Israel produced and thrown into the Middle East out of nowhere as per the 1917 Balfour Declaration is exercising its ‘Right to Defend’ itself by going on a killing spree of the Palestinian women and children apart from eliminating fighters from the militant Hamas group. This right to defend itself gained momentum after American Islamophobe Joe Biden egged on Israel to defend itself, which meant eliminate as many Palestinians as Israel wants, occupy their houses in Sheikh Jarrah, and land all over Palestine. The United States (US) has never been an honest broker. The US has always vetoed any resolution to punish Israel all these decades. Whether it is Bush or Obama or Trump or Biden, the American policy has consistently been supporting Israel in ethnic cleansing and occupying Palestine. The muzzling of the media by Israeli bombing out buildings housing the Al Jazeera television channel and the Associated Press to hide the sins of Israel is glaring.
What started as the annual provocation by Israel to desecrate the Al Aqsa Mosque: a world heritage site, which is revered both by Muslims and Jews, and the killing and wounding of hundreds of Palestinian worshippers at Al Aqsa compounded with seizing of the Palestinian houses in Sheikh Jarrah, a Palestinian neighborhood. There is hardly any land left for the Palestinians. Will the State of Palestine be formed in thin air? Ace historian Amarbir Singh does not see it as a Muslim or Jew issue but sees it as a political fight for supremacy in the land of conflict. Buttressing his argument, Amarbir cites evidence that during the world wars, the Muslims and the Jews fought on the side of the British.
Amarbir Singh has to be prodded to open up. If successfully prodded, Amarbir is a journalist’s delight. There is no stopping him. He gives historical insights often unknown or overlooked by the masses. Speaking to BeyondHeadlines, Amarbir Singh – a historian, banker, and heritage enthusiast all rolled into one presents a remarkable perspective on the Israel-Palestine conflict. He draws attention to the fact that the Jews were persecuted in Russia more than in Germany or Poland. This is a fact that is often ignored in the modern world. There have been consistent pogroms against Jews from the times of the Czars in Russia. More than a million Jews migrated to their ‘new homeland’ in Israel. But still, there are more than 200,000 Jews in Russia presently and they do not feel comfortable there.
Amarbir Singh holds the Arab disunity partly responsible for the conflict. He mocks at the lack of ‘military intelligence’ by the Arab countries, which led to their defeat in the first war with Israel. He reminds that Israel was attacked from all sides and Israel was not even an established State then. But Israel won the war because of its super military skills. Amarbir thinks that Egypt and Jordan’s recognition of Israel weakened the Palestinian cause. What Amarbir says is true but I think that the recognition of Israel by Egypt and Jordan were to protect themselves from Israel. Regarding the disunity, Amarbir points out the opposing groups of Palestinians sponsored by the British – Grand Mufti Al Hussaiyni and Al Nashabi’s Majlisiyun did not help the Palestinian cause. Amarbir also talks about the disunity among the Arab states and their desire to control the Arab world by being supreme. Egypt, Libya, and Saudi Arabia, perhaps, saw themselves as leaders of the Arab world. I would concur with Amarbir on this issue but add that apart from disunity the Arab countries suffer from trust deficit.
Trust deficit has compounded issues on different matters. As a Staff Reporter in the Deccan Chronicle, I had interviewed the then Iraqi Ambassador and the Palestinian Ambassador in the 1990s. I was asked by the Palestinian Ambassador – What did the Iraqi say? The Iraqi Ambassador asked me a similar question – What did the Palestinian say? There was a marked departure from diplomatic etiquette. I could observe the subtle distrust and harshness in their tones suggesting slight contempt. At the dinner hosted by Syed Vicaruddin, Indo-Arab Friendship Association president and Editor of Rehnuma -E- Deccan, the same evening, I was seated at the same dining table along with the Iraqi Ambassador and the Palestinian Ambassador and the other dignitaries. It was an exclusive table for few people to keep the crowd away from the diplomats, perhaps, due to security reasons too. What I observed was that though both the ambassadors greeted each other and exchanged the necessary pleasantries, the warmth was missing! I could notice the cold vibes. There was not much talk between the ambassadors. Now, this trust deficit among other Arab countries too has gone up by leaps and bounds. How will the divided house confront Israel?
Talking about the Jewish migration, Amarbir Singh points out that the Jews started migrating to the Middle East from the 1870s though in small number. In the 1940s a big ship load of Jews were brought to Palestine and ultimately the State of Israel came into being. It started as the 1917 Balfour Declaration to establish a Jewish State as a promise and was realized in the form of the State of Israel. The declaration is named after the then British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour.
In the ongoing conflict, the Sultanate of Oman, Turkey and Iran have lent strong support to the Palestinians. The visionary ruler of Oman, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq is seen as a sane and wise voice in the Arab world. The Sultanate’s statesman Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr was a star attraction at the Arab League meeting when he did not mince words in unflinching support to the Gazans and the Palestine. Even on Sunday, the Sultanate of Oman condemned the Israeli atrocities on the Palestinians. Saudi Arabia made feeble noises to be seen as supporting the Palestinian cause. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) perhaps does not want to annoy its ‘new-found friend’ Israel.
India’s subtle support to Israel could be seen in a tweet sent out by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Murleedharan by seeking to put blame on Hamas. Murleedharan tried to balance the tweet by calling on ‘both sides’ to end the conflict. It is no secret that Narendra Modi and Benjamin Netanyahu both belong to the right-wing and share the hate and contempt against Muslims. Modi had hijacked India’s foreign policy as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. The Israeli Ambassador to India visited Gujarat’s Ahmedabad city to take orders from Modi many times. Narendra Modi-led Indian government just needs Arabs’ petrol, petro-dollars, jobs for the Hindutva diaspora in the Gulf and more recently Oxygen. Narendra Modi and Netanyahu openly address each other as ‘My friend’ not only personally but in tweets on Twitter. Media has reported that many people voicing support to Palestine and condemning Israeli atrocities on women and children were arrested in Kashmir. Perhaps, Narendra Modi wants to appease Netanyahu and show that India is firmly on the Israel’s side.
The Indian right-wing support to Israel is visible on social media with hashtags like #IndiaStandsWithIsrael. These right-wingers have no time to cremate or bury their dead relatives who died of Coronavirus. They are throwing away their father’s, mother’s, brother’s, sister’s, and wives’ dead bodies into River Ganga. Seventy-Eight lakh people tried to ‘wash their sins’ in Ganga during the Kumbh Fair but ended up polluting the Ganga and also super-spreading Covid-19 in India. All support to Israel by right-wingers is snubbed by the Israelis as can be seen in the screenshot of communication between a Hindutva hothead and a jew:
One Arjun Rajpoot pledges support to a jew Yogev Nitzan in a tweet: India also supporting sir. Nitzan pounces on Indian right-wing extremist Arjun Rajpoot thus: ‘We Israelis don’t need the support of some dung bath scums and urine drinkers. Go worship your cows and please stop lifting our balls… FFS! Stop ruining our image by putting your country’s flag with Israel.
The historian with a holistic view -Amarbir Singh sees no solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict in ‘our lifetime’ or even in ‘our children’s lifetime!
One cannot but agree more with Amarbir’s assessment. I would rather conclude this as Pentagon needs to sell weapons. There will be war anywhere in the world at any given time. Netanyahu finds Palestine as his ‘Balakot’ to win the election after election. He is trying to wriggle out of a hopeless political quagmire and win elections yet again. But the writing is on the wall for the corrupt extremist with the blood of women and children on his hands. Should we say: Bye Bye, Netanyahu and not Bibi Netanyahu?
Hopefully, the world will see war criminal Netanyahu at The Hague in the International Court of Justice very soon. Will the international community rise to put an end to the bloodshed by Israel and restore peace in the land of Palestine? Al Aqsa – the world heritage and common bond of civilizations is calling!