West is so biased in Favor of Israel


By Saeed Qureshi:

There looms a colossal danger of the Israel-Hamas conflict to escalate further entailing huge loss of life and infrastructure. There is no parity between Hamas and Israel in military paraphernalia and size of fighting force. Israel is one of the leading military powers although its size is equal to that of New Jersey (22000 sq. km). She has the potential to blast the whole of Gaza (365 sq km) in matter of hours. She can shower bombs and missiles on Gaza and for that matter on any Arab land.

The latest conflagration that if not checked would pick up momentum and result in huge chaos and unimaginable mayhem in Gaza. Already several scores of Palestinians have been killed and injured in the conflict. Three Israeli citizens have also died. With the invasion that Israel would embark upon, the whole Gaza may be reduced to heap of rubble and cause countless casualties of the Palestinians.

In recent times this is the second mammoth offensive launched by Israel against the Hamas in Gaza Strip. A similar Israeli assault on Gaza launched during the winter of 20082009 is known as Gaza massacre. In that offensive as many as 1,417 Palestinian and 13 Israeli were killed.

This time Israel plans to enter Gaza with a ground force of 75, 000 regular troops and around 16,000 reservists. Isareli army has positioned itself around Gaza with tanks and artillery. Also thus far the Israeli war planes have carried out 950 air strikes targeting missiles sites, residential homes and official buildings. It is a full-fledged war triggered by Israel against a 1.8 million highly dense population.

The Hamas militants are continuing their rocket firing towards the Israeli territory which they claim as the most powerful weapons in their arsenal Iranian-made Fajr-5 rockets: a much superior weapon than homemade projectiles (Qassam) used by them in the past. Hamas seems to be undeterred by the impending dreadful offensive. But it surmises that Hamas is prepared to have the showdown with the Israel in the same way as the Hezbollah countered Israeli military might in August-September 2006 through a guerrilla war.

In Lebanon offensive, despite brutal air strikes and naval blockade, Israel could not score a complete victory and had to withdraw after 34 days of fighting following a UN truce resolution. In that conflict 1,300 Lebanese people and 165 Israelis died. It severely damaged Lebanese civil infrastructure. Besides, one million Lebanese and 300,000500,000 Israelis were displaced.

While European countries and also the United states repeatedly talk of the Israels right to defend herself, no one even in passing mentions about the most repressive and humiliating conditions the Palestinians are subjected to by overbearing Israel.

The world community does not have the conscience to talk of the coastal blockade that Israel has imposed on Gaza strip by strictly checking even the food items and essential drugs that are brought in. The residents of Hamas are in virtually siege as in a concentration camp.

The world at large does not ask or counsel the powerful Israel not to build new settlements and barricades in the Palestinians territories.

The latest conflict is the result of killing of Ahmed Jabari, chief of the Gaza military wing on November 14.The western countries do not blink when the military commander of Hamas is killed by Israeli war planes. He may be a terrorist for Israel but was a respected leader of the Hamas.

The European Union, United States, United Kingdom and other Western countries condemned the Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel and expressed support for Israel’s right to defend its citizens. Iran, Egypt, Turkey and several other Arab and Muslim countries condemned the Israeli war efforts.

Israel has to perceive the new ground realities that have emerged in the Middle East after the December 2008 Gaza offensive and in the aftermath of the Arab spring that is still apace. Egypt one of the strongest allies of Israel, is now with the Hamas and would not join Israel in taking a united stand against the Hamas militants. Sooner or later, there would appear a formidable block of regional Islamic states that could thwart Israeli plan to keep her hold over Gaza and other Palestinian territory.

Would it not be in order and a demonstration of justice and neutrality if the European nations tell Israel to not resort to the use of excessive power for such provocations that can be settled by mutual negotiations? If Israel stops treating Gaza as its colony and relaxes and softens its stifling restrictions and suffocating conditions on the residents of Gaza, the purpose of stopping the rockets aimed at Israeli land could be effectively and durably stopped.

Are the western countries oblivious of the United Nations resolution number 181 adopted on 29 November 1947 that calls for the creation of independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem?

In the ongoing ominous conflict if the Hamas somehow can offset the military offensive of Israel as the Hezbollah did in 2006, then it would be a great disgrace and losing of face for her. Israel must ponder that how long the West and the United States would support and come to her rescue by trampling the canons of established justice and showing partisan and deliberate blind support for her. It should also be perceived that in due course, Iran and Egypt and other regional states can become militarily as strong as Israel is. With their support the beleaguered Palestinians could pose a greater challenge to Israels military superiority.

Israel has to grasp this fundamental fact that it would never be able to maintain its security militarily or by denying the legitimate rights of the other party that is Palestinians. Israel should live with Arab states not in constant state of belligerency but as a peaceful neighbor. Any military takeover would be short lived and breed contempt and nurse continuous hostility between Israel and the Arab states.

Israel must come to terms with her neighbors through peaceful dialogue and by brokering a peace treaty for coexistence and good neighborly relations. That would not only secure Israels existence permanently but would make it a partner in the prosperity and development of that region ravaged by six decades of unremitting tensions and warfare.

The writer is a senior journalist and a former diplomat.

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