• Monday, December 22, 2014

Freedom in the air

How long will Palestine bleed?

Abdul Matin

THE history of Palestine is as old as history itself. Strategically located between Asia and Africa and connected to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea, Palestine has shrunken into a tiny mass over time due to annexations by neighbours and finally by the artificial creation of Israel and, more sadly, the illegal occupation of its territories by the Zionist state. It is the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity with important historic shrines of the three Abrahamic religions including Islam.

Palestine has a turbulent history of conflicts. It has been occupied by numerous rulers including the Ancient Egyptians, Canaanites, Israelites, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Ottomans, the British and now the Israelis. The Palestinians rule only small fragments of old Palestine.

According to Israel and the US media, all Palestinians are terrorists, the civilians are potential terrorists and the children future terrorists. Israel thus finds full justification for killing them indiscriminately. Palestinian land is under illegal occupation by Israel. Moreover, the Palestinians have been confined to their territory by blockades imposed by Israel and Egypt. They are not allowed to come out of their territory. They cannot market their products abroad. They cannot seek jobs outside. Their economy is thus choking and their backs are pushed against the wall. Even humanitarian aid cannot reach them without permission from Israel or Egypt.

Under such circumstances, what can the Palestinians do besides fighting to recover their occupied land or to establish their fundamental rights to travel abroad or trade with foreign countries? Gaza is ruled by an elected government. Their demands are genuine and include the withdrawal of Israel from their occupied territories, the return of all uprooted Palestinians to their homeland and the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State.

The Palestinians, thus, cannot be called terrorists. On the contrary, they have become the victims of state terrorism being perpetrated by Israel. The United States, under pressure from the Zionists who control most of its media and financial institutions and provide funds to the two major political parties, blindly supports Israel's aggression against Palestine while shedding crocodile tears for the civilian casualties. Encouraged by the US support and emboldened by the possession of a large nuclear arsenal, Israel again carried out genocide in Gaza since July 8. More than 1,900 Palestinians, of which 80% were civilians including children, have been killed.

Palestine started to bleed more than four millenniums ago. It bled with every change of guards since then. It is bleeding again due to repeated aggressions by Israel. How long will it bleed unnecessarily and when will the international community act decisively to stop this bloodshed?

The writer is a former chief engineer of Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission.

Published: 12:00 am Monday, August 18, 2014

TAGS: Israel Palestine Gaza Gaza crisis

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