by Zafar Bangash (Occupied Arab World, Crescent International Vol. 30, No. 1, Dhu al-Hijjah, 1421)
The last colonial outpost in the heartland of Islam is crumbling under the power of the intifada. The overwhelming vote for war-criminal Ariel Sharon in the Israeli elections (February 6) is a sign of zionist desperation in the face of the Palestinians’ achievements. Sharon is more dangerous for the zionists than he is for the Palestinians or the Muslim world in general, despite his gory record: his elevation to the premiership takes the mask of civility off the face of zionism. Israel has always pursued a policy of expansionism underpinned by murder and pillage, while in public trying to project a soft image. Sharon is blunt to the point of being an embarrassment even to zionist apologists. This is why his victory presents an opportunity for the Palestinians and Muslims to confront zionism without having to spend endless hours fighting a propaganda-war as well.
Sharon’s rise to power is marked by a sea of blood from Qibya, Ghazzah and Beirut to the refugee-camps of Sabra and Shatila. He was the architect of the invasion of Lebanon (June 1982), in which more than 20,000 Palestinian and Lebanese civilians were massacred. Apartment buildings were destroyed with their inhabitants inside, using long-range artillery. Even this carnage did not satiate Sharon’s blood-lust; he capped it by helping the slaughter at Sabra and Shatila through his Lebanese Christian Phalangist allies. The Phalangists subscribe to the ideology of Nazism, something the Zionists embrace readily, albeit thinly disguised. In February 1983, Israel’s Kahan Commission held Sharon responsible for the Sabra and Shatila massacres perpetrated between September 16 and 18, 1982.
But Sharon will as surely fail in his avowed ironfist policy against the Palestinian intifada as his policy failed in Lebanon, leading to the defeat of the zionist occupation army and its flight from there last May. Once Sharon’s murderous policy fails, there will be no one left for the zionists to turn to. This is not to suggest that Sharon will not attempt his Hitlerite policy of a final solution; he is mad enough to consider physically eliminating all the Palestinians, but cannot succeed in this. It is impossible to kill all the Palestinians without at the same time paying a price in zionist lives that Israel cannot afford.
Even the so-called unity government being cobbled together is now unlikely to hold the humpty-dumpty zionist state together for much longer. Ehud Barak is eager to serve as defence minister under Ariel Sharon, whom he had denounced during the election-campaign as “dangerous” and as one who had committed many crimes in Lebanon. Has Sharon suddenly been cleansed since the election? Even Shimon Peres, the man for all seasons and quintessential zionist politician, is ready to serve under Sharon. But, unity government or not, the writing is clearly on the wall; the end of the zionists’ dream is near. It may come sooner than expected; the zionists’ hasty escape from Lebanon may well seem orderly by comparison.
But before that occurs, Sharon is likely to perpetrate a bloodbath in an attempt to crush the Palestinians’ aspirations. The contours of this policy are already clear: more helicopter-gunships to murder organisers of the intifada and those who can mobilise and lead the people, and more tanks and missiles to blow up Palestinian homes. Brute force, however, becomes irrelevant after a certain point. The Palestinians appear to have crossed that threshold: they are now beginning to take bold action without prompting from anyone. The killing of seven Israeli soldiers by Khalil Abu Oldeh, by driving his bus into them at what the zionists call the Azur bus-stop, on February 14 is one such example. The bus-stop is located in an Israeli settlement established in 1948 on lands belonging to the Palestinian village of Yazur, 6 km from Jaffa. On December 11, 1947 (six months before the formal establishment of the zionist state of Israel), Jewish gangs attacked the Yazur village coffee-house, killing six Palestinians. By April 30, 1948, Yazur was under complete Jewish control and subsequently ‘cleansed’ of more than 4,000 Palestinian inhabitants, who have since then been refugees. Many more such gifts are likely to be given to the zionists in the near future.
The gun-toting hustlers from Brooklyn who call themselves settlers will be among the first to flee the holy land once the going gets tough. These hustlers are used to stealing others’ land and property, not to giving it back. Stealing comes naturally to them; America is a land of hustlers and thieves, where robbery and killing are a way of life. Once they find out that the cost of keeping stolen land is escalating, flight from the holy land will be their obvious option. They will abandon their alleged biblical claims to the land. Surely these criminals and thugs have not earned God’s favour by killing His innocent creatures?
Allah rewards the blood of shuhada in mysterious ways. They are not only referred to as “living, only you perceive them not” (al-Qur’an 2:154), but the purity and power of their blood gives rise to unexpected developments. It is the intifada that now dictates the pace and nature of Israeli policies. This is an incredible development, similar to the impact that Hizbullah had on internal Israeli politics from 1996 until the zionists were forced to flee from Lebanon last year.
There is a limit beyond which the use of force loses its effect. Israel is fast approaching that point. The Palestinians have become impervious to zionist brutality; for every Palestinian martyr, ten more are willing to take their place. More than 400 Palestinians have been martyred since the start of the Aqsa intifada on September 29, but this has not dampened the spirit of resistance. Instead, it has exposed Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian National Authority (PNA), subcontractor for the zionists, as irrelevant to Palestine’s future.
Israeli policies have undermined the PNA more than have the Palestinians, who have suffered from double oppression since the Oslo accords were signed in 1993. The collapse of the PNA, now expected even by zionist commentators, will be a blow to Israeli policies. Israel and the US have sustained the Palestinian non-Authority so that Israel could have someone to sign on the dotted line. But that option no longer exists: Arafat cannot sign a deal even if he wants to; the second intifada now determines Palestinian policy. This has forced some zionist historians to start talking about a single state in which Muslims, Christians and Jews will live as equal citizens. The zionist utopia is not viable; the Palestinians (indeed Muslims everywhere) have rejected it, even if their rulers refuse to admit this reality.
Fear may stalk the corridors of power in the Muslim world at the rise of Sharon in Israel, but in the streets of Muslim capitals the masses appear ready for the Zionist challenge. For decades, whenever there was war in any land — Ethiopia, Russia, Bosnia, Chechnya — the first concern of the west has been to save the Jews by sending them to Palestine. Now that they have almost all been gathered there, the Zionist leaders have no place to take them to for safety and security. Zionist Israel has become the least secure place in the world for Jews. This house the Zionist cabal will bring down upon its own head, and perhaps sooner than most people expect.