Where to after Annapolis?For the Palestinians, from worse to the worst? [Archives:2008/1117/Opinion]

December 3 2008

By: Hassan Al-Haifi
Just one day before the Palestinian representatives from the Mahmoud Abbass side of the Palestinian “Government” were to meet with the represenatives from Israeli Government to follow through on the Annapolis meetings held a week earlier, the war between the Israelis and the Palestinians has not ebbed one bit (see this link:

The New York Times reported on an Israeli incursion into Gaza which culminated in the death of six Palestinians and many wounded. While the attack was supposedly meant against members of Jihad or other anti-occupational elements [of course one is not aware of any way of corroborating this].

Even still aren't these people resisting an illegal tormenting occupation of whatever territory they still have left after the Israeli settlers, and the Israeli military and security forces have taken probably half the West Bank, with more still being taken even now (see the NYT of December 8, 2007: Young Israelis Resist Challenges to Settlements). Surely, one cannot see any Israeli readiness, currently or in the near future to really engage in any meaningful peace settlement with the Palestinians with ongoing incursions, airstrikes and other Israeli military actions against the Palestinian people of the West Bank and Gaza.

Moreover, with Israel determining who is the “right” Palestinians with whom to talk peace with, while it continues to deal with all others as a hostile enemy, would not present an indication of seriousness on the part of the Israelis, since peace would only be achieved, in accordance with this Israeli logic, if it has eliminated (i.e. killed) all those Palestinians, who are even suspected of being affiliated with organizations to the dislike of the Israeli Government.

Any long-time observer of the Middle East is bound to conclude that the Israelis have no serious intentions of achieving peace in Palestine. It is imperative that the Israelis recognize that the Palestinians (even those of Hamas or Jihad affiliation) are human beings and that certainly they are the ones who are paying the heaviest price for Israel's existence and insistence that the Israelis are the only ones entitled to any rights in the Holy Land.

All known laws and ordinances, religious or otherwise, would classify most of the current non Palestinian occupants of the area as illegal trespassers and settlers, who entered the land by illegal consort with a former colonial “trustee” and then by the force of the gun evicted most of the indigenous population, when the trustee abandoned the “Mandate”, which the latter insisted on having after the end of the First World War.

Of course, many will say that this is history, which no one cares to listen to now and certainly the clocks of time cannot be turned back again. But in Palestine the Israelis are still insisting on taking over the entire region which they profess to be their God-given blessing (One would probably question the justice of the Lord in bequeathing anything to anyone, if this was at the expense of the rightful indigenous inhabitants of the land and if it meant eliminating the latter once and for all, if they are not yet coerced to leave by the worst treatment that any occupied people have ever been subjected to).

If this is not the logic that drives the Israeli cruel occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, then why the unrelenting insistence to proceed with the systematic and tortuously slow ethnic cleansing campaign, which has picked momentum and speed significantly, with the blessings of the current Bush Administration in the White House, since the latter took office (starting even before September 11, 2001)? How can one not see that an entire population of a territory, which has always been called Palestine (Israel, in fact was never known to be the name of any land or territory at any period in history, prior to 1948 and even under the rule of King David and King Solomon [May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon them both, since they are both recognized and revered by Moslems as prophets of God Al-Mighty, as are most of the prophets and messengers of God descending from Abraham (from the line of Isaac as well as Isma'el, or Ishmael)].

The Israelis are not even willing to recognize that their religion and the religions (Moslem and Christian) of the Palestinians emanate from the same fundamental origins. It was Yasser Arafat who once said in an interview on CNN's Larry King Live: “You cannot be a Moslem without also being a Jew and a Christian as well”.

If the Israelis go even halfway in sharing this attitude, then the possibilities are there for coming closer to what the Lord Al-Mighty would really like to see in those who truly have faith in Him, especially if they wish to call the Holy Land their “rightful” home, which it certainly is not yet, until the rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine have been accorded their just due, especially those who have had to bear all the suffering, humiliation and even betrayal for so many decades now.

Happy Holidays to all true believers in God, who know that in the end it is His sense of justice that will prevail!

Hassan Al-Haifi has been a Yemeni political economist and journalist for more than 20 years.