Thursday, 23 September 2010

Nations that lose the high ground

Via The Muffin Post

June 22, 2010

By Francis Anthony Govia

Map of Israel, West Bank, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights

There is a compelling movie called The Diary of Anne Frank that is recommended. It is about a Jewish girl and her family who spent over two years in an attic hiding from Hitler’s goons. Anne Frank survived for much of that time through the generosity of former employees of her father who risked their own lives to bring food to these outcasts. Like many Jews in Hitler’s Germany, their fate was not uplifting. Anne’s mother, sister, father and friends were betrayed to the powers that be, and with exception of her father, died after being transferred to concentration camps. Her father lived near forty years longer, but can you imagine the memories that tormented him before his physical being expired? History says that Hitler killed six million Jews while the civilized governments of the West tried to appease him. Were it not for a blunder that lead his armies to attack Russia, and a similar miscalculation by the Japanese in bombing Pearl Harbor (incidents which galvanized support amongst the Allied Powers and led to the fall the Axis Powers), it is possible that Germany would have become Europe’s ruler, and not a partner in what is today the earth’s most esteemed political union.

The descendants of Jews who experienced the sickness, deprivation, and chaos of World War II are the catalyst for some of today’s stories of injustice. So History has an uncomfortable way of repeating itself, but sometimes the protagonists and the antagonists are different. Jews who were once vilified and murdered are now accomplished political and military forces in at least two parts of the world (Israel and the United States). The State of Israel which has an umbilical cord tied to the mightiest nation on earth (the United States) is a de facto sixth permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, and uses its power to intimidate, threaten, kill and deprive the Palestinian people of the basic necessities of life, suffrage, and ownership rights to which every human aspire.

The Jews of Israel are rewriting History in such a way that they have lost the high ground, and are committing crimes as heinous as Hitler. They blockade and falsely imprison 1.5 million Palestinians who live in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians survival depends on those who burrow under the borders of Egypt to risk life and limb to bring in necessities like food. Yet irresponsible publishers print articles intended to support that life in the Gaza Strip is functioning normally. How can life be normal in the Gaza Strip when its people are denied access to the outside world by a cruel and oppressive regime in Israel? Are theirs the life that human beings are content to live anywhere else on earth?

Only the foolish could believe that a naval blockade of the Gaza Strip is necessary for the security of Israel, a mighty and effective military force in the Middle East, against Hamas, a force weaker than Lebanon, a nation that Israel threatened recently with retaliation if it so much as allow a ship laden with humanitarian good to sail from its ports to the Gaza. Only a fool could believe that Israel is afraid of Hamas when the Jewish state is saber rattling and willing to take on Iran, an enemy with a potent military establishment that dwarfs Hamas. The Gaza Strip is an ambitious dream of Israel for territorial expansion and destruction of Palestinians.

Like Anne Frank, a Palestinian child knows what it is like to be persona non grata. A Palestinian life can be altered dramatically by a decision made in Tel Aviv, or through a powerful Jewish lobby in Washington DC. All that a Palestinian has can be destroyed or taken away by a government in Israel whose actions will only be appeased by the governments of the West. The government of Israel has no legal authority over the peoples of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank but it dictates the life they live.

The Special Envoy for the Quartet on the Middle East, Tony Blair

There is doubt that the governments of the West and Russia intend to bring about a lasting and permanent peace in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Were these governments to be interested in a satisfactory and permanent solution to that cinder box they helped to create they would not have appointed Tony Blair as the Special Envoy for the Quartet on the Middle East. Mr. Blair served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom which is one of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. During his time as Prime Minister, Mr. Blair’s esteemed office was consumed by an ineffectual foreign policy, and the nation’s energy was exhausted while assisting President George W. Bush in creating another quagmire for the West in Iraq. Mr. Blair’s appointment to negotiate and facilitate solutions to do away with the stalemate in Palestine establishes that the West is interested in keeping the status quo as it now stands on the ground in the Middle East. For there to be a cessation of hostility between Israel and the people of Palestine four important and necessary steps must be implemented. First, the West must appoint a respectable and neutral person to Mr. Blair’s position with the authority and understanding that a Palestinian state is to be realized even if it is to be imposed on Israel. Second, the West should move speedily to implement sanctions against Israel and its industries should it continue to encroach on Palestinian lands, and break International Law. Third, humanitarian aid must flow unhindered in the Gaza Strip. Fourth, Palestinians of the Gaza Strip must have free access to the outside world.

Israel will not comply with any condition placed on it as long as it knows that there are no consequences to its actions. None of us will be truly free from the burdens of the Middle East until we solve the problem that was created when the British foisted the idea of a Jewish State on the residents of Palestine that lead to formation of Israel in 1948. The walls that are being built around Israel will not bring peace, freedom or protection from those they consider their erstwhile enemies. Walls are mere fixtures, and over time they become as ineffective as the Great Walls of China, and those that tumbled down in Berlin, for they are too immobile to deal with a dynamic and continuously shifting situation such as life.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu writes about transfiguration in his book entitled ‘God Has A Dream’

Archbishop Desmond Tutu once wrote of his experience of Apartheid in South Africa that freedom is indivisible. No one is free until we are all free. The slave owner was not free until his slaves became free for it is true that much of his energies were consumed trying to prevent his slaves from revolting and killing him. The whites of South Africa and the United States were not free until they understood that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights as Thomas Jefferson wrote, among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. During Apartheid in South Africa and segregation in the United States everyone were trapped by a condition of fear. The Jews of Israel and the United States will never be free until the Palestinians of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are treated with the same respect as their Jewish brothers, and the Palestinians too realize their dream of freedom and nationhood. This is a process that Desmond Tutu kindly refers to as transfiguration; the earth is renewed when goodness reigns supreme as a rite of passage. The Archbishop in his wisdom seems to suggest that transfiguration occurs even to the most unlikely situation. Maybe his pragmatism will outlast the views of the cynics that now run our government and justice system whose laws criminalize the humanitarian effort. These leaders are not securing our safety. They are prolonging our servitude to fear. They have acquired the disease of the mind like foreign terrorists that now paralyze our nation. They devalue the universal pragmatism that charity turns weapons into ploughshares.

The governments of the West are responsible for the deprivation that Palestinians know. Our civilized nations of the West have said that Israel has the right to self defense, but do not acknowledge that the Palestinians should and need a similar right. Our esteemed governments of the West sit idly and speak with forked tongues while Israel’s creeping policy of genocide is exacted on Palestinians whose traditions and people have existed in a territory since biblical times.

Our great country of the United States has allowed innocent blood to fall recklessly in Palestine. The great Presidential office of the United States has become impotent when dealing with an Israel it has tied to its umbilical cord which hinders our ingenuity and maneuverability. So too is the functioning of our senate ineffective when the leaders in the two most important parties in our nation, Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have no new advice to give our President. They are messengers of a foreign power. They say to our President that the United States must stay the course of a failed foreign policy that will not punish the irresponsible actions of a rogue Israel that we sustain with the blood of our children. Instead of taking the high ground, the greatest nation on earth chose to live in the gutter of a tiny nation’s foreign policy.
Francis Anthony Govia received his Bachelor’s degree in International Relations at Boston University where he studied U.S. National Security and Foreign Policy under the tutelage of General Fred F. Woerner (Ret), Army General and former commander of United States Southern Command, and Stephen R. Lyne (Ret.), U.S. Ambassador to Ghana in Ronald Reagan administration. Mr. Govia also has a law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

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