Wednesday, August 4, 2010
The Gaza Horror Again.
Tun Mahathir wrote a very moving article again in his blog about the horror in the Gaza where some 1400 Palestinians were killed (including 300 children and 13 Israelis which he didn't mention) and 20,000 homes were destroyed including 100 hospitals, schools and government buildings. International criticism stopped the carnage but Israel continued to restrict food and other relief items from going into the Gaza so much so that the Palestinians are starved. He ended his article entitled:
GENOCIDE - THE DESTRUCTION OF AN IDENTITY:
"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."
How do you think will the Israelis react to such a pronouncement. Would it soften any heartstring or moral fiber among the israelis (assuming that they still have some) to relent their oppression on the Gaza settlers?
Let's turn to what Chris Patten, the last governor of Hong Kong, a former European Union commisioner for external affairs and the chancellor of the University of Oxford says in regard to what he describes as the Gaza Horror:
"The world periodically wakes up to the horrors of life in the Gaza..We were awakened , for example, by the military assault of December 2008 and January last year, when more than 1.300 Palestinians including more than 100 children and 13 Israelis died. We noticed the long-running horror story again when when the Isrtaeli defence forces attacked the Turkish Freedom flotilla carrying relief supplies, in May, with nine civilian fatalities.
"We have to be careful with language when discussing Israeli actions. Those who argue that there is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza should not compare the situation with Ethiopia or Sudan in the middle of a draught or a war. Conditions in Gaza are harsh and the population does suffer. Israel's government has denied that people are starving and has srelaxed its import restriction regime. But the siege was never intended to starve Gazans....the aim was 'to put Palestinians on a diet'
" The intention was collective punishment, imposed partly in response to Hamas' political control of Gaza..."
Note the diplomacy . and the conclusion is deliberately tactful:
"I want to see Israel, a free, democratic society, living up to its original values and at peace with its neighbours. It will not achieve this through the apalling Gaza policy. The world - starting with the United States administration and the European Union - shoud tell that to Israel. But don't hold your breath."
How tactful, indeed, is the forceful message put across that Israel should be told off about its apalling Gaza policy. Shouldn't we therefore, try to adopt this style, at least to induce the United States, the European Union and Israel to listen, read and consider our appeal, made with tact and diplomacy and not like rubbing sandpaper into their face? Or are we going to continue to be bold, daring and courageous, but achieving nothing and on the contrary inviting Israel to tighten its hold on Gaza and the Palestinians?
We all know that Tun has been and is still famous for his no-nonsense approach to problem solving. He's the man who calls a spade a spade and we are proud of his forceful words and character as our ex Prime Minister. But we have been harping at and cursing the injustices and brutality of Israel for years without any result. Even the international community has joined the critics and the victims of Israel's "apalling Gaza policy" without any substantive results.
So, shouldn't we try to be a little diplomatic or do we continue with the curse and vitriolic criticisms which we know will just be ignored and sneered at by the US and Israel.True the world community has now joined us in the chant against Israel's brutality but nothing much seems to happen and Tun Mahathir has predicted a very gloomy end to the Palestinian history. Do we have anything to loose to try a different approach? But as Chris Patten says, "don't hold your breath" expecting a miracle. There are so much that Hamas and the Palestinians themselves must do to save themselves from total disaster.