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UAE-Israel peace plan and a cry for Justice - EDITORIAL

17 August 2020 10:00 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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During World War I, the Arab countries having come to an agreement with the British colonialists, via the McMahon–Hussein Correspondence, (a series of letters exchanged during World War I 1914 -18), in which the government of the United Kingdom agreed to recognise Arab independence after the war, in exchange for the Sharif of Mecca launching an Arab revolt against the Ottomann Turks. However, after defeating of the Ottomanns, the UK and France divided the region between themselves.   


As is a common practice with the British wherever they had colonies, they ensured instability in those areas via creating trouble-spots to ensure their continued meddling in the area. And so it was, after using the Arabs to defeat the Turks, the British issued the Balfour Declaration of 1917, promising British support for a Jewish “national home” in Palestine! Essentially vowing to give away a country that was not theirs to give.  
Every year on May 15, Palestinians around the world, numbering about 12.4 million, mark the Nakba, or “catastrophe”, referring to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the near total destruction of Palestinian society in 1948.  


The creation of Israel was a violent process brought about by the forced expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland, to establish the Jewish-majority state. Between 1947 and 1949, at least 750,000 Palestinians from a 1.9 million population were made refugees beyond the borders of the state. Zionist forces took more than 78% of historic Palestine, ethnically cleansed and destroyed about 530 villages and cities, and killed about 15,000 Palestinians in a series of mass atrocities and massacres including the massacres of ‘Deir Yasin’. The Deir Yassin massacre took place on April 9, 1948, when around 120 fighters from the far-right wing Zionist paramilitary groups Irgun and Lehi killed at least 107 Palestinians at the village of Deir Yassin, a village of roughly 600 people near Jerusalem.  


Historian Benny Morris notes in his book ‘Righteous Victims’, “Deir Yassin had a profound demographic and political effect: It was followed by mass flight of Arabs from their locales.”  
In early 1947, the British government announced it would be handing over the disaster it had created in Palestine to the United Nations. On November 29, 1947, the UN adopted Resolution 181, recommending the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states. On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion, proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel. US President Harry Truman recognised the new nation on the same day.  


Today, according to the UNRWA, more than 1.5 million Palestinians, live in 58 recognised Palestine refugee camps across Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. In the meantime, Israel has continued building Jewish-only settlements in the Palestinian occupied territories, which it has occupied since 1967.   
Today there are over 262 Jewish settlements built in the West Bank and East Jerusalem after evicting the original Palestinian inhabitants. These crimes cry to heaven for justice.   


It is in this light we have to view the Israel-UAE ‘peace treaty’ touted by the UAE as having successfully stopped Israel’s planned extension of sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria. The reality however is that Israel has only agreed to suspend its planned extension of sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria, stating no intention of leaving the illegally built settlements or handing these lands back to its original owners.   
Benjamin Netanyahu emphasised while announcing the ‘peace treaty, that he still plans to apply Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria.“I’m not giving up on it,” he stressed.   


Once again the Palestinians are being let down by their Arab neighbours and friends. Earlier Egypt and Jordan too, signed separate peace treaties with the Israelis with no consideration for the Palestinians whose lands have been brutally taken away and whose people continue to live in refugee camps.   


With the announcement of the UAE-Israel peace treaty, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Washington no longer considered Israeli settlements illegal... A complete change of over four decades of US foreign policy. Given these circumstances, the chances of justice to the people of Palestine and and the concept of a two-state solution to end the British-created problem in the Middle East has 
become slimmer.  
But then, that of course is part of the 
long-term plan.   

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