DOIU – The Gaza tragedy

The Gaza tragedyThe Palestinian issue has served two main purposes. In the Middle East, Muslim rulers have hidden behind Israel’s cruel measures and resistance to grant statehood to the Palestinians, rallying their disgruntled people against the Jewish state to distract them from problems in their own countries.

Secondly, the Palestinian issue has united otherwise inimical groups and unlikely nations that feel defeated and discredited by the West and its scion in the Orient, Israel.In both cases Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians has functioned to vent off frustrations and fed nationalistic and religious feelings without a positive end.

It has not served to improve the regimes in the Middle East, nor has it helped in the development of an alternative civilization that could match that of the West. Instead, the unsolved Palestinian issue has become a womb of hate and radicalism rather than one of reformation and development.

Take the situation in Turkey: Opposing political parties, secularists and the Islamists that are at odds most of the time compete with one another in their protest of Israel. The Gaza tragedy has become a central issue for political parties to aance their cause among the electorate.

However, the public outcry around the world in places as diverse as Europe, the Far East and South America outside of the Islamic world is not matched by state reactions.People around the world identify with the pain and agony of the Palestinians that are squeezed between Hamas, a non-state entity that is the creature of Israeli oppression and occupation, and a far superior military entity, the Israeli Defense Force.

Supporting the former means being overrun by the latter Yet this asymmetrical and detrimental confrontation is only verbally protested for disproportionate use of force or ineffectively opposed by states that have no clout to deter it in favor of the Palestinian people who are imprisoned in their own land by Israel.Differing positions emanate from the governments of the region vis-à-vis their stance concerning the Muslim Brotherhood.

Their distance from Hamas, seen as a close ally of the Brotherhood, determines the official positions of states. For example, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have so far been rather silent on the developments in Gaza Only their NGOs are extending medical and humanitarian aid to the Gazans.

While Egyptian courts have declared Hamas an “illegal organization,” the Egyptian people have vociferously supported the Gazans. They view their government’s initiative toward a cease-fire as an expedient act to remove Hamas from the political equation as a defeated party.

Perceiving this threat, Hamas duly rejected the cease-fire mediated by Egypt.Turkey and Qatar, which have good ties with Hamas, are attempting to fill the void.

But their initiative has been rejected by Israel given Turkey’s relations with Palestine. The US, which has both clout and influence with Israel, has declared its support for “Israel’s right to defend itself.

”So far there seems to be no able mediator to stop the carnage. Although opposed by Hamas most of the time, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas appears to be the only interlocutor for third parties who want to do some good.

His visit to Turkey was part of his search to help his trapped and persecuted people who are pressed between a proverbial rock and a hard place.The youthful members of the military wing of Hamas have been led to believe that with homemade rockets, the technology of which is said to have been transferred from Iran, they can “shake the foundations of Israel.

” They believe that their violent acts — which will end with them sacrificing themselves — will deliver 16 million suffering residents of Gaza from imprisonment in their own lands. This exaggerated view of their power and miscalculation of the military machinery they have taken on is illustrated in a speech of Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, who said (2000), “It [Israel] has nuclear weapons and the most powerful air force in the region but in reality, it’s weaker than a spider web.

”This illusion, which has so far guided the military wing of Hamas, has once again set the organization and the Gazans under its administration on a suicidal aenture. Blood, pain, destruction and frustration will no doubt breed more militants and militancy.

Who will benefit from this carnage? The stronger party? No way! In the final analysis we will all lose — no doubt our human values first.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman