Palestinian Struggle for Liberation enters New Phase

Israel’s unbridled unleashing of it’s military arsenal on densely populated civilian areas in the West Bank and the Gaza, following lethal martyrdom operations by Hamas, is a classical display of racial conceit and arrogance of power.  Such abrasive behaviour provides a window through which one can view the ugly body-politic of Israel, resembling a festering wound, which has turned into a foul smelling abscess.

Its dependence on US sponsored military might for survival has also emboldened the Zionist regime to perpetrate the most callous massacres without fear of accountability or prosecution.  Indeed, the immunity enjoyed by Israel’s politicians, army and security operatives has ensured that successive Israeli governments could with impunity cause murder and mayhem without ever being charged and jailed.

No international convention allows a settler colonial state as Israel to deny the original inhabitants a right to resist occupation, oppression and racial discrimination.  Neither does any international law allow such a state to launch aerial bombardments into civilian areas; targeted assassinations; military incursions supported by apache helicopter gunships; bulldozing of homes and rocket attacks.

That Israel has consistently used such brutal criminal deeds to retain its iron-fisted grip on usurped land has directly contributed to armed resistance by Palestinian freedom strugglers.  It can also be argued that Israel’s defiance of countless UN resolutions which in effect declare the status of Israeli occupation as illegal and the shameless conduct of major Western military powers which is characterised by their stubborn refusal to enforce such resolutions, is construed by Palestinians as a green light to the Zionist regime to continue wreaking havoc.

The sad plight of the Palestinians is further compounded by the impotent Arab client states of the West, who are more inclined to remain tied to Uncle Sam’s apron strings then to challenge Israeli state terror.  Except for countries such as Iran, Syria and Lebanon, the rest of the so-called Muslim Bloc is firmly bound to the dictates of an agenda decided by Washington and other western capitals.

This also explains why opposition groups within these client-states are harshly suppressed and by being defined as ‘militants’ equating to ‘terrorists’, are viewed as enemies deserving death and banishment.

It is not surprising therefore that Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hizbullah, Fatah and a range of socialist liberation movements, including the PFLP have embarked on martyrdom operations, unfairly dubbed as ‘suicide bombers’, to defend their unarmed populations as well as to inflict punishment on their enemies.  Jewish settlers who are encouraged by the state through various incentives schemes to encroach into the Occupied Territories, again in complete disregard and in contempt of UN resolutions, are also regarded by the liberation movements as military targets.

According to Edward Said the Palestinian argument has posited for itself the existence of a society and of a people, of a nation, in short, whose continuity had been shattered in1948, and whose subsequent travail was, in the main instance, the result of a continuous war against the Palestinian people by Israel which to the Palestinians proclaimed itself to be conducting a war that made no distinctions between civilians or armed combatants, between refugee camps, hospitals, schools, orphanages, and what the Israeli military command regularly referred to as terrorist nests.

Despite the wall-to-wall coverage of the Palestinian struggle as a “terrorist” assault upon Israel, the records bear testimony to a different truth which Israel and her supporters around the world, including pro-zionist lobby groups in South Africa, find extremely awkward to acknowledge.  This reluctance to question Israeli propaganda stems from the fact that Israeli policymakers began in the mid-1970’s the discipline of describing everything done by Palestinians to combat Israeli military occupation as terrorism.  At the time this coincided with the growing international prestige and legitimacy of the Palestinian national movement, and of course, Israel was following the path taken by other regimes of colonial occupation -the French in Algeria, the Americans in Vietnam and the South African government in it’s description of the liberation moments.

The current “war against terrorism” unleashed by the Bush administration in war-ravaged Afghanistan provides Israel additional impetus to annihilate Palestinian resistance. Yet again the international community sits on the sidelines, unsure of cheering the US/Israeli victims of “terrorism” or confronting the US/Israeli nucleus of terrorism.  Until it dares to challenge this unholy alliance of global terror, Washington and Tel Aviv will ensure that television screens remain filled with images of devastation and despair in Gaza and the West bank.

It is time to end the racist Zionist military occupation of Palestine, and for America to re-consider its blind support for Israeli terrorist leaders.

(Mr. Iqbal Jasarat is Chairman of the Media Review Network, which is an advocacy group based in Pretoria, South Africa.)