Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Primary Requirement for Peace in the Middle East

The primary requirement for peace in the Middle East and the creation and establishment of Palestine is that the two major factions of Palestinians, the Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA), unite and speak with one voice. The Israelis have succeeded in occupying Palestine and controlling the Palestinians because they have learnt, from the British, I suppose, that the principle “Divide and Rule” always succeeds. Isn’t it true that the saying “United we stand, divided we fall”, is true to this day? The British were able to rule India from 1858 to 1947, a country twenty-five times the area of England and fourteen times the area of the entire Great Britain, by meticulously adhering to the rule: Divide and Rule.

Hamas considers the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, for valid and justifiable reasons, a stooge of the Israeli government and a puppet of the American government. Hamas does not trust Abbas; their distrust of Abbas is based on his own record and behavior: Abbas’ muted complaints against the ever expanding Israeli settlements in the occupied territories and Israel’s astonishingly large number of check-points and guarded gates in the tiny area, and his half-hearted protests against the frequent searches, seizures, and arrests of Palestinians at will, with tacit approval of the US, and dozens of such grievances and sore points. In short, the Hamas believes that Mahmoud Abbas has sold the Palestinians’ rights and interests to the governments of Israel and the USA for political gain and to remain in power.

Hamas feels aggrieved too, because it considers itself as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, since it won the majority in the Palestinian general elections of 2006. But the United States, with help and connivance from its European allies, has branded Hamas as a terrorist organization, and has so far steadfastly refused to negotiate with it.

It is imperative that the two factions of the Palestinians bury their differences and unite and speak with one voice. If the Palestinians unite, then neither Israel nor the US will succeed in sweeping away as with a broom the dignity and rights of the Palestinians, the way they have so brilliantly succeeded until now.

But there are signs for hope. The British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has recently said that to bring peace to the Middle East, his government has scrapped its boycott of Hizballah, and would hold talks with the Iran-backed Lebanese Shi'ite movement. Can the recognition of Hamas be far behind? That certainly will be his next step.

I am addressing this question directly to the Palestinians: Why don’t you unite and speak with one voice? If you wish to see the creation of Palestine, you have no choice but to unite. Put aside your differences. Also, renounce violence, because violence begets only more violence. If you unite and renounce violence, the decent people of the world will support you. And history will be on your side, too. India achieved its freedom from the British by uniting and speaking with one voice, under the leadership and guidance of Mahatma Gandhi. He was committed, of course, to non-violence. It’s an excellent idea for you to emulate India and adhere to the principle of non-violence in your fight for freedom from Israel’s brutal occupation.

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