Palestine and Wicked Leaders By Mahboob A. Khawaja, Ph.D.
With the failing of international institutions responsible for saving the humanity from the scourge of wars and maintenance of peace and security, global politics is fast becoming a puppet show for fantasy and amusement. Politicians with borrowed public funds, time and interests ruling the societies act like sadistic maniacs deduced to preservation of self –interest, falsification of the facts of human life, cynicism and ruthless behavior toward the people. Undoubtedly, since ancient times, politics is game of pretension, favorite perversion, stage acting and tyranny of good intentions and deeds. The Arab world is no different and its oil-riched rulers think and behave like draconian creature, some Israeli leaders are a master piece of the epic script of deception and the American President and Congress are the moving force of this incredibly influential powerhouse of global hegemonic imagery of conceit and dichotomy. The liberal democracy exposes many illusion of human dignity, preservation of human rights, freedom and liberty but it fails to tell the real cost – how disjointed and derailed the world finds the gimmick of so called democracy working nowhere on this planet as it should have been a force for change, peace, human equality and human emancipation.
Across the Arab landscape, the authoritarian rulers and challenging public voices of REASON are meeting in shouting matches echoing “Allah -O –Akbar – God is Great” gun fires, crushing tanks, dead bodies and funeral processions being fired upon at random. What is the problem? The wicked leaders accuse Islamic extremism that is nowhere to be seen but people shout for freedom from tyranny and injustice. For ages, the former colonial master have ruled the Arab people and dominated their ancient culture by force and coercion through the agents of influence – the neo-colonial rulers groomed and supported by the European and American Masters. People want to change the absurdity of governance but there is no viable political mechanism to perceive change – the phenomenon overriding the global conscience for recognition and respect of human freedom, dignity and progress as part of the political system of governance – the essence of Islamic laws and principles for human development. The Arab rulers are paranoid, vengeful and view it suspiciously as it will challenge and dismantle the authoritarianism imposed upon the Arab people. Despite the new millennium of knowledge-based HOPE and CHANGE, the Arab people are coerced to live voicelessly under the shadow of foreign mercenaries maintained elite palaces offering security from public scrutiny, unthinkable comforts and pleasures to the egomaniac kings, legitimate and illegitimate prince and princesses and self-made presidents of the oil exporting Arab world. The people and the rulers live in different time zone facing unimaginative war frontiers and being unable to see each other on rational footing or find a logical meeting ground as necessary interchangeable component for mutual survival.
The compelling realities reflecting human perspectives and values demand NEW THINKING, NEW PROACTIVE VISIONARY LEADERSHIP, NEW STRATEGIES and PLANS to deal with sensitive issues of the 21st century politics, individual absolutism, human freedom and justice. But there is nothing new if you were to listen to President Obama, the sole remaining spokesman of the leftover superpower, Israeli PM Netanyahu speaking at the US Congress or the dummy and ever dormant Arab rulers speaking at fattish luncheon gatherings during the month of Ramadan – Fasting. There is no new message, no new spirit for co-existence or reconciliation or to talk of peace between the divergent people and conflicting cultures. One day, President Obama called for the emergence of an independent State of Palestine based on the June 1967 borders. The next day addressing the AIPAC, he insulted the human intelligence by reframing his thoughts on the Israeli encroachment of Palestinian lands and to allow the illegal Israeli settlements and to redefine the new borders. The leaders work for the protection of the self, not the much acclaimed public interest and good. It is inconceivable that good and evil both could be vested in one human character. President Obama preached the message of “change” – “YES WE CAN” but acted with obsessed insanity and cruelty by continuing the bogus “War on Terrorism” in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan killing and displacing millions more. Negation and violations of the American political values at Guantomobay and “Abu Ghraib” meant nothing to his “Audacity of Hope.” It was a political stunt to appease the public and win the elections. His re-election campaign for 2012 Presidential election has already started. Most likely, he will be re-elected given the money and support he enjoins form the all the establishments including AIPAC and Jewish lobbyists.
Netanyahu got impressive standing ovations from the US Congress and continuous applause. But these men are paid to do the job and they do applause the Israeli PM as he returned second time in his political career to address the gathering. Fair is foul, foul is fair, what else is new. The global community looks for new ideas and strategies to resolve the disputes between Israelis and Palestinians but Netanyahu lacks the political imagination and utters highly controversial opinions. He is an opinionator with confrontational attitude, not the wise man to cooperate for peacemaking. There are numerous Jewish intellectuals, peace activists and religious groups in the US and Israel seeking end to the settlements, equal rights and peace and co-existence with Palestinians. Their voices live in denial when Netanyahu spoke to the American Congress. The Israeli PM appeared obsessed with individual absolutism not spirited to facilitate peace-making.
Mr. Netanyahu minced his own agenda for survival – always talking of the Holocaust that happened in Europe and affixing the religious element to the Zionist statehood.What Holocaust has to do with the Palestinians or the Arabs? The global humanity knows the European crimes against the Jews. Theses crimes against Jews were planned and unleashed by the nationalist Europeans in Europe, not by the Arabs in Palestine. Logic and facts of political life failed to support Netanyahu even some of the Jewish groups were standing out at the Congress edifice and protesting against the Israeli PM contentions in Washington. Phil Rockstroh (“A Zionist State of Mind, A Dreamscape of Ghosts: One Jew’s Hard Awakening.” MediaMonitors Network, USA, June 17, 2010)explains the facts of real life:
“The Jewish state demands its neighbors make amends for crimes they did not commit — to cower before the steel-toe might of its military and make perpetual penitence for the sins of Europe. Even if they did so: Such an act would not restore my mother’s childhood … would not return to flesh the ashen remains of the millions who made their graves in the winds of twentieth century Europe. For the Jewish people, as is the case with all humanity, survival in the present age is not dependent on military prowess nor the blessing of an imaginary father in the sky…. Accordingly, the most putrefied and pernicious of these fallacies — the delusion that there exists a “Chosen People” — must be the first to be toppled. God’s Chosen People? Chosen for what reason: First, divinely bestowed entitlement to a parcel of parched landscape, then exile, persecution, extermination? And now for what purpose: Simply to join the brutal ranks of history’s bullies?”
Freedom of Palestine and establishment of an independent State of Palestine is at the heart of the political issue in relations between the dominant Arab world and Israel. Mr. Netanyahu spoke of peace and two state solutions but focused on animosity-geared utterances making sure that Palestinian are not allowed to exercise their right of self-determination for the establishment of an independent State of Palestine. Alan Hart (“Zionism and Peace are incompatible” ICH, Oct 21, 2010) refers to General Peled, one of the Israeli voices of reason on the working of two states:
“Now the West Bank is riddled with towns and malls and highways built on Palestinian land for Jews only and Israeli cabinet members openly discuss population transfers, or rather transfer of its non-Jewish population. The level of oppression and the intensity of the violence against Palestinians has reached new heights… Discussing the two-state solution now under these conditions shows an acute inability to accept reality… There is an illusion that a liberal, forward thinking government can rise in Israel and then everything will be just as liberal Zionists wish it to be. They will pick up where Rabin and Arafat left off and we will have the pie in sky Jewish democracy liberal Jews want so much to see in Israel. This illusion is shared by American Jews, liberal Zionists in Israel and around the world and in the West where guilt of two millennia of persecuting Jews still haunts the conscience of many. If only there were better leaders and if only this and if only that.”
The PLO as is, needs to organize itself with unity and purpose and a new visionary and educated leadership to deal with Israel. Dead Arafat or living Abbas do not move the scale. Both have wasted time and opportunities to serve the interests of the people of Palestine. Palestinian masses cannot hope to get guidance and leadership support from other Arab rulers, mostly corrupt and devoid of moral and political imagination. The freedom of Palestine and establishment of normal relations with Israel had never assumed serious attention from the Arab ruling elite living in palaces not with people. The dubious character Arab rulers are never open to listening or learning from the voices of REASON. There are no academic institutions in the oil producing Arab states offering educational programs or policy issues dealing with peace and conflict management discipline. Israelis scan the world and track interactions and influence with scholars and intellectuals across the globe to know and understanding varied perspectives. Israeli universities are well equipped to offer programs on Arabian life, conflict management and peace.
Despite resources and opportunities, the Arab rulers neglected the vitality of public institutions more so related to peace and conflict resolution and failed to develop the capacity and environment for human communication and societal linkages as Jews have been part of the Islamic faith. Muslims have no animosity for Jews and are enriched with respect and love for Moses, the Prophet of God. Knowledge of Israeli culture and social relations will create better working environment for peace and conflict management. Muslims and Jews have lived together for centuries, When the European persecuted the Jews, and Arabs were the leading societies offering protection and asylum from the European tyranny. Today, Palestinians are the victims of the Israeli tyranny. They are refugees in their ancestral homes and displaced people who cannot return to their homes, as contends Mr. Netanyahu. There is no sense of peace-talking or peace-making except one-sided sadistic view and denial of the historical facts of human lives. Over two thousands years, Jews were displaced by the Romans and other Europeans, according to Netanyahu, Jews can come to Palestine and live but not the people of Palestine who were forced to leave their homes just over sixty years ago, cannot be entitled to their own homes and habitats. What criteria of rationality is this? Does it reflect democratic values that Israeli politicians claim to enshrine in their system of governance? This is a contemptuous rejection of human values and an insult to common sense approach to peace and conflict management. Alan Hart (“Zionism and Peace are incompatible” ICH, Oct 21, 2010), a notable American Jewish scholar puts it in clear perspective:
“At last somebody has said it in the most explicit way possible…. “The problem is Zionism and the solution is dismantling the Zionist framework and instituting a secular democracy that does not discriminate between Israelis and Palestinians.”
At times, politicians gain insane satisfaction when they talk foolishly but pretend to be intelligent opinion maker. To his credit, at least Mr. Netanyahu is talking of the self-ingrained dichotomy but the Arab rulers are not. They lack intellectual know-how and capacity to speak intelligently or address the global forums affecting politics and policy making. Once upon a time, the Arab rulers had moral superiority when they were linked to Islam and its THINKING power and influence dominating the Western intellectual and scientific world. The known devotees of violence and cruelty across the Arab world, the authoritarian rulers, the typical ignorant and dummy syndrome in its most naked form, preoccupied with silencing forcibly the voices for change and democratic governance are looking for escape routes and to blame others including President Obama for the failing of Palestine resolution. The Arab News editorial calls for the US to force Israel for a settlement. Since when the Arab authoritarian rulers gained any weight in global politics? What happened to the minds of the Arab rulers? Don’t they know to speak in a global forum? They are cruel at home and dummy abroad. Look at President Abdulla Saleh of Yemen, 30 years in rule, not willing to go unless he gets immunity from prosecution. Everyday he is killing innocent protesters wanting freedom and justice. See Bashar al Asad and Ghaddifi, both could be referred to the International Criminal Tribunal, sticking to their forty years monstrous rule, not willing to recognize the people as human beings and firing even on the funerals. Zain Ali escaped with tons of gold stolen from the treasury of Tunisia and lives in Saudi Arabia. Hosni Mubarak left the presidency in disgrace only after the people pressed for freedom and justice. He will be tried in an Egyptian court of Law for the perpetuated corruption. During the sixty years or so of their freedom from the colonial subjugation, have the Arab rulers built any institutions as Islam proclaims to ensure peace, human dignity and justice for all. They institutionalized “modernity” to replace and deny Islam a much deserving place in the society. They fell in disgrace when they preferred alternatives to Islam. The contemporary Arab rulers act like the Ivan the Terrible, the well known Dracula of the 16th century Russian history – the killer who is known to have roasted 64,000 men, women and children.
The Arab rulers have wasted time and opportunities to do good to the people except to build mud-riddled palaces to be occupied by foreigners as it happened to Saddam Husseins’s fifteen oil-revenues built palaces in Iraq. Across the Arab world, there are no public institutions and think-tanks to THINK of the well being of the ordinary people, workable solution to critical social and economic problems or to have a moment of reflection on the present and to worry about building a sustainable future. Oil is not for ever, it is already peaked oil age and the oil wells are drying fast. The emerging conflicts and daily bloodbaths across the Arab streets speak their own language. In Shakespeare’s time writes Erich Kahler (Colin Wilson, The Criminal History of Mankind) “the destiny of peoples coincided with the destiny of their monarch and nobles.” To the neo-colonialist rulers, the people are not equal, they are simply subject without human entity nor they were to their master, so they are targeted to be fired at indiscriminately, and killing of innocent people makes no difference to the rulers as their individual conscience operates on the dead-ended philosophy. What if there were responsible organizations in the Arab world or conscientious intellectuals and religious scholars to speak out against the insane and ruthless rulers?
Some 23 years earlier, this author proposed series of action plans and strategies (“Towards Muslims Unity” and “Why Muslims are a Divided People” – widely translated into Arabic and published in other languages) but there were no one to listen to or understand the futuristic visionary ideas and ideals for the best interests of the Muslim Ummah. What if there were people –oriented and legitimate public organizations instead of the Arab League, the OIC , would the Muslim Ummah have not felt sense of moral, political an d intellectual security today rather than bloodsheds, continued tyranny and dehumanizing treatment in Palestine, Iraq Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Syria and Yemen and so on across the Arab world. Muslim world NEEDS new organizations and educated, intelligent and accountable new leaders to carve a better future out of the chaotic and hopeless present. There are opportunities and challenges for the concerned Muslim scholars and intellectuals to make positive things happen out of the plan ideas and priorities. The Western oil-user nations have incapacitated the natural skills and abilities of the Arab world and their culture and transformed them into fattish and unproductive creatures. The discovery of oil turned out to be a conspiracy (“Fitna”) for human change and development.
The rulers and the people should learn from the history. There is a CURE to replace ignorance and its originating cruelty and insanity – the Arab masses are pursuing that course of action with courage and conviction to change the frightening evil and its killing power into peaceful movement and workable institutionalized political governance. The emerging model is Egypt and Tunisia and there are more soon to come in the Arab landscape. The principal for promising CHANGE must come out of the people’s NEW THINKING and organized peaceful movement and commitment to Islam and its values as a system of life. Why should the Arab blame President Obama or Mr. Netanyahu or others? Once the people organize themselves and enjoin unity and determination to the purpose of life, they will be more powerful than any worldly power or the laughing opinions of the so called leaders.
If the Arabs and Palestinian could organize themselves with new age enlightened and intelligent leadership and a clear UNITY of PURPOSE, their focused mind will be a logical argument for strength and a position of challenge to others to take notice of the originality of Islam as a force for change and peace. There will be equality for peace and conflict resolution once Palestinians and Israelis realize that animosity should not be allowed to transform into insanity as insanity breeds cancerous cruelty and inhuman behavior. Jews and Muslims are the creation of God, they cannot pretend to be living indifferently or acting like animals. They are human beings with diverse backgrounds, national and cultural identities and do want to live in peace and co-existence as civilized human entities respecting the values of the Abrahamic faith – the progeny of Prophet Abraham equal in human rights, freedom and dignity.