The PP Government’s Actions at the Recently Held UN Assembly Could Put the Lives of Palestinians in Danger

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How Malawi looks on a map based on recent UN voting for Palestine's status

I know that we are living in the times in which if one says the truth, one’s life will or almost be put in danger.  To be honest with you, I don’t see the point of living in such a world unless we make the purpose of our stay; explaining what is right and exposing the falsehood.

And it should also be noted that I do not think that the opinions of the majority are always right.  If you are reading this article to hear what you want, then am afraid that you are reading the wrong article. I believe examining sensitive issues, with the aim of finding solutions  to the ongoing problems  which result to unnecessary deaths, is crucial than burying our heads in the sand pretending that everything is or will be ok.

Before I go further, I think it’s fair to graze a little bit of history. You see, most main stream media (including  some writings on internet) portray Jews who live(d) under or with Muslims as ever oppressed.

Well, let’s roughly be historians for a few seconds.Muslims ruled Al-Andalus (now called spain) for about 800 years. Jews lived together with Muslims in harmony until the Pope proclaimed Crusade against Muslims in Spain in 1207.

By 1236 the majority of Al-Andalus was conquered by the Christian king, Alfonso the 8th. Only a small part of Al-Andalus called Granada remained in the hands of Muslims. Muslims started freeing from the captured territories to Granada. In the northern large territory  ruled by Christians, Jews were allowed to stay. But this was so because the Christians wanted to benefit from knowledge of the Jews in Agriculture systems and business. This aim (of benefiting from the knowledge) became clearly evident with their withholding of some Muslims who had knowledge of architecture to stay just as the Jews. In other words, some Jews remained in the Christian controlled land while other (Jews) stayed in the Muslim controlled land, Granada.

But the then so-called freedom of the Jews in the large Christian kingdom did not last long. In 1252, Alfonso the 10th, decreed a law of ‘public lashing of the Jews who do not wear an identifying clothing’. In 1348, there was a black plague which swept through both Christian territory and Granada. Things became worse for the Jews in the Christian controlled territory for they were dragged out from their houses and thrown into the burning fire on fabricated charges that they had put the poison in the water with the intention of destroying the entire Christian kingdom

The fascinating thing is, as the Jews in the Christian kingdom were being burnt, other Jews (from 1250s-1492) were peacefully staying with Muslims in Granada.

After the union (through marriage) of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, they both in 1492 conquered Granada. After that, Jews, just as Muslims, were given a choice to either convert to Christianity or face expulsion.

Guess what! The Jews started freeing the intense persecution and sought places in the Muslim lands namely, in the Ottoman Empire (today’s Turkey), Algeria, Morocco and some parts of Tunisia [1], of course some of the Jews emigrated to Portugal and areas in Italy. But the fact that the Jews chose the Muslim lands over other European lands demolishes the whole propaganda of ‘Muslims always persecuting Jews’.

About today’s Israel…well, it is exactly 95 years since Lord Balfour, the then Foreign Secretary, informed Baron Rothschild that Britain would back a new Jewish state on Palestinian territory as demanded by Zionists, some of them terrorists who had attacked British targets. Lord Edwin Montagu, the only Jewish member of the UK cabinet, objected vehemently to the decision: “All my life I have been trying to get out of the ghetto and you want to force me back there again”. He was overruled by his colleagues, some of them avowed anti-Semites.[2]

Before that, the land of Palestine was populated by the Palestinians who always had been religiously diverse, with the Muslim majority maintaining friendly relations with their Christian, Jewish, and Druze brethren. The Jews comprised of 3% of the Palestinian population. The Columbia University Press: (New York, 1990, pp. 10, 35.) reports that in 1946 the Jews (following the creation of Israel by the help of the British) made 31% of the population. [3]

But in 1947, the United Nations partitioned Historic Palestine, giving 55% to the Jewish population (by that time Jews consisted of 33% of the population) and 45% to the Palestinian population. The indigenous Palestinians rejected the division of the land on which they had lived and farmed for centuries (for they deemed it unfair). At the time of partition, the Jewish population owned less than 6% of Palestine. Following its founding war of 1947-49 Israel came into existence on 78 percent of Palestine, a percentage it has steadily increased in subsequent years, a process that continues today. Even though now what remains of Palestinians are a tiny Gaza strip and the West Bank, mercilessly, Israel continues to demolish and wage war on the Palestinians.[4]

So as the Palestinians (‘who are now termed terrorists by Israel and others’) have been trying hard to make their suffering heard, Noam Chomsky, an (American) Institute Professor and Professor (Emeritus) in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology quotes the New York Times;

In late 2012 the US devoted extensive efforts to block a General Assembly resolution upgrading Palestine’s status to that of a “non-member observer state.” The effort failed, leaving the US in its usual international isolation on November 29, when the resolution passed overwhelmingly on the anniversary of the 1947 General Assembly vote on partition. The reasons Washington frankly offered for its opposition to the resolution were revealing: Palestine might approach the International Criminal Court on Israel’s U.S.-backed crimes, which cannot be permitted judicial review for reasons that are all too obvious. A second concern, the New York Times reported, was that “the Palestinians might use the vote to seek membership in specialized agencies of the United Nations,” which could lead Washington to defund these international organizations, as it cut off financing to UNESCO in 2011 when it dared to admit Palestine as a member. The Master does not tolerate disobedience. [5]

Israel and the US have always repeated that ‘Israel has the right to defend itself’ but Prof. Noam argues;

When Israel, in the occupied territories now, claim that they have to defend themselves, they are defending themselves in the sense that any military occupier has to defend itself against the population that they’re crushing. You can’t defend yourself when you’re militarily occupying somebody else’s land. It’s not defense. Call it what you like, it’s not defense.”[6]

The Independent press reported an old man in Gaza holding a placard with this message:

“You take my water, burn my olive trees, destroy my house, take my job, steal my land, imprison my father, kill my mother, bombard my country, starve us all, humiliate us all but I am to blame: I shot a rocket back.” [7]

Now, unfortunately, the PP government of Malawi was among the few who abstained from voting at the General Assembly. The UN voted overwhelmingly in support of Palestine with 138 to 9 and 41 abstaining. Some people may argue that Malawi, being a Christian dominated country, acted wisely to abstain from voting to help the biblically ‘promised people’ in the ‘promised Land’.  For the sake of argument, even if it was the promised Land, who told you that the ‘promised’ people can’t live together with people of other ethnicity or religion in that land? The majority of 138 who voted in favour of Palestine are not even Muslim countries. Those countries voted out of humanity!

We know that Israel has promised to help Malawi in the agricultural sector. If it’s because of this, then does the PP government think that feeding Malawians is more important than protecting the blood of the Palestinians?

It may sound funny to all readers here, but I wish the president of Malawi and her cabinet would sit down and watch (if they haven’t watched) or re-watch a popular African movie ,SARAFINA (1992). Maybe the graphics in that movie seem to have been overblown but guess what, that is exactly what is happening in Gaza and the West Bank (watch and follow the news to verify). Children and youths throw stones out of desperation, while some men with limited arms fight back against the Israel that uses sophisticated attack jets and naval vessels to bomb densely-crowded refugee camps, schools, apartment blocks, mosques, and slums to attack a population that has no air force, no air defense, no navy, no heavy weapons, no artillery units, no mechanized armor, no command in control, no army. Then you call this war?

That’s why in his first Memo to Thomas Friedman (columnist New York Times), Nelson Mandela wrote;

“Apartheid is a crime against humanity. Israel has deprived millions of Palestinians of their liberty and property. It has perpetuated a system of gross racial discrimination and inequality. It has systematically incarcerated and tortured thousands of Palestinians, contrary to the rules of international law. It has, in particular, waged a war against a civilian population, in particular children.” [8]

Mandela knows how Israel, with the help of the US, operates. That’s why you will not be surprised to know that in 1975 Israel and the apartheid South Africa were increasing their cooperation and contacts in the military sphere…[9]

No wonder, Nelson Mandela has been under the US terrorist list until recently in 2008 when the US could no longer carry the shame and the feeling of embarrassment of putting a man of that caliber in the list from which they decided to remove him. [10]

As for me, I refuse to remain silent when my government, whether out of poverty, kills other human  beings whether indirectly or otherwise because I know too well the pain that my neighbours suffered in the apartheid South African era. What is happening in Israel (Palestine) is almost the same as what was going on in apartheid South Africa.

Notes

[1] http://www.pbs.org/programs/citiesoflight/ and(Cities of Light : The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain) http://media.worldofislam.info/Islam/Cities%20of%20Light,%20The%20Rise%20and%20Fall%20of%20Islamic%20Spain%20[www.worldofislam.info].avi

[2] http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-war-between-israel-and-hamas-has-its-roots-in-britains-shameful-betrayal-of-the-palestinians-8327052.html

[3] http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/maps.html

[4] ibid

[5] http://chomsky.info/articles/20121201.htm

[6] http://www.mediaed.org/assets/products/117/transcript_117.pdf

[7] http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-war-between-israel-and-hamas-has-its-roots-in-britains-shameful-betrayal-of-the-palestinians-8327052.html

[8] http://www.mediamonitors.net/arjan28.html

[9] http://www.sahistory.org.za/dated-event/it-reported-israel-and-south-africa-are-increasing-their-cooperation-and-contacts-milita

[10] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7484517.stm

The views expressed herein are solely for the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Malawi Muslims Official Website.

1 COMMENT

  1. Ndizopweteketsa mtima kwambili zimene joyce banda wachita ndi chipani chake, apa ndipamene asilamu akuno kumalawi tiyenela kukhala ozindikila ku khala ndimbali imene tingawone kuti ingatithandize osati pp,chifukwa pamenepa zikuwonekelatu kuti samatiwelengela ajoyce banda!

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