Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Mid East crisis not a conficlt of equals|
|10/26/00 at 18:38:57|
|As Salaamu Alaikum|
This is an article that was run in the Toronto Star newspaper. After it was printed many angry jew wrote in an voiced complaints. But the brother who wrote it is only speaking the truth!!
Middle East is not a Conflict of Equals
Like many others, I find myself deeply worried about the recent events
in the Middle East. I am not Palestinian, Israeli, or even an Arab. What I
am is a concerned Canadian citizen. Amidst so much rhetoric and finger
pointing, it can be difficult to understand why there is so much animosity.
As is often the case, the best answer is to let history speak for itself. To
understand the situation, we must go back into the history of anoppressed
In 1948, Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion declared Israel to be an
independent state. During the ensuing months, nearly 800,000 Palestinians
(80% of the Palestinian population) were expelled from their homes. In all,
531 Palestinian towns and villages were destroyed.
The Palestinians' only crime: Being caught in the wrongplace at the
In 1967, Israel illegally occupied the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
Approximately 350,000 Palestinians were made refugees, many for the second
time. Unwelcome in Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon, the once proud Palestinian
people were reduced to vagabonds, with no resources or land to call their
own. Today, there are nearly four million Palestinian refugees scattered
incamps throughout the Middle East. According to the US Committee on
Refugees, one in four refugees worldwide is Palestinian. Imagine the entire
population of Toronto living in refugee camps out in the desert. Sound
absurd? This is a reality the Palestinians know all too well.
Through the Oslo Accord, Palestinians were promised that no new settlements
would be built in the West Bank. The promise was short-lived. Since 1996,
thousands of Israelis have been settled on land seized from Palestinians -
an action that stands in clear contravention to international law. Today
there are at least 155,000 Israeli settlers living in the West Bank and
6,000 in Gaza. More settlements are added
Provocations like this are typical. In 1994, an Israeli terrorist
opened fire in a mosque in the West Bank town of Hebron in 1994, killing 29
people and injuring 47. In response, the Israelis closed the mosque for six
months. When it reopened, the Palestinians discovered the mosque had been
divided - half for the Muslims and half for the Jews - as if to reward the
killer for his perpetration. Had this incident occurred in any other
country, it would not have been tolerated.
It sickens me to compare casualties, but nearly 100 Palestinians have
been killed, and over 2,000 wounded. The dead include children, teenagers,
ambulance drivers, and most recently a 12-year-old boy shot
on his way home from school. In contrast, six Israelis have died,
all of them in the West Bank. As Star columnist Rosie DiManno so aptly
put it: "Life is cheap in the Mideast. But some lives are cheaper than
Make no mistake about it: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not
a conflict of equals. It never has been. Israel has the third strongest
military in the world. It has nuclear weapons, powerful allies, a modern
state infrastructure, and combatively superior armed forces. All the
Palestinians have are stones.
It is in this context that the peace process should be understood. The
events transpiring in the Middle East are not simply due to Ariel Sharon's
provocative visit to al-Haram al-Sharif. The protests are the
result of years of international neglect, unfulfilled promises, and the
failure of the peace process to address the Palestinians' most basic human
and national rights.
More than fifty years after the holocaust, Israel still receives reparations
for atrocities committed against Jews during World War Two. But the
Palestinians, who were also displaced from their homes, are denied any kind
of restitution. The Israelis should understand the plight of the
Palestinians more than anyone.
According to international law, Israel is legally obliged to cease its
occupation and provide full restitution for Palestinian refugees; yet it has
constantly ignored the issue.
Yes, there should be peace in the region. There must be. But the
peace must be based on justice and equality. Whatever the latest US-brokered
ceasefire, it will ultimately fail unless both sides (including Arafat
himself) recognize, in word AND in deed, that the
Palestinians are not pawns. They are human beings, worthy of the same
dignity as anyone else. This is a basis for peace in the Middle East,
and a first step towards reconciling the descendants of Abraham.
At moments of distress, seek help with the dua'a of the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allah be upon him):
"Allaahumma ustar 'awraatanaa wa aamin raw'aatanaa. Allaahumma aj'al tha'
ranaa 'ala man zalamananaa wa'nsurnaa 'ala man baghiya 'alaynaa.
Allaahumma la tushammit binaa'l-a'daa' wa laa'l-haasideen (O Allaah,
cover our faults and calm our fears safe. O Allaah, avenge us over
those who have oppressed us, and grant us victory over those who have
wronged us. O Allaah, do not cause our enemies or those who envy us to take
malicious joy in our misfortune)."
|Re: Mid East crisis not a conficlt of equals|
|10/26/00 at 19:01:17|
Jazak Allahu khairan for posting the article. I thought that the author's name should be given for sake of completion. I am adding this and the date of publishing.
Author of above article: Mohammed Athar Laila
Date of publication: 18th October, 2000 in the Toronto Star ( http://www.thestar.ca )
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