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Peaceful means
Some might ask; then why hasn't peace been brought to the middle-east?



Payam Shahfari
August 3, 2006

In the year 1846, the American military occupied a Mexican settlement in the Rio Grande. This action was taken on the orders of President Polk of the United States. The aftermath of such occupation was the murder of an American colonel which was followed by escaladed violence between the American and Mexican soldiers that left sixteen American soldiers dead and some wounded and captured.

According to Howard Zinn's, A People's History of the United States; Polk's primary goal was "the acquisition of California" and due to his expansionist mindset he ordered the military to move into Rio Grande in hopes of provoking violence from the Mexican guerillas.

After the killings of the American soldiers, the U.S. government claimed that American blood was shed on American soil. This claim became the justification of waging a bloody and murderous war in order to abstract California from Mexico. On one hand the Americans believed it was as John O'Sullivan said "our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by providence for free development of our yearly multiplying millions."

But on the other hand Colonel Hitchcock had mentioned in his diary; "I have said from the first that the United States are the aggressors. . . . We have not one particle of right to be here. . . . It looks as if the government sent a small force on purpose to bring on a war, so as to have a pretext for taking California and as much of this country as it chooses, . . ."

Does this historic event resemble a loathsome current situation? Does the American occupation and illegal trespassing into Mexican territories to provoke a war with Mexico resemble any propaganda currently employed? Does the idea of "Manifest Destiny" resemble any fundamentalist ideology of a brutal regime in the modern world?

The war waged by the United States against the people of Mexico is in perfect resemblance to the genocidal war waged by Israel against the people of Lebanon. In the recent days, Israeli government has once again shown that it is willing to not only abandon but also crush all human decency that we all hoped they possessed.

Israel's claim that; the two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped by Hizbollah guerillas on the Israeli side of the border is a complete fallacy. If anything, it is Israel that has violated, quite a few times, the agreements between the two nations not to cross the blue border line. They are clearly the aggressors who were trying to provoke a violent reaction from Hizbollah in order to have the pretext to wage war against Lebanon. The actions of the Israelis are quite similar to the actions of the American government prior to the Mexican war.

Now, the inadmissible idea of "manifest destiny" which was adopted by the U.S. is similar to the Zionist idea of Eretz Yisrael (the land of Israel) which is the claim that Jordan, and parts of Lebanon and Syria belong to Israel. Vladimir Jabotinsky, the founder of Revisionist Zionism, stated once in 1935 "We want a Jewish empire." This pugnacious attitude is still in existence within the Israeli foreign policies and it is visible through their actions.

Among the Jewish communities, there is a significant force of opposition against the Zionist idea. In the Muslim world and even within Israel itself, the majority of the people are extremely desperate for peaceful measures to end this vehement conflict between Israel and the Arab neighbors and to finally bring peace to that region. Some might ask; then why hasn't peace been brought to the middle-east?

Well peace has knocked on the doors of middle-east but the leading residents in power, with the blemishing advocacy of external powers chose to remain silent and unresponsive in hopes of it disappearing.

The United States government and the Islamic Republic of Iran might equivocate that they are endeavoring to bring peace to the region, but the reality of the matter is that peace in that region will paralyze both of their imperialist activities.

This is quite simple, if Israelis and Palestinians along with the Arab nations, choose to live in peace and serenity with each other as brothers, then there will be no reason for Israel to keep close ties with the U.S. in order to get funds and weapons of destruction to kill Muslims and similarly the Palestinians will no longer need the self destructive violence of Hamas, and Hizbollah to represent their struggle.

It is then that the imperialist influence of both U.S. and Iran will end. We have, to some extend, forgotten that Iranian government is an imperialist regime, considering some of Khomeini's slogans that "We will export this revolution" and "We will make the world Muslim."

The end of violence in the middle-east will mean the end of U.S. and I.R. intervention in Israeli-Palestinian affairs. As common sense dictates, the current regime of Israel does not see the necessity to end their brutal violence against Palestinians and the Lebanese. This is due to the fact that they are playing the game of violence that is guaranteed to bring them more victories as it has up to this point.

But the portentous and lamenting sector of this dilemma is that the Palestinian Hamas, and Hezbollah are immersing themselves into the same game that will guarantee their brutal destruction by the mighty Israeli military.

An alternative path to peace and freedom is clear and it has been employed before by the Palestinians. During the Intifada in the 1980s, the Palestinians with the leadership of Mubarak Awad and others let a non-violent struggle against the Israeli apartheid that damaged the Israeli regime's credibility in the eyes of the Israeli people and the world.

During that movement, Palestinians organized and mobilized their people into acts of civil disobedience and non-cooperation against the Israeli authorities and simultaneously, deprived the brutal Israeli military of the essential ingredient that justified their brutality for so long, which was violence.

Palestinians had gained the sympathy of the Israeli people and the world community. According to Ackerman and Duvall's A Force More Powerful, "One Israeli journalist commented that in just a few weeks' time, youth protests and organizing had accomplished more for the Palestinian cause than the PLO had accomplished in three decades."

Clearly the governments of Israel, U.S. and Iran, are not in favor of a peaceful middle-east and it is up to the people of Palestine, Israel and now the people of Lebanon to struggle to unite and cooperate with one another to obtain peace. But that can only be achieved through non-violence, forgiveness, and sympathy. Not through armed struggle or throwing of stones out of hate and anger.

With non-violence, civil disobedience, non-cooperation with the Israeli authorities, organization, education, boycotts, strikes, mass demonstrations, self-help and etc. the people of Lebanon and Palestine can bring to light the true power of the people and their ability to control their own fate without the assistance of Hizbollah and Hamas and even gain the sympathy and support of the people of Israel.

This concluding sentence is by Ralph Waldo Emerson and I will address it to our brothers and sisters in Lebanon, Palestine and Israel including the Hezbollah and Hamas.

"If peace is to be maintained, it must be by brave men, who have come up to the same height as the hero, namely, the will to carry their life in their hand, and stake it at any instant for their principle, but who have gone one step beyond the hero, and will not seek another man's life." Comment

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