The article by Greg Mills "Mideast in best, worst of times" [Star,JHB, March 8], is a glaring example of shoddy analysis, riddled with unconvincing arguments.
In addition to displaying deplorable patronage of states which remain in defiance of International Conventions, he shamefully also shows scant regard for universal values of truth and justice.
The only paragraph that merits any substance in his lengthy rhetoric is ironically the final one, wherein he leans on Jawarharlal Nehru’s consternation on the choice of coexistence over co-destruction. During that era five decades ago, Nehru who subsequently emerged alongside Tito and Nasser as a founder and leader of the Non-Aligned Movement, echoed the grave concerns of many nations, some relatively new ones who had successfully unshackled the chains of colonialism.
More importantly, the sense which prevailed at the time was succinctly expressed by Mahatma Gandhi as follows: "Palestine belongs to the Arabs. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct." Between 1938 and 2005, almost 70 years later, if Gandhi had been alive and witnessed the pain and suffering of the natives as a direct consequence of this imposition, there is no doubt that he would have remained opposed to colonialism, racism and imperialism.
If Greg Mills is keen to draw lessons from anti-colonial struggles he would possibly appreciate the issues at the heart of the Mideast cauldron. He will hopefully also stop missing the point and through this new paradigm, informed by a quest to ruthlessly probe deeper and deeper, may yet surprise us by displaying courage to call a spade a spade.
If he does take this leap we will be spared boredom from cliches of "peace" and "road-map" and instead be told that Ariel Sharon is incapable of "peace-making" since his war against the long suffering Palestinians has not ended. The West Bank and Gaza remains under military siege. Palestinian prisoners remain incarcerated. Faceless ones in the zionist state’s own Guantanamo Bay, known as Facility 1391, remain isolated from family and loved ones – but also denied legal rights to contest their inhumane imprisonment.
We will be spared the grossly exaggerated claims about the "best deal" at Camp David offered to Yasser Arafat. Instead we will be told about the layers of deceit and corrupt manipulation that the doors of the US retreat shielded from public scrutiny. Perhaps we will also be told that since Arafat refused to sell his soul – no self-respecting leader of an oppressed people ever will – he was killed. And that his killers are the same thugs that killed Lebanon’s Rafik Hariri.
If Mills is able take on the challenge to confront substantial issues, we will be spared insulting caricatures of Arabs and Muslims such as his false assertions that "voting" is "entirely novel" for Muslims. This form of malicious misrepresentation will then be explained as an expression borne out of ignorance. Also we may then be informed that both Libya and Iran are correct in insisting in a single-state solution instead of a regional bully armed to the teeth with nuclear warheads subjugating their natives to perpetual enslavement in ghettoes barricaded by barbed wire and concrete walls.
Unfortunately, for as long as Mills ignores the "J" word, he will remain blissfully unaware that Justice is non-negotiable. Sharon may bluff some people with his mirage of "peace" in order to win their support in discrediting the intifada – Mills has obviously bought into this – yet remains incapable of guaranteeing the sustainability of a state build on the weak foundations of colonialism!