by Editor (Editorials, Crescent International Vol. 37, No. 12, Safar, 1430)
Israel’s three-week long offensive on the tiny desert patch called Ghazzah has once again revealed the barbaric nature of the zionist state. Showing complete disregard for civilian lives, many of them children, whom they deliberately and repeatedly targeted, the zionists stand exposed as war criminals. Their actions also confirm yet again that they are racists and bigots, something the world has long known, hence the slogan: zionism is racism. Their onslaught on Ghazzah, however, has exposed many others; their traditional supporters in the West stand in the same dock of war criminals as the zionist rulers. Israel’s Ghazzah war has also finally exposed the true face of Arab rulers who, with few exceptions, all sided with the zionist criminals. It is important to name them even if such naming will not shame them because they have neither self-respect nor dignity. Leading the list of Israel’s Arab allies is the Pharaoh of Egypt, Husni Mubarak. Not far behind is the House of Saud that emerged more than a century ago from Dar‘iyyah in Najd and illegally occupied the Haramayn (the two holy cities of Makkah and Madinah). Their rivals from the family of Husain ibn Ali, who like Abdul Aziz ibn Saud was also a British agent, and whose descendants today rule Jordan, are perhaps even more subservient to the zionists than the first two. But as a well-known proverb goes: the snow does not fall but to reveal the beast that walks upon it. Israel’s Ghazzah onslaught has revealed many a beast. It has also revealed the myth of Arab unity and fraud of Arab nationalism as evidenced by the pathetic meetings of the Arab League. The Arab rulers met to confirm their collective impotence.
Beyond revealing the ugly faces of unsavory characters lies another truth: the complete failure of Israeli strategy. When Israel launched its assault on Ghazzah on December 27, the stated objective was to stop Hamas from firing rockets into Israeli towns. There were other objectives as well—both declared and undeclared. The zionists (Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak, for instance) said that they would change the ground rules in Ghazzah. What this meant was that Hamas would either be eliminated or so weakened that it will be rendered ineffective in determining Palestinian policy in the future. They intended to supplant their quislings from the Palestinian Authority in Ghazzah from where they were driven out in June 2007. There was an unstated objective as well: Israel’s onslaught against a defenseless population surrounded on all sides including the sea and impoverished by a vicious siege for two years, would enable some Israeli politicians within the ruling coalition — Barak, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni et al — to improve their standing with the Israeli public in the February elections.
On January 18 when Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced a ceasefire, Hamas was still firing rockets into Israel. While these rockets are neither effective nor cause much damage, they symbolize Hamas’s and therefore, the Palestinians’ defiance of zionist aggression and occupation. Even if they cannot match Israel’s military might and firepower, the Palestinians refuse to be cowed down. It is this defiance in the face of overwhelming odds that has earned Hamas respect and recognition worldwide, even in countries that have declared it a “terrorist” organization.
Israel’s other objectives also failed to materialize except the cynical ploy of zionist politicians for their short-term domestic considerations: to advance their chances in the forthcoming elections. If Israeli politicians want to climb to power on the crushed bones and broken limbs of Palestinian children and the Israeli public applauds them for this, then this makes them accomplices in war crimes. The genocide of Palestinians, however, carries long-term implications that the zionists will not be able to withstand.
Most people in the world have realized, even if their rulers refuse to admit, that the fundamental issue in Palestine is not Hamas rockets; it is the 60-year-old occupation of the Palestinians’ land by the zionists. Further, that despite all the noxious propaganda against Hamas, it is Israel and its rulers that stand condemned as terrorists and war criminals. Blasting public buildings including schools, mosques, universities and hospitals with 1,000-pound bombs dropped from the sky and crushing their inhabitants in them are not acts of bravery or self-defense. Similarly, herding people into buildings and then blowing them up with artillery fire are war crimes, made worse by the Israeli soldiers’ refusal to allow medical personnel to help the wounded. While contemporary global power politics may prevent the prosecution of Israeli rulers as war criminals at present, their barbarism has exposed them in the bar of public opinion. Most people no longer accept the argument that the Nazi holocaust of Jews gives Israel the license to kill Palestinians with impunity.
Far from degrading Hamas militarily or politically, it has emerged out of this carnage with its dignity intact and its standing greatly enhanced. Even the Palestinian Authority was forced to speak out against Israeli crimes, not because it cares about the people but because silence in the face of such atrocities would have eroded its already low standing even further. It is now universally recognized that there cannot be real peace or permanent solution to the question of Palestine without the involvement of Hamas. Thus, by its steadfastness and perseverance, Hamas has won the respect of people worldwide. It has also forced the issue of Palestine to centre-stage in global politics. While Israel’s aim was to crush Hamas militarily, thereby burying the aspirations of the Palestinian people under rubble, Hamas withstood the onslaught and frustrated this plot. By showing immense courage under extremely difficult circumstances, Hamas leaders have emerged with their reputations greatly enhanced. Such courage comes from unflinching faith in Allah and the righteousness of one’s cause.
Hamas, like Hizbullah in Lebanon in July-August 2006, has demonstrated that military might alone is not sufficient to secure one’s objectives. Unlike its confrontation with Hizbullah 30 months ago, Israel came out of this conflict relatively unscathed in terms of its own casualties because Hamas had little or no military hardware to confront Israeli planes, helicopters and armor. Further, Israel inflicted far more casualties in three weeks (1400 killed and 5,000 injured) in Ghazzah than it did on Lebanon in four (1100 killed) but politically it failed just as badly as it did in Lebanon. Military campaigns are launched to accomplish certain political goals; Israel achieved none. Instead, it suffered a political defeat. The fact that Livni had to rush toWashington to sign an agreement with the US to stop the flow of weapons to Hamas is admission of this defeat. Hamas rockets are not supplied by the US, the principal sponsor and financier of zionist crimes in Palestine. Even Egypt, that is no supporter of Hamas, refused to accept the US-Israel deal on Hamas arms. Besides, as people under occupation, the Palestinians have the right to fight their occupiers; arms flows should be stopped to the Zionist occupiers because of their criminal disregard for human life.
Hamas’s perseverance has also enhanced the standing of its friends in the region — Islamic Iran, Hizbullah, Syria and to a lesser extent Libya and Turkey. Muslim masses in the region witnessed who stood up for and spoke in defense of Hamas and the Palestinian people and those who sided with the zionists and the US either openly or by remaining silent over Israeli crimes. Human beings are emotional beings; emotions are aroused when they witness innocent people being brutalized. When they see horrible images of mutilated children and hear the heart-wrenching screams of mothers on their television screens, it is unrealistic to expect that they will not be moved. It arouses their anger when they see their own governments remain indifferent in the face of such crimes. Thus, far from weakening Hamas, Israel’s onslaught may have unhinged the illegitimate Arab rulers and shaken their grip on power because their people now see them as accomplices in Israeli crimes.
That fact alone explains why the military assault on Ghazzah represents a clear defeat for Israel. This was always likely to be the outcome; 60 years of Israeli brutalities have failed to crush Palestinian aspirations. As a colonial settler entity, Israel has always relied on brute force to impose its will on the indigenous population. Ethnic cleansing and mass murder have been thezionists’ favorite tools. Continuing the European policy of colonization, they thought this ploy would be as successful in Palestine as it was in North America and Australia centuries ago. But the Palestinians refuse to disappear quietly or give up without a fight. While Israeli rulers may delude themselves into believing that excessive use of brute force would buy them security, the tide of history is turning against them. Their criminal disregard for human life is hastening the day when the zionist temple will come crashing down on their heads.
With two successive defeats in less than three years, the exposure of the Palestinian Authority as zionist quislings and Arab rulers as accomplices in Israeli crimes, the battle lines are now much clearer. These have been sharpened by Israel’s own brutal conduct, most recently in Ghazzah. As Muslim masses gain greater awareness of the reality and as they see their own rulers siding with the enemy so openly against innocent Palestinians, this will hasten the day when these regimes and their rulers are swept into the dustbin of history. When that happens,Israel’s external defense barriers will be gone. The zionist state will then collapse into a heap of ash as a result of its own inner contradictions.
The fact that Israel’s latest onslaught on Ghazzah has given rise to many voices even in the West demanding the trial of Israeli politicians as war criminals is a leap forward. They have become political lepers. This is a sure sign of their impending demise.