16 April, 2024

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Dangers Of Israel-Hamas War 

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

The war between Israel and Hamas has become quite barbaric. Both Palestinians and Israelis are extremely suffering, the major victims being children and women. The pictures and videos of the ongoing events are heartrending. Over 10,000 people are already killed twice of that number being injured and disabled. Families are broken, and the victimized children are crying for their parents. People in Gaza suffer from an extreme lack of food, water, medicine, and shelter. 

The most dangerous possibility would be this partial war becoming a world war even going beyond the premises of the Middle East. The reason to warn this danger is the irrational attitudes and behavior of major countries on the questions of war and conflicts in the Middle East. 

Irrationality and Warmongering 

No one is following what are formulated as the rules or laws of war. Humanitarian principles are completely neglected. The Israeli government has outrightly rejected the United Nations recent call for a ceasefire. The world is extremely divided over the issues of the war and all indications are that the war will soon spread into neighboring countries and Lebanon has already become a part of the game. 

Interactions with Palestinian academics

As the Reuters reported, former chief of Israel’s military intelligence Amos Yadin has said, “it is inch by inch, meter by meter, trying to avoid casualties and trying to kill as much as possible Hamas terrorists.” This statement is not ambiguous in respect of territorial objectives of the Israeli leaders, ‘inch by inch and meter by meter.’ Anyone who can go through the maps dividing Israel and the Palestinian areas since 1947, it is very clear how far the Israel has territorially expanded squeezing the areas of Palestinians. 

Since the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, the present areas came under the British mandate as Palestine. Jordan was the next area under the British. Jewish people were called Palestinian Jews. However, things changed dramatically during and after the Second World War. The Holocaust against the European Jews by German fascism undoubtedly necessitated a State or a safe place for the Jews. This necessity coincided with the extreme nationalism of certain sections of the Jewish community and Zionism. 

From the beginning of the sudden and hasty creation of Israel in 1948, the extremists were running the agenda. On the same day of 14 May 1948, when David Ben-Gurian declared the new State of Israel, the US President Harry Truman recognized the new nation/state. Who was behind who was very clear from those events. The British government did not agree, however. Even a prominent free thinker like Bertrand Russell expressed his dissent very clearly on the creation of Israel.   

When Amos Yadin said Israel is ‘trying to kill as much as possible Hamas terrorists,’ the statement was ambiguous. When Israel asked the Palestinians to leave northern Gaza and the Gaza city, those who remained in their usual habitats were called terrorists or terrorist supporters. Of course, the present war and conflict was created by Hamas with their 7 October attacks. The revealed strategies and tactics of Hamas or Hezbollah might not be the salvation of Palestinians. Similarly, the Israel tactics are quite brutal. On the pretext of attacking Hamas, ordinary Palestinians have been attacked and bombed. On the pretext that Hamas have built war tunnels under hospitals, schools and refugee camps, those places and innocent civilians have been attacked and killed.  

Major Disparities 

I have been to Israel, Gaza, and West Bank on three times, not recently, but in late 1980s on behalf of the World University Service (WUS). The situation of the ordinary Palestinians and particularly the refugees was pathetic irrespective of good work conducted by UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency). Gaza was virtually a Strip, as it was called, and the recent maps show more shrinking of its territory and area. When you enter Gaza, there was a big overhead banner calling you ‘Welcome to Gaza’ but then you face the security scrutiny by tough Israeli soldiers. That time both West Bank and Gaza were directly under Israel. 

The people in Gaza did not have many employment opportunities in their areas. Every day they had to travel to Israel seeking some labor work. When they came back to their families mainly living in refugee camps after work, they were exhausted. They were not allowed to spend a night in Israel. There was a huge contrast between Jews and Palestinians and their respective areas in socio-economic terms. This is a major reason for the ongoing conflict particularly on the part of Palestinians. This is not emphasized much by the journalists or the UN officials. When the growing young men experience or realize the situation, it is quite natural for them to join organizations like Hamas unfortunately.  

There were several other contrasts. I was staying at the YMCA Hotel in Jerusalem. When I walked to the west, it was like Paris or London. But when I walked to the east, the situation was much worse than a very poor country in Africa or Asia. Jerusalem represented different cultural and religious heritages. All were equal and important. As Israel has done, they control the whole of Jerusalem disregarding the history and heritage. 

There were huge differences between educational opportunities for the Israelis and the Palestinians especially when it came to the poor, while the institutions like Birzeit and Hebron universities in the West Bank produced world class intellectuals among Palestinians. According to the World Bank estimates, the average annual per capita income of Palestinians is US$ 1,036 while the Israeli number is US$ 22,563, twenty-two times higher.      

During that time the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) under the leadership of Yasser Arafat was leading the Palestinians. Arfat went to the extent of recognizing Israel and sought for a two-States solution wholeheartedly in 1988. However, his moderation was not heeded properly by Israel or the United States. Of course, there were other reasons why and how Muslim extreme organizations emerged in the Middle East. At the same time, the Palestinian question was one of the primary reasons for this eventuality. Therefore, without resolving the Israeli-Palestinian question it would be difficult to resolve the Islamic extremism or terrorism. 

Role of the United Nations   

On 27 October, a special session of the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution “calling for immediate, sustained humanitarian truce, leading to cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas.”  Hundred and twenty countries voted in favor, only 14 against with 45 abstentions. This is some hope. Those who went against the resolution however not only included the United States, but some other major countries. There is some truth that the resolution should have included some condemnation of Hamas, particularly their attacks on the 7 October and keeping over 200 Israeli hostages. 

But those reasons cannot be considered sufficient to reject a now necessary ceasefire. The way the Israel has surrounded Gaza and launched its ground invasions show that the objectives are different. Gaza is attacked from the north and middle of the land trying to isolate Gaza city and the north. This is a new strategy. The UN and its resolution per se cannot resolve the situation. 

Instead of the UN General Assembly, the Security Council of big powers now have failed to come to a common agreement or understanding. Some countries advocate a ‘Pause’ but not a ‘Ceasefire.’ There is a need for strong public opinion worldwide for an immediate ceasefire. The humanitarian and human crises are heartbreaking. A major positive development now is the protests organized by some Israelis themselves against Benjamin Netanyahu’s war efforts. 

Completely non-violent and even non-aggressive protests are necessary world over for a proper ceasefire and peace. Invasion of Gaza should be stopped. Hamas should release all Israeli hostages. UN Security Council should endorse the General Assembly resolution, if necessary, with few changes. Palestinians should adopt completely non-violent means and tactics. If these steps or similar steps are not taken the world might plunge into a Third World War very soon. 

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Latest comments

  • 2
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    There are reports that the IDF forces have surrounded Gaza City, which they say is a Hamas stronghold. They say they have previously uncovered tunnels under civilian sites including the al-Shifa hospital which are yet to be confirmed. Those tunnels are used for both travel & shelter. The labyrinth of such tunnels are a strategic advantage to shied and ambush the Israeli Army Ground Infantry as well as to store weapons and explosives. Hamas have worked for decades to construct this 300 mile length tunnels with modern techniques. No one knows where they end for exit. Israel has reported that it had closed all entraces to the tunnels. But no one knows where they end for exit purposes. It appears to be a never ending battle – until such time number of deaths are likely to take place because it will be a battle between the visibles and invisibles. It is also not the question of losing more than 10,000 Palestinian lives as well as 1400 Israelis lives, but the number of deaths that are likely to occur as a result of lack of water, food, unknown diseases resulting from such war hereafter. What is imminently required is an unconditional ceasefire and there should be assurances from the Hamas and Hezbullah together with some Islamic countries to promote hate speech, which are likely provoke attacks on Israel & that Israel will hereafter will never bomb Gaza.

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    Prof Fernando
    It is a very sad situation – innocent civilians including children are being killed.
    “it is very clear how far the Israel has territorially expanded squeezing the areas of Palestinians. “

    What about Sinhalisation of N&E?

    “The slow but undeniable movement of Sinhala settlers into the fringes of the north and other forms of government-supported “Sinhalisation” are reigniting a sense of grievance and weakening chances for a real settlement with Tamil and other minority parties to devolve power.” https://www.crisisgroup.org/asia/south-asia/sri-lanka/sri-lanka-s-north-i-denial-minority-rights
    https://www.oaklandinstitute.org/new-report-exposes-sinhalisation-and-colonization-north-and-east-sri-lanka
    https://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=31436
    Sinhalese Settlements and Forced Evictions of Tamils in the North-East Province
    https://sangam.org/sinhalese-settlements-and-forced-evictions-of-tamils-in-the-north-east-province/

    • 5
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      Anpu,
      Professor Fernando nominated two Rajapaksas for Killing Tamil Childrenfor doctorates. Later both doctors celebrated their doctor status by jointly on Easter Sunday.

  • 1
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    Completely non-violent and even non-aggressive protests are necessary world over for a proper ceasefire and peace. Invasion of Gaza should be stopped. Hamas should release all Israeli hostages. The UN Security Council should endorse the General Assembly resolution, if necessary, with a few changes. Palestinians should adopt completely non-violent means and tactics. If these steps or similar steps are not taken the world might plunge into a Third World War very soon.
    A man who quarreled with his wife and left the home, on the way to see, in another house, the husband and wife were fighting. So, he started to advise them how to be united in their life, forgetting about him. During Yahapalanaya time, this author wrote a special book about why the EP should be in power and why Tamils should not get a federal solution by the change of the Constitutional rewriting, as proposed by that time Yahapalayanalists. These Insincere Sinhala Buddhist Viyathmahas are now recommending fake solutions for the others in the same plane (t) matching of their lifestyle. Interesting, even though it cannot be believable or dependable.

  • 0
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    The UN GA’s resolution was not about a solution for Palestinian question. It was only a ‘humanitarian truce’, It concentrated on getting emergency supplies to Palestinians by pressing Israel to agree for a pause. If that resolution is adopted, it will have to allow Israel to search for Hamas & and the hostages, in Gaza strip, without the war. That is very difficult to call from the side of many practical points. Otherwise, is the Israeli Army going to just stop the war & start delivering food for Palestinian refugees? Neither is possible. A good possibility is, at least a short pause coming in the war. I am wondering what is going to be the Hamas role in that. Hamas Invited Israel into Gaza for a war by entering Israel and killing civilians and Kidnapping Civilians. Let us assume a situation that has not happened so far. “Hamas releases the Hostages, handing over the dead bodies’ ‘. Does that suggest Israel might have lost the justification to invade Gaza or to reach into the tunnel network, which Hamas constructed only to conduct prolonged war with Israel, to look for hostages and terrorists? Will Hamas demolish all tunnels and allow Israelis or international inspectors to verify it? If not, what kind of concession Hamas can offer will force Israel out of Gaza. Anybody has a suggestion?

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    I doubt that there is anything available with Hamas that can satisfy the Israeli Army to take it as a reasonable guarantee to peace and return to Israel. We are looking back on this after a long path we have come through, from Oct 7th. The knowledge of the existence of a massive network, Hamas’ ability to fire 6000 rockets in one single night and Hamas leader’s interviews that they only look for war with Israel is certainly an issue that will prevent Israel return home without ensuring that Hamas can’t any longer use those to challenge Israel again. Whoever’s fault can it be, it sounds like the role Hamas can play on the proposed “little pause” is null. It is going to be, if a pause can be arrived at, it will be negotiated between Israel and Palestinians friends who are in the neighborhood, without Hamas. Without Hamas taking itself a part in the negotiation, will Hamas hand over the hostages in a manner Israel can accept and pause the war? Israel seems to be feeling the loss it sustained is already appearing like a permanent loss – i.e., 1400 civilians’ death and 240 hostage prisoners may not come back. If Israel was made to be disappointed after lengthy “Secret Solution” Negotiation by telling there are no hostages alive to return, then Israel will be mad.

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    Then it is certain that the wounded tiger will return back & sagely punish Palestinians, in the name of getting Hamas by its Amude. The point here is what the “Little Pause” negotiators have to have in mind if their efforts fail because the negotiation is too late for Hamas to participate in it in any meaningful way, Then 1). Permanent damage to Palestinian’s Gaza land & livelihood, 2). The relationship between the negotiators- (the Palestinians’ neighbors) and Israel. Certainly, the negotiators going press Israel scale down & step back. But if they could not be able to make Hamas to yield anything for Israel, that will damage the long tried hard and meekly patched up friendship with Israel. The 240 people’s fate whose families are eagerly waiting for some Miracle to happen cannot be equated with the dead ones and expect Israel to easily write off that account. If this proposed “Pause” is not materializing, then would that lead to our extra hallucinatory prediction of World War III? I doubt that. The Hallucinators wishing something drastic to happen to electrify their already boring TVs soap operas, but I believe the major players would sternly and decisively react and bring the end quickly. The truth is the chance of the next world war stemming in Langkang is many times higher than it is happening in anywhere else, including the Palestine-Israel.

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    We see the howling UN GA’s resolution! It is not just a teethless mouth, so its bite could not hold the leg of Israel, but it is only a mouth-less dog, so it could not even howl. There is very little cooperation within the security council. It was one of the reasons the Western democracies took the Tamils issue to UNHRC because Langkang had bought China by selling the Hangbangtota port. The trade was not easy though we said it so easily. Langkang today is bankrupt because it sold the $1.5B costing port for 200 years only for $1.2B with 5 villages land added to it. At the 12% interest rate Langkang obtained the loan for the port, if that was not a surrender to secure the Chinese Veto at UN to save the Old Rowdy, it might have brought shiploads of US, Indian, Chinese, Europeans currencies as yearly cash flow. But it has happened unavoidably; rather it got lost from the hands of Langkang! China swindled from brain paralyzed Sinhala Buddhists Modayas.

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    So, to bring a stop to this long winding tall tale, let us look at the UN GA resolution once more. As we said earlier, it was aimed at securing a “Pause” but not even a temporary truce so that a permanent one can be built on that. It was to provide emergency supplies to Palestinians. It is not taking the Hamas situation seriously. Hamas is a free killer bee, not in anybody’s nest, UN has no say there, though outside of UN there are a million sympathy seekers for Hamas, painting with AI brushes t as a poor Oppressed Palestinian child refugee. All the donkeys here are braying high about it because it is also on their plane, that is empty rhetoric, easily overwhelming our contributors’ sentiments. We Tamils who have a lot of experience on those types of advertisements so we neither crack the fireworks nor serve Milk rice for all these occasions. The resolution did not even climb up to the feet of the problem. So, hitting the head with a UN resolution is a story for another generation. The worst feature of the resolution is that no big country voted for that. America, most of the big European democracies, India….. Other than France, no major democracies have voted for this resolution.

  • 0
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    The whole crowd cackling here are the supporters of the anti-democracy nations and Porukki Democracies like Langkang. Author, Champawati, are classic examples, having supported the extreme radicals in the past, like Lemon Puff Party, Old Rowdy Royals, Old JVP, Russia, Cuba, China; Champawati is even one of the major proposers of SinhalaLE, RavanaLE theories, only to remain as noted leaders of anti-Tamils activities. Probably by population vise, not even half of the world masses voted for this (I did not add up the numbers.) and on the funders vise, none of the first five UN funders voted for this resolution. So, on this resolution the ailing questions are 1). Who is this UN GA, 2). Who are maintainers of UNGA, 3). What is their might of launching a war and maintaining the status quo in order to stabilize the peace? The answer for these questions is “Either blue sky or mirage water”.

  • 0
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    The Resolution has a weak title – “Humanitarian Truce” . Because it is a Humanitarian truce no modalities were prescribed on how to reach the truce. UNGA did not pay attention to eradicating the reason that started the war, before calling for truce. There are occasions when a peace agreement cannot be brought fully decorated, because there is war going on and people dying. Blind peace declaration may be the way to do it, but not with Hamas. War started when Hamas broke the border of Israel, entered its enemy country, kidnapped, and killed Israeli citizens. Further Hamas declared war on Israel and launched 6,000 rockets in one night. Israel proclaimed its right to defend itself and accepted the declaration of war by Hamas. Disappointingly, UNGA’s resolution did not talk about it. Hamas has not released the hostages; that means, Hamas is practically still intending to continue the war. Israeli citizens are still missing & Israel is still struggling to free and defend its citizens. The UNGA resolution did not bridge the gap between the warring parties to ease the war but instead cleared the path for parties to escalate the war. Just like a buffoon in a comedy show, UN GA just jumped in there and shouted, “Stop it, Stop it”. Nothing has really happened. Nothing is going to happen by that shouting.

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    PS: The “Ane Pavum” or” beggar child” sympathy seeking figures created with AI and spread are not true deservers of sympathy. Hamas’ all three leaders lives in hotels only and own $4-4-3B, respectively. Their properties are all over everywhere, reported by Fox 5 News. Further, the caught, down to the bottom soldiers to Leaders spoke proud of their achievements of having created the turmoil and having dragged the whole Middle East in that. They bragged that they are not going to make any peace with Israel. That is not new, and that stand was one of the reason Palestinian’s two state solution remains elusive. But what was new for me was the Hamas leader’s lifestyle matching the Appe Aanduwa political goons’ lifestyles. Aanduwa robbed the poor employee’s EPF to pay for the China Paul, but running a parliament & EP without people mandate only to pay pension for these, thugs, extremists, drug addicts, con artists, road-warrior-rowdy men & women. They both are living (Hamas and Sinhala Buddhist Intellectuals) immoral lives in the name of religion and swindling billions in war activities.

  • 5
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    Prof. Fdo

    Did you protest when the SL army bombed Red Cross field hospitals where civilians were sheltering? Did you protest when the Rajapakses & slimy Sirisena publicly stated that our ‘ranaviruvo’ will never be hung out to dry at International courts for war crimes committed or didn’t they happen as in Gaza? What is happening in Gaza is the same that happened when the Rajapakses eliminated the LTTE, for which we are eternally grateful, even willing to look the other way at mega corruption committed by our war heroes. In fact, land grabbing is still happening in SL, why don’t you comment on the injustice in SL? Is it because your intellectual capacity is for international issues & not for less pressing issues at home?

  • 2
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    Prof Fernando

    “Role of the United Nations “

    What is the role of the Sinhalese ***Buddhists****?

    Take lands which belongs to the Tamils and commit genocide.

    Why don’t you reply to all the comments?

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