘Gazans’. Now this implies that Gaza is NOT part of the West Bank, thus, not part of Palestine. We should be calling the people of Gaza ‘Palestinians’. There are those who state that Palestine is not and WAS not a country. Just tell them to read UN Resolution 181, the document CLEARLY states that ‘Palestine’ will be divided in to two, with one side forming a state of ‘Israel’. Therefore, Palestine existed BEFORE Israel. It’s just a shame that Palestine is no longer classified as a ‘country’ but then it was partitioned by the UN in 1947. Yes the UN had NO right at all to go off to another country and demand the population of over a million to accept only 43% of the land whilst handing over 56% of the land. Blood runs down the hands of the UN. But I shall go into all this is another blog, as there are MANY Zionist trolls out there spread LIES (intentionally false information).
Anyways, so it’s now the question of why the media (well majority of them) and our leaders continue to call it a ‘war’.
I thought about this, and decided to delve a little deeper. Whether you are a Politician or a Philosopher, a Historian or a Political Scientist, or just a normal citizen, you all must have come across Thomas Hobbes, an Enlightened Thinker during the Age of Enlightenment. His principle argument was that men were motivated by the desire for power and fear of other men. In his book, Leviathan, he states, “If any two men desire the same thing, which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they become enemies; and in the way to their end…endeavour to destroy, or subdue one another.” He further states “The notion of right and wrong, justice and injustice have there no place…force and fraud, are in war the two cardinal virtues.”
There you have it, Hobbes’s 17th century ideas employed today. World leaders, using Hobbes’s definition of ‘war’, by labelling the current Palestine-Israeli conflict as a ‘war’, they are able to justify their defence of Israel. But not only that, they are also able to justify Israel’s action as ‘injustice’ has no place in war. So we now turn to the world leaders and ask: ‘Is this why you labelled this conflict as a war?’
A statement: You have many world leaders considering this conflict a war. However, just a quick look at the media: they did consider it as a war from the start, but as the death toll nears to 2000, increasing by the day, even the media are rethinking the words they use. Simple example, not naming names of course, a News channel had changed the ‘war’ to ‘conflict’. Therefore, we question again, why are our leaders not noticing a change? The media seem to have picked up the change.
Moving onto Social Media. Many things can be said about Social Media. It played a KEY role during the Arab Spring and continues to play that critical role. But now, it seems to be on fire for the past three weeks. The public are questioning the conflict. Certainly, arguments, debates and opinions are thrown at each other from both sides, but it’s the support of the Palestinians that catches one’s attention. One may ask why? Simple, facts are now being stated. Resolution 181, 29th November 1947, “Future Government of Palestine”. It seems that the Israelis like to pick and choose which parts to follow and which to reject, yet completely reject UN Resolution 242. Again, it’s a question of ‘why’. Well, it is arguable that Res. 181 is, in one sense, a birth certificate for the Israelis, however, they like to ignore the fact that 56% of Palestine was allocated to them. Then you have the rejection of UN Resolution 242 on 22nd November 1967. The importance of this document, which is still the main document, argued in the International Community, can be seen by the requirements for a ‘just and lasting peace in the Middle East.’ This is the “Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.” Would any country, after victory, follow the statements of the UN? Or are only the losing states forced to follow the UN? Well Palestine had to, so why not the rest of the world? It is the PUBLIC that are putting forward FACTS, FACTS that the leaders do know but refuse to accept. Yes, again the question of why?
We have, therefore, seen the deaths of women, children, elderly and now the disable. We have seen mass protest, not just across the nation, but across the world, such as Zimbabwe, the US, France and even Bangladesh. Indeed, during the Non-Aligned Movement emergency meeting on Palestine, PM’s advisor on International Affairs for Bangladesh, Gowher Rizvi, stated “The way Israel is using the power of coercion, the same way the NAM Member States should use the power of denial to bring Israel to civilised behaviour.”
The bizarre, or extraordinary rather, news is that the US has resupplied Israel with top up of mortars and hand grenades. On top of that, President Obama has just signed a bill granting an additional $225 million for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system. This is funded by ordinary tax-payers’ money. I would like to state, this is NOT new. Israel had the upper hand during the 1948 war simply due to arming and supplied with advanced weapons whilst observing the ceasefire. Therefore, the leaders, especially the US, can stand there, ‘shake hands and smile’ and request for a ceasefire whilst preparing Israel for another round of offensive action. But, of course, Israel MUST defend herself. An Iron Dome, an Air Force, tanks and advanced high technological weapons are definitely not enough. Neither is holding the fourth largest army in the world.
A short term cease-fire, very short one may add, is more like giving both sides a few hours of a break. One only needs to study the 1948 Arab-Israeli war in order to find out the advantage both sides took during this so-called ‘cease-fire’. So far four ‘cease-fire’ proposals have been put forward. The first proposal had the consent of Israel but was rejected by Hamas. Well, it is hard for someone to accept a proposal without: 1. NOT being invited to attend the meeting, 2. Not even being aware a meeting was taking place and 3. Conditions of one side not being met at all (how could it, Hamas were not even invited to attend the meeting).
The second ‘cease-fire’ was rejected by Israel. Israel had an objective and it was too soon to break the momentum. A break would be needed soon, however. The third and fourth cease-fire was agreed by both sides. But within a an hour or so, it was broken, leading to attacks on a UN school, market place and buildings by Israel, with the retaliation of meagre rockets fired by Hamas. The consequence inevitably was a large number of deaths of Palestinian men, women and children. The US and International Community were very quick to condemn Hamas, disregarding the side that actually caused the deaths. Investigations showed, as usual, it was not Hamas who broke the cease-fire agreement, rather it was Israel. But certainly this was a minor mistake on their behalf. No one seems to have come out with both hands up and claimed that they made a mistake in their accusation.
One can, therefore, safely say that this was not a ‘humanitarian’ cease-fire that both sides state, it was a ‘military’ cease-fire. Big difference there, as an intended ‘humanitarian’ cease-fire would have meant both sides would have respected and kept to the agreement. A ‘military’ cease-fire is simple: both sides needed a break – they needed to rethink their strategy or even produce a new one.
One must now ask: why are our leaders not taking action? By action, neither do I mean ‘attending meetings,’ ‘talking things over,’ or coming together, smiling and shaking hands at the camera. Nor do I mean a short-lived ceasefire. I mean DIRECT action. Yes we could boycott Israeli goods, but would it not be better to place sanctions, stop sending aid to Israel? Better yet, how about STOP selling military equipment to Israel? The VERY equipment that are being used to horrifically kill infants, toddlers, juniors and teenagers? Is it not time to follow the advice and views of the public? The very people who put the leaders in power?
Representing a small nation, that has experienced a horrific war in 1971, Gowher’s proposals of a trade embargo, ban on arms trade, denying visas to Israeli politicians and those accused of committing crimes against humanity seems much more practical. Something the leading powers should pay attention to. But it comes back to the question: where are our leaders?
Published in Bangla Mirror