The visit to Syria by Egypt’s Hosni Mubaruk following last Friday’s deadly ambush of Israeli soldiers, who included a high ranking colonel, by the Palestinian liberation movement ‘Islamic Jihad’, is viewed as an effort to pressure Damascus to curtail and suppress the movement.
The dictator of Egypt, whose undemocratic regime with a wide array of repressive laws curtailing human rights, is viewed as a favoured ally of the United States. That Egypt is run by an iron-fisted Mubaruk and its population kept in check by a brutal security apparatus, is ignored by America and the West, for the reason that as a client-state, Egypt poses no threat to their interest in the region.
In fact, together with Jordan, another notorious monarchy, which carries the dubious distinction of a “Made in England” label, they are the only two states that have formal peace agreements with Israel. As front-line states, their own populations together with the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world, view their alliances with Israel as a betrayal and an embarrassment.
Being on America’s payroll, Mubaruk has no choice but to do his master’s bidding. In this case, he has been dispatched by Bush to the capital of Syria to press on its government to rein in ‘Islamic Jihad’ or else.
Israel is still reeling with shock and having to reinforce its macho image, after suffering an enormous military defeat at the hands of ‘Islamic Jihad’. As more details come to light about the ambush which led to the death of 12 Israelis, it is clear that the Zionist state has suffered a major blow. The fact that all 12 were soldiers of the Israeli Occupation Forces and that one, Colonel Weinberg was a senior IDF officer, makes this blow all the more painful for Sharon.
Paradoxically, while Palestinians celebrate this military victory in defiance of severe illegal curfews imposed by the occupying army, Mubaruk unashamedly seeks Syria’s co-operation to combat the victims of an occupying power on behalf of the patron of Israel.
It must be remembered that Syria’s Golan Heights form part of the illegal Occupied Territories. In addition, many thousands of displaced Syrians are refugees, dispossessed of any right to return to their land and homes, while the Golan Heights have been transformed – in violation of UN Resolutions – into a haven for Jews from all over the world, including South Africa.
‘Islamic Jihad’, ‘Hamas’, ‘al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade’, ‘Fatah’ and other groups composing the wider network of the liberation movement in Palestine, represent an occupied nation exercising its right under international law to resist foreign occupation.
They enjoy the protection of numerous UN resolutions, in particular General Assembly Resolution 42/159, which during its adoption in 1987 faced stiff opposition from the United States, Israel and of course Apartheid South Africa. Apart from them, its provisions were endorsed by virtually the entire world:
“Considers that nothing in the present resolution could in any way prejudice the right to self-determination, freedom and independence, as derived from the Charter of the United Nations, of peoples forcibly deprived of that right . particularly peoples under colonial and racist regimes and foreign occupation or other forms of colonial domination, nor . the right of these people to struggle to this end and to seek and receive support (in accordance with the Charter and other principles of international law).”
Whilst the Egyptian dictator arrogantly seeks the banishment of ‘Islamic Jihad’ from Damascus, he undoubtedly will be sharing his enormous experience in how to do so, given his authoritarian clampdown of the Islamic Movement in Egypt.
What he will choose to ignore and remain blissfully silent about, is the on-going barbarism of the Israeli occupation. Reports indicate that Sharon’s marauding troops are continuing their devastation of Palestinian towns and villages. Industrial complexes, residential areas, water supplies and olive orchards are all being targeted in a frenzy of death and destruction.
These actions squarely place Israel under the rubric of international terrorism.
Not once has Mubaruk condemned this state terrorism whereby an entire civilian population is held hostage under the threat of terror to ensure its acceptance of the political arrangements dictated by the Zionist entity. Neither has he issued any ultimatum or threat to sever Egypt’s ties with Israel, nor allowed access for humanitarian aid from his country’s borders with Gaza.
The humiliation caused to the Egyptian people by the shameful kowtowing of their US backed President-for-life, will hopefully be ended swiftly. The first step to reverse this will be to ensure that humiliation is transferred from the people to Mubaruk.
(Mr. Iqbal Jasarat is Chairman of the Media Review Network, which is an advocacy group based in Pretoria, South Africa.)