Wednesday 12 December, 2012
The Mean State
Hameed Abdul Karim
In its latest bout of arrogance, Israel displayed its mean nature when it cocked a snook at the world after Palestine’s recent success at the UN when that tyrant, Benyamin Netanyahu, haughtily declared that he will construct more ‘settlements’ in Occupied East Jerusalem to punish the PNC for defying the US-Israeli nexus. Israel went one step further by ‘withholding’ millions of dollars in taxes it has collected on ‘behalf’ of Palestinians. If you think it can’t get any meaner than this, Netanyahu said these confiscated monies will be given away to Israeli companies for supplying facilities, like electricity and water, to Occupied Palestine. Israel exploits and profits immensely from its occupation of Palestine so don’t be surprised if it chooses to charge the Palestinians for giving them ‘protection’!
In a recent incident the Israeli government sent the Church of Nativity in Jerusalem a ‘red notice’ demanding payment for electricity costs running into millions of dollars with a threat that lights will be cut off if the demand is not met with immediately. This move was to punish the Palestinians for successfully campaigning for the inclusion of the birthplace of the revered Jesus Christ into UNESCO’s list of ‘Endangered World Heritage’ sites. As expected the U.S., sometimes referred to as the ‘most Christianised nation in the Western world’, furiously objected to this move on the orders of Israel. The U.S ambassador to UNESCO, David Killon went on record saying Washington was ‘profoundly disappointed’ by UNESCO’s move.
However, on the other side of the spectrum Hanan Ashrawi, Palestinian spokeswoman and herself a Christian, hailed UNESCO’s move saying ‘our identity, our place in civilisation are beginning to be safeguarded in the face of the Israeli occupation’s encroachment, the confiscation of our land and our culture’.
The fact that the Church of Nativity is badly in need of repairs and renovations is beyond dispute to those of us who have seen the holy shrine for ourselves. Unfortunately, Israel has refused to permit any such repairs since it occupied Jerusalem in 1967. What’s more, Israeli leaders have banned the preaching of Christianity in Israel and the rest of Occupied Palestine, the birthplace of the revered Jesus Christ. It’s not uncommon to hear that Ultra Orthodox Jews spit at Christians to gain a few ‘spiritual’ points. Neither is the burning of copies of the New Testament for that matter. And yet it’s this Christian charity running into billions of dollars and the land and other resources they steal from the Arab Christians and Muslims that’s keeping the ‘Jewish’ state afloat. The U.S. being Israel’s chief sponsor hands out over US $ 3.5 billion every year. If this charity were stopped, Israel would be on its knees within a few days.
Yet there is hope that something might give. The unprecedented summoning of Israeli ambassadors by Sweden, U.K., France and Australia to protest Israeli plans to build new settlements in occupied Jerusalem and the ‘concern’ expressed by the U.N. is indeed commendable. What remains to be seen is whether there is a genuine effort on the part of the U.N. and these nations to put Israel in its place or whether this ‘summoning’ is another familiar diplomatic eyewash that will go away once the TV cameras move on to another ‘breaking story’. We have been there many times before in the past 65 years.
As expected, Israel in its usual snobbish manner had showed the middle finger to the U.N. and the Western nations that had summoned its ambassadors. The chief ‘concern’ of the U.N. and the ‘summoning’ nations’ has been that Israel’s action might jeopardise the ‘peace process’, but Is there a ‘peace process’ in place or is there only an ‘illusion of negations’ with Israel? Since the day Yassir Arafat started the peace process, the ‘Jewish’ state has grabbed one piece of Palestine after another, making the prospects of a two state solution virtually impossible.
The recent overwhelming vote in the U.N. ‘urging’ Israel to open its nuclear and chemical weapons secrets to the world suggests that the world body is finally taking the Palestinian issue a bit more seriously. It’s the U.N. that should be entrusted with the task of bringing peace to the Middle East after all it was the U.N. that created Israel under pressure from the U.S.
The U.S’s claim that it’s an ‘honest broker’ in the Middle East is bordering on fantasy.
Appeared in 'Ceylon Today' Wednesday 12 December, 2012