By Aijaz Zaka Syed – Dubai
I am not sure about others but I really look forward to readers’ reaction after sharing my ramblings with them every week. Each attempt to put across one’s point of view, for what it’s worth, is followed by a breathless wait for the verdict. While many do not understandably agree with my worldview, some of the responses are so interesting and thought-provoking that I desperately want to share them with the larger audience.
For instance, check out some of these letters I got in response to my piece on the assassination of Hamas commander in Dubai, which has Mossad fingerprints all over it with the ever widening ring of suspicion now encircling all of the globe.
A European reader based in Norway, upset over the Western governments’ policies in the Middle East and their reaction to the broad daylight killing, wrote back saying: “Rather than the West ‘bending over backwards to humor Israel’ (my words in the article last week) it is my contention that the West bends ‘forwards’ in order to facilitate Israel in ****ing them. Don’t they have any shame?”
Another Scandinavian reader, based in the neighboring Sweden, commented: “I am disgusted by our complete disregard for the victims of terrorism when carried out by Western states and their allies. We have seen its proof once again in the Dubai killing. However, the truth will prevail in the end – of that I’m sure.”
A British reader echoed these sentiments saying: “The Palestinian people’s struggle will continue despite setbacks and betrayals by Western governments, one of whom, I regret to say, is mine.”
These are only some of the scores of letters that arrived in response to the piece, all of them questioning and protesting their own countries’ indifference and complicity in the Israeli crimes against a long persecuted people. These reactions give you hope about this beautiful planet that has witnessed so much injustice and suffering. There’s hope for our world as long as it remains blessed by such noble souls.
I wonder why these voices of conscience do not reach the democratic Western governments though? With all the resources at their disposal and their vast network of media networks and powerful PR machines, how come they cannot hear the voices of their own people who are essentially peace-loving and believe in fair play and a just world like you and me?
As I struggle with these questions, I am drawn to today’s newspaper on my table. It’s hard to miss the screaming headline of the front-page report: EUROPE NOT INTERESTED IN FOLLOWING DUBAI KILLERS’ TRAILS.
The Geneva-datelined news report says: “A killer – or killers – may be on the loose in Europe after a Hamas operative was slain last month in Dubai. European nations, however, seem to be in no rush to find him, her or them.”
The Associated Press report goes on to explain why. Quoting European experts, the report claims that “arresting Israeli agents – or even digging up further evidence that Israel was involved – could be politically costly” for European and Western governments.
The outraged UAE authorities including Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan have promised to bring the assassins to justice. Dubai Police chief Dhahi Khalfan Tamim has been boldly and persistently pushing for action by all countries whose citizens have been involved in the killing.
However, European nations whose passports and national identity have been forged and abused with impunity by the Israelis to kill at will in Dubai are yet to show any interest in pursuing the killers’ trails. The Swiss, Dutch, Italian, French and German authorities have launched no investigation or taken steps to go after the killers.
Even though there exists an Interpol arrest warrant issued at UAE’s request against 11 suspects charged with “coordinating and committing the murder,” European officials told the AP news agency they have no reason or intention to go after them.
Only Britain and Australia have sent police teams to quiz Israeli dual nationals whose passports were cloned by the killers. France, Germany and Italy say they are ‘considering’ looking into the abuse of their passports. Apparently, forgery is a more serious problem for them than the involvement of their citizens in a high profile assassination in distant Dubai.
France, Germany and Italy say they are ‘considering’ looking into the abuse of their passports. Apparently, forgery is a more serious problem for them than the involvement of their citizens in a high profile assassination in distant Dubai.
So despite this sensational murder of a top Palestinian official in a peaceful, neutral country like the UAE, and forgery and abuse of their national documents and identity, European nations still cannot muster the courage to confront almighty Israel.
As I had suggested in this space last week, despite all the stinking and screaming evidence Dubai has, Israel will likely get away with murder. Just as it always has – striking at will anywhere it wants in total contempt for all international laws and accepted norms and conventions.
On the other hand, it’s increasingly clear, if it hadn’t been to some, that Israel is not interested in making peace or sharing anything with the Palestinians. It doesn’t give a damn about the so-called peace process or dialogue and all the circus associated with it. It cares two hoots about what the international community thinks about its continuing persecution of Palestinian people or belligerent and brazen actions like this killing in Dubai.
This is the first lesson of the Arab-Israel conflict over the past seven decades. Israel’s ultimate goal is total subjugation of and victory over the Palestinians and Arabs. Greater Israel, from river to the sea, is the ultimate objective of the Zionists. And they wouldn’t stop at that. They seek total control and dominance over the entire Middle East and wouldn’t tolerate any one who can even remotely look like a challenger to its supremacy. This is why Iraq was neutered and destroyed. And this is why Iran is now in sights.
So all this talk of peace, dialogue and two-states solution is nothing but bunkum—merely a meaningless ploy. As a dear friend who has devoted all her life to fighting for the rights of Palestinians puts it, it is a sham and carefully choreographed masquerade! This is at best a good delaying tactic that has worked for Israel all these years even as it continues to gobble up more and more Palestinian and Arab land.
This will change only when global public opinion, especially the Western public opinion, forces Western governments, including that of the United States, to rein in Israel and solve the problem they created in the heart of the Muslim world. As eminent Jewish peace activist and author Gilad Atzmon suggests, the tide of Western public opinion is already turning against Israel. But we have a long way to go before this tide turns into a global revolution forcing the criminal regime in Israel to end its reign of terror.
Just as a deluge of world public opinion sunk the Apartheid regime in South Africa, only concerted efforts and a global Gandhian movement can put an end to Israeli Apartheid. Ultimately, it was Western public opinion that forced the world powers to end their indulgence and protection of Apartheid South Africa.
There are many parallels between South Africa and Palestine. And not just in the tyranny of a minority over the indigenous majority. In fact, the Apartheid that Palestinians have suffered is perhaps even worse than what Nelson Mandela’s people experienced under the white racist regime for nearly three centuries. And the same solution will work in the case of Palestine as well with justice and equal rights for everyone, as South Africa has achieved it after immense sacrifices.
So stand up and speak out wherever you are against the Israeli Apartheid. Israel is powerful and has powerful friends in high places. But trust me no power is strong enough to withstand the force of world public opinion. As a reader assures me, in the end the truth shall prevail.
– Aijaz Zaka Syed is Opinion Editor of Khaleej Times. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.