Wednesday, September 22, 2010


As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on August 4, 2010 9:00 AM

1. There is something strange about the behaviour of Israel towards Gaza. Arrogance is of course a part of the Israeli character but beyond that they seem to have a long term plan. On the excuse that rockets had been fired at Israel from Gaza, Israel invaded that strip of Palestinian land, killing 1,400 Gazans, wounding many more and razing to the ground 20,000 homes, over 100 schools, hospitals and other Government buildings.

2. International pressure apparently forced Israel to stop the carnage and to withdraw from Gaza. A kind of peace appeared to have been established and numerous countries pledged billions to rebuild Gaza. After that, news about Gaza ceased to appear in the media and the assumption was that the pledges of aid were being honoured and rebuilding was in progress.

3. After months of silence in terms of media coverage, it was discovered that Israel had blocked aid material and aid workers from entering Gaza. Supported by Egypt, the border between that country and Gaza was closed. The crossing point at Rafah was guarded by Egyptian security personnel and only limited supplies were allowed to pass.

4. Then an NGO group called the Free Gaza Movement sent small boats to Gaza with supplies of food and medicine. Two or three boats got through but after that, of two other boats which tried, one was rammed by an Israeli naval ship, throwing the passengers and supplies into the sea. The other was boarded by Israeli commandos and forced to go to Ashdod port in Israel. The occupants were later released but nothing is known about what happened to the aid supplies.

5. It is clear that Israel with the support of Egypt was carrying out a siege of Gaza. Deprived of medical supplies and exposed in make-shift shelters to the harsh winters, many of the sick and wounded, the old and the small children died.

6. Hearing of the siege, the PGPO (Perdana Global Peace Organisation) of Malaysia suggested that a flotilla of passenger and cargo ships be sent to Gaza. In May 2010 the flotilla set sail but while the boats were still on the high seas, Israeli commandos attacked and killed nine Turkish aid workers on the Mavi Marmara, and injured many others.

7. The boats were forced by the Israeli warships to sail to Ashdod in Israel where the aid workers were detained but were subsequently allowed to make their way back to their own countries.

8. The boats remained at Ashdod. The Israelis reported that they themselves had sent the aid material to Gaza. How much of the material was sent is not known but certainly the Israelis found no weapons of any kind in the cargo carried by the boats. Otherwise they would have invited the world press to show these weapons as proof that the mercy workers were terrorists.

9. Since then Israel has threatened to regard any aid ship from Iran as warships and would attack them, while a Libyan ship with medicine and food is also threatened.

10. Why is Israel doing this? The ships never entered Israeli waters on the way to Gaza and there has been no evidence that weapons were carried. Nor were the people accompanying the cargo in any way connected with "terrorists". There were old women and babies among the people on the MV Mavi Marmara.

11. But it is not only Gaza that the Israelis have put under siege. All the territories that should be under the so-called Palestinian Authority have also been made inaccessible.

12. When I and my small entourage tried to go to Palestine to see the destroyed village of Jenin and to go to Jerusalem, Israelis manning the border between Jordan and Palestine delayed us for more than two hours and so prevented us from seeing Jenin or going to Jerusalem as we had to leave Palestine by 6.00pm. It seems that Israel does not want visitors to visit Palestine and see what the Israelis are doing to Palestinian land.

13. As is well known, Israeli settlements have been built all over Palestinian territory. In addition roads were built which the Palestinians were not allowed to use. A high wall has been built not to separate Israel from Palestine but to break up the villages of the Palestinians.

14. The Palestinian Authority is an anomaly. The UN in 1948 had divided Palestine between the Jews and the Arabs to create two states - Israel for the Jews and Palestine for the Palestinian Arabs. The Arabs were hounded out of Israeli territory through threats of massacre as happened in Deir Yassin.

15. There should therefore be two states on Palestinian land - Israel and Palestine. But after the 6-day war launched by Israel supposedly because it feared attacks by Arab States, much of the Palestinian territory, including Gaza and the West Bank were occupied by Israel.

16. Even then after the attacks were stopped there should still be a state of Palestine on the parts not occupied by Israel. Somehow or other the state of Palestine ceased to exist. Instead there was created the Palestinian Authority and the world seem to accept this as a fait accompli.

17. During World War II much of France was occupied by Germany but the state of France continued to exist having its capital in Vichy. There is no reason why the state of Palestine could not exist even if its territory is much diminished. But the fact is that there is now no Palestine but only a Palestinian Authority.

18. With this the state of Palestine ceased to exist. However, despite the many Jewish settlements built on the remaining Palestinian land, despite obvious evidence of Israeli rule over much of Palestine such as Israeli check-points and control of Palestinian borders together with roads through Palestinian land reserved for Israelis, the world still thinks that there is Palestine and Palestinian land.

19. Although there is a Palestinian Authority, it has in fact no authority over any Palestinian land at all. The Israelis are free to do what they like in places said to be under the Palestinian Authority. Even the collection of taxes are done by the Israelis. At one stage the Israelis refused to hand over the taxes they collected to the Palestinian Authority.

20. Democracy was promoted as a solution to the Palestinian issue after Fatah was persuaded to go along with U.S. plans for a peace solution. However when elections were held Fatah lost to Hamas. Despite all the beliefs in democracy, the U.S. supported Israel in not allowing Hamas to form the Government of Palestine. Instead Fatah was recognised as the Government.

21. Frustrated by U.S hypocrisy Hamas set up a government in Gaza. Even though the Hamas Government was denied jurisdiction over all Palestinian territories, there was no way to dislodge its rule in Gaza.

22. The implication is that whereas the Israelis can build settlements and rule the part of Palestine supposedly under the Palestinian Authority, it cannot do the same in Hamas controlled Gaza. Israel must therefore find other ways of bringing Gaza under its control via the Palestinian Authority.

23. The invasion of Gaza by Israel was therefore to be expected. But so brutal was the Israeli war of occupation of Gaza that the world was revolted by it and forced the war to be stopped. But the Israelis were not going to be so easily frustrated. Without regard for its peace undertakings and international law Israel immediately blockaded supplies and contacts with Gaza by the outside world.

24. The strategy appears to be to weaken the resolve and spirit of the Gazans, to render them so physically weak that the next time Israel invaded the strip the Gazans would be incapable of strong resistance. Eventually it would have to surrender. With this the Israelis would be able to build settlements and exercise authority over Gaza as it has done over the other parts of Palestine.

25. If there should be a negotiation for a two-state solution, it is unthinkable that the Israelis would vacate their settlements or subject themselves to rule by a Palestinian state. They would physically be under Israeli rule and de facto if not de jure be a part of Israel. The bits and pieces of the remaining Palestinian land would still be under Israel control. There would be no recognisable Palestinian state. In fact agreements notwithstanding, there would be only Israel occupying the whole of the land once known as Palestine. There would be no Palestinian identity. Palestine and its history would be lost.

26. This is a form of genocide. A whole people will have been made to disappear very much as if they have all been exterminated. The world will forget there even was a Palestine.

27. My fear is that while the world may forget, the Palestinians and their descendents will not. They will always remember. And remembering they will continue their struggle, probably in ways that the world may have to pay a heavy price for. We are seeing some of it now but what we will be seeing would render peace for the world meaningless.

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