A Vision for Palestine

Good news came out of Palestine this week though none of the US news agencies gave it much coverage. Instead, our news media focused on Israel’s successful killing of several Palestinians, including children, and Sharon’s statement that he will not negotiate with the Palestinians until they get serious about rooting out terrorism. What both Sharon and the media simply refuse to accept, is that this is exactly what the Palestinians are involved in. They are attempting to make continued Israeli terrorism against the Palestinians a liability rather an asset for Israel, hoping that Israel and the world will someday conclude that state sponsored terrorism cannot succeed as a tool for either the repression of a people’s legitimate aspirations for freedom, or as a means to wipe out people’s ideals, and dreams. Should Israel’s murderous campaign against Palestine succeed, people throughout the world would become immediately susceptible to the other tyrants who belie! ve that by killing people and illegally confiscating land, they can change the balance of power in their regions to their favor. Should they succeed, they will shift the power from the people, to the state, which is the opposite of democracy, and this will without doubt again open the flood gates of democide that visited the world this past century. Democide caused what has been documented as the bloodiest period in human history. Dr. R.J. Rummel, a noted scholar in the field of conflict resolution, noted that the 20th century was the most violent and bloody period of human history, and this violence, according to his research, was the result of state violence against the citizens of the state. Rummel suggests that democide is a nationalist strategy to achieve totalitarianism that is initiated first through the removal of basic civil rights. Others have noted that prior to state campaigns of violence against their own people, governments conduct gun confiscation campaigns, such as ! was reported from Algeria prior to the massacres that took place there in an attempt to eliminate the movement for democratization.. Rummel identified patterns in behavior within nations where governments sought to eliminate, or hold democracy off by implementing campaigns of violence and horror against their own people. In such instances, state sponsored terrorism was the tool of choice since through horrific violence, fear and intimidation people sometimes surrender and submit to evil due to hopelessness, and fear. This is especially true when the world says or does nothing to help and defend people against their own governments. Forced to choose between respect for sovereign borders and rescuing people suffering under totalitarian and violent regimes, the world has routinely chosen to respect the borders and to attempt to help people through various humanitarian campaigns, UN resolutions and rhetorical condemnation which amounts to doing almost nothing, hence the millions of! deaths attributed to tyrants and madmen of the 20th century.

Rummel cites the violent campaigns of men like Mao se Tung, Stalin, Pol Pot, and other communists leaders who killed millions of their own people in an attempt to establish and to secure totalitarian regimes. We witnessed similar situations in Chechnya, and in South Africa during the Boer’s rule, in Algeria, and also in Palestine. The ultimate shift of power that these governments sought, and in some instances achieved for a time, was not merely a philosophical or ideological dominance, they sought real material domination through militarism, and not against foreigners, but their own people, and people in their global proximity who fell under their influence, and within their desired realm of influence.

None of the major, or even minor government powers say much about what Israel does in Palestine to Palestinians, perhaps since they would like to leave this option open for themselves should any type of independence movement raise its ugly head elsewhere in the Muslim world, or should resistance take shape against totalitarianism in their own countries. If Palestine wins its independence from Israel, not as a result of an offensive military clash, but rather through its continued success at staying alive, and its resolve and determination to one day be free, a new paradigm in military thought and strategy would have been introduced. One that says that huge militaries with overpowering force and violence is not capable of defeating the human desire to be free and self determining. In other worlds, there is no weapon that can defeat the spirit of God in man, since it is this spirit that whispers to us in our most desperate times, that one day all of mankind wi! ll be free, and that the meek will inherit this earth as God promised, and not the murderous bullies and tyrants of the world.

Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the head of the Islamic resistance movement Hamas, has reportedly agreed that once Israel has withdrawn from Gaza, Hamas will share power in Gaza through a peacefully established authority that will consist of leaders from the various groups now operating in Palestine. It is also being reported that Hamas has developed a plan for Gaza that addresses the civil as well as the social, economic and security issues of the Palestinians. This is an important development since it signals the world to the fact that Palestinians are serious about independence, that they understand their obligation to contain the resistance and its operations within Palestine, and that organization and good government within their own circles will be the key to their success at saving the lives of their people, and also ending the illegal occupation of their land. If an authority can be established to oversee the various aspects of life in Gaza which include interna! tional relief efforts, some type of normalization can perhaps take hold that will lend a certain amount of predictability which can serve as a temporary substitute for security, to the extent that the international community will act to keep Israel from entering the territories to carry out military campaigns and illegal targeted assassinations.

If indeed Sheikh Yassin has developed a solution for Gaza that can stave off anarchy, and foresees peace and security at some juncture, for both the Palestinians and the Israelis who are also victims of the militarists, hope has retuned to Palestine/ Israel, and where there is hope there is also God, however you envision or imagine Him. Whether one supports, or abhors the resistance movement in Palestine, none of us can ignore the importance of their struggle to the security and future democratization in the Middle East, and perhaps the world, since the preponderance of power must always belong to the people, as balanced against the limited power of the state.