13 June, 2024

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Palestinians, The Terrorists & Israelis, The Victims

By Mass L. Usuf

Mass Usuf

The heading reflects how the hypocritical West and its incredibly biased media would like to portray the present clash in Palestine. Even for us Sri Lankans, the only information that is available is from the biased news media which has the power to dominate the air. This column will look at some quick facts. Fact: This is not a Muslim fight against the Jews. There are also Palestinian Christians both Catholic and Protestants, Samaritans etc. facing this problem. (World Directory of Minorities).

Ukraine is a good analogy of double standards. Russia recently occupied certain Ukrainian territories. The USA, Europe and U.K. immediately defended Ukraine against the occupation calling it illegal, violation of international law and an act of genocide. Fact: How many know that Israel has been occupying Palestine since 1967 that is, for 56 years. Have the Western powers ever showed concern about this occupation? On the contrary, all of them support the Occupier–the Israelis. Where are the accusations which were made against Russia?

This is not a situation of supporting the Palestinians or Israelis but, certainly, an instance where humanity on both sides have to be honoured, respected and dignified. Unfortunately, this is not the case and the words in a poster below explains the irony.  

“If you are silent when ISRAEL kills Palestinians

Remain silent when PALESTINIANS defend themselves”

Here are some snippets to show the extent of bias. The US media, CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour interviewing Hussam Zomlot, Palestinian Head of Mission in UK, asks the accusatory question, “First and foremost do you condemn the attack by Hamas on civilians?”. The BBC anchor repeatedly asks Hussam Zomlot, “Do you condemn the attack by Hamas?”. The Australian Sky News asks, “Do you unreservedly condemn the attack by Hamas?”. See who are asking this question about ‘civilians’?  Fact: In 2008, UK based ORB International, an independent polling agency, estimated the total deaths in Iraq at 1,120,000 people since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.  Remember UK and Australia were part of this killing coalition. The United States of America obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaki killing over 450,000 Japanese people.

The Audacity To Question

This repeatedly pointed question illustrates two things. First, to accuse and disrepute Hamas and the Palestinian cause secondly, to make the Israelis look like the peace-loving innocent victims. We must understand that this is not about Hamas or some others but the basic question of usurpation and occupation of others’ land and throwing out its owner. The media and the Israelis are masters in dodging the core issue. They shrewdly manipulate discussions always creating confusion and ably stray away from facts and reality. Fact: (UN Resolution 35/35). “Condemns the expansionist activities of Israel in the Middle East, as well as the continuous bombing of civilian Arab and in particular, Palestinian populations and the destruction of their villages and encampments, which constitute a serious obstacle to the realization of self-determination and independence of the Palestinian people.” (UN General Assembly).

Is that all for bias? US President Joe Biden promised ‘rock-solid and unwavering’ support to Israel. Fact: “the USA provides 3 billion US dollars annually. Soon after the attack, Joe Biden approved 8 billion US dollars as emergency military aid. He has ordered the movement of military ships and aircraft closer to Israel. No. 10 Downing Street in U.K. displays the flag of Israel and the Prime Minister says that his government is with the Israelis. In Australia, the Sydney Opera House was lit with the colours of the Israeli flag to express solidarity.” Are these leaders sanctioning the violation of international laws, war crimes and genocide?  Are these leaders violating the laws that they themselves had passed?  The Australian Prime Minister said, “We recognise Israel’s right to defend itself.” Sadly, the Prime Minister does not recognise the right of the Palestinians to defend themselves.

Defend against whom?

Speaking to Fareed Zakariya of CNN recently, former Information Minister of Palestine Dr. Mustafa Barghouti said Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich denied the existence of a Palestinian people. Smotrich had said that the Palestinians have one of three options. To emigrate or accept life of subjugation under Israel or die.  Imagine the duplicity of the Western world.

Look at the asymmetry between Israel as a nuclear power State and the desperate Palestinian refugees who have been given the above choices. These are people living as refugees in their own land for 56 years. Fact: Gaza is dubbed as an open prison housing 2.3 million people who are controlled, under surveillance and oppressed for decades.  In 2010, BBC reported that the former UK Prime Minister David Cameron had condemned the blockade of the Gaza Strip, describing it as a “prison camp”. One may still ask, “What is the proof that this is an open prison?” Here is the answer from the horse’s mouth. Fact: “On 9th October, the Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant announced a “complete siege” on Gaza.” He went on say, “there will be no electricity, no food, no water, no fuel.  Everything will be closed.” A clear indication as to who controls and dominates the helpless Palestinian civilians. Fact: 1.3 million out of 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza (62%) require food assistance.  (UNICEF).

Queues in Sri Lanka

Remember how we were suffering without gas, fuel and electricity. Add to that the denial of food and water to a population of 2.3 million people. There are certainly women, children, infants, sick, elderly, disabled men and women amongst them. Are they not civilians? How would a mother feed her crying baby when there is no milk food? How would a kidney patient who needs dialysis cope up or a cancer patient needing chemotherapy be treated or a terminally ill person’s vital signs be monitored under this siege. Fact: “78% of piped water in Gaza is unfit for human consumption.” (UNICEF).

Looking at it differently, one can say, “all this is because of the Hamas attack.” Even then, does this justify collectively punishing 2.3 million civilians in this inhumane manner? Fact: There are six million Palestinians registered as refugees around the world.” (UNRWA). Why is a different standard adopted on morality, civilised conduct, international laws and basic humaneness when it is the Palestinian civilians? Fact: Have the Israelis forgotten how tens of thousands of Jews were inhumanely horded into train carriages and taken to Auschwitz and other extermination centres by Hitler.

Indiscriminate Bombings and international law

Fact: (UN Resolution 35/35/2). “Reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle;” (UN General Assembly).

Two thousand bombing raids have taken place in two days by the Israeli air force targeting civilian buildings, apartment blocks, houses etc. Does anyone believe that there are no civilians in these places? However, the western media is obsessed with the primary question whether the attack by Hamas is condemned or not. This stinking arrogance, self-righteousness and abhorrent hypocrisy without regard to the decades of blockades, sieges, bombing raids, deprivation of basic facilities, denial of freedom of movement and everything that people in a civilised society enjoy as their basics.

Under international humanitarian law no person may be punished for an act that he/she did not commit. From this comes the assurance that to collectively punish a people in general or a group of persons is strictly forbidden. Fact:This is one of the fundamental guarantees established by the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their 1977 Additional Protocols.”

Our PTA And Detention Orders

We protest against the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Anti-Terrorism Bill and rally against the abuse of power and arbitrary detention orders. Fact: The number of Palestinians behind Israeli bars is 5,200, including 33 women and 170 children. More than 1,200 men, women, youth and children are being held by the Israelis under administrative detention orders for several years. (Al Jazeera). Many even do not know why they are being jailed. Not different from our Sri Lankan detention order under the PTA. Does this ring a bell? With the engagement by the Sri Lankan governments with the Israelis, our politicians are also learning the ways and means of repression and suppression of dissent.  Fact: UN Special Rapporteur, “Israel’s Unlawful Carceral Practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory Are Tantamount to International Crimes and Have Turned it into an Open-Air Prison.” (10 July 2023).

Dr. Barghouti said that Hamas is called a terrorist organisation but it was not there before thirty years. Then, there was the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), it was also called terrorist. Fact:A Military order No. (378) issued by the Israeli government established military courts, and basically outlawed all forms of Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation as “terrorism”. Any Palestinian organisation that calls for freedom is labelled as terrorist. If we struggle militarily, we are terrorists. If we struggle in a non-violent way, we are described as violent. If we resist with words, we are described as provocateurs. If you are a foreigner and support the Palestinians, you are described as an anti-Semite.  If you are a Jew supporting the Palestinian, such are called self-hating Jews. The only way to end this is by ending the occupation of Palestine by the Israelis, commented Dr. Barghouti.

We know that Israel is the Occupier and Palestinians the Oppressed. There is a difference between Truth and Lies; Terrorism and Resistance; Democracy and Apartheid. Sadly, justice, equity and fairness are being substituted with hate, prejudice, discrimination and double standards.

*Mass L. Usuf, LL.B (Hons) U.K., Attorney at Law(Ex-Advisor to former Presidential Private Department of UAE). Can be reached via email at: ctcolumn@yahoo.com

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Latest comments

  • 5
    1

    Public opinion as evident in the present day, is not spontaneous; it is a product of manufactured content that enables control of perception. Looking at any mainstream media that blatantly paints a picture of Israel as Good and Palestinian resistance as Evil are doing exactly that. So, the battle is left with the social media, which thankfully transmit indisputable footage of the carnage visited on Gaza in the name of Israel “defending itself”. Huge demonstrations in western capitals against the genocide now being committed, should eventually change public opinion.

    • 2
      11

      LP
      Even social media is manipulated when not managed.
      Big Pharma controlled the mainstream media, the Internet & social media on COVID-19.
      The vaccine peddlers not only got away with killings but also won a Nobel Prize!

      • 11
        0

        Your propaganda here’s no different than anyone disseminating misinformation or their conspiracy theories.

        • 1
          10

          In which case, will that charge not apply to every word that you utter?

          • 7
            0

            Unequivocally, no.

            • 0
              9

              So you say!

    • 9
      0

      The picture is not that cut and dry. There are facets and layers of deception in the makeup of mainstream media. There are media outlets that overtly peddle to specific political segment…. Right wing, left wing, liberal, capitalistic, communist, and so on.

      The audiences are vastly not objective. The audiences are often very much active participants in the deception, misinformation, propaganda, and fake news

    • 10
      0

      The picture is not that cut and dry. There are facets and layers of deception in the makeup of mainstream media. There are media outlets that overtly peddle to specific political segment…. Right wing, left wing, liberal, capitalistic, communist, and so on.

      The audiences are vastly not objective. In this day and age, the audiences are often very much active participants in the deception, misinformation, propaganda, and fake news. They actively disseminate untruths that their favourite media outlet has published to forward their own agendas. They often use social media to do it.

      Social media, where not muzzled, has open the doors wide open to getting out video/audio evidence of reality to the public. Even those are subject to spins by the propagandist; their audiences are right there to buy it.

      • 5
        0

        Sugandh,
        “Social media, where not muzzled, has open the doors wide open to getting out video/audio evidence of reality to the public.”
        Ideally, that would be the case, but currently over 50% of social media has an agenda. On YouTube for example, uploaded are paid by the number of viewers. So, one can find items describing how to grow a coconut tree from a branch or a banana tree from a fruit getting views in millions! The there are political vlogs run by ignorant clowns in basements ranging from anti-vaxxers to fascists.FB and WhatsApp are full of idiots who blindly forward everything they receive. Currently they are full of pro-Israel rants.

        • 6
          0

          All this madness unleashed by the advent of internet, OC! In spite of it all, the tools have been at least equally beneficial.

          • 2
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            Sugandh,
            It reminds me of the monkey and the razor.

        • 1
          8

          oc
          Well said.

  • 7
    0

    Those who have read the book, By way of Deception by Victor Ostrovsky a former Mossad agent would know the aims of Israel. The jewish community worldwide is a closely knit group who would go to any length to safeguard their interests.

    During the LTTE VS Srilanka Armed forces battle they trained both at different locations in Israel at the same time…………….

    For the Palestinians who have,over the years lost their territory and lands it is a do or die war.
    The Jews were a stateless group before Israel was carved out..They want to now make the Palestinians stateless.
    A paradox! This is the deception…………..

    • 3
      0

      Plato,
      “During the LTTE VS Srilankan Armed forces battle they trained both at different locations in Israel at the same time”
      Well that may have been the case and Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) undoubtedly, trained the Terrorists (TELO, LTTE and EROS)!!!???
      Similarly, understand that SLA and SL other defence forces were trained by Indians at 2 Locations!!??

  • 11
    0

    It is my hope that the current event is a wake up call to all reasonable citizens of this world to urgently ensure that their governments will stand up for equitable treatment and justice for the people of Palestine, and that the state of Israel should not be allowed to get away with its own acts of terror and repression years on end unchecked.

    All Arab neighbours to the front of the line;
    https://www.aljazeera.com/amp/opinions/2023/5/14/the-arab-world-has-forsaken-the-palestine-cause

    • 1
      7

      “the state of Israel should not be allowed to get away with its own acts of terror and repression years on end unchecked.”
      But it has— for a great part of its 75 years as a state.
      Do we bother to find out hat made it possible?

      • 1
        7

        Do we bother to find out what made it possible?

        • 8
          0

          Should we not bother to find out all of what really made it possible instead of pointing finger at just one player?

          • 0
            8

            “What made it possible” does not specifically point at any ‘one’.
            If you are desperate to protect your ‘ just one player’ that is your choice.

            • 4
              0

              Never write a full point. Writes only anti-quips against any good. Polluters! Classic example: “back stabber carries his dagger in his underwear”. Anybody is the target. Why can’t a person who has an opinion on others comment is unable to talk his/her point direct? They challenged ridicule all my comments and then try to dodge, “somebody don’t get it”. Yes, sure I am a thumb sucking….baby! Hops from comment to comment and infuse bigotry of all forms, into all of them. Views others freedom to talk as own nightmare. Stood and hooted in the meeting considering Dr. Thiyagalingam for Jaffna VC. The explanation was “Somebody trying to employ a diaspora-culture destroyer”. Are they telling us that Stalin and Karl Marx were born in Velanai and Thodalankai? What goes wrong when an ordinary woman give birth to a child? Aren’t they all start their life crying for milk? Does any child constrict that expression to make point to it, too? “Kani Iruppa Kaaikavarntharu” (plucking sour, unripe while plenty of fruits are on the tree”. Why does somebody settle for this life?
              Don’t we remember, in competition with one another, the Twins, Mass Usuf and Latheef filled the columns with hate and quit it only after the Sinhala Buddhists started to uprising against Muslims in South? Now Hamas are victims? Abbas said Hamas is not Palestinians! Abbas is the traitor – serpentine?

              • 3
                0

                Can Mass ( propagandist ) or Latheef, explain about the hostage, a Franco Israeli woman, shown in the video released by Hamas (abducted from Music Festival) Don’t tell us, it’s Western Propaganda. Also a Fanatic Jihadist, screaming ” Allahu Akbar, is my master, I’m his servant “, shot and critically injured two Swedish nationals in Brussels. Are they terrorist or victims ??? Latheef and Mass were not this vehement when Lankan government harassed their own brothers and sisters. ( like Ali Sabry ). Christiane Amanpour is a well respected journalist, who’s father is an Iranian Muslim from Tehran where she was raised until age 11. It’s usual for many host to begin an interview by asking ” do you condemn ” ( especially after such crisis), so that their stand on the matter is clarified, well before the interview. People who do not want to commit can simply answer ” I offer by sympathy to those victims “. There are occasions when people tried praising such murders, where CA, walked out in the middle of interview. First of all, “what is wrong in asking ” do you condemn murder”, if someone is not happy with such basic decency, why do they show up for these interview ?? Even al jazeera host asked similar question. Mass, being a Lankan journalist, is used to typical flip flopping, excuses or worse condoning such acts in public. What Israel and Hamas are committing right now is terrorism. The real victims are those innocent Palestinians.

                • 3
                  0

                  Mr. Mass just to remind you that Hamas indiscriminately abducted and killed many who are neither Israeli nor Palestinian. Just like our Easter Mayhem, many foreigners were butchered forno reason. As I said before you may one of those readily willing to sacrifice your life for Appachi but why kill those innocent foreigners??. You then went to the extent of writing an article questioning Maulana , so to create doubts about Sally’s involvement.

  • 2
    0

    Indiscriminate Bombings and international law.

    Late Mahatma Gandhi Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French.

    The USA, Europe, and the U.K. immediately defended Ukraine against the occupation calling it illegal.
    The USA, Europe, and the U.K. immediately defended Israel’s occupiers.
    Discover the history of Palestine.

    • 3
      0

      Late Mahatma Gandhi …….. England belongs to the English ……….
      The half nude Pakkiri, Gujarati Gandhi was gone long before coming to know that a Gujarati Indian also can rule England. Why so many definitions in Human life? Don’t you think a man should be able to live and die where he is living. What is the soil’s nature in England that makes the “plant English” thrive in England, but Gujarati world over? Gujarati Mr. Modi is in New Delhi and claiming India is one country. Is that to continue his PM position or is he believing Ram who created the lives, created the world for them to live in, leaning on each other? What is the honest difference among Diaspora Tamil, Indian Tamil, Jaffna Tamil….. Isn’t all that talk coming only when those words give an opportunistic upper hand for those individuals?
      Gandhi was correct in so many times, especially when he asked the English to leave Indians alone. The rest of the time we also can be right. Palestinian and Israeli can reap any fruit being in their lands only if they start to respect each other. Hamas and Netanyahu must volunteer for it. Million Xinjiang Muslims are in Chinese concentration camps, but China is championing the Palestinian course only because it has a trade war with America. The wolf is crying as the sheep is soddening.

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