By Jafar M Ramini
“Britain had no moral or political or legal right to promise the land that belonged to the Arabs to another people. The Balfour Declaration was both immoral and illegal.”
By Jafar M Ramini
By Jafar M Ramini
By Jafar M Ramini
It took the Zionists with all their money, political power and influence around the world over a century to steal Palestine from us, the legal owners. They used every trick and every guile in the book to convince the world that they were the only victims and they deserved all the compassion and support the world could offer them.
Those Zionists, in pursuit of their dream of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, were not bashful or even humane. They went about it with tenacity and they prepared for it well in advance. They financed their project from enthusiastic Jewish donors and by blackmailing and cajoling others.
They used the Bible. They used a very well oiled and financed propaganda machine and they used, and still use, state-of-the-art machinery of war to expand and consolidate their hold on our homeland.
Every Israeli leader, from Ben-Gurion to Benjamin Netanyahu, through, Golda Meir, Begin and Sharon had one goal and one target in mind. That target has never changed, it is to expel all Palestinians and replace them with Jewish migrants from around the globe. They waged war, after war, after war while proclaiming self defence and the world, especially the western world and in particular the United States of America stood by them and approved every despicable crime of genocide they perpetrated on us, the Palestinians.
This example of complicity was glaringly obvious during the last genocidal attack on Gaza in the summer of 2014, which left over 2200, mostly civilians, dead; over 100,000 wounded and traumatized and left Gaza in total ruin.
The Israelis could not have done this on their own and got away with it. They have willing partners and supporters from various western countries and they have enthusiastic collaborators from the neighbouring Arab states, who were and still are more than happy to sacrifice Palestine at the alter of their selfish tribal interests and safety.
We only have to look at the stance of the Egyptian government and its belligerent behaviour towards Gaza to see the picture clearly.
And where are the Palestinians in all of this? Either languishing in sub human conditions in refugee camps dotted around Jordan, Syria and Lebanon or living in Israel as unwanted guests in their own homeland and treated with suspicion, derision and racism. The rest are enduring the harshest and longest military occupation known to man and around 2 million of them are living in the most condensed open-air prison on earth, called Gaza. They are besieged from land, sea and air and they are at the point of suffocation. As one Gazan once told me, “ the Israelis and the Egyptians have put us in a cage, locked the door and thrown away the key in the sea.”
The rest of us Palestinians are scattered around the globe trying to eke a living and build a future for ourselves and our immediate families.
Why am I saying all this now? Because we have just witnessed the most appalling, racist, xenophobic and utterly cruel display of rhetoric emanating from most Israeli politicians during the latest elections in Israel last week. The incumbent Israeli Prime Minister, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, on the eve of the election vowed that there would never be an independent Palestinian state if he were re-elected. In fact he added belligerently, he intends to go on building more settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. His excuse was that anyone who thinks creating a Palestinian state is a good idea is inviting extremist Islam into Israel. As if to emphasise his racist, supremacist credentials, a must for any Israeli Prime Minister, he went on to say in a Face book post about the Arab Israelis:
“The right-wing government is in danger. Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls. Left-wing organizations are bussing them out.”
Imagine for a moment if a Palestinian leader said something even remotely similar about the Israelis or the Jews and imagine what the ‘mainstream’ media would make of it. Cries of ‘anti-Semitism and remember the holocaust’ would ring from one side of the globe to the other.
Which brings me to today. It’s Sunday and the Israeli President Reuven Rivlin will be meeting the various leaders of Israeli parties to decide which one of them will be clever enough to put a coalition of the willing parties together and form the new government.
You can bet your bottom dollar that the new coalition will include all the right wing and extreme religious and settlers’ parties with Netanyahu at the helm.
This disavowal of the two-state solution and the endemic racism does not sit easily with Washington and the Obama Administration.
“I did indicate to him,” Mr. Obama told The Huffington Post in a recent interview, “ that we continue to believe that a two-state solution is the only way for the long term security of Israel, if it wants to stay both a Jewish State and democratic and I indicated to him, that given his statements prior to the election it is going to be hard to find a path where people are seriously believing that negotiations are possible.”
Mr. Obama has also spoken of Washington’s need to “reevaluate its relationship with Israel”.
Mr. Abbas, if Mr. Obama, the President of the United States of America, the sponsors of the ‘fraudulent’ peace process is saying that he has to reevaluate his relationship with Israel why can’t you?
Perhaps it is about time both the PLO and the Palestinian Authority spent less times in meetings formulating committees and listen to Mr. Bassem Salhi, the Secretary General of the PPP, the Palestinian People’s Party who said: “The PLO and the PA needs to reevaluate all its commitments towards Israel and to start implementing the resolutions of the Palestinian Central Council in this regard. Especially by bringing war crimes charges against Israel in the International Criminal Court.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Obama, while continuing to keep to script regarding Israel being a democratic and Jewish state is exasperated by Netanyahu’s rhetoric.
“We take him at his word”, said Mr. Obama, “ when he said that it (A two-state solution) wouldn’t happen during his prime ministership, and so that’s why we’ve got to evaluate what other options are available to make sure that we don’t see a chaotic situation in the region.”
Mr. President, may I suggest a viable option, sir?
Please stop supplying Israel with money, arms and political and diplomatic cover. Then maybe we the Palestinians and the entire world community may start to think that Washington is not, after all, an Israeli occupied territory.
“If you want to know who rules over you find out who you are not allowed to criticise.” Voltaire.
And what does the international community do? Nothing much as usual. They are too busy elsewhere, namely the Ukraine. This last weekend, M. Hollande of France and Mrs. Merkel of Germany had a tête-à-tête with their Russian counterpart, Mr. Putin to try to find a way out without resorting to war. This is what the UK Foreign Secretary, the Rt Honourable Philip Hammond had to say referring to Mr. Putin.
By Jafar M Ramini
Meanwhile, successive Israeli governments keep demanding more negotiations while making every possible effort to sabotage those very negotiations they say they are calling for. The most recent example was the thwarted effort of Secretary of State John Kerry last year. Every time Mr. Kerry arrived to conduct a session of mediation between the two sides the Israelis announced more settlement expansions, more new settlements in and around East Jerusalem and more confiscation of large swathes of Palestinian land in the West Bank. So what is the point? The Israelis have all the trump cards at their disposal and the Palestinians have what? They have a begging bowl.
By Jafar M Ramini
By Jafar M Ramini
Cast your thoughts back, if you will, to the very origins of this idea of the oneness of God. As far as we know this one God is a benevolent, loving and peaceful God, lording it over all mankind. Whether he/she actually exists or was invented to subdue the masses is a different matter.
The most spoken of and followed God is the God of the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims. An intelligent human being living in this global village of ours in the 21st century may well be excused for thinking to themselves, “But what about the Gods of the Buddhists? The Hindus? The Sikhs? The Shintos? Why are these shoved aside? Or is it because the God of Abraham is the one and only? Nevertheless, whoever he or she is must be sitting uncomfortably on that imaginary throne up there in heaven, looking down at what has become of his creation and at what his flock is doing in his name.
Let us agree from the start that we are all accidents of birth. None of us had a choice as to our parents, in what country we were born, what colour we are or what religion. This, I think, will save us a lot of argument about indoctrination, belief, piety and fanaticism.
There has been a great deal written and said in the international press about Islam and Muslims in the last few years. Most of it, not to say all of it, is not flattering nor does it relate in any way, shape or form to what I understand true Islam is or what it is all about.
Look at the new creations, Al Qaeda, ISIS, ISIL, DA’ISH who are soaking the soil in blood all over the lands of Islam in the name of Allah. Ask yourself, is this what the Prophet Muhammad brought to mankind as the final message of God. I am not here to defend one religion or another. Instead I am on a quest to try to portray a picture of who is this God we claim as our own and are willing to kill or die for? Almost every inhumane bloody massacre of entire cultures and nations over hundreds and hundreds of years has been as a result of the war cry, ‘In The Name Of God!’
Look at the Conquistadors in Spain. Look at the Catholics in South America and most of all look at what happened in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, the United States of America. A country that was built on religious fervour and In The Name Of God.
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me..’
This was the message the new world sent out to maltreated, impoverished refugees from all over Europe who had suffered religious degradation in their own countries, again In The Name Of God. They flooded in, these maligned people, clutching their meager worldly possessions, which always included a bible, looking to leave that religious persecution behind them.
And what has happened? Those God-fearing, whiter than white Christians practiced, even more thoroughly and even more abhorrently, the kind of ethnic cleansing they experienced themselves back in the ‘old country’.
The Red Indians, now known, guiltily as “Native Americans”, were virtually wiped out. Their land, their culture, their way of life, their dignity were obliterated. In The Name Of God.
In the name of that same God they kidnapped and transported, under the most appalling conditions, mostly in chains, entire communities of Africans to help them forge God’s new country. They were slave labour.
Even when those same slaves took on this Great White God of their masters, even when their religious fervour rivaled anything experienced or heard in an ordinary white church it was not enough. They were not God’s people, so they didn’t count.
In the name of the same God a similar fate awaited the aborigines of Australia, the Maoris of New Zealand and the natives of Canada.
And now. Look at what the Israelis are doing to us, the Palestinians, in the name of that same God. Jewish people they call settlers, whom I call squatters, come to our land from all four corners of the earth, clutching a bible in one hand and a rifle in the other, saying “this is the land of Israel bestowed upon us, the Jews, the children of Abraham and you have no right to it. Leave or die.”
This God of Abraham is now being re-branded. He is exclusively the God of the Jews. No other God matters. No other peoples matter. This God is wearing the Star of David on his forehead and is cloaked in the unholy robes of Zionism.
In his name they are stealing our land. In his name they are spilling our blood. In his name they are uprooting our ancient, sacred olive trees. How could a God, who is a God of peace sanction the uprooting of the tree of peace? The olive branch has been a symbol of peace before any God had been created. But this God has his eyes firmly focused on our land. This God has become an estate agent exclusively for the Jews.
We have been demonized, vilified, painted as the enemies of freedom, democracy and God and our blood has no value. It can be taken by anyone who wants to spill it in the street. And they will be rewarded for it. Not in the Kingdom of Heaven, but in the land of the Palestinians, the Holy Land.
Look at what has been happening in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Bahrain and Libya. Look at the hoards of hyenas gathering around the carcass of Syria. Look at the spilling of our blood in Palestine while the Christian Zionists in America are beating the drums of war against Iran. It only took Mr. Netanyahu’s warning ‘Militant Islam is on the march’ to have the Christian Zionists raise the flag of God and call for war. Does this sound like a benevolent, merciful, peaceful God to you?
On the American greenback, it says ‘In God We Trust.’ How appropriate. What God I wonder? I say to them, your God is about conquest, subjugation and greed. Your God is about the superiority of avarice over the truth. Your God is about coveting what other nations have and getting it no matter what sins are committed in the process. Your God is Mammon. Your God is Zionism. In that God I do not place any trust. In that God I want no part.
By Jafar M Ramini
By Jafar M Ramini
Today is the 97th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. A day that is indelibly engraved on the heart of every Palestinian.
If you live in the UK or any of its former domains, particularly Australia, Canada and New Zealand you could not have missed the commemoration of the centenary of the First World War. 1914 -1918. An unnecessary war, a savage war that cost millions lives.
As British ex- soldier, Harry Patch who died a few years ago at the age of 106, said in his book, ‘The Last Tommy, ’“The politicians should have been given the guns and told to settle their differences themselves, instead of organising nothing better than legalised mass murder”
The unfortunate thing about politicians is they never use guns. They use a much more lethal weapon with longer lasting damage, called politics.
Just before the bloody end of the First World War, one such politician, Lord Balfour, Foreign Minister of Great Britain at the time, excelled himself. With a single stroke of the pen he changed the course of history and created a catastrophe. On November 2nd 1917 Lord Balfour, a Christian Zionist wrote a letter to Lord Rothschild, a Jewish Zionist, unjustly promising that the British government would ‘view with favour’ the establishment of a homeland for the Jews in Palestine. At that time, Palestine was 10% Jewish and 90% Muslim and Christian Palestinian Arabs.
That letter became known as The Balfour Declaration. Here it is:
Please examine the passage below in this infamous letter.
“It being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.”
Lord Balfour did not honour this commitment. In fact he went out of his way to dismiss us, the Palestinians in the most arrogant manner. This is what Palestinian journalist and author, Ramzy Baroud found while researching Balfour’s correspondence.
“For in Palestine we do not propose even to go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present inhabitants of the country. The four great powers are committed to Zionism and Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long tradition, in present needs, in further hopes of far profounder import than the desire and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land. In my opinion this is right.”
He couldn’t have been more wrong. The lives, hopes and aspirations of the Palestinian nation that he gifted away and actively destroyed were far more important than the Zionist doctrine that he adopted with alacrity. A doctrine that was born in the west as a result of racism, humiliation and persecution of the Jews in western societies for centuries in which we Palestinians played no part. None whatsoever.
What I find interesting is the stance of the American administration of President Woodrow Wilson.
At the end of the First World War, he sent a delegation to the Middle East to investigate the situation in Palestine. The report was decisive, saying that if America was to adhere to the principles of self determination, then the fact that 9/10th of the population was non Jewish and emphatically against the proposal, then this project should be cancelled.
The report went on to say that if the Zionist programme were to proceed a force of at least 50,000 soldiers would be required even to initiate the programme. “In view of all these considerations, the project to make Palestine a distinctly Jewish commonwealth should be given up.”
One of many Jewish historians, Avi Schlaim, emeritus professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford said, “Britain had no moral or political or legal right to promise the land that belonged to the Arabs to another people. The Balfour Declaration was both immoral and illegal.”
Yet the history books are littered with examples of how the mandated British forces brutally advanced the creation of a Jewish homeland by encouraging Jewish immigration into Palestine and crushing every semblance of resistance to this foreign invasion of our land.
Palestinian civil society was punished severely when it demonstrated against such an invasion. Palestinian resistance fighters were hanged high in the squares of many Palestinian cities like Acre, Jaffa, Haifa and Jerusalem. Palestinian homes were blown up by the British. The Palestinian High Command that acted as a government of Palestine at that time was exiled to far away lands to make the passage of the creation of a Jewish homeland easier.
Nevertheless the Jews were growing impatient with what they saw as the slow progress of mass Jewish immigration into Palestine and the realization of their dream. They turned against their benefactors and started to use violence, convinced that the British were standing in their way.
No good deed goes unpunished. And the British were punished severely for their largesse towards the Zionists.
The various Jewish terrorist organizations like the Urgun, the Stern Gang, the Lehi and the Hagannah perpetrated acts of terrorism against the British forces in Palestine, killing many. The most infamous of which was the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.
They sent letter bombs and explosives to various British government offices in London, Rome and Paris. The British had served their purpose and had to be removed. They were chewed up and spat out like chewing gum.
The Jewish terrorist gangs then turned their attention onto us, the Palestinians, with a level of savagery against an unarmed, defenceless civilian population that had never been seen before.
As a result of this brutality 500 Palestinian villages were wiped off the face of the earth, tens of thousands of Palestinian men, women and children were murdered and the final push was in 1948 when ruthless massacres were inflicted on dozens of towns and villages. The most horrific of these massacres were at Deir Yassin, Ein El Zaytoun and Ramlah.
That was the year that the Zionists declared the birth of their state, on more than 78% of the landmass of Palestine, resulting in even more destruction, more theft of land and the forcible expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes into the wilderness and beyond.
As Jewish historian, Professor Ilan Pepe who is also professor with the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter has written in his book, ‘The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, “Zionism is a racist, supremacist doctrine and from the very beginning, the Zionist plan was to take the whole of Palestine, from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea, preferably with no Palestinians in it.”
Chaim Weizmann became the first president of this newly declared state of Israel and used all his powers of persuasion and that of his many Zionist and Jewish backers in the USA to bring President Truman on board this rolling Zionist wagon in Palestine
Harry S Truman was no Woodrow Wilson. This was the President who pressed the button, igniting the two horrific nuclear bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. This was the President who dropped a further terrible bombshell on the people of Palestine by taking on the Zionist cause with alacrity.
He supplied them with money, arms and political recognition and cover. And the American juggernaut has been gathering momentum ever since. Successive American administrations since Truman, with the honourable exception of John F. Kennedy, have continued to arm, finance and protect the Zionist project, irrespective of what heinous crimes the Zionist government and army commit in Palestine. It would be no exaggeration to state that the USA Congress in Washington resembles a Jewish colony that is inserted at the heart of political establishment to continue to serve the interests of Israel, not the interests of the citizens of the United States of America.
This state of affairs has not wavered one micro millimeter even when the Israel Air Force attacked and destroyed the USS Liberty in 1967 and casualty figures were 34 servicemen killed and 171 wounded. On the contrary, the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson went out of its way to cover it up. Until now, most American people are not aware of this actual attack on their country by the Zionist forces of Israel. It was an extremely successful cover-up.
The reason the Zionists did it was in order to blame the Egyptian air force, thereby dragging the US into the planned, forthcoming six-day war. It was a war that resulted in a crushing defeat for the Arab armies and the occupation of the total landmass of Palestine. A situation that is still prevalent to this very day.
These 66 years comprise the longest occupation of any land by any foreign force in the history of mankind. An occupation that is suffocating the lives of the many millions of Palestinians who live under it, in particular the 2 million Palestinians who live in Gaza under a tightly maintained siege from the air, land and sea.
Those few fatal lines that Lord Balfour, without a second thought of the repercussions, wrote to his friend and fellow Zionist Lord Rothschild 97 years ago are still as devastating now as they were then.
We are now witnessing a sea change in public opinion when it comes to Israel. It is no longer a taboo to criticise or even condemn Israeli excesses. And therein lies the hope that decent citizens of the world, of all races and creeds, will say, in unison, “this is unjust, this is unfair and this must end.” And with this hope of better things to come we can perhaps take Palestine out of the clutches of the politicians and put it in the hands of caring humanity.
By Jafar M Ramini