Firoz Mahboob Kamal
The British colonialism: the father of the crisis
British imperialism is the father of the current crisis in Palestine. The colonial British occupiers fathered the crisis with the Balfour Declaration on Nov. 2, 1917. On that day, Arthur James Balfour, the British foreign secretary, wrote the following letter to Baron Lionel Walter Rothschild detailing the government’s support for a Jewish nation in Palestine.
“Dear Lord Rothschild,
I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet. ‘His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.’
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.
Arthur James Balfour”
In later days, Winston Churchill, who was the colonial administrator of Britain in 1922, also explained Britain’s colonial aims as follows: “I insist upon loyalty and the good faith of England to the Jews, to which I attach the most enormous importance, because we gained great advantages in the war. We did not adopt Zionism entirely out of altruistic love for starting a Zionist colony: it was a matter of great importance to this country. It was a potent factor on public opinion in America, and we are bound by honor, and I think upon the merits, to push this thing as far as we can.” (Source: Rick Richman’s book, “And None Shall Make Them Afraid: Eight Stories of the Modern State of Israel.”
While giving testimony to Peel Commission in 1937on the Arab revolt against British rule, Churchill said: “I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit, for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, or, at any rate, a more worldly wise race, to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.”
What could be the more exact expression of extreme white supremacism than this above piece of Churchill’s view? He compared the Arabs as the dog lying in a manger. A wolf never condemns another wolf for its brutality. So the current British Government cherishes the same old colonial legacy; hence give full support to the Israeli colonisers and warcrimininals.
The USA: the foster father of the illicit British child
After the demise of the British colonial rule in Palestine, the USA appeared in the scene as the foster father of Israel -the illicit child of British colonialism. Edward Said – a Palestinian American scholar, rightly blamed the US for reproducing Europe’s old colonial habits in the arena of world politics. The British colonial legacy survives in its unconditional support for Israel. Israel and the USA now stand together against the rest of the world. As a result, the world looks de facto divided into two axises: the US-led axis of evil that wants the genocidal war to continue against the Palestinians and the axis of peace loving countries that voted for an immediate ceasefire in the recent US General Council resolution. Because of the USA’s persistent opposition, the peace looks far distant.
The USA claims to be the leader of the democratic world. But it has denied the survival rights of millions, let alone democratic rights. The USA has committed the worst genocidal war crimes plus massive destruction of physical infrastructures in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria during its illegal occupation. In recent history, no other country in the world has been so genocidal as the USA. It is the only country that could even drop nuclear bombs on two Japanese cities. Now it sponsors and supports economically, militarily and politically the most genocidal war criminals against the defenceless Palestinians.
Since democracy brings electoral victory for the Islamists, the USA and its allies stand as the worst enemy of democracy in Muslims countries -especially in the Arab world. So the US supported a military coup in Egypt to remove Islamist Dr. Mohammad Morsi – the first democratically elected President of that country. The US committed the same crime in Pakistan. The US government instigated the Pakistan Army to deseat Imran Khan -the democratically elected Prime Minister. Moreover, all the murderous tyrant rulers of the Middle East could sustain and snatch the democratic rights of the people only because of US protection.
Transshipment of an European problem to Palestine
The Jewish people were considered incompatible with the Christians since their arrival to this Christian continent of Europe. In almost all European countries, the Jews are not allowed to live in the midst of the Christian people. They were allowed only to live in concentration camps like ghettoes completely secluded from the common people. Along with ghettoisation, anti-Jew genocide was enedemic in almost all European countries. The countries like Russia, Ukraine, Germany, England, France, Spain are notorious for such anti-Jew genocides. The German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler exacerbated the genocidal cleansing of the Jews to an industrial scale by establishing scores of gas chambers.
History gives the testimony that the Jews enjoyed full security and liberty only in Muslim countries. Unlike Europe, the USA and Canada, the word anti-semitism is unheard in the Muslim World. Jews never lived in any ghetto in any of the Muslim countries. Mutual respect and trust were so great that when the Muslims and Jews in Spain faced genocidal cleansing, the Jews,too, wished to leave Spain along with the Muslim to Muslim lands. This is why a huge Jewish settlement is found in countries like Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt.
But the British were much more clever than the Germans and other Europeans. Instead of putting the Jews into gas chambers, they planned for a full transshipment of them to another continent. Firstly, they thought to put them in a secluded area in Uganda, the Caribbean Islands or Madagascar. But the plan didn’t work. The Jews didn’t find any religious inspiration in it. Later on, Palestine was selected for the ultimate homeland for the Jews. The British occupied Palestine in 1917; the Jews were less than 8 percent prior to the occupation. Then a massive migration of Jews from all over the world was engineered; in 1948, they became 36 percent of the population. The club of imperialists called the League of Nations gave 56 percent of the land to the Jews. But Israel never ceased to expand; now it occupies 78 percent of Palestine. In the remaining 22 percent, Israel has established more than 100 colonies for half a million Jewish settlers. Now, Israel is very close to capturing the whole West Bank. The Israeli Army is now very busy driving the Palestinians out of Gaza for its full annexation.
James Baldwin rightly understoods the pathology of the Middle East crisis. He wrote about the colonial underpinnings of the crisis: “The state of Israel was not created for the salvation of the Jews; it was created for the salvation of the Western interests. … The Palestinians have been paying for the British colonial policy of ‘divide and rule’ and for Europe’s guilty Christian conscience for more than thirty years.”
A recipe for more more wars
One can’t make peace with robbers and killers. The Israelis have proven to be persistent robbers of Palestinian lands and killers of innocent civilians. As per a report of Gaza’s Health Ministry, Israel has already killed 9, 488 people; of them 3, 900 are children. By relentless bombing Israel has displaced half of the Gaz’s population. Israel continues its policy of killing and destruction.
For peace, it also needs to undo the past crimes. Otherwise crimes will breed further crimes. In 1948, Israel forced about 700, 000 people to leave their homes. About 500 villages were destroyed. These are huge war crimes by international law. The international law also gives the solemn right to the evicted Palestinians to return to their homes. But Israel refuses to abide by international law. Rather, it has framed laws to obstruct their return.
International law does not allow settlement colonies in the occupied lands. But Israel continues to build more settlement colonies and increase the number of the implanted Jewish population in the occupied West Bank. Israel thus shows total disregard of international law. And Israel has powerful sponsors like the USA, the EU and UK to commit further war crimes and further violation of the international laws. With such persistent war crimes and such violation of law, how can one expect peace in Palestine? It can only work as a perfect recipe for more wars and more war crimes. 4/11/2023
Disclaimer: The Pathology of Crisis in Palestine and the Recipe of Relentless War - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view