Well before the 9/11 terrorist attack on the American soil, the US foreign policy has been for many years concentrating all its effort to claim a pre-emptive war on what they called the “Axis of Evil”, composed of North Korea, Iran and Syria. After 9/11, two important heads of evil were re-added, added again to that Axis, Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.
Immediately, the US President George W. Bush invited his European allies to join him in a “Holy War” - a crusade against Al-Qaida in Afghanistan, led by bin Laden who countered him and the Christian west, back with the same dialectic of the “Holy War”- the Jihad.
Same crazy perception of the Divine! Anyway, several months later, the US President renewed his invitation to the Europeans and launched, without the approval of the United Nations, another divine war on Iraq to oust the Iraqi Regime and destroy its hypothetical nuclear power. Two divine wars that didn’t end until now!
There is no doubt that after the fall of the Soviet Union, the US became the only world power, an empire that does not surely need divine intervention to win wars against relatively poor enemies. But holy legitimacy is needed! Thus, the US has chosen to take God on its side like all preceding world empires have done before it in history, and hence, the US government, endowed now with the divine right doctrine, uses it to dominate the world.
Consequently, the successful Pax Romana of the Roman Empire has been poorly mirrored lately with Pax Americana of Secretary of State Mrs. Condoleezza Rice - a project fondly elaborated by her forerunner, Mrs. Madeleine Albright. Democracy and Liberty! Something like, “we must build a community of Democracies for the expansion of Liberty in the world. Amen,” became their daily slogan, their daily bread.
Beautiful slogan indeed, but where is Liberty now in Afghanistan? The killing persists almost every day and bin Laden is still in the cave or rather taking a sun bath somewhere in the world. Where is Democracy now in Iraq? Iraqi community is dying almost every day and Saddam Hussein is on trial or rather playing the hero in a theatrical play. Lately, like a powerful thunderclap, the US officials suddenly declare that Iraq had not possessed nuclear weapons whatsoever. Why the war then? Ah, they didn’t know that before. At the end of the day, however, the two important heads of that so-called “Axis of Evil” are still there… and who was really judged in the end of it, but the innocent people! Where is world Justice and where it has been served? Lately, however, Saddam Hussein has been found guilty of crimes against humanity. Shall they execute him and make him pay the price of his murders!! Maybe, after all, there is a US hidden agenda for Saddam to come back to power, only to succeed where they failed - stabilizing Iraq.
At any rate, since North Korea is not in the Middle East, it has no place here in this article, so let us have a look now at the other two players of that Axis, Iran and Syria. But surely, the state of Israel is included with them! Why?
Israel! The Balfour Declaration to Baron Rothchild, on the 2nd of November, 1917, says: “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”
The idea of the creation of the state of Israel began with Theodore Herzl, the founder of the World Zionist Organization, who wrote, speaking of the Arabs of Palestine, in his complete Diaries of June 12, 1895: “Spirit the penniless population across the frontier by denying it employment... Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly.” And one of the most enduring and deceptive slogans of Zionism was coined by Israel Zangwill almost 100 years ago. He stated that: “Palestine was a land without people for a people without land.” Though, the reality was and still is different.
But almost all Jewish Rabbis, leaders and thinkers like, Yitzhak Shamir, Chairman Heilbrun, Israel Koenig, Uri Lubrani, Vladimir Jabotinsky, Joseph Weitz, Moshe Dayan, Golda Maier, Yoram Bar Porath, Benyamin Netanyahu, Raphael Eitan, Ehud Barak, Moshe Katsav, Menahim Begin, Yitzhak Ginsburg and Ariel Sharon, who managed the political ideologies of Israel, worked in defiance to the British mandate of the Balfour declaration just mentioned. In fact, they followed the words of Herzl, and seemed to have been executing, until now, the orders of David Ben Gurion, the first Israeli Prime Minister, known as the Armed Prophet, who declared: “The present map of Palestine was drawn by the British mandate. The Jewish people have another map which our youth and adults should strive to fulfill - From the Nile to the Euphrates. We must expel Arabs and take their places.”
Very rare were those moderate Jews who strongly refused the idea of the State of Israel; the most famous ones were Albert Einstein, and the Jewish Philosopher, Martin Buber. However, with general common racist thoughts in mind - not to mention also some words in the Talmud - the successive Israeli military governments continued challenging the will of the free world and the UN, throwing many of its resolutions into the dustbin.
Thoughts and slogans like: “We have to kill all the Palestinians unless they are resigned to live here as slaves.” “We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population.” “How can we return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to.” “There was no such thing as Palestinians, they never existed.” “[The Palestinians are] beasts walking on two legs.” And “Jewish blood and a goy’s [gentile’s] blood are not the same,” echoed strongly in their minds.
But the US president, George W Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair are committed to a two state solution, Israel and Palestine living side by side in Peace. Even Ehud Olmert stated many times that he is committed to that solution. The US President, however, still has almost 17 months in his oval office, to fulfill his promises he gave to the Palestinians. Time is running fast though, and the situation on the ground, in Gaza and the West Bank, does not show any flare of optimism. However, the free world hopes that the US, the Quartet, the EU and the UN keep committing themselves to implement fully the “Road Map” for a long fair enduring peace.
During the 2002 Arab League summit held in Beirut, the Arabs unanimously voted for both, the creation of a Palestinian state and the recognition of Israel. But the Israeli government led by Sharon, did not show any positive reaction towards the Arabs and their historical proposal. On the contrary, it pressured more the Palestinians and held Yasser Arafat hostage in his headquarter in Gaza. Such a counter action seemed to have blown off the Arabs peace proposal. What Democracy is there in Israel? One would definitely question.
Truth be told, at the time, in an interview on BBC, hosted by Tim Sebastian on Hard Talk, Dr. Zbigniew Brzezenski, the former American national security adviser under Jimmy Carter administration, said openly something like that: “The total American and British support to Israel came from the belief that Israel would be the only Democratic nation in the Middle East, but the Israeli consecutive governments seem to have been wearing masks and fooling with us!”
“Are you making fool out of the Pope?” Tim asked his guest Dani Neveh, one of the ministers in the Sharon cabinet, in a previous interview, after Israeli soldiers had besieged the Church of Nativity in Jerusalem. In fact, at the time, the Israelis ignored the UN, EU, US, UK and the Vatican calls to cease the killing of Palestinians.
At any rate, in the late 2006 elections, and under the close watch of the former US President Jimmy Carter and other European observers, the Palestinians had willingly and democratically voted for Hamas, a militant group, considered terrorist by Israel. But whose voice counts more here? Israel or the Palestinians? Of course, the voice of the people of Palestine. A voice, Israel still refuses to comply with even today.
A little reflection back to the Atlantic Charter signed in August 1941 is needed here. Both the former president of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and his Majesty’s Government, Mr. Winston S. Churchill signed that Charter but rarely committed to it! It says in its third item: “Third, they (both of them and their countries) respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live; and they wish to see sovereign rights and self-government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them.” But… there is Israel here!
Indeed, the Palestinian free and democratic election of the government of Hamas strongly meets the terms of US secretary of State Mrs. Condoleezza Rice and her forerunner, Mrs. Madeleine Albright long hailed slogan for a world community of Democracies for the expansion of Liberty!
Why the US contradiction and double standard policy then? One would absolutely ask again. What Democracy the Americans want if not the Palestinian electoral example, or the similar one that brought Hezbollah Ministers into the Lebanese government? Despite their strong religious and political ties with Iran, Hezbollah’s social fabric is purely Lebanese. For subjective and irrational reasons, of course, the US and Israel consider Hezbollah a terrorist organization, while the Europeans refuse to call them a terrorist group. The Arabs and the Lebanese look at Hezbollah as a resistance force against Israeli Occupation.
In the last July-August 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, Lebanon has been left with more than 1100 civilian children, women and men of gray hairs killed, and more than 3500 wounded. This war also caused the destruction of the Lebanese infrastructure and an estimated loss of billions of dollars. The WMR (Wayne Madsen Report) reported that during the war on Lebanon, the Israeli military used poison gas on villages in the south. Indeed, Israel used horrible weapons, like heavy bombs, poison gas or chemical weapons, phosphorescent bombs and cluster bombs, all do not comply with international laws. We have also seen little Israeli girls writing messages on the missiles before dropping them on the head of Lebanese children. The UN Humanitarian coordinators have put a lot of pressure on Israel for using those deadly cluster bombs, but Israel always try to find excuses, for her terrorist acts, that no one will accept. In fact, Israel dropped more than three hundred thousand (300.000) cluster bombs over Lebanon in the last few days. Many children are still dying from them as we speak. What a horrifying scene? Don’t you think! What a racist culture indeed! Teaching children hatred and leading them to war. But they want peace, they say! What a schizophrenic state of mind they usher. In addition, Israeli troops ignored the plea from UN peacekeepers in south Lebanon for 10 times before a precision-guided missile hit their post killing four of them.
At any rate, after all that barbaric savage war on Lebanon, the UN Security Council finally met in NY on the 11th of August, the 30th day of war, and voted unanimously for the resolution (1701) to end the fighting. Three days later, on the 14th of August, the 34th day of war, at 8am, an agreement between the two countries has been reached to cease fire. The UN resolution urged both sides to implement all its items, but until now, after more than two and a half months from signing that resolution, Israel is still breaking it daily with its arrogant air flights over Lebanese territories, something that was recently considered by the French foreign policy as a hostile act against the UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) forces that came to Lebanon with a great mission: observe the implementation of UN resolution and protect Lebanese civilians. Hezbollah, on the other hand, has been committed to it from the first day it was issued. But of course, Israel has a long history of breaking UN resolutions, throwing them in the dustbin.
In fact, Lebanon has been dragged into political and insecurity turmoil, ever since the terrorist attack on the former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafic Hariri. Many car bombs followed suit killing many important Lebanese figures and injured others. All fingers point out at neighbouring Syria who has been pressured to pull out its armed and intelligence forces from Lebanon after 30 years of occupation in implementation of UN resolution 1559.
Consequently, when prominent US Political figures and some of the Lebanese politicians demanded a change of the Syrian regime, Israel was the first to reject such a change! Why? One would ask. It seems though that the old-fashioned dictatorship rule of Assad suits best the political interest of Israel. Both Israel and Syria have a long history of political assassination on Lebanese soil. The Mossad and Syrian Intelligence service were very active for a long time in Lebanon. Hence, non-democratic regimes do applause each other. Who said Israel is a Democracy anyway? But Israel and Syria keep on attacking each other (only in words, of course) ever since Israel took final hold of the Golan Heights back in 1973. However, Syria never exercised any resistance against Israel. In fact, all the wars between the Arabs and Israel that followed the 1973 war were achieved on both Lebanese and Palestinian territories. It is quite reasonable to think that both countries, Syria and Israel, are in balance to an under table agreement. Hence, it could be concluded that Lebanon is like Jesus Christ, crucified between two thieves, Israel and the Syrian Regime. Both countries occupied Lebanon for so many years before they were driven out.
So, such an agreement between them both, whether theoretical or realistic, will not be reached between Hezbollah and Israel as long as Israel still occupies Lebanese territories such as Shebaa Farms. In fact, consecutive Lebanese governments and today’s government led by Mr. Fouad Siniora, a great man indeed, have always declared that Lebanon will be the last Arabic country that will sign peace with Israel. Even a treaty is not officially considered unless Israel pulls out.
This is quite logical, and that logic is backed up by Iran who influenced the creation of Hezbollah in the early eighties precisely after “Iran Gates”- a scandal that revealed Israeli-Iranian military collaboration during the Iraqi-Iranian war! Iran then continued supporting Hezbollah against Israeli Occupation. This Iranian support to Hezbollah combined with Lebanese official and social support, led to the withdrawal of Israel from Lebanon in 2000 and the recent victory over Israeli killing machine in the July-August 2006 war.
Talking of Iran, nowadays, under Ahmadinejad’s regime, brings two main issues to light: first, its nuclear ambition, and second, its continuous attacks against Israel. Whether Iran has the right to obtain nuclear technology or not, is related to whether other neighboring or faraway countries have or not this technology. Regionally wise, since Israel has this technology, and has it for military purposes, Iran would be then eligible to obtain it. Religiously wise, since almost all religions have this technology - the west (Christians), Israel (Jews), Pakistan (Muslim Sunnis) and India (Hindus) - Iran (Muslim Shiite) would then be qualified to have it too. Thus world equilibrium! Right? No.
In fact, not only we should strive to make the Middle East empty of WMD (weapons of mass destruction), or any other technology that might be used to deploy killing machines to kill each other, but we should also strive to make the whole world empty of the evil devices that are ruining our selves and our only planet. After all, this is a wish, a dream! But if making the whole people of the world living in a utopia is quite hard to achieve, we can still start by making peace in the Middle East. Hence, making it clean of WMD, the wise leaders of the world, must then begin with Israel. Israel! Not only Israel has all kind of deadly weapons, internationally refused, but used on Lebanese and Palestinians, it also have no ambitions for peace and no wish to accept a Palestinian free state. The only Palestinian state that Israel accepts is a state that abides by Israel’s rules. What democracy can we expect from Israel, the last stronghold of apartheid? South Africa’s apartheid regime, by the way, has long been gone, destroyed by the free world. A great victory to humanity, indeed. Even the Falashas, the black Jews of Ethiopia, or the other Jews of the East, are considered by the Ashkenazi, the ruling western Jews, as second or third rate Jewish citizens. At any rate, this is an internal affair of Jews to settle between themselves!
Recently, the former president of Iran, Mr. Khatami, has identified the US many attempts to impose Western-style democracy in the Middle East as a great joke. Of course, what could be other than that, if such a democracy is going to be on the image of a dictatorship like Israel, the spoiled arrogant murderer child of the west - a freak!
However, Ahmadinejad’s continuous attacks against Israel, the Jewish Holocaust, and his promises to wipe it out from the face of the Earth, are probably based on the fact that Israel is not showing any glimpses of willing to do changes. It still occupies, kills and destroys. “Israel was founded on claims about the Holocaust for which the Palestinians were paying the price,” he spoke on Jerusalem Day, in front of a large demonstration in Iran in support of the Palestinians. It’s logical what he said. The Palestinians are suffering and we all know it… If the Holocaust really happened and caused great suffering to the Jews, then they must have learned not to do the same to other people, instead they should embrace high feelings of love and human compassion.
So many times have the US president, George W Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, committed themselves to a two state solution, Israel and Palestine living side by side in Peace. And, so many times have they said that “they must deal with the root problem in the Middle East.” Well, the root problem in the Middle East, is not only seen by the blind, but also known by the ignorant.
Both Leaders should also remember by heart the first two articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, written back in December 1948.
1 - All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
2 - Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedom set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
The root problem is not the popular forces of resistance in a country, such as Hezbollah and the Palestinian resistance, but the military forces and killing machines of the occupation. Thus, the root problem in the Middle East is not only Syria and the world terrorist organization, Al-Qaida, but Israel, as well. Everybody knows it. The Vatican knows it, so does the British. The Americans know it too. Israel is not to be wiped out from the face of the Earth though, but Israel must change its way of life, and start complying with the International laws while embracing a long fair lasting peace with its neighbours. Israel must put down its weapons and open up its heart, unless, of course, it has gotten too cold, ruthless and inhuman. And it did. It has a long history of crimes against humanity. What happened in Lebanon (Kana 1 & 2, etc) and Palestine (Jenin and Beit Hanoun, etc) are not but living examples of its crimes.
Yes, we should also remember the article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that says, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
If the UN, EU, US, UK and the Vatican can not force Israel to comply with the International laws and abide by the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, who can!? To go back to the law of the jungle, at the early dawn of the twenty first century and after thousands of years of human evolution, can not be seen other than just a great error in our supposedly evolved communal system, a real flaw in our expansion towards Liberty. The law of the jungle or the lawless world is not the world we ought to live in as humans - or better say - as civilized conscious free democratic human beings. Amen.