Saw John Pilgers movie - Palestine is still the Issue , yesterday. Thought it was a very well made movie, and raised many important questions. An excerpt from a fact sheet that went around amongst the audience during the screening -
"The modern borders of Palestine were drawn by the British, whose forces occupied this part of the Ottoman Empire in 1917-18. The stage for conflict was set when Britain declared that it viewed "with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people" ignoring the legitimate national rights of the Arab people and its own promise to the Arabs to support their independance from Ottoman rule. British mandate rule opened the door to large scale Jewish migration from Europe. Unlike existing Jewish communities in Palestine, the new immigrants were Zionists, meaning they believed in establishing a Jewish state as the solution to European anti-semitism. In the 1948 War, Jewish forces conquered additional territory and established the state of Israel on 78% of mandate Palestine. Some 750,000 Palestinians fled or were driven from their homes. Israel was established, Palestine was not. In the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Israel conquered the rest of Palestine and has since ruled Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, through military occupation."
Contrary to the American talk about "spreading democray to the world" it has supported this military occupation of Palestine by Israel and provides upto 10 billion USD to Israel of which 3 billion get used for and by the military. The rights of the Palestinian people have been crushed. They are humiliated each day and live in constant fear of death and destruction. What gets reported are the Palestinian suicide bombers. But what about the years of state sponsored terrorism that Israel with the help of the US has carried out against the Palestinian people. At least three former Israeli leaders including Ariel Shaaron whom G.W Bush calls "a man of peace", have been involved in carrying out systematic, deliberate civilian attacks against the Palestinian people. No one will doubt that state sponsored terrorism is a lot more dangerous than individual attacks of terrorism, with examples like the Gujrat genocide, the genocide in Darfur, or going furthur back in time, the Holocaust. Yet, instead of addressing this bigger issue, this bigger problem, what is being held up as the main problem is the suicide bombers in Palestine who may be as much of victims as the people that get killed by their bombs (as pointed out in the documentary by the father of a little Israeli girl who was killed by a suicide bomber).
Today, any opposition to the Israeli occupation is anti-semitism and any support of the Palestinian cause is supporting terrorism. This attitude has left the Palestinian people groping for justice in the dark. They are denied life and freedom. Whether Israel (and their friends in arms, the US and UK- who also finacially support the Israeli military) will let a viable two state solution or a one secular state solution (as opposed to a Zionist state) happen or not is a question not many people need an answer to. The strategic position of Israel in the midst of the Arab middle east has and will overshadow any moral dilemma they have about the attrocities meted out to the Palestinian people, who despite all odds have stood up to, fought against and continue to resist the occupation. The will and courage of the Palestinian people needs to be applauded by all. They have fought against an enemy with tanks and choppers and snipers and bombers, with slingshots and stones and continue to do so. Their spirit, is what has forced the rest of the world to keep addressing the issue.