By : Ambassador/Professor Manuel Sarkis Hassassian.*
The latest tragic event in Jenin, portrayed another cycle of violence that targeted civilians and destroyed the infrastructure of the refugee Jenin camp under the pretext that Jenin refugee camp harbours terrorists.
The Israeli offensive forces carried out its operation with 1000 soldiersand dozens of armored vehicles and helicopters, an operation that meant total destruction of lives and infrastrucuture. Jenin always symbolised resistance and steadfastnes against the Israeli occupation, and had defied the occupation with all kind of legtimate resistance.
The onslought on Jenin with such magnanimity is the second time since 2002. It comes in culmination to systematic racist policies headed by the triumvirate Netanyahu, Ben.Gvir and Smotritch a settler – colonial government pas excellence.
The inevitability of this historical struggle between Palestinians and the Zionist apartheid regime is a disastrous recipe for peace, security, and stability in the Middle East. Palestinians’ reflection of a dashed hope by the Biden administration is on another example of U.S. unequivocal support to Israeli occupation. Indeed, the watch and see situation by the U.S. is further exacerbating the continued violence and the extra judicial killings of innocent Palestinians, for a crime of seeking freedom from the inhumane occupation, which is the longest in modern history.
The latest chaos and violent developments require a clear stand by the international community to condemn the daily atrocities of Palestinians by the settlers supported by the Israeli military forces against innocent Palestinian civilians. Resolutions of condemnation by international organizations are not enough to deter Israeli aggression, but actual physical intervention is required to protect the Palestinians during these critical times and to end finally this occupation. However, the Israeli government led by Bibi Netanyahou is a continuation of the ancien regime policies, that keeps bolstering the settlers’ aggression in grabbing Palestinian land. Today more than ever, the situation is precarious at best, described as sitting on a powder keg that needs to be detonated immediately, because the ramifications of which is so clear to an alert observer and detrimental at all levels. It is already a known fact that peace, justice, and security could only be achieved by the resolution of this conflict, which is long overdue. Seventy years of protracted conflict had shaped the unsettled Middle East since the latter part of the 19th century, passing through the British Mandate until present day of Israeli occupation.
Nothing has been done to solve the conflict, so far, the root cause of which led to instability, insecurity, and lack of justice in the entire Mid-East region. Almost three decades since the inception of the Oslo Accords, the consequence of which brought more calamities and violence against the Palestinians, who had been exposed to naked aggression in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza. The enigma of peace in the Middle East lies in the fact, that everyone knows the solution but unfortunately, the Israeli mindset is still in the realm of zero-sum conflict. Consequently, three decades almost, of futile political process still reigns supreme.
The international community’s impotence and lack of will and determination in resolving the conflict, let alone its double standards in dealing with the conflict, added to the complexity of the situation, and exacerbated Israeli political jingoism and the ongoing oppression of an entire nation through brutal occupation. The inhumane and unjust treatment of the Palestinians is indefinitely a badge of dishonor to the international community, which is sitting idle and watching the daily killings, with no political stand to deal with the issue let alone resolving it.
It is ironic that the international community is portraying its political vulgarism with its double standards and its fake democracy, which is not less than actual hypocrisy.
International laws and rules are clear on paper but lack the courage and the audacity of implementation on Israel, because the latter is considered above International Law, protected, and supported by the U.S. various administrations, be it the Democratic Party or the Republican Party respectively.
Palestinians made their historic compromise in 1988, in declaring their independence and acquiring the path of political negotiations, peace and the end of conflict through the recognition of Israel by de facto over 78% of historic Palestine.
It is so unfortunate that the media continues systematically blaming the victims for resisting occupation along their quest for freedom, and it is so biased that it becomes a partisan to the conflict than an objective and genuine branch of democracy that it could reflect its true and unbiased reporting to the facts on the ground.
The Palestinians, on daily basis are subjected to killings, torture and incarceration and are still committed to Peace through dialogue and negotiations. However, the Israeli government (a settler’s government) headed by Netanyahu has no inkling towards political accommodation, rather concerting its efforts towards building more settlements and more support to the settlers’ in desecrating the Abraham Mosque in Hebron and Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem and lately, the Holy Sepulchre Church. Such policies are not reflective of any intentions about negotiations or political solution to the conflict. The latest unfolding events epitomize best this government’s true nature of acting like a rogue state. Furthermore, it is exploiting the situation in Ukraine that became the number one priority for world’s concern to implement policies of oppression and muscle flexing. Besides moral sympathy from the Arab and Islamic states, nothing concretized on the ground to stop the ongoing carnage in Jerusalem and the West Bank and Jenin lately. Israel will fail big time because it is acting as a rogue state using state terrorism against the Palestinians, in order to achieve their objective of ceding the West Bank and East Jerusalem to Israel proper.
Many summits and meetings took place to assess the explosive events in Jerusalem and the West Bank, however to no avail in changing the climate of oppression and violence. Israel never respected the International Law and the United Nations’ resolutions, it acts above the law and pushes the diktat of power politics in achieving its expansionist policies objectives and in challenging the status quo of the religious holy sites, and the latest incursions and attacks on the faithful prayers at Al-Aqsa and the Holy Sepulchre Church is a good indication and valid proof of its aggression and belligerent attitude.
Regardless of such policies, the Palestinians are stead-fasting by defending their holy sites and shrines. The military power of Israel will never bring her any tranquility because it is evident by now that there is no military solution to this conflict. It is elementary not to reach this conclusion by the Israeli military industrial complex and the various intelligence services. The prolongation of this conflict will continue to destabilize the Middle East region with clear ramifications on the world political scene. Israeli society ironically, shifted to the extreme right is unaware that aggression will boomerang one day, and regret will be too late.
The current conflict in the Ukraine, has dropped the mask of Europe, U.S., and the Western World in reflecting their double standards when it comes to the issues of Islamophobia, the occupation of Palestine and that of other regional conflicts. Their legitimacy and credibility as democratic states are being questioned and criticized. National and religious wars in the history of Europe cannot be overlooked and hence preaching democracy to the Islamic and Arab World is an in vain and a failed policy, because charity starts at home. It is a virtue to admit mistakes and correct them with courage. Palestinians are not the children of a lesser God, for they can brag that the three monotheistic religions emanated from the Holy Land – i.e., Palestine.
This long overdue occupation should end, and with-it-security, peace and justice will prevail for all. We hope reason and not bellicosity reigns supreme in order to rescue the World from further wars and calamities.
*Currently Ambassador to the Kingdom of Denmark