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Shame on you America! — I

Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

by Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

The crimes of Israel against the Palestinians, in comparison to all ethnic cleansers, are more serious, more debilitating, more persistent and more likely to continue if the US keeps supporting it

And I, like a fool, had presumed that the desk-thumping during the May 13 briefing session, condoning and complimenting complicity and incompetence was the limit of absurdity, spinelessness and cravenness but then I am hardly to blame because Netanyahu had not yet gotten 55, yes 55, standing ovations from the US Congress for all the inhuman, vicious, abhorrent and shameless crimes that Israel, with the military, moral and financial support of the US, commits against the Palestinian people.

The dichotomy of American policy hits you with full force when you see that it seeks the prosecution of Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic on charges of ethnic cleansing and massacres of Bosnian Muslims but to the ‘mother of all ethnic cleansers and murderers’, they accord 55 standing ovations; I suppose they got their count wrong and should have accorded 63 standing ovations, one for each year of Israeli atrocities and crimes against humanity.

The Americans suffer from a form of severe proliferative retinopathy, which makes them blind only to the excesses and atrocities committed by the Israelis. They can see and watch Osama from space but fail to see Rachel Corrie being run over by an Israeli bulldozer demolishing Palestinian homes. Mordechai Vanunu spent 18 years in jail — 11 in solitary confinement — for exposing the Israeli nuclear programme and is not noticed, but they scream about the arrest of Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei; not that China’s human rights are any better.

If a single rocket is fired from Gaza, the Americans cry blue murder even if it lands harmlessly in Palestine — now occupied by Israel — but they do not see the Israeli perpetrated carnage and wanton destruction of Gaza and the West Bank cities with deadly jets and even more deadly weaponry and arsenals provided by them. The indiscriminate use of cluster and white phosphorus bombs just does not register on the American radar. So much for your flaunted and vaunted “love of democracy” and support for “justice and freedom”.

The Israeli ethnic cleansing and slaughter of the Palestinian people has been systemic and effective. The slumbering comatose conscience of the Americans remains unmoved on these crimes against humanity. They saw the injustice of the 10-feet high Berlin Wall but are totally blind to the 517 mile (832 km) long and eight metre high West Bank barrier that effectively blockades the Palestinians into uneconomic and deprived areas where their lives will become increasingly desperate, depressing and distressing.

This physical barrier, consisting of a network of fences with vehicle-barrier trenches and wide exclusion areas, has a twofold goal: one being the confiscation of Palestinian land and unilaterally redrawing geopolitical borders to further facilitate colonial expansion and, secondly, the forcible exodus of Palestinians by denying them the ability to earn a living from their land, denying adequate water resources and restricting freedom of movement.

By 2004, in the first phase, some 200 km of it had been built, trapping some 12,000 Palestinians living in 20 towns/villages between the Wall and the Green Line. Some 124 km of it is more than 1 km east of the Green Line and resulted in the confiscation of approximately 8,000 acres. Some 89,500 acres of land (equal to 6.1 percent of the occupied West Bank) were isolated between the Wall and the Green Line and this percentage will increase to 15 upon completion. Some 75 homes were demolished or under threat of demolition. Some 102,320 trees, 83,000 of them olive, were destroyed, 546 greenhouses were damaged and 50 water wells, which supplied half of the water in area, were confiscated or are now behind the Wall.

Despite claims to the contrary, the wall is not being built on the Green Line but rather well within occupied Palestinian territory. Upon completion of its projected length of 832 km, it will be more than double the length of the Green Line. Only six percent of the wall will be within 100 metres of the Green Line. Some 47.6 percent of the occupied West Bank will be de facto annexed by Israel. Some 88.6 percent settlers will live outside the wall and about 89.5 percent Palestinians will be restricted by the wall.

By July 2009, about 300 miles (60 percent) of the barrier was completed. One can compute how much more misery it must have added to the lives of the Palestinians living inside the occupied West Bank. The Palestinian capital of Jerusalem too is being secluded by a 100-mile long barrier. Political, economic and social apartheid is reinforced by physical separation.

If, in spite of this brazen and criminal violation of Palestinian rights by the Israeli state, a sense of moral outrage fails to wake up the US then there is an urgent need for the citizens to reassess their moral bearings and once and for all decide whether this slow-paced but steady holocaust being employed by Israel against the Palestinians is acceptable to them and whether they will continue to support all crimes against humanity in whatever way Israel wishes to commit them.

The crimes of Israel against the Palestinians, in comparison to all ethnic cleansers, are more serious, more debilitating, more persistent and more likely to continue if the US keeps supporting it. Unfortunately, the standing ovations prove that this support for war crimes and crimes against humanity will continue.

All those who have chosen to overlook the systemic and persistent denial of human rights to the Palestinians since the Nakba (Catastrophe) in 1948 certainly need to look down into the deepest recesses of their conscience to see if there is still a spark of life left in it. This reassessment is also an obligatory requirement for the Arabs and the much-trumpeted ummah and its bomb keepers.

When the ‘world policeman’ chooses to patronise one mafia family and preaches peace and freedom to other gangsters, the effect of its sermons is zilch. They know that these are empty platitudes and the policeman is but one of them. This exactly is the scenario that emerges with US support for Israel. Consequently, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, to name a few, indulge in human rights abuses with impunity. The perniciously ruthless and relentless persecution of the Baloch people and recent murder of Professor Saba Dashtiari is a consequence of this US double-faced policy and also other ulterior and pernicious motives of the Pakistani state.

(To be continued)

Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur has an association with the Baloch rights movement going back to the early 1970s. He can be contacted at mmatalpur@gmail.com


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