07 April 2009

MUST READ~ What if YOU were a young Palestinian?

All I can say is this op-ed in the Daily Mail by Andrew Alexander is a MUST READ! Although I do not agree with his use of the phrase "terrorist" in the context that he uses it. I believe the state of Israel is a terrorist state, the sad fact that it is a "state" does not make it incapable of being considered as a "terrorist"

Anyhow, the op-ed piece is below:

The easiest thing to do with terrorists is to rage at them. Or to declare, mindlessly, that we must strengthen 'the war on terrorism'. Both are moral self-indulgence and mental idleness.

Suppose that you are a young man living in Gaza, dominated by refugees or their descendants whose original homeland was what is now Israel. You may well have been brought up on stories, sometimes exaggerated, of a home where your forebears lived in security.

With squalid conditions in the refugee camps and little hope of good education or employment, your frustration and rage is easily directed at Israel, the U.S. as its relentless backer and probably us, too, as Washington's poodlelike allies. Or maybe you live in the West Bank, once part of Palestine. Since the 1967 war, Israel has left the West Bank littered with 600 checkpoints which divide even families.

This side of the border you will see ever-growing Israeli settlements. The details of the sheer illegality and subterfuge involved are readily provided by the protesting Jewish organisation Peace Now (peacenow.org).
Our young Palestinian will also remember so painfully Israel's punitive expedition against Gaza supposedly to crush the governing party, Hamas, whose military wing launched sporadic, but not very effective, rockets on Israel. Yet this only begins to touch on the millions in the Middle East with deep grievances.

Significantly, Hamas and Hezbollah had electoral triumphs following Israeli attacks. In Afghanistan, refugees from the Taliban have had to face returning to a land where the seven-year war against the invader has reinvigorated that awful organisation. Throughout the Middle East, tales can be heard of relatives or friends who have fallen victim to the U.S. and its allies, including Israel, over recent decades, often accompanied by grim details about trigger-happy U.S. troops, ideal villains.

Our young man in Gaza or the West Bank grows up dangerously full of frustration and anger. His religion seems a stabilising force in an unstable world.

Those with deep grievances, actual or inherited, number many millions. Just think about the scale of this. There are about 300 million Muslim Arabs (plus Iran). Pakistan, now being drawn into the conflict, adds many more.

If only a tiny fraction takes the Jihadist path, we face a formidable and, alas, growing host. Can we be surprised that Islamic extremists find no difficulty in recruitment?

We are very stupid - as stupid as Chamberlain at Munich - to ignore the scale or nature of the menace.

There will be no curb to terrorism until we stop waging wars on Muslim countries and, even more, until the problem of the Arab-Israeli conflict is ended or at least ameliorated.

Washington holds all the levers. It is the source of huge economic and military aid to Israel. President Clinton nearly achieved a settlement, but was balked at the last moment by the then Palestinian leadership.

At least he tried. Other presidents have declined to pressure Israel into the necessary concessions and Britain's efforts has amounted to little more than pious pleading.

Of course, the Zionist lobby in the U.S. and elsewhere is powerful. In the American case, Jewish Zionism is augmented by various Evangelical Churches that excitedly grasp at the state of Israel as fulfiling Old Testament prophecies.

In the propaganda battle here as in the U.S., Zionists are adept at playing the anti-semitic card, so familiar to fair-minded journalists. The BBC in particular is easily scared.

Developments within Israel are grim. Its crazy system of proportional representation gives every loony some power in coalition governments. Hence we have the notorious extremist Avigdor Lieberman in the post of Foreign Minister.

Israeli organisations such as Peace Now, which once organised a 400,000-strong demonstration against the Lebanon intervention in 1982, face an uphill battle. Yet the chance for peace does not depend on Israeli political manoeuvring.

President Obama has the real, unquestionable power to impose a settlement. How hard he tries affects everybody, particularly us. SOURCE