Interactive Editorials Al-Jazeerah.info
55 Years of Israeli Oppression
By Hassan El-Najjar and Rich Maurice
May 14, 2003
First let me offer my regrets in regards to the death threats made to you. Terrorism is ugly regardless of it's origin.
I visited your site several weeks ago and planned on dropping you a note then. Your stated goal of peace between the Islamic world and the United States is noble enough. I wish for peace but don't see it being achieved by having Muslim views forced upon me after losing thousands of U. S. citizens to Muslims terrorists in 2001.
Your site lives up to it's stated goal of expressing Muslim views but if peace is to be achieved we need serious two-way dialogue. I point out that you have a link on your site:
"Human Price of the Israeli Occupation"
It could just as easily read:
Human Price of Islamic Terrorism
I read your response to what was called "Average American Views on the Arab-Israeli Conflict". I was happy to see the dialogue. We need much more dialogue. While I respect your views, I couldn't help but notice how easily you justify the killing of innocent civilians to promote a political agenda. No mention of an Islamic responsibility for the current state of affairs even though you acknowledge that in the Muslim world, Israel had no right to exist until 1993. Do you honestly believe that these issues are not significant in leading us to the current situation in the Middle East?
I believe you want peace Mr. Najjar and I am with you all the way in this effort but peace between the Muslim world and the United States will only become possible when the Muslim world acknowledges that it has every bit the responsibility that we do for the current crisis in the Middle East. Until the time such an acknowledgement is made, your efforts for understanding of the Muslim faith are likely to fall on deaf ears.
I wish you success in achieving peace and certainly hope no harm comes to you along the way. A lot more dialogue and lot less promotion of Muslim views will go a long way in this effort.
Promoting peace and understanding should not be hampered by the expectation of seeing instant results. It's education. It takes time for people to be educated, but it's the right thing to do.
I said so many times that nothing justifies killing an innocent person, whoever that person maybe. It's important to educate non-Muslims that Islam prohibits killing innocent civilians. It shouldn't bother you to know about Islam.
Read my editorials and articles for a thorough analysis of the subject. Here, this is my brief reply to your letter. I can say that the West generally is more responsible for what is happening now. Western European powers (Britain, France, Italy, and Spain) invaded the Arab and Muslim worlds in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is known as European imperialism, which ended after WWII.
The World Zionist movement is responsible for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Since its establishment in 1897, it worked on colonizing Palestine on the expense of the Palestinian people. When Israel was established in 1948, it evicted Palestinians from their homes, instead of extending citizenship to them. Then Israelis occupied the rest of Palestine in 1967.
What responsibility do you want Arabs and Muslims to acknowledge? Do you want them to acknowledge that European imperialism was right? Do you want the Palestinians to thank Zionist Israelis for coming from Europe and America to take their lands and control them for 36 years until today?
The United States had a clean record in terms of imperialism in the Middle East until the 1991 Gulf War. But the decade long sanctions, the war on Iraq against the will of the UN, and the US military presence in the Arabian Peninsula, all have contributed to resentment among Arabs and Muslims. About a million and a half Iraqis died because of these sanctions. I think that you follow the news about what's happening in Iraq right now: no security, no government, and no services.
The most important area of resentment towards the US is its total support of Israeli aggressors against their victims, the Palestinian people.
Today is the 55th memorial of the destruction of Palestine as an entity and the eviction of the Palestinian people from their lands, villages, towns, and cities to become refugees. At the same time, Israel was established to displace Palestine and allow Jewish immigrants to dispossess the Palestinian people.
Israel was not content of what it got according to the 1947 UN Partition Resolution. Rather, it annexed the Arab Palestinian parts of Galilee and Auja. It also annexed major parts of Gaza Strip and the West Bank (See the Partition map in the documents section).
The most important development was denying Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homes, according to UN resolutions. Thus, they have remained refugees, about seven million of them, without citizenship.
Israel was not content of all of this, it launched wars against Palestinians and neighboring Arab states in almost every decade after that, namely in 1956, 1967, 1978, and 1982.
Israel could not do all of this without support from World Zionism, which influences the policies of major Western powers, particularly the United States.
Zionist Israel is the problem and the solution starts with stopping its aggression.
Despite all of this, I believe that the conflict can be resolved peacefully by correcting the US foreign policy to be fair and friendly to Arabs and Muslims. Israel should be forced to withdraw from the occupied Arab territories, leaving Palestinians alone. The US military presence in Arabia should end. And economic cooperation and trade between the US and the Middle East should replace hostility.
How can this be achieved? Let's discuss that. But for now, education is the least we can do for that noble cause.
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