While the world has been busy with the specter of a major war in the Middle East, the American public has been getting very little news coverage about the Palestinians and the continuation of the oppressive Israeli measures. As the world comes closer to the war on Iraq which now appears imminent, many of us are more concerned not only about the major loss in civilian lives in Iraq but also about the potential tragedy that is expected to unfold in the West Bank and Gaza.
Credible analysis about the true motives behind the war and the real objectives of the Bush Administration has confirmed that Israel has a vested interest in the looming war on Iraq and that Israel is expected to reap major gains from the war. In his article “The US Gameplan for Iraq” (Counterpunch, February 8, 2003) former CIA political analyst for 29 years, Bill Christison, gave a complete analysis of the apparent and hidden objectives from the almost certain war on Iraq. He classified and analyzed all the reasons being discussed by the media and the public, and explained that the true reasons were the oil and the present administration’s desire for world domination, including domination of the Middle East by Israel, the US surrogate power
One of the obvious reasons that has not been mentioned by most analysts, however, is the diversion from (or cover up for) what Israel is doing in the West Bank and Gaza, and from what it plans to do. In an article titled “As the world focuses on Iraq, the bodies pile up in Gaza” (the Independent, February 23, 2003) reporter Justin Huggler asks pointedly from Gaza “Is the Israeli military taking advantage of a time when the world is not paying attention to what is going on here, when media coverage is focusing on Iraq, to step up its campaign in the occupied territories?” The answer is obviously ‘yes’ and Huggler explains that the restraints imposed on Israeli repression against the Palestinians have in the past come from world public opinion only .
Considering this growing acceptance of the “transfer” idea within Israeli society, and the fact that the world will soon be even more pre-occupied with the war on Iraq and the problems that the war will create, Israel could be expected to uphold its reputation of committing further atrocities and manufacturing excuses to justify them. It should be expected that such atrocities will include the “transfer,” at least through increased harassment by the settlers and at most by the Israeli authorities with the backing of the occupation forces.
President Bush continues with his efforts to try to appease the Arabs and Moslems by promising democracy for the Iraqis when he “liberates” Iraq and a state for the Palestinians where Israel must stop building settlements. Apparently this is the best he can do, to stop Israel from building settlements. It is unknown how he plans to do that or whether he plans to ask, or beg, Sharon the “man of peace” to stop, just like he asked him in April 2002 to withdraw the Israeli forces from the West Bank “without delay.” President Bush is making promises to people who do not believe or trust him. If he wanted to build some trust with the Arabs and Moslems, President Bush knows how to regain his credibility; he would ask Sharon to pull his troops out from the West Bank immediately and end the Israeli occupation regime.
As the world gets closer by the day to a devastating war on Iraq, the world community, including President Bush, must be mindful of the actions of the Israeli settlers and the Israeli military in the West Bank and Gaza. The world, especially the Middle East, does not need and can not withstand another human tragedy in the form of a few million refugees. The Palestinians have been victimized through frequent transfers and ethnic cleansing since 1948. The world has the responsibility to insure that Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza will not suffer the agony of yet another major transfer from their ancestral homeland.
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