The region formerly known as the ‘Palestine region’ had not seen any conflict or bloodshed until the 19th century when a group of European colonisers known as the Zionists came to the region and started to colonise it. At that time, Muslims were 86 percent, Christians were 10 percent and Jews just four percent of the total population of the Palestine region. Colonisation started and so did the migration of a huge number of Jews into the region. The migration of Jews ignited the conflict between the Muslims and the Jews. However, when the group of colonisers later decided to leave, they wanted to create and leave a separate state for the Jews in the oil-rich Middle East.
Due to the intense conflicts between the Muslim and Jewish populations, the UN intervened in 1947 but, rather than sticking to the principle of self-determination, the UN decided to divide the region by itself as did the colonisers of the subcontinent divide the subcontinent unjustly between India and Pakistan. So, in 1947, the UN, under the immense pressure of the Zionist lobby, decided to give 55 percent of the Palestine region to the Jewish population, which at that time constituted only 30 percent of the total population of the region and occupied only seven percent of the total region. The Jewish land was named Israel. The rest of the region was thrown to the Palestinian people as if the UN had done them a great favour.
As a consequence, war erupted in the region from 1947 to 1949 and the Jewish population committed 16 massacres of the Muslims when the Arab armies decided to join their Muslim brothers and sisters and help them in the war. However, in the end, Palestine lost the war and the Zionist-led Jewish army got hold of additional parts of the region, i.e. 78 percent of the Palestine region, leaving the West Bank and Gaza Strip for the Palestinians. However, the expansionist ambitions of the Zionists of Israel did not stop here and another war started in 1967, in which the Zionists were again successful and gained control of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Since then, the Palestinian population is being subjected to intense humiliation, their basic human rights are violated and a large number of the population is in jail, including children and women.
A few attempts have been made to find a solution to the conflict such as the Oslo Accord in 1993 and the Camp David talks in 2000, which were both held under Clinton’s administration. The single biggest reason behind the failure of the talks was that the ‘mother-state’ of Israel — the US — dominated the talks and wanted to reach an unreasonable solution in favour of Israel, though the failure of both the talks are attributed to the leadership of Palestine because it is claimed that it did not agree to the accord — which accord? The one unreasonably in favour of Israel? And then they wonder why the sane world at large is confused at all this!
Moreover, the mother-state of Israel has great cultural and religious affiliation with Israel whilst Israel has also adopted western democratic traditions, at least for its own citizens. The huge amount of aid that the US grants Israel is worrisome since most of it is directly used for the development of the Israeli military and weaponry, which is directly used against the Palestinian people — not sparing women and even children. Palestine receives no aid currently and what it has received in the past can never match the aid given to Israel.
Despite the wiping out of big chunks of factual history, one should be crystal clear about who has the right to the Palestinian land. The Zionist army is considered legitimate in the eyes of the world. On the other hand, the Palestinian army, which is fighting for its rights — Hamas — is labelled a terrorist organisation. Regarding Hamas and its role, I remember a quote by Gerald Seymour in 1975: “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” This fits pretty well here.
The Israeli military is looking for reasons to attack innocent Palestinians. It is also important to mention that they even lure and provoke Hamas to take the first step so that they have a justification for their cruelty. There is a popular quote making the rounds on social media these days: one does not have to be a Muslim to sympathise with the innocent Palestinian population and ask Israel to stop its cruelty; one just has to be human.
This is a plea to all those humanitarians out there around the globe to unite on one platform against the injustice being perpetrated against the innocent people of Palestine. If this matter is left to international actors such as the UN or the US, I bet we will not reach a conclusion any time soon, and in the meantime more Palestinians will continue to suffer. Massacres like the current one will become routine, in which more families will be killed, more mothers will lose their sons and daughters, more children will be orphaned, more old people will be killed and no innocent person will be spared — not even an 11-month old child, like we have seen in the latest bloodshed.
I strongly believe that we individuals are the biggest superpower but only if we unite on a single platform. The Muslim world must break out of its hypocritical silence and pressurise the international community to do something before more fatalities ensue.
The writer is a LUMS graduate