Sunday, July 16, 2006

Violence Comes not from a Vacuum

It happened again. The Middle East is flaring up, some say on the brink of regional war, and the United States and its general public seem to think this came out of the blue. The President and Secratary of State have criticized Syria and Iran and have said that they are purposly undermining the peace process which was "moving forward".

Comments like this make me wonder what planet our leaders are on. What peace process are they talking about? Three weeks ago Huda Ghalia became the last remaining member of her family which was wiped out by an Israeli shell while they were enjoying a picnic on the beach. Perhaps we should ask her about the peace process and how well it was going. Alas Huda only became the next Muhammad Al-Durra, whose 12 year old life came to an end at the begining of the second Intifada when he was shot in his fathers arms by Israeli soldiers. The world blamed the Palestinians for the uprising forgetting the ongoing occupation which has lasted for 40 years.

The United States faces a critical moment now. They can make a strategic decision to intervene and call off the destructive and disprortionate Israeli military response or they can stay silent as Israel blasts Lebanon back to despair. If they choose to stay idle we will take a dramatic step back in our war on terror.

The Arab world is in uproar and rightfully so. Not only has the situation in Gaza become a humantiarian crisis but now there is an open war in Lebanon. Arab leaders are silent while thier popultions are calling for action.

What happened to international norms? Is this the reaction that should follow an attack on an handful of soldiers? It is clear that the Israeli objective is wide scale distruction and this premeditated attack falls in line with Israels long term strategy of delaying any regional peace and stability.

Finally we hear the talk of Security Council Resolution 1559 from both the Israelis and the United States. Israel and the United States have lost all moral grounds from which they can ask for the implementation of UNSC resolutions. In fact it is the United States and its blind support for Israel that has torpedoed the international system. Well before 1559 there are tens of UNSC resolutions which Israel is defying. For example UNSC 194 which calls for the repatriation of refugees from 1948 or UNSC 242 which calls for the end of the Israeli occupation from all territories occupied in 1967 and also UNSC 687 which calls for the middle east to be a zone free of weapons of mass destruction. Israel currently holds the largets per capita nuclear arsenal. It currently violates international court decisions about the path and construction of the aparthied wall in the West Bank.

Let us not forget who is the aggressor in the region. While Iraq, Lebanon and the Occupied Palestinian territories face continued violence the most destructive force in the region and most consistant violater of international law and norms is Israel.

To end this current crisis, which is rivaling the 6-day war in terms of duration, we need immediate American intervention. Should this not be the case, the Middle East with its youthful population (eg. 50% of the 1.4 million Gazans under the age of 15) will remember for generations to come that the world was silent and permitted Israel to destroy thier homes and thier lives.


Bessame said...

I whole-heartedly agree with Yousef. I also wanted to add a few things myself that I believe should be discussed. What is reported on the Middle East in this weeks many biased media outlets is terrifying. It is blind-sighting Americans and leading them to believe that Israel has a right to terrorize Lebanon and the Gaza Strip because of three kidnapped soldiers. Are their lives really worth the thousands Israel has murdered or kidnapped and the millions it has affected within/out of Palestine? I would love to get a dialogue started about this and ways to reach out to more Americans about the truth of the matter without seeming un-patriotic. What terrifies me most about this situation is how helpless I feel as an American-Arab in this situation. I know our government is wrong and that Israel is the ONLY true nation harboring terrorists and brainwashing a million more to hate Arabs. I want our Government to step up and behave in the ways in which we teach the children of our nation: Stand up to tyrrany, stand up for your rights. My rights are leaving me feeling helpless and my frustration grows.

Pink Lady said...

Yousef! so happy your a blogger (I'll be joining in soon) I'll be dedicated in reading your blog, write away, your words and perspective on whats going on is much needed! xoxo

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