ROOTS OF THE PALESTINE PROBLEM
A JUST PEACE FOR PALESTINE – A conference at IIC, New Delhi 22-23 Sept , 2010
FOUNDATION FOR INDO-TURKIC STUDIES
Tel/Fax ; 43034706 Amb (Rtd) K Gajendra Singh
Emails; Gajendrak@hotmail.com A-44 ,IFS Apartments
KGSingh@Yahoo.com Mayur Vihar –Phase 1,
http://tarafits.blogspot.com/ Delhi 91, India
22 September , 2010.
Since the weather has improved and I am feeling better I have gone out to deliver a few lectures and attend some. Today I went a conference at IIC. I was suspicious since IIC and many such places have become centres of US soft diplomacy with Washcons and multinational employees promoting Western viewpoint .But I went to meet someone who had invited me.
I spent some time at the afternoon session .I could see that those who were seated at the dais were the usual suspects , some residual Communists and leftists peace council types , whose financiers and patrons like USSR vanished two decades ago .After listening to the usual drivel about lack of democracy in Israel ( yes ,from Kibbutz based leftist ideology ,it has morphed into a military ruled apartheid state , where Generals assume political power after taking off their military uniforms) I enquired during question time , who represented Hamas in the conference, which won the first ever free elections in Palestine in 2006 .The gentleman who was extolling the virtue of democracy and lack of it for Arabs in the Jewish state replied rather tartly that he did not want any comments on the internal affairs of Palestinians .Some democracy among Palestinians !.
I met him and other seminar attending types Arabs later outside at teatime and told them that as Ambassador in Amman ( 1989-92) I know the problem well .I enquired from where he and others were .From Jerusalem ,he said , whose lights I could sometimes see from mount Nebo not far from Amman , where Prophet Moses is supposedly buried . I stated that I know what difficulties the Jewish state made in allowing Arabs to leave and enter back via the King Hussein bridge on river Jordan from the Jordan side .I was told there were reasons for their coming out .I presume the reasons are , letting out approved Arabs .They were not very comfortable talking to me and moved away.
There were the other seminar attending types from India , young men and women from JNU or elsewhere flitting in and out self-importantly .One speaker criticised India's purchase of arms from Israel which US would not sell to India . He said India should develop home defense industry .india cannot even organize Commonwealth Games .In any case what should India do. Yes , India's political and official elite in league with the defense agents do promote Israeli profile and cover Tel Aviv's criminal activities , backed by US , whose politicians are in thrall with the Jewish lobby in USA .In spite of threats from Secretary of State George Marshall that he would not speak to President Truman , the latter recognized Israel , simply because Truman ,short of election funds was financed by the Jews .That stranglehold of Jewish money over US political elite continues .
When I was posted in Amman ( 1989-02) the PLO ambassador in India was always recommending his relatives for scholarships for education in India .By the time of 2006 elections in Palestine , the PLO leadership had been bribed and thoroughly compromised by the Israelis. I do not think Arab states can or do much for the Palestinians except mouthing empty slogans from outside . Egypt living on US doles has become a US poodle .
The spontaneous intifadah from within began in Gaza when Arafat and PLO were exiled from Lebanon following illegal Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1980. The PLO had already been expelled from Jordan when as a state within a state it threatened the Hashemite throne ( with Golda Meir stating that a Palestine state already existed in Jordan ,with 60% of the population being of Palestine origin) .The military operations and execution was done by one Brig Zia-ul Haq , with the King thanking the Pakistan President later that he had saved the Hashemite throne .
Till 1979, Shah of Iran was the West's policeman in the Middle East , but his overthrow made Tel Aviv crucial in Western strategy to rule and exploit Arab energy resources , making Israel more obdurate in its demands .After the collapse of the Soviet Union with US and Western troops reaching into central Asia and Afghanistan , with Washington's fond hopes of getting Ukraine and Georgia into NATO , Tel Aviv' s importance might have dimmed but after the return of Kief into Moscow's arms , bashing by Russia of Georgia , US and Israeli ally two years ago , Tel Aviv's strategic value has gone up again .So any change in Israel's policy any time soon is unlikely .And imagine liar Tony Blair involved in the middle east peace talks .
Below is an old piece on the roots of the Arab-Israeli dispute worth a read still.
Take Care Gajendra 22 September, 2010 .Mayur Vihar ,Delhi
ROOTS OF THE PALESTINE PROBLEM AND NEW ROAD MAP
by K.Gajendra Singh
In early 1990, an Indian delegation to Jordan was driven down 40 kms from its capital Amman for lunch at a restaurant on the Dead Sea, 400 mts below sea level. On enquiry, when it was pointed out that the hills and the land across just 18 kms of sea water was the occupied West Bank with Israel in south and north, the Indian leader burst out in Hindustani,"These British ,where ever they went, they first encouraged divisions and then created problem before they left; Palestine, Cyprus, Iraq and India," much to the delight of his host, a Jordanian minister, who having studied in Pakistan, understood everything and was fully in agreement.
But in some ways, the Arab- Israeli problem is as old as time, beginning from the days of the Trojan wars i.e. the struggle between the West and the East, or the expulsion and dispersal of Jews from Palestine. Or since the differences between Prophet Mohammed and the Jews in Medina after the Hijra. Or the Christian Crusades to recover the religious sites in the holy land, except that the Crusaders had treated Jews as brutally as the Muslims and maltreated the Orthodox Christians at Constantinople. And, now in the blunt words of US deputy secretary of state Paul Wolfowitz, to control and exploit the petroleum reserves under Arab lands.
THE NEW ROAD MAP
The latest roadmap or the plan for the Middle East problem unveiled by US President George W. Bush offers little to the long suffering Palestinians except demands on the Palestinian Authority to abandon the struggle against Israel's ever creeping occupation of its territories and suppress those who are struggling for their rights. Except for a brief reference soon after 11 September, Bush has shown little interest in the problem. Perhaps it was to partly humor and strengthen his subservient ally British prime minister Tony Blair, an advocate and supporter of the road map and to appear reasonable in the Arab and Muslim world. Bush committed himself to the road map's vision of two states side-by-side at the Arab leaders summit in Egypt in June and declared that he wanted to see a "a continuous territory that the Palestinians can call home". Then a formal summit was held at Aqaba with the prime ministers of Israel and Palestine and the host, King Abdullah of Jordan. But so far the so called road map has turned out to be a mine infested bloody path.
The plan is divided into three phases which will culminate in the founding of a Palestinian state by 2005. The first part demands an immediate cessation of Palestinian violence, reform of Palestinian political institutions, the dismantling of Israeli settlement outposts built since March 2001 and a progressive Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories in a series of confidence building measures. Next comes the creation of an independent Palestinian state and an international conference. The third and final stage will seek a permanent end to the conflict with an agreement on final borders, the status of Jerusalem, and the fate of Palestinian refugees and Israeli settlements. Arab States would also sign peace deals with Israel.
The four god mothers who midwifed the plan, the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia would decide if each stage has been completed successfully. But like a hazy desert road each stage gets progressively less well defined and it is not clear as to what would constitute an independent and sovereign Palestinian state. On the basis of information available, it appears to be a collection of apartheid-style Bantustans, wholly subservient to a more powerful Israeli state.
The road map was issued only after the US had successfully coerced the Palestinians to implement the first stage i.e. a comprehensive political reform. As Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, father of Palestinian struggle since 1968 ,regularly and fairly elected could not be removed ,he had to be sidelined. So Mahmoud Abbas, known as Abu Mazen, was chosen as Arafat' replacement for discussions to do Washington's bidding. Abu Mazen, a businessman and former adviser to Gulf rulers, had led the discussions culminating in the Oslo Accords.
While Arafat continues to be blamed , he had shown his willingness for a settlement with Israel by signing the Oslo Accords in 1993. But both Israel and USA then wanted to remove him because of his subsequent refusal to go along with Israeli efforts to rewrite the Oslo agreement and reduce the territories making up a Palestinian state and legalise the vast increase in the Israeli settlements on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Arafat's fate was sealed when he failed to suppress the intifada that erupted in September 2000 as a result of Likud leader Ariel Sharon's provocative visit to the Al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount.
After assuming the post of prime minister, Abu Mazen has promised to combat terrorism by any party and in all its shapes and forms, as directed by Washington. USA had also insisted on approving the cabinet list, which included Muhammad Dahlan as the top security official because of his proclaimed readiness to crack down on militant Palestinian groups. A US dependent Egypt pitched in by pressurizing Arafat to accept Dahlan. It was only after Abu Mazen had been installed that the road map was published. An unnamed Bush official told the press candidly, We are telling people that this is the moment to build up Abu Maze, and it undermines that objective if you treat Arafat like he is still in charge. That cannot happen and must not happen.
The first demand placed on the Palestinian Authority was that it suppress militant groups like Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Fateh's own Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. The document declares, A two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be achieved through an end to violence and terrorism, when the Palestinian people have a leadership acting decisively against terror. A recipe for a civil war among Palestinians.
ROOTS & HISTORY OF THE PROBLEM
After the roll back of Ottoman Turks from the gate of Vienna in the16th century, European powers started moving into Islamic lands and from 18 the century onwards progressively colonized them. The British had already taken over Cyprus and Egypt but the World War I provided an opportunity for further colonial acquisitions when Turkey sided with Germany. To protect its Indian possession and the Suez Canal, its lifeline, the British encouraged Arabs under Hashemite ruler Sharif Hussein of Hijaj to revolt against the Ottoman Sultan Caliph in Istanbul (and deputed spy T E Lawrence to help out) with promises of independence.
But the war's end did not bring freedom to the Arabs as at the same time, by the secret Sykes-Picot agreement in 1916, the British and French had arbitrarily divided the Sultan's Arab domains and their warring populations of Shi'ites, Sunnis, Alawite Muslims, Druzes, and Christians. The French took most of greater Syria, dividing it into Syria and Christian-dominated Lebanon. The British kept Palestine, Iraq and the rest of Arabia. When Sharif Hussein's son Emir Feisel arrived in Damascus to claim Syria, the French chased him out. So the British installed him on the Iraqi throne. Feisel's brother Emir Abdullah, was granted a new Emirate of Trans-Jordan, east of river Jordan, encompassing wasteland vaguely claimed by Syrians, Saudis and Iraqis.
By the 1917 Balfour Declaration Britain had also promised a homeland for Jews in Palestine. Under the Versailles conference in 1920 Britain was made the mandatory power for Palestine, which appointed Samuel Butler, as liberal Jew, as the first High Commissioner to facilitate Jewish immigration and their settlement. So the European Jews began immigrating to Palestine, and the trickle became a flood with the rise of anti-Semitic policies in Nazi Germany and elsewhere in Europe. From then onwards started fights, pogroms and battles between Palestinian Arabs and Jewish immigrants. After World War II, the state of Israel, was carved out of British Palestine by the United Nations in 1948, but it was not recognized by the Arabs. In the ensuing first 1948 Arab-Israeli war, which the Arabs lost, Israel expanded its area, while Jordan in collusion with Israel annexed the West Bank and Egypt took over Gaza. Palestinians were then just another Arab people up for grabs.
Following the rise of Arab nationalism in the early 1950s led by Colonel Gamal Nasser of Egypt, socialists and nationalists, mostly military officers, took over the decaying medieval kingdoms of Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Libya - much to the consternation of Western oil companies. The Anglo-French attempt in collusion with Israel to cut Nasser down to size in the 1956 Suez war , opposed by USA and USSR ,was an abject failure. But in the 6-day pre-emptive war of 1967, Israel captured the West bank from Jordan and Gaza from Egypt and occupied Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and Syria's Golan Heights. Thus were laid the foundations for Arab Israeli problems of the region. The core UN resolution 242 requires that Israel vacate lands it occupied after the 1967 war.
From its very inception, almost all its neighbors coveted Jordan. But astute King Hussein (who ruled from 1953 to 1999 ) not only survived a dozen assassination attempts, he also fended off conspiracies against his land. When he died in 1999 of cancer, the kingdom had become a keystone of equilibrium in the region and a modern flourishing state, despite lacking oil or other resources. Palestinians make up 60 percent of Jordan's population (some Israeli leaders say that in Jordan Palestinians already have their own state). PLO militants and Palestinian army officers conspired against King Hussein (King Abdullah, his grandfather, was assassinated by a Palestinian in 1951), who expelled the Arafat-led PLO to Beirut in early 1971 with some help from Gen Ziaul Haq , then posted as adviser in Amman. The Hashemite Kings rely on tribal Jordanians for the security and armed forces and have Chechens as their praetorian guards.
Menachim Begin and Shamir, who became prime ministers of Israel later and had fought savage guerilla battles against the British and the Arab Palestinians to create the Jewish state of Israel were no different than leaders of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and others ( it can be seen in British archives). The British were unable to handle the turbulent situation and handed over the problem to UNO, which in 1947 put forward a plan to partition the Palestine into Arab and Jewish states. Since then there have been three regional wars between Israel and the Arabs (1948 , 1967 and 1973) and two Palestinian uprisings (intifadas) against Israeli occupation. It was either an Arab wish to destroy the state of Israel or an Israeli attempt to extend its (Biblical ) boundaries further into Arab lands. With every war and uprising more Palestinians came under Israeli control or left their home land and now number into millions. After each war Israel gained more territory. In 1948 it extended the Jewish areas under the partition plan to its present internationally recognised borders ( but the Arabs of Israel do not have full and equal rights as its citizens ) From these areas a large number of Palestinian refugees fled or were forced to flee the Jewish state in 1948. Following the wars in 1948 and 1967, Israel began an illegal program of building new settlements in the occupied territories and which has continued all along and never really ceased.
The 1973 Yom Kippur war initiated by Egypt left Israel feeling vulnerable and not that invincible. Only a US military hardware air bridge and other help turned the corner for the Israelis. But Egypt gained little while oil rich Gulf states became obscenely wealthy with four fold increase in crude prices. Egypt made a peace deal with Israel in 1978 at Camp David after the 1977 startling visit and address to the Israeli Knesset (Parliament ) by its president Anwar Sadaat, who was later assassinated for this decision by his own Islamist soldiers. Egypt got its territories back including oil wells in Sinai. In 1982 when Sharon was the defence minister Israel invaded Lebanon and expelled Arafat and his guerrillas from there. It was then that massacres took place at the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Chatilla for which Sharon was blamed after an enquiry. Arafat and his PLO headquarters were shifted to Tunis.
Jordan made peace with Israel after the Oslo Accords. In 1988 it had given up all its claims on the West Bank in favour of Araft led Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). But the Israeli conflict with other Arab states like Syria , Lebanon, Iraq and others persists. It is said that there can be no war against Israel without Egypt and no peace without Syria ( with its armed forces in Lebanon and its support to Hizbullah ) With Egypt neutralized ,fears of a regional, or wider conflagration have receded but it has only spurred up Islamist terrorism, and hatred towards Israel's mainly western backers, now USA. More so after the US-UK led invasion of Iraq. But every one agrees that great injustice has been done to the Palestinians , now under Israel control or as refugees spread elsewhere, with millions still living as refugee camps.
Israel after its agreement with Egypt had thought that it had resolved the problem of Palestinians under their control, who also provided cheap labour. It was then that Palestinians in occupied territories, refusing to be enslaved revolted. It erupted as Intifada in 1987 in the Gaza Strip and then spread to the West Bank. Later other organizations took over and claimed credit for this spontaneous out burst of anger against repression and thirst for freedom. Except for stone throwing by children, it was generally free from violence from the side of the Palestinians. These pictures on TV screens around the world brought home the injustice being perpetrated on the Palestinians in their own ancestral home land.
The 1987 Intifada was almost like Mahatma Gandhi's non violent movement against the British in a Middle East setting. The Hashemite kingdom of Jordan used to screen on its TV channel Attenborough's film Gandhi on the anniversary of Intifada in November, which was easily received in the occupied territories, Israel , Syria and the neghbourhood. Its implicit message was to keep the revolution ( Intifada ) non-violent and not let Israel divide the Palestinian people in their struggle. The horrendous results of change over to violence , with regular killings of Israelis by suicide bombers and carnage and destruction by Israeli military planes, helicopter gunships and missiles in the second Intifada from September 2000 are there for all to see.
It is amazing that those who suffered so much in the Holocaust and for centuries earlier due to blind prejudice in Europe and elsewhere, are so capable of inflicting the same unspeakable horrors on the lives of others. What the Israelis are doing is indeed the action of 'terrorists' who accuse Palestinians of terror. When a person has to turn himself or herself into a human bomb in order to fight for a cause, when children throw stones at tanks,...these are acts of desperation from an oppressed people.
Israel is a powerful country, backed by the mighty power of America, both in money and in arms. The world recognizes the plight of the Palestinians, and understands it but is unable do much about such incredibly inhumane events such as in Jenin and elsewhere.
"In the present political atmosphere in the US and Europe, anybody who dares express criticism of Israel is immediately silenced as an anti-Semite. Part of the reason why the Israeli and Jewish lobby has been so successful in forcing this accusation is the massive lack of knowledge about what is really happening---The Israeli press is as obedient as elsewhere, and it recycles faithfully the military and governmental messages. But part of the reason it is more revealing is its lack of inhibition. Things that would look outrageous in the world, are considered natural daily routine. "(From Israel/Palestine by Prof Tanya Reinhart, Tel Aviv University.)
Since the occupation of Palestinian territories after the 1967 war, the major policy debate in Israeli military and political elites has been about how to keep maximum land (and water and other resources ) with minimum Palestinian population. Annexation of heavily populated Palestinian land, with high birth rates would have created a demographic problem" and reduced Jewish majority. ( Massive emigration from Russia was encouraged and organized in early 1990s). So two solutions have been considered. Labour party's Alon plan consisted of annexation of 35-40 percent of the occupied territories, and either a Jordanian rule, or some form of autonomy for the remaining land to which the Palestinian population would be confined to.
It was a necessary compromise as it was inconceivable to repeat the "solution" of the 1948 Independence war, when much of the land was obtained "Arab-free", following mass expulsion of the Palestinians ( nearly 700,000 were forced to flee). But in keeping with Sharon's character, the second solution now remains the mission how to get more land by finding a more acceptable and sophisticated 1948 style" solution ie squeeze out as many Palestinians as possible. "Jordan is Palestine" was the phrase Sharon and other leaders had coined in the 1980's.
The 1993 Oslo accord was along the lines of the Alon plan to which Arafat had agreed. In the past, the Palestinians had always opposed such plans, which would take away too much of their land. Arafat had agreed only because he was getting old and losing his grip on the Palestinian society. There was opposition to his dictatorial one man rule and open corruption in his organization. This is a difficulty with all revolutionary organizations when they acquire levers of power. In this case funds meant for PLO were distributed among close associates ( some of them look quite well fed and content ) , which was being talked about openly.
Only an apparent "smashing victory" could have saved Arafat in power. So behind the back of the Palestinian negotiating team headed by Haider Abd al-Shafi, Arafat accepted an agreement that left all Israeli settlements intact even in the Gaza strip, where 6000 Israeli settlers occupy one third of the land, while a million Palestinians are crowded in the rest. But as time went by , Israel extended the "Arab-free" areas by new settlements and connecting roads etc in the occupied territories to about 50% of their land. Labor circles began to talk about the "Alon Plus" plan, namely even more land to Israel. That would have still allowed some kind of self-rule in the remaining 50% land under Palestinians, but like Bantustans in South Africa. Palestinians would be left with less than 20% of 1945 Palestine under the British mandate.
At the time of Oslo accords , majority of the Israelis were tired of war. They thought fights over land and water resources were over. Haunted by the memory of the Holocaust, most Israelis believed that the 1948 War of Independence, with its horrible consequences for the Palestinians, was necessary to establish a state for the Jews. But now both sides with their states could live normally and peacefully. Majority of people on both the sides believed that what they were witnessing were just "interim agreements" and that eventually the occupation would somehow end, and the settlements would be dismantled. Two third of the Jewish Israelis supported the Oslo agreements in the polls. It was obvious that there was no stomach for any new wars over land and water.
But the ideology of war over land never died out in the army, or in the circles of politically influential generals, whose careers moved from the military to the government. ( effortlessly ) From the start of the Oslo process, the maximalists objected to giving even that much land and rights to the Palestinians. This was most visible in military circles, whose most vocal spokesman was then chief of staff, Ehud Barak, who objected to the Oslo agreements from the start. Another beacon of opposition was, of course, Ariel Sharon. In 1999, the army got back to power through the politicized generals - first Barak, and then Sharon ( from Israel/ Palestine by Prof. Tanya Reinhart )
So the maximalist generals turned rulers decided to correct what they view as the grave mistakes of Oslo In their eyes, Sharon's alternative of fighting the Palestinians to the bitter end and imposing new regional order may have failed in Lebanon in 1982 because of the weakness of spoiled Israeli society. But now, given the new war philosophy established through U.S. military operations in Iraq, Kosovo, and, later, Afghanistan, the political generals believed that with Israel's massive air superiority, it might still be possible to execute that vision. However, in order to get there, it was first necessary to convince the Israeli society that, in fact, the Palestinians were not willing to live in peace, and were still threatening Israel's very existence. Sharon alone could not have possibly achieved that, but Barak did succeed with his generous offer- fraud. There was no real offer on the table. It was a media assisted creation.
Earlier the world was made to believe that Israel was willing to withdraw even from the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. In the polls, 60% of the Israelis, hoping for peace , had enthusiastically supported dismantling all settlements in the Golan Heights. But the end of this round of peace negotiations ended in the same way as with Palestinians. It was made out that Syrian leader Hafiz Al Assad did not comprehend and had let the opportunity slip. Israelis then became convinced that it was the rejectionist Assad who was unwilling to get his territories back and make peace with Israel. Assad was a cool and wise statesman and was not fooled. Those close to the military now say that "Hezbollah, Syria and Iran are trying to trap Israel in a 'strategic ambush' and that Israel has to evade that ambush by setting one of its own ie another war, like the 1967 pre-emptive war. And they are encouraging hawks in US administration in that direction. USA and UK have shown the way in Iraq by their war on Iraqis to disarm Saddam Hussein of weapons of mass destruction, which have not been found so far.
Yes, there was the increasing popularity of Netanyahu but on September 28, 2000, why did Barak permit Sharon a provocative visit to Temple Mount/Haram to ignite the boiling frustrations accumulated in the Palestinian society? The massive security forces used rubber bullets against unarmed demonstrators. When the visit triggered more demonstrations the next day, Barak escalated the shootings and ordered Israeli forces and tanks into densely populated Palestinian areas. By all indications, the escalation of Palestinian protest into armed clashes could have been prevented had the Israeli response been more restrained. Even in the face of armed resistance, Israel's reaction had been grossly out of proportion, as stated by the General Assembly of the UN, which condemned Israel's "excessive use of force" on October 26, 2000.
The first Palestinian terrorist attack on Israeli civilians inside Israel took place on 2 November, 2000, a month after Israel used its full military machine against Palestinians including helicopters, tanks, and missiles. So it was not defence against terrorism as claimed by Israel. It would appear that another plan (Field of Thorns ) to destroy the Palestinian infrastructure and to discredit Arafat ie that he never given up the option of violence were ready in October 2000 and are contained in a manuscript known as the White Book.
Prof Reinhart suggests in her book that despite the horrors of the last two years, there is still another alternative. Israel should withdraw immediately from the territories occupied in 1967. The bulk of Israeli settlers (150,000 of them) are concentrated in the big settlement blocks in the center of the West bank. These areas cannot be evacuated over night. But the rest of the land (about 90% - 96% of the West bank and the whole of the Gazastrip) can be evacuated immediately. Many of the residents of the isolated Israeli settlements that are scattered in these areas are speaking openly in the Israeli media about their wish to leave. It is only necessary to offer them reasonable compensation for their property. The rest - the hard-core land redemptions fanatics - are a negligible minority that will have to accept the will of the majority.
That would leave only 6 to 10% of territories under occupation with large settlement blocks. This along with the issues of Jerusalem and the right of return could be left for negotiations, after the Palestinian society begins to recover, settle on the land that the Israelis evacuate, construct political institutions and develop its economy. According toDahaf poll of May 6 2002, solicited by Peace Now, 59 percent supported a unilateral withdrawal of the Israeli army from most of the occupied territories, and dismantling most of the settlements. Only this can renew the peace process.
In the evolutionary ladder of governance, societies have moved up from the tribal model when the warrior chief , sometimes the head priest too, was the ruler. Security of the tribe and wars was his major preoccupation. While rich Jewish communities all over the world exercised indirect influence over decision makers ( and aroused suspicion and dislike ), as it still does in USA and elsewhere, Israel is the first Jewish state in history after 2 millennia. It is barely 50 years old. Based on its history of persecution leading to the holocaust, inputs of messianic religious fervour, labour (kibbutz) ideals and other ideas brought by its ruling elite mostly from the European states, the warrior king construct dominates Israel' state philosophy and the political system, situated as it is among almost implacably hostile Arabs(tribes).
Unfortunately, policies and plans of Israel's political generals have now become dovetailed into the views of US neo-conservatives like Vice-President Dick Cheney, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, his deputy Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and others. More so after 11 September .In the name of fight against terrorism more terror is being unleashed and spread around the world with its back lash. But neither in Israel nor even in USA a sense of security had increased among their people. Certainly not in Israel, where stability, security and peace remain elusive like a chimera.
A recent statement in Washington by a very senior Indian official that India should form an alliance with USA and Israel to fight terrorism was most ill conceived. With Israel' record of brutality and injustice perpetrated on hapless Palestinians and US disregard for international law, illegal invasion of Iraq and saber rattling against Syria, Iran and others, it runs counter to India history, composite culture and civilization and long term interests and policies. It could also learn from others about what US promises mean and its ambivalent attitude on cross border terrorism, affecting India. It is of totally different origins and motivation to what Israel claims as terror.
(K Gajendra Singh, served as Indian Ambassador to Turkey and Azerbaijan in 1992-96. Prior to that, he served as ambassador to Jordan (during the 1990-91 Gulf war), Romania and Senegal. He is currently chairman of the Foundation for Indo-Turkic Studies Email-Gajendrak@hotmail.com)
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