By Hameed Abdul Karim –
I was more than disappointed when I read your editorial in the Sunday Times (August 2, 2014) where you directly compare the Hamas with the now vanquished LTTE suggesting that Hamas too is a terrorist organisation as Israel and its backers in west, the so-called ‘international community’, want the whole world to believe.
It is open season on Muslims in Sri Lanka as in the whole world, so I will be treading on dangerous grounds when I say Hamas is not a terrorist organisation. I know also that useful idiots like ‘caliph’ Baghdadi of Islamic State notoriety contribute immensely to the sound bites of ‘Islamic terrorism’ that are ever present in the echo chambers of the world media.
Free and fair election
But please remember Hamas was democratically elected in an election that was supervised by Jimmy Carter who said the process were ‘free and fair’. But of course such reports do not appear at all in any media anywhere as frequently as the term ‘Hamas is a terrorist organisation’ does. If the people’s will is the defining term in a democracy, as we hear so often, then the world must accept Hamas as an elected body and if necessary in times of oppression and slaughter support them when they offer legitimate resistance which is permitted under international law the same way it supported the French Resistance Movement in its struggle against German occupation. But the world, especially the so called ‘international community’, makes fish of one and fowl of another. The Nazis dubbed the French Resistance fighters as ‘terrorists’ but the world supported them, quite rightly, as a legitimate resistance to Germany’s occupation of their country.
We all know the western powers supported the white supremacist regime of South Africa to the hilt. Former U.S. vice president Dick Cheney had told De Klerk not to release the ‘terrorist’ Mandela from Robben Island and Margaret Thatcher along with the likes of Ronald Reagan had called apartheid South Africa an outpost of western civilisation. The same is being said of Israel. Supposing the South African racist regime was not dismantled and the ‘blacks’ were still resisting the oppression, would you call the ANC a terrorist organisation and its leaders as terrorists?
Israel an occupying power
Israel is also an occupying power and its unspeakable crimes against a helpless and unarmed population are so horrid that they must be associated with the crimes the Germans committed against the European Jewish population. These are the very same Jews who are committing these same dastardly crimes against the Palestinians, prompting the Palestinian intellectual Edward Said to lament that ‘we are the victims of the victims’. The creation of Israel, no less drenched in the blood of the Palestinians, is in itself another matter better left for another day.
Paradigm shift in Sri Lankan media
My disappointment rests largely in the belief that all of the editorialists at the Sunday Times, and in your sister paper the Daily Mirror, are well acquainted with the actual facts regarding the pathetic plight of the Palestinians and yet you twist or distort the historical facts to suit a new ‘see no evil, hear no evil speak no evil’ approach to the Palestinian catastrophe. Indeed there was a time not very long ago your paper as well as your sister paper were sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, which is a humanitarian cause as was the struggle against apartheid in white ruled South Africa, and not a ‘Muslim’ cause as some would want the world to believe. All this changed when the country established diplomatic relations with Israel and after the Israeli ambassador paid visits to media outlets to have a ‘word’ with editors and journalists. From that day onwards the English media in Sri Lanka put on the blinkers and their support for the Palestinian cause was no more a necessity. I hear from friends the Sinhala media is worse. I am reliably informed that your Sinhala paper the ‘Dinamina’ had a whole heap of anti Muslim rhetoric on a protest by Muslims in Puttalam. How has this come about? Muslims and Sinhalese have lived side by side for centuries and I am sure those who had made such nasty comments haven’t ever met an Israeli or even know what Zionism stands for. So what prompted them to make these comments? Probably because of the anti Muslim propaganda on the net and in certain sections of the media. Is their sudden love for the Israelis a byproduct of ‘hate Muslim campaigns’ launched by extremist forces here?
Israel trained LTTE
The other day your sister paper, the Daily Mirror, carried a ridiculous article trying to connect the Sinhalese and the Israelis on the basis that the Sinhalese are related to the Jews through Ravana! In all my years of reading newspapers I have yet to come across such a gross absurdity. What’s going on over there in the media? The likes of Mervyn de Silva, the doyen of Sri Lankan journalism, will be spinning in their graves. And then why this sudden rush to embrace the Israelis? Don’t we remember the Israelis called us ‘black monkeys’ as revealed by Victor Ostrovosky in his book ‘By Way of Deception’? Don’t we remember the Israelis trained the LTTE as well as the army and on one frightful day they both almost came face to face?
You are well aware of the Jewish terrorist units like the Irgun, Levi and the Hagganah among others that created Israel by force of arms. It were these Jewish terrorist networks that created Israel and till this day Israel remains the only country without defined borders and yet we hear no condemnation of that. All we hear is the Israeli narrative that Hamas fired rockets into Israel without ever mentioning the siege or the blockade that Israel had imposed in the open air concentration camp that it created in Gaza with a little bit of help from the old and now the new tyrant of Egypt al-Fatah al Sisi.