Uploaded on May 31, 2021
Palestine-Israel Conflict: Question Mark on UN’s Role
Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam
Palestine is one of the most ancient countries in the world. Different groups of people have ruled over here. This land has been the habitation and centre of noble Prophets. Of one lakh twenty four thousand noble Prophets mentioned in the Holy Qur’an many of them made this land their centre. Jews, Christians and Muslims have had their religious attachment with this region. Roman Empire was also present here. Christians also ruled over here and then the area was under Muslim rule for quite a long period. During their rule, Muslims granted citizens following religions other than Islam all rights to live here; none was banished forcibly to leave the land. None was made homeless, but in the twentieth century the inhabitants of this land were deprived of their homeland and instead of them people from foreign lands were settled there. There was an exodus of people from Germany, Austria, France, al-Andalus and some other parts of the world to Palestine. The houses in the possession of the Palestinians and Arabs were allotted by the British and other world powers to immigrants. Thus, a new state called Israel was mischievously planted in the Middle East on May 14, 1948 by rendering centuries-old Arab inhabitants of the region homeless. Not surprisingly the UN also recognised the existence of Israel. In 1948, the area of Israel was less that 50% whereas Israel has by now occupied 87% of the Palestinian land. Above this, new Jewish settlements continue to surface there. Israel aims to annex the West Bank, the occupied Bayt al- Maqdis and Ghaza. Complete annihilation of Palestine is on their mind. To achieve this, Israel constantly engages in air strikes, killing innocent Palestinian citizens and forcing them to abandon their homes. On the other hand, Palestinians strive hard to put up a brave defence. Helpless as they are, when they use stones instead of guns to defend themselves, they are condemned as terrorists.
This is what has happened during the recent time. It was May 7 and the day was Jumat-ul-Wida (Friday of Farewell). Muslims were offering prayer on this day at Masjid al-Aqsa. Suddenly the Israel army opened fire on the devout which caused great disturbance. Eleven Palestinians attained martyrdom in this Israeli strike. Tens of people suffered injuries; the microphone installed in the mosque and many other goods were destroyed. Onslaught during prayer amounts to tyranny and barbarism, but Israel committed all these misdeeds, and the whole world remained mute spectator for several days, and stood aghast at the sight of these tragic developments. Assault on devout in the holy mosque and narrowing down the land of Bayt al- Maqdis forced the Hamas to retaliate against harassment and violence. When Palestinians realised that the whole world is silent over the Israeli terrorism and the UN too has failed to perform its role; the US is equipping Israel with weapons to unleash oppressive measures, Hamas fired rockets into Israel in self-defence. A few hours later Israel retaliated in turn with a bombardment on Gaza Strip, and launching incessant rocket strikes. These strikes targeted the tallest building in the area, refugee camps, residential area, media centres, government offices, hospitals and roads, destroying them all. The war between Hamas and Israel continued for about 11 days in which 254 innocent Palestinians were martyred while 1000 of them were injured. More than 50 schools have been removed from the surface of the earth and more than 200 residential dwellings have been razed to the ground by Israel. UN General Assembly convened an emergency meeting to address the Israeli terrorism and massacre of the innocent people. Several countries including the US landed their support to the oppressions of Israel, denying protection to the unarmed Palestinians. Finally, the UN even failed to pass a joint statement. However, on the initiative of Egypt, UN convened a General Assembly session, following which the warring countries agreed on a ceasefire. Thus, the war has stopped for the time being. The foremost question disturbing all sane people is why the UN fails to stop oppressions.
Why doesn’t the UN rein back Israel? The area of Bayt al-Maqdis is under the UN control. Why is then Israel building illegal settlements there? Why is it that the UN Security Council doesn’t do justice with the oppressed people? Why the UN fails when it comes to defend the weak countries? Why the UN exercises its rights and power to subdue only the weaker countries?
Israel poses a grave threat to the region. Ever since the state of Israel has come into being in the Middle East, this region has been experiencing trouble and civil war all the time.
There is no peace, security and development apart from a few countries. The dubious role of the US is exposed to all because of its shameless display of defence of the Israeli attacks. Israel assaulted and killed innocent children and women. School buildings were torched, hospitals, water tank, residential dwellings and media offices were attacked, and crimes were committed by blatantly violating human rights. Despite the US and European countries making tall claims to be the standard-bearers of human rights, they landed support to Israel. Is this an act of humanism by any standard?
What a strange criterion for defending human rights! Is the murder of innocent children not a crime and an act of terrorism in the view of the US and Europe? Is it not an act against humanity when Israel targeted women with missiles? Was the destruction of schools a right decision of Israel? Why we see a double standard being followed in the name of protecting human rights?
Why oppressors are protected and the oppressed persecuted? Why self-proclaimed super powers pursue policies which contain contradictions? Do Gaza children and women carry no weight or they are outcaste from the human race? Do their lives and possessions have no meaning? On one hand we find the US, world’s super power, adopting double standard, while on the other hand the UN presents itself as a prey to helplessness and senselessness. During its 70 years long existence, Muslims have only suffered persecution and oppression due to this mute spectator called UN. Justice is denied to Muslims. To solve the Palestine issue, Arab countries and other Muslim countries should come together and prepare a roadmap. Bayt al- Maqdis and Masjid al-Aqsa are not the concerns of Palestine only, rather they are a concern for all the people across the world, human rights protagonists and human rights activists, and for all Muslims. Furthermore, it is a fundamental responsibility to resolve the issue since it concerns humanity.
(The writer is General Secretary, All India Milli Council)