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Shame on you America! — II

Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

by Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

The West objects to Asian sweatshops' produced goods but fruits and flowers grown at the cost of Palestinian thirst and misery are kosher

The Palestinian plight stems from the inhuman, illegal and criminal denial of land and rights by Israel with the US’s unquestioningly acquiescent support and, of course, the Arab world’s abject capitulation. This has made a mockery of Palestinians and their rights, as they continue to suffer immeasurably since 1948. All should understand that there can be no real Arab spring without rights to the Palestinians and vice versa.

Every peace brokered by the US inequitably favours Israel; more surprising was the PLO’s acceptance of the ‘Oslo Accords’, which divide the West Bank into three areas: Area ‘A’ with 55 percent of the Palestinian population and 17 percent of area, controlled and administered by the Palestinians, Area ‘B’ with 41 percent of the Palestinian population and 24 percent of the area, controlled by the Israelis but administered by the Palestinians. These two areas, 40 percent of the land area but with 95 percent of the Palestinian population, are further divided into 227 separate areas with199 being smaller than two square kilometres (1 square mile) and separated from one another by the Israeli-controlled Area ‘C’ and the barrier. Area C, by far the best, controlled and administered by the Israelis, has only four percent of the Palestinian population but 59 percent of the area.

In his piece, ‘In the West Bank’s stony hills, Palestine is slowly dying’, Robert Fisk says, “Many Israeli activists as well as western NGOs suspect Israel intends to force the Palestinians here to leave their lands and homes and villages and depart into the wretchedness of Areas B and A. Area C, it should be added, is the richest of the occupied Palestinian lands, with cheese production and animal farms.”

He tells how the 150, 000 Palestinians living in Area C are systematically dispossessed by the Israelis and the way the bureaucracy is carrying out ethnic cleansing. Palestinian requests to build houses are either delayed for years or refused; those built without permission are ruthlessly torn down. Some 300,000 Jewish colonists live illegally in 120 official and 100 ‘unapproved’ settlements but these are not demolished. Palestinians complain: “Breathing is the only thing we do not need a permit for — yet!”

Amnesty International, in a report, Troubled Waters — Palestinians denied fair access to water, details how Israel denies Palestinians the right to access sufficient water supplies in the West Bank by maintaining total control over the shared water resources and preventing the development of adequate water infrastructure. All US congressmen must read this report so that they remember the Palestinians’ thirst and plight before applauding a Netanyahu.

The Palestinians’ only water source in the West Bank is the mountain aquifer, while Israel has several along with the Jordan River. The West objects to Asian sweatshops’ produced goods but fruits and flowers grown at the cost of Palestinian thirst and misery are kosher. “It is easy to make the desert bloom by using someone else’s water and by denying them access to their fair share of water.”

Naturally, on May 15 — that 1948 day when the West supported Israel’s ethnic cleansing of its 750,000 Palestinian population, permanently disinheriting and dispossessing them and precluding their return or claiming their property — Palestinians commemorate Nakba or Catastrophe Day. Similarly, on June 5, they observe another Nakba Day to commemorate the 1967 War debacle as Arab spinelessness then added much to the Palestinian plight and misery. The Baloch too have their very own Nakba Day on March 27, the day in 1948 when they were deprived of their independence.

This year’s Nakba Day march at the Lebanon-Israel border was called, ‘March for the return to Palestine’, with protestors chanting: “By our soul, our blood, we sacrifice ourselves for you, Palestine.” The Israeli forces, using live ammunition, injured more than 100 protestors and killed six, among them two girls aged six and eight. In all, 12 protesters died. Israeli firing at Nakba protests in June near Golan killed some 20 protestors and left hundreds injured. A deafening silence prevails in the West; they choose not see the Palestinian blood that Israel so viciously and frequently sheds. Remember, even Sabra and Shatila were conveniently overlooked.

Robert Fisk, in his piece, ‘Nobody wants to know if someone is hit by an Israeli bullet’, says he visited Munib Masri, an American citizen, injured at the Lebanon-Israel border by an Israeli fired 5.56 mm bullet that penetrated his side, cut through his kidney, hit his spleen and then broke up in his spine. Munib told him, “I was angry, mad. I had just seen a small child hit by the Israelis, I walked nearer the border fence.”

The US embassy sent a female diplomat to see his parents when Munib’s mother Mouna told her, “I would like you to give a message to your government to put pressure on them to change their policies here. If this had happened to an Israeli mother, the world would have gone upside down.” She answered, “I am not here to discuss politics. We are here for social support, to evacuate you if you want — to help with payments.” Mouna refused to accept any help. Ironically, for the US, the politics of the violence against Palestinians are not worth discussing but heaven help those who so much as raise an eyebrow towards Israel.

In another piece, ‘Why bombing Ashkelon is the most tragic irony’, Fisk tells that Gaza is inhabited by “80 percent of whose families once lived in what is now Israel. This, historically, is the real story: most of the people of Gaza do not come from Gaza. But watching the news shows, you would think that history began yesterday, that a bunch of bearded anti-Semitic Islamist lunatics suddenly popped up in the slums of Gaza — a rubbish dump of destitute people of no origin — and began firing missiles into peace-loving, democratic Israel, only to meet with the righteous vengeance of the Israeli air force.” Adding, “Both Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres said back in the 1990s that they wished Gaza would just go away, drop into the sea, and you can see why. The existence of Gaza is a permanent reminder of those hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who lost their homes to Israel, who fled or were driven out through fear or Israeli ethnic cleansing 60 years ago.” Palestinian people’s problems in all occupied territories are acute and devastating.

Israel, which is in fact Palestine and all Israeli-occupied territory, is a living hell for Palestinians who suffer from the vicious apartheid and despotism of the Zionist brand. Israel, the US supported ‘bastion of democracy’, is built on blood and tears, miseries and sufferings, thirst and deprivation, and the dispossession and disinheritance of Palestinians. The misery and suffering of Palestinians is unparalleled in recent history but the West, led by the US, chooses to ignore it. If the US and its allies refuse to see reason and continue to support the blatant genocide of Palestinians then the world can only say, “Shame on you and your allies America.”

(Concluded)

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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