The one reality that drives the Middle East mess is "occupation"
By Farhad Radmehrian
April 8, 2002
Though I appreciate the very eloquent elaboration Iqbal Latif has offered on
how the Palestinian leadership has ignored the reality on the ground and the historical
is for lesser men]. But the one reality that drives this whole mess in the
Middle Eastern conflict is "occupation".
I would be the first to admit that Arab and Palestinian leadership is laughable and
have completely misled their masses in many aspects. Their position in the Gulf War
and the Iran-Iraq war is among them. But Intifada and the suicide bombings are a
grass roots movement and not (at least originally) the work of the leadership and
the Arab politicians, including Arafat, who has had to play catch up with the kids
in the streets!
Your argument seems to boil down to the basic belief that Palestinians should have
assimilated into the areas they were driven out to (Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, etc.)
and learn to live with their "new reality". Your argument reminds me of
the argument coming from a breed of aliens depicted in the popular Star Trek
series known as "The Borg". The Borg's only message and negotiation with
their victims is that "resistance is futile!" But the humans always fight
the Borg because that is human nature. We fight aggression and injustice and that's
what the Palestinian kids are doing.
Your article and it's central reasoning ignores the very central fact that Israelis
are occupying Arab lands in defiance of United Nations resolutions and the opinion
of international community. There are countless Palestinian farmers who hold the
deed and keys to homes and olive groves in the occupied territories.
These people have to stay out of their lands because a Jewish guy and his family
just had to migrate from Cleveland or South Bronx to these lands just because a religious
text from 3,000 years ago says that the guy from Cleveland has a Godgiven right to
someone else's land and also because the British Empire decided back in 1940's it
was a good idea to displace one group of people from their land and move in another
And while the peace process was moving forward in the 1990's, the Israelis continued
to build settlements and seize people's land in violation of the Oslo Accord. It
was all supposed to be "Peace for Land" except the Jews don't really want
to pay the real price and give completely back but they still wanted complete peace
In addition to the frustration stemming from occupation, there is the huge problem
of mistreatment, economic injustice, prejudicial treatment by the administrative
and governmental entities, unfair water rights and usage, unfair educational opportunities
and many other facts on the ground that have led to the frustration and suffocation
of the Palestinians into the current rage.
You can't ignore all these facts on the ground and chuck it all up to these people
being misled youngsters who are victims of corrupted leadership. The fact is that
these kids have dragged their leaders kicking and screaming to this point!
So, I'll ask you and every other person who has difficulty
grasping the frustration that leads to one blowing himself/herself up to consider
what the youth of Poland or France would have eventually been driven to do if the
Nazi Germans had managed to continue their occupation of Europe and other places.
And if the occupying Nazi officers settled their children and families in occupied
territories, how safe would those civilians be (or should be) from the wrath of freedom
So, my dear Iqbal, I still don't understand what Ameer Abul Hasan of Granada has
to do with a people's desparate struggle to survive under the seige of an occupying
army but I will tell you that because of the nature of occupation and the very facts
on the ground, your arguments don't hold water.
The sooner world powers, especially the U.S. administration, face the facts and make
things right and fair for everyone involved, this inferno will burn hotter and hotter,
claiming more victims than ever imaginable. I fear the day when Israel will have
to use her nukes and drag the world into an abyss!