Mahathir Mohamad blasts US and UK over Palestine – Part 1
In an exclusive interview with Press TV, ex Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad calls for an international criminal court to be set up to prosecute Israelis over war crimes in Gaza. He also blasted the US and the UK over their supprt for the Zionist state. Roshan Muhammed Salih reports from London.
By Dr. Alon Ben-Meir
No Israeli government has shattered Israel’s international image more than the Netanyahu government has over the past six years. Not only have Netanyahu and his cohorts systematically been engaged in rancorous public narratives against the Palestinians, but they have taken action that could only attest to Netanyahu’s unwavering commitment to expand the settlements and prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state. Although the Palestinians have also contributed to the enmity and distrust between the two sides, the conduct of Netanyahu has left Israel isolated and scorned, while dramatically shifting international public opinion in favor of the Palestinians.
To promote his political scheme, Netanyahu has skillfully linked every conflicting issue with the Palestinians to Israel’s national security. He masterfully manipulated public opinion over the years to justify his misadventures and continued occupation in the name of national security, while bringing the peace process to a grinding halt.
He has engaged in double talk. On the one hand, he publicly endorsed the two-state solution, yet on the other hand he missed no opportunity to proclaim Israel’s inherent right to the whole “biblical land of Israel,” which makes the establishment of a Palestinian state a farce.
He, like many of his predecessors, continued the expansion of settlements, except that Netanyahu went about it with zeal, gradually diminishing the prospect of a Palestinian state, while defying the international community’s plea to halt this illegal enterprise.
Though Netanyahu and his friends publicly charge the Palestinians of hating and resenting Israel, he conveniently forgets that the Palestinians are under occupation. He also forgets that every Palestinian under the age of 48 was born under occupation, and their behavior and the way they feel is a natural reaction to their sense of victimhood and despair.
Netanyahu masterfully uses Hamas’ acrimonious narratives and violence against Israel to paint all Palestinians in the same light. Instead of praising the PA for forsaking violence and their full-fledged security cooperation with Israel, he capitalized on the fissure between Hamas and the PA to hold the peace process captive to Hamas’ whims.
Netanyahu manipulated the peace negotiations to create deadlocks. He repeatedly accused the Palestinians of being untrustworthy, but then he insisted on continuing settlement expansion during the negotiations, making it extremely difficult for the Palestinians to negotiate “in good faith” while witnessing their territory being chewed up inch by inch.
I do not suggest here that the Palestinians have had the best of intentions to coexist with Israel in peace. There is no doubt that over the years they have sought to undermine Israel, if not eliminate it altogether. And I do not deny that there is still some residue of that within the Palestinians.
That said, the Israelis must recognize that times have changed; Israel must distinguish between Hamas and other jihadists, who represent only a small minority of Palestinians. Today there is an absolute majority of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza who want to live in peace, without necessarily falling in love with Israel. They are sick and tired of their never-ending suffering and humiliation.
Ending the occupation and establishing a Palestinian state is certainly good for the Palestinians, but it serves Israel’s needs and future wellbeing far more so than the Palestinians.
The old and tired narratives Netanyahu and his emissaries keep promulgating about how untrustworthy the Palestinians are—about their bad intent, about the Gaza experience, about the Palestinians’ perpetual hatred, about their long-term strategy to destroy Israel, and about Israel’s constant and grave security concerns—no longer resonate.
The collapse of the Netanyahu government did not come one day too soon. It is time for Israelis to take stock of the damage he caused to the image of the country, to its moral standing, to its place among the nations, to its future as a Jewish state, to its friends and ties with other nations (especially that of the United States), and to its prospect of living in peace and real security.
The Israeli elections offer a momentous opportunity for all Israelis to change course and rid themselves of the clowns that have been running the country asunder. They must begin by disabusing themselves of the notion that Israel is beleaguered and under a constant Palestinian threat.
The Palestinians will never be in a position to threaten Israel’s existence. Israel is threatened from within. It is threatened by its political factionalism and dysfunctional political system, it is threatened by egomaniacal politicians whose thirst for power trumps national interest, it is threatened by the hypocrisy and bigotry of its corrupt, incurable political leaders, and it is threatened by misguided leaders who have no clue what tomorrow has in store.
The upcoming elections offer all these splintered parties an opportunity to coalesce around a leader (without the absurdity of rotating the premiership a la Livni and Herzog) and once and for all defeat the chauvinistic and blind ideologues who are leading the country toward the abyss.
Those Israelis who claim that, given the raging turmoil throughout the Middle East, Iran’s nuclear threat, and the future uncertainty, Israel should focus on its security than take a risk with the Palestinians, are dead wrong.
Nothing will provide Israel greater security than peace, and there is never, ever a bad time to make peace.
Dr. Alon Ben-Meir is a professor of international relations at the Center for Global Affairs at NYU. He teaches courses on international negotiation and Middle Eastern studies.[Photos courtesy of Gnuckx]
Almost everything you’ve been conditioned to believe about the making and sustaining of conflict in and over Palestine that became Israel is not true.
It’s not true that all the Palestinians who became refugees in 1948 left their homeland voluntarily. Most were driven out by Zionist terrorism and ethnic cleansing.
It’s not true that Israel has lived in constant danger of annihilation, the “driving into the sea” of its Jews. Israel’s existence has never, ever, been in danger.
And it’s not true that Israel never had Arab partners for peace. It’s Zionism that has never been interested in peace on terms the vast majority of Palestinians and most other Arabs and Muslims everywhere could accept.
Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews is a journey through the propaganda lies and truth of history.
When the citizens of nations know the difference between Zionism’s propaganda lies and the documented facts and truth of history, they will be empowered, if they care, to demand that their governments act to end Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians. And that’s why Alan Hart devoted more than five years of his life to researching and writing this book – to empower citizens to play their necessary part in stopping the countdown to catastrophe for all.
Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews is a complete re-writing of the history of the making and sustaining of the conflict, replacing Zionist mythology with events as they actually happened. The events are given global context to enable all readers to see how all the pieces of the most complex and complicated jig-saw puzzle fit together.
The insight Alan brings to the pages of this book is assisted by revelations from private conversations he had over the years with leaders on both sides of the conflict, including the two greatest opposites in all of human history – Golda Meir, Mother Israel, and Yasser Arafat, Father Palestine.
Written in his down-to-earth, television reporting and conversational style, the book reads more like a novel than a conventional history. It will keep you turning the pages wanting to know more.
It has two central themes.
One is why Western support of Israel right-or-wrong has made the whole Arab and wider Muslim world an explosion of anger and humiliation waiting for its time to happen.
The other is how Israel, the child of Zionism, became its own worst enemy and a threat not only to the peace of the region and the world, but also to the best interests of Jews everywhere and the moral integrity of Judaism itself.
The key to understanding, the author writes, is knowledge of the difference between Judaism and Zionism. He explains: “Judaism is the religion of Jews, not ‘the’ Jews because not all Jews are religious. Like Christianity and Islam, Judaism has at its core a set of moral values and ethical principles. Zionism is Jewish nationalism in the form of a sectarian, colonial enterprise which, in the process of creating and then expanding in the Arab heartland a state for some Jews, made a mockery of Judaism’s moral values and ethical principles and demonstrated contempt for international law and the human and political rights of the Palestinians. That’s why, for example, Nazi holocaust survivor Dr. Hajo Meyer titled his latest book An Ethical Tradition Betrayed, The End of Judaism.”
The author adds: “Supporters of Israel right or wrong conflate Judaism and Zionism because the assertion that they are one and the same enables them to claim that criticism of the Zionist state of Israel is a manifestation of anti-Semitism. Often, almost always these days, the accusation that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism is false. And this false charge is the blackmail card played to silence criticism of, and suppress informed and honest debate about, the Zionist state and its policies. The reality is that Judaism and political Zionism are total opposites, and knowledge of the difference is the key to understanding two things. One is why it is perfectly possible to be passionately anti-Zionist – opposed to Zionism’s colonial enterprise – without being in any way, shape or form anti-Semitic (anti-Jew). The other is why it is wrong to blame all Jews everywhere for the crimes of the hard core Zionist few in Palestine that became Israel.”
“The Zionist lobby in all of its manifestations is putting shocking and awesome effort into limiting distribution of this book and suppressing the informed and honest debate it was written to promote. The less this attempt to keep the truth of history hidden is successful, the more likely it will be that peace can have a last chance.”
Consider not only buying this book for yourself but as a gift for others, to assist the mobilisation of people power (democracy in action) for justice and peace.