1 June 2019
Understanding the Israeli occupation of Palestine
TEHRAN, Jun. 01 (MNA) – The idea of nation and nationalism came of age during the early nineteenth century and the trend started with the establishment of a modern state in Western Europe. Until then, the predominant form of political organization in the world was ‘premodern’ in nature, formally the empire state.
It was the European aspiration to colonize and dominate most of the countries, a part which it actually did; that awakened the people to the idea of depending their nations (nationalism).
This same idea of colonialism also, on the other hand, inspired the Zionists, who are mainly-if not all, European in origin to settle, dominate and fulfill their aspiration of establishing an independent apartheid Jewish nation in Palestine.
Before the British mandate on Palestine which lasted from 1922 to 1939, the significant political and trade centers of the land were under the dominion of the Ottoman (present-day Turkey) empire namely Jerusalem, Nablus, and Acre districts.
Nevertheless, there were several thousand Arab nomads who were not counted as Ottoman subjects and mostly lived in several hundred rural villages. During the reign of the empire, Palestine was exclusively an Arab dominant nation (mostly Muslims and Christians) with an insignificant number of Jewish inhabitants.
Palestinians therefore, as history entails; witnessed the first notable trend of Jewish migration into their land in the mid19th century when the Ottoman Empire was about to fall. This early set of immigrants were, however, religious who at that moment engaged in traditional, orthodox Jewish practices and dedicated most of their time studying religious texts.
They were then concentrated in four cities with religious significance: Jerusalem (which will later become a site of great dispute), Hebron, Safad, and Tiberias. Their attachment to the land was therefore religious rather than national and was strongly not in support of or even condemned at its entirety, the Zionist Movement which began in Eastern Europe and brought to Palestine in 1882 by another set of Jewish immigrants.
With the downfall of the Ottoman empire after the first world war, British government took over Palestine (known as the British mandate on Palestine) which at that moment, and still, serve as a link between various such Arab nations as Jordan, Iraq, Syria etc; the center of which lies numerous petroleum pipelines. In fact, it was the British took over of Palestine that gave Zionism an upper hand towards the realization of its core objective in various ways. Until then, the Zionist Movement is as insignificant as the existence of Jews themselves in Palestine.
By issuing the ‘Balfour Declaration’ in 1917 announcing total support for the establishment of ‘national home’ for the Jewish people in Palestine, the British government proved its complicity in the illegal occupation of Palestine. And it was exactly the very moment, for the first time in history, that Zionists aspiration to establish an apartheid state in Palestine came out to the open and suddenly gain momentum.
As the Balfour declaration gave them the legal right to own lands in Palestine, not minding whether or not the idea is legally justifiable; they immediately and systematically start buying more of it and as a matter of fact sometimes even forcibly displacing the helpless Palestinians out of their homes.
Notwithstanding, when the Palestinians start to resist, gorilla Zionist militia trained by the British army was already in place to quell the anticipated revolt. And no sooner did clashes became the order of the day in Palestine, but as the Zionists were by far more militarily sophisticated and well equipped owing to the support from Jewish National Fund (JNF), a European organization that fund all the movement’s activities. Palestinians were therefore overpowered and killed in dozens and sometimes even a hundred, while the Jews only sustained from varying degrees of less serious injuries to no casualties.
Out of fear of an effective revolt (from Palestinians) and for the fact that Palestine is gradually turning into a war zone with the Palestinians resisting, with their lives; the combined tactics of European and Zionist usurpation of their land, as if not enough the British government with the help of Zionist militia in 1936 brutally suppressed the Palestinian revolt as a result of which so many frontline activists were either killed or jailed.
Men, women, young children and the aged were massacred. Thousands of innocent civilians were forced to flee their homes in search for shelter to another area where Palestinians still hold ground. This on the other hand only strengthened the Palestinians to resist even harder; as Nelson Mandela says: “Cowardice is no characteristic of a Freedom fighter”.
The Massacre gained worldwide condemnation and due to the growing tension in Palestine and the daily killing of innocent Palestinians, the UN in a bid to calm situations proposed a plan in 1947 known as the ‘UN partition plan’. The plan recommends the segregation of Palestine to what is present-day Israel, West Bank, and the Gaza Strip thereby establishing a home for both Palestinians and Jews in the embattled land.
According to the partition plan, the Jews who are still in the minority as compared to the Palestinians would occupy 56% of the total land mainly Israel; and the Palestinians 43% mainly the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem and the rest (the west bank) would be considered an International zone.
The Palestinians strongly rejected the partition questioning the allocation of more land to the Jews, while the Jews publicly welcomed the idea which they consider the first step in the ‘possession of the land of Palestine as a whole’ and a year after in 1948 the hidden motive behind their acceptance of the partition plan was publicly made known by declaring Israel an independent Jewish nation.
Therefore, in essence, the partition plan did not hold as Israel violates the agreement. More and more tension grew in the region, Jews further persecuting Palestinians in a bid to take over control of the whole land, and the armistice agreement was drafted after which Jordan took control of some part of Jerusalem while Egypt took over the Gaza strip.
The International community witnessed, at the interim of 1949 - early 1960s, the systematic and horrible ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Palestinians by the Israelis. First, from those Palestinians who based on the partition plan fall into the established Israeli state and subsequently extending the mission to other neighboring Palestinian areas?
The cleansing strategy includes systematic expulsion of inhabitants of about 500 Palestinian villages, intimidation, land confiscation and worse yet, public execution. Before the end of the 1960s, so many a great number of Palestinians were forced to flee their land and settle in various Arab states as victims of organized crime and refugees of continuing Zionist extermination.
By the end of 1967 Israel, abetted by the British, preemptively attacked and defeated the combined forces of Syria, Jordan and Egypt in a war that lasted for six days; and has since then took over the control of Jerusalem and the Gaza strip which is again a clear violation of both the UN partition plan and the armistice agreement.
The illegal occupation paved way for the emergence of the first Palestinian ‘Intifada Resistance’ in 1987 and the second in the January of 2000 owing to the continued persecution from Israeli forces. The Intifada resistance signifies an uprising against the apartheid system of government and the Palestinians will to reclaim their usurped land and freedom; among of which include freedom of liberty, freedom of speech and freedom of political associations.
Mass clampdown on peaceful protesters, illegal detention without trial, bombing and killing of young children, in a vicious bid to jeopardize the future of Palestinians; has since the illegal occupation been the order of day in the occupied lands. According to March 2019 UNICEF report, at least 56,000 Palestinian children have been imprisoned on various occasion since the beginning of Israeli illegal occupation.
Over millions of people have been incapacitated from either gunshot wounds or the use of chemical weapons indiscriminately on innocent civilians including women and young children by Israeli forces; while several thousand-if, not million, has since then been rendered homeless. And to this date, Palestinians are suffering on their own land, at the hand of ungrateful, greedy guests they generously sheltered who was then ‘stateless’ and not even their brothers could take them in.
The supreme leader and founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini on September 1981 proclaimed the last Friday of every Ramadan as International Quds Day, also called the International Day for the Oppressed, where he calls upon people of conscience across the globe to show their solidarity to the oppressed people of Palestine and their course, while at the same time condemning all forms of tyranny meted on other oppressed people the world over like the present day Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Iraq etc.
Since then, more than hundreds of countries participate in the annual pro-Palestinian procession with people from across all walks of life in attendance; Christians, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, Humanists, Men and women, children and the aged.
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria under the auspicious guardianship of his eminence Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky is no exception to this march of humanity. Nonetheless, the Nigerian government is not buying the idea of its citizens supporting the course of the oppressed Palestinians- of truth, justice and humanity, as it seems; and therefore intimidate and more often than less attack the followers of the Sheikh whenever they come out to mark the International Quds day.
For example, the Nigerian military on broad daylight attacked and killed 34 people altogether during the procession in Zaria in July 2014; among of which one is a Christian by name Julius Anyanwu and the rest 33 are followers of the Sheikh including 3 of his biological namely Ahmad, Hameed, and Mahmoud who were taken alive to Basawa Barrack and tortured to death; the fourth, Ali Haidar was lucky to escape with a comminuted fracture of the thigh but was later killed in cold blood 18 months later alongside his brothers Hammad and Humaid; before the eyes of their parent.
The case for Palestine is undoubtedly a trial to humanity. Where do you belong? The side of the oppressed or the side of the oppressors? Remember, neutrality during oppression is complicity! The Islamic Movement’s support for the oppressed Palestinians is from the river to the sea and no amount of persecution can change this fact. The Slogans “Death to Israel”, “Freedom for Palestine” will continue to echo every day and most especially on the last Friday of Ramadan.
Written By: Najeeb Maigatari