Mohamed Khodr’s Column
“Unlimited Power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it, and this I know, my Lords, that where laws end, tyranny begins.”
William Pitt, Earl of Chatham (January 9, 1770)
Like so many brave, idealistic Palestinian youths who were born under Israels brutal occupation, Mahmoud Sarham, a 16 year old Gazan, went out to face one of the worlds most powerful armies with only his sling shot and a stone. That day Mahmoud would not return home for dinner. Perhaps it was fate, perhaps it was Mahmouds fault to challenge snipers, perhaps an Israeli soldier got tired of his skinny body and his sling shot. Regardless, this Gazan boy would join thousands of Palestinian victims who become a cold, faceless, even valueless statistic in the eyes of the world. Mahmoud was deliberately shot by an Israeli sniper using my tax funded high powered American M-16 rifle whose bullet fragments internally causing severe multiple injuries or death. This is Israels weapon of choice for civilian unrest and crowd control. During the eight month Palestinian uprising “Intafadah” against Israels illegal occupation of Palestinian land since 1967, 520 Palestinians have been killed, 15,000 injured, with about 2,000, mostly children, suffering from permanent disabilities requiring life long rehabilitation. Many of the children killed during the first three months of the uprising when Palestinians ONLY used stones, Israeli snipers were shooting at the hearts, eyes, and heads of Palestinian children.
Who could ever forget Muhammad al-Dura, 12, crouching behind his father for protection snuffed out by an Israeli sniper with several bullets to his legs and abdomen, his head laying on his fathers right leg as if to sleep forever in the comfort of his fathers unconscious bullet riddled body? Its hard to explain the mindset of such soldiers, killing a boy in cold blood then killing the ambulance driver rushing to save the father.
Who could ever forget the four-month old girl Eman Hijo, killed by an Israeli shell while being held by her mother? Eman, whose Arabic name means FAITH, was born during Israels occupation and killed by Israels occupation.
Indeed, who could forget the death of these children, who killed them, and why they died so young? The simple straight answer is that Israel killed them. Children of the Holocaust survivors killing the children of the “NAKBA”, the news-less, guilt-less American supported Jewish Holocaust of Palestine. But there is another tragic side to their death. A side even more hideous, more barbaric than the enemy you know, a greedy, cold, murderous, abusive side; a back-stabbing side, a side that gives credence that someone is benefiting from throwing Palestinian children to die while they enrich their pockets and bank accounts. A side with no shame, no honor, no dignity, and no faith. A hypocritical side full of bombastic clichs and worn out sound bites, a side that appears on television with false tears and words about resisting the “occupation”, resisting the “illegal settlements” while these bastards themselves run companies and deliver stones, cement, mortar, and employees to the enemy to build more “illegal settlements” in the holy city of Jerusalem and in the holy land.
Mahmud, Muhammad, Eman like the millions of Palestinians whom in the course of the last 53 years have thrice (1948-original NAKBA, 1967, and now) lost their freedoms to tyranny, occupation, and corruption. They lost their lands, homes, farms, places of worship, a chance for an education, a good job, a married life, a life with human dignity and human rights to a Zionist Racist entity called Israel, created out of the ashes of millions of Jews lost in the horrific Holocaust and out of the greed of western colonial powers, particularly the United States. These same Zionists who were politically motivated to establish a “Jewish only” homeland not only transgressed against the teaching of the “Torah” but deliberately and systematically ignored the possibility of saving thousands perhaps millions of Jews during the War through a monetary exchange with the Nazis. The unforgettable tragedy was that three Holocausts occurred: against Jews, against Palestinians, and against Truth. Yet only one Holocaust imposes itself on the worlds conscience. Even as Americans celebrate Memorial Day, they have no clue that our Congress gave the land and the hundreds of millions of dollars to fund the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. while deliberately refusing to fund a memorial to Americas W.W.II Veterans who died to save Europes Jews. The Zionists in 1948 succeeded in establishing Israel, primarily with American support, at the expense of Palestinian ethnic cleansing, termed the “NAKBA” or Catastrophe.
Sadly, tragically, horrifically, shamefully, mind boggling, and most gut wrenching is what I term the “SECOND NAKBA”. The Catastrophe inflicted upon Palestinians, the worlds largest and neglected refugees is what the abhorrent, dictatorial, corrupt, lying, self serving, greedy traitors and betrayers who form the so called “Palestinian Authority”. The Palestinian leadership, Arab and Muslim Governments, Israel and its Jewish supportersboth Jewish and Christian Zionists–the Christian World, Europe, the U.S., and the American dominated United Nations share responsibility for the decades long silence and impotence toward the legitimate Palestinian demand for freedom from occupation and a realization of a homeland with dignity, honor, and full international rights.
None is more abhorrent than Arafats megalomaniac and unstable corrupt leadership that is designed to maintain his world stage by rewarding and allowing his corrupt PA to steal Palestinian refugee aid to build their mansions, buy their Mercedes, travel first class, visit nightclubs and hold parties while at a distance Palestinian mothers and fathers are too busy wailing and burying their children. Arafat is physically, mentally, intellectually, and spiritually UNFIT to lead the besieged Palestinians yearning for life and freedom from an American sponsored Israeli occupation. He hypocritically visits the wounded in the hospital kissing their hands and feet when he is unfit to touch these brave souls who put their trust and faith in him, who clamored to welcome him upon his return to Gaza, who looked to him for deliverance from an enslavement much like Moses (pbuh) did with the Hebrews, who believed in his call for liberation laying their innocent young lives against F-16s and Apache helicopters, who would follow him anywhere had he led them in a struggle of will, body, and mind with truth and honesty.
Arafat and his corrupt Palestinian Authority are as responsible, albeit in an indirect fashion, for the death of Palestinian children as the Israeli bastard who pulls the trigger. Their incompetent leadership, lack of knowledge and familiarity with world politics, diplomacy, and public relations; their incessant corruption and loss of moral support in the Arab and Muslim world, their inability to develop a coherent steadfast strategy utilizing UN Resolutions and world sympathy, and their hypocritical standoffish approach to their own people while stupidly adopting an impulsive reactionary strategy to American policies ensures perhaps more decades of languishing Palestinians in refugee camps. The Palestinian Authority fills these children with passion and martyrdom while they enjoy the comforts of life from stolen money meant to feed, clothe, and educate these children. They will face judgement soon if not from their own people than from God. Who can blame the other corrupt hypocritical Arab governments, institutions, and masses who fear the money they donate will only serve the Palestinian Authoritys greed and lust for the good life?
According to the U.S. State Department, Arafat gave jewelry worth tens of thousands of dollars to former President Bill Clinton, his wife Hillary, and other senior members of the Clinton administration, including Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, when the U.S. was mediating negotiations between the PA and former prime minister Ehud Barak. In contrast, Israel gave American officials only modest gifts. On whose behalf and whose money does Arafat feel the chutzpah to bribe the very leaders who supply Israel with the F-16s, M-16 rifles, Apache helicopters, missiles, and rockets? Did this moron really believe that gifts would change American policy toward Israel or was he just excited by Clintons pampering invitations? Senator Hilary Clinton is now a doormat for Israel, Albright during the start of the Intifadah said the Palestinians should stop “besieging” Israel and commented that 1.5 million Iraqi deaths are “worth” the sanctions, and Bill Clinton and Berger are die hard Israeli supporters.
Charles M. Sennot, the Boston Globes MidEast correspondent wrote on May 27, 2001 on the issue of Palestinian Companies building illegal settlements, including Har Homa in Jerusalem that: “..in one of the ironies in this bitter conflict, most of the laborers at this site are Palestinian, and much of the material and equipment being used to construct these future Israeli homes is supplied by Palestinian businesses. Some of the companies are alleged to be connected to the inner circle of Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader. Arafat has railed against the construction of settlements as ”a criminal theft of Palestinian land”. An inquiry into the construction of Har Homa found a dozen Palestinian companies providing bulldozers, concrete, and marble tile to the site. Many of the trucks carry the Arabic names and insignias of Palestinian companies.”
The articles investigation alleges that several prominent Palestinians including the Speaker of the Palestinian Parliament, Ahmed Qrei’a, either own or are connected to the companies involved in building these illegal settlements, although others are implicated as well. When asked about allegations that many Palestinian contractors, including a cement company linked to him, are helping to build Har Homa, he said: ”I don’t want to speak about it. It is not a question for journalists to ask. “
But it is a question for the Palestinian parents who lose their children daily to Israeli ammunition. It is a question for Palestinian farmers who helplessly watch Israeli bulldozers destroy their homes, farms, and livelihood. It is a question for Palestines soil that is being uprooted daily while receiving Palestines dead. It is a question for the Palestinian opposition that asks its young to blow themselves up for the sake of freedom. It is a question for millions of Palestinian refugees who are now drinking sewer water because Israeli settlements need water for their lawns and pets. It is a question for all Arabs and Muslims whose heart breaks from the daily pictures of death and who send their money to support Arafats Palestinian Authority. It is a question that has lingered for 53 years: WHO GIVES A DAMN ABOUT MAHMUD, MUHAMMAD, AND EIMAN AND ALL THE BLOODIED PALESTINIAN BODIES, HOMES, AND EARTH WHO CONTINUE TO DIE BECAUSE ISRAEL SHOOTS THEM FROM THE FRONT AND ARAFAT AND HIS CRONIES SHOOT THEM FROM THE BACK?
Palestinians have always been in double jeopardy. From a world blinded to Palestinian suffering under occupation by an Israeli and Jewish dominated media; to their home grown suffering under Arafat and his Mafia.
Palestinian bravery in the face of Israels overwhelming military odds should first and foremost be directed at their own authority. Arafat and his PA cronies should be indicted in court as traitors and embezzlers of Palestinian money and hope. Arafat, like his Arab counterparts, has abused Palestinian human rights so that his word and bank account reign supreme. Its time to face internal justice, if not, its time for him to get the hell out of Palestine and let the children face their fate and future without worrying whos starving and them in the back.
Mr. Mohamed Khodr is an American Muslim physician and a native from the Middle East. He has worked in Academic Medicine and Public health with national and international health experience. He is a freelance writer who often writes columns on the Palestinian cause, Islam and on America’s Foreign Policy in the Middle East. He lives in the Washington DC area.