Palestine 2021 – A Perspective from Pakistan

PREAMBLE

An agricultural country which has recently accepted Zakat and Fitrana of rice from the Arabian Desert; is asking the Ummah to stand up and fight for the Palestinians.

Well, standing up is right. One should always condemn the wrongdoings – at least verbally – if nothing else can be done. Every one of us should call out Israel for its atrocities, terrorism, colonialism, and violence. But for us, Pakistanis; without any comparison to other nation states; we have to answer some personal questions while we stand for the Palestinians.

This is going to be a long one [3 chapters] – like some usual writings – as I was doing a lot of reading on this topic and was trying to figure out where we stand and where our flaws are. So, let’s start.

CHAPTER I OF III: HISTORY

In the not too distant past, the region was mainly known as Jerusalem, which is the capital city of Israel today. This land had civilization for thousands of years before Christ.

Alexander attacked it. Romans had numerous conquests. Constantine conquered it. Before Islam, Jews and Christians ruled this land and had various wars and conflicts.

Caliph Umar RA conquered Palestine in 637 AD – 5 years after the wisaal of Holy Prophet Muhammad PBUH. Some great Muslim sahabas were part of this conquest including Abu Ubaidah Ibn-e-Jarrah, Khalid bin Waleed, Amr bin al-Aas among others.

According to one narration, Caliph Umar RA declined to offer Namaz in a church after the siege, to set an example of the righteous path, so that later Muslims would not find excuses for converting churches into mosques. [Some nurses did the opposite in a church of Lahore. Lesson forgotten.]

In 661 AD, Palestine fell under the Umayyad Caliphate. The Abbasids in 750 AD. The Fatimid in 970.

And the Crusaders in 1099.

Kingdom of Jerusalem – Palestine – was conquered by Crusaders in 1100.

In 1187, Saladin defeated crusaders and established control in the region.

The Third Crusade started in 1189 under Richard who recaptured major parts of the region by 1192 and had a truce with Saladin on Jerusalem. Saladin died in 1193.

In a long bloody history of the crusades, Jerusalem fell under different hands. Crusades ended in 1291 and Mamluk period started which lasted till the Ottomans came and conquered Palestine in 1517.

By the end of the 18th century, Napoleon conquered Palestine after a series of attacks.

By the 19th century, Jews from different parts of Europe started to settle in Palestine. That was the time when Ottomans were again in power in the region. Jews – at that time – were working to make their permanent settlements in Palestine, Syria and Egypt.

On April 11th, 1909, Tel Aviv was founded in Jaffa.

Ottomans were defeated in World War I (1914-1918). While there was Khilafat Movement in the Sub Continent, the caliphate was abolished by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. While he was hated by the Muslims of Sub Continent, he was also hailed as a visionary. Jinnah was his great admirer as he knew Ataturk is laying the foundation of a secular state.

Balfour Declaration was issued in 1917 by the British government. According to this declaration, the British announced establishment of an independent Jewish state in Palestine. Authors of Balfour Declaration were Walter Rothschild, Arthur Balfour, Leo Amery, and Lord Milner.

Remember, Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire in 1917. The war in Palestine between Ottomans and British was in full force till the end of WWI. Palestine remained part of Britain from 1922 till 1947-48.

After WWI, the settlement of Jews in Palestine remained in intact. The Great Arab Revolt (1936-1939) was an uprising against this settlement, however, it failed and the British were able to suppress the revolt.

On November 29, 1947; a formal resolution (Resolution 181) was adopted by UN General Assembly for formation of Israel by dividing Palestine between Arabs and Jews. The resolution was passed with 33 votes in favor, 13 against, and 10 abstentions.

On May 14, 1948, Israel declared independence. Hence, the State of Israel was formed. A long forgotten dream of Jews came true on the blood and soil of Palestinians.

Right after Israel’s declaration of independence, Arab-Israeli War began when Arabian countries – including Saudia, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen – attacked Israel. It was aimed to liberate Palestinians but it was a strategic failure. The Arabs were defeated. The State of Israel remained intact. In fact, they had more land after the war. In the end, the Palestinians suffered more from this war.

In 1967, Six-Day War was fought between Arabs and Israel when Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon attacked Israel to liberate Palestinians. This war – like the previous one – resulted in failure. Israel expanded further. Palestinians suffered more. And the Arabs were crushed again.

Arabs did try in subsequent decades but they had no long-lasting success. In 1973, Syria and Egypt attacked Israel and captured Sinai back from Israel.

THE PARTITION PLAN OF 1947 & GRADUAL EXPANSION OF ISRAEL

Israel was proposed and established on a partition plan which was adopted by UN General Assembly (Resolution 181). UN proposed the plan and after all the undue processes, Palestine was divided as:

  • Gaza (or Gaza Strip) and West Bank for Palestinians
  • Rest was for Israel.
  • Jerusalem was declared as separate entity. Corpus Separatum.

However, today’s Israel is much bigger than the partition above. Today, Palestine is nothing but a scattered state with refugees and unsettled aboriginals. Due to the failed Arab attempts (mentioned above) and support of Western power to Israel, today’s map of the region is completely different from the actual partition plan.

There are numerous major settlements of Zionists in West Bank. Both Gaza and West Bank are nothing more than prison states. All routes (air, roads, water) are under control of Israel. Permits are required to travel within and around. Permits are even required to enter Al-Aqsa to worship.

CHAPTER II OF III: THE SACRED LAND & CURRENT SCENARIO

The current situation occurred when forced settlers were entered in Sheikh Jarrah and Muslims were stopped from praying in Al-Aqsa. But that is not the entire reason.

There were times when Christians conquered and ruled Jerusalem. There were times when Jews did. There were times when Muslims did.

Israel was forced into Palestine by the UK and Western powers on the eve of World War I when the Ottomans lost. It was settled illegally, though with a formal UN resolution. Gradually, with the use of force and terror activities, Israel took hold of all of Palestine except Gaza and West Bank. Palestinians are now prisoners in their own homes because of the power and terrorism of Israel.

Palestine or Jerusalem is home to all the Abrahamic religions. This part of the world remained at war and in conflicts throughout history and it will remain so in the foreseeable future. It is destined to suffer as it is sacred for the major religions of the world.

The solution to Palestinian problems is none at the moment. All these years, with monopoly in suffering, they were unable to do anything. Resistance should continue, but the Arabs actually did more than their actual power to liberate Palestinians. They did it thrice by initiating wars. Even today, various countries, particularly Iran with her bold stance, has stood against Israel’s hegemony.

When Israel was not even properly established, the Palestinians were clueless. From 1922 to 1947 was the time when it should have taken through strong resistance by the locals. No one is going to give them freedom from the outside. No one can, at the moment.

Just a while back, Arab countries were gradually formalizing their relations with Israel. In 2020, Bahrain, UAE, Sudan and Morocco established diplomatic relations with Israel. Many countries, including Saudia, have secret relations with the Zionists.

A recently exposed investigative piece by Al-Jazeera exposed Bangladesh’s military relations with Israel. Pakistan too had its secretive relations with Israel during Zia’s regime, mentioned clearly by Charlie Wilson.

You may dislike this, but Iran is the only country from the Muslim world which has stood boldly against Israel. It didn’t bow down to the US and always gave Israel some nightmares.

Cuba, North Korea, and Venezuela are the three other countries which vehemently oppose Israel. These three countries have no diplomatic / formal relations with the Zionists.

Around 31 countries in the world have no relations with Israel. However, out of these, many do have hidden relations.

But nothing is solving the ugliest human rights crisis. The UN is numb. So as many other organizations. Those who were calling for ‘Freedom of Speech’ are also dead somewhere around Charlie Hebdo. Al-Jazeera stood tall and let us hope it will stay strong among the impotent press of the world.

Hypocrisies are being exposed with the rising death toll in the largest concentration camp of the world.

A thing to understand: the difference between Zionist and Jewish. Zionist is a person who is in favor and pursuit of an independent Jewish state with whatever means necessary. Be it violence or terrorism. The blood of all the dead Palestinians is on the hands of Zionists. You cannot blame this on all the Jews. There are Jews who are against this terrorism and have been very vocal. You will see Jews standing against Israel. I can give you one example of Abraham Gutman – a journalist – who vehemently opposes all the violence by Israel. And he is hated and abused for his righteousness by the Zionists.

Before ending this part, let me write correctly that:

  • All those praising Hitler and atrocities of Germans against the Jews during WW-II are despicable.
  • Israeli Zionists are as despicable as the Nazis once were.
  • All the liberals – anywhere around the world – supporting Israel’s violence against Palestinians, are not liberals but scumbags.

CHAPTER III OF III: PAKISTAN, PAKISTANIS, AND HYPOCRISY IN AND ON BLOOD

Pakistan and Israel. Two countries of the world founded in the name of religion. Two countries of 1947. Came out of the British Empire. The two have so many things in common but let’s not go into that for the time being.

Pakistanis are on social media since this new wave of violence by Israel against Palestinians. Calling the Ummah to stand. Abusing the rulers for not doing anything. Abusing the west. Abusing the east.

Well, the Ummah did stand. And fought. And lost. In 1967. They were not only defeated but crushed within 06 days. It was Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, and other Muslim countries, including Pakistan, who aided against Israel.

But again you cry that the Ummah is doing nothing.

The Ummah can’t do anything.

The Ummah has nothing. Not even Ummah itself.

Before you jump into the Caliphate, wait.

Islam didn’t present a political system comprehensively. It just presented ideas of democracy and secularism – yes democracy and secularism – and nothing much besides that. It gave principles but not a complete system in itself.

The Caliphate was not an Islamic system. It was based on nepotism. Family dynasties flourished. The bloodshed under Caliphates – particularly of Muslims by Muslims – is beyond comprehension.

Karbala is one of the finest examples of how corrupt and corruptible – like all other systems – was the system then. It didn’t even leave the House of Prophet Muhammad PBUH.

So, don’t Caliphate here. And don’t Ummah here. One is outdated and the other doesn’t exist.

There was a dialogue in a Lebanese movie “The Insult” that no one has a monopoly on suffering. That was what Lebanese said in court to the Palestinian. No one – neither Jews of WW-II nor Palestinian since 1947 – have monopoly on suffering.

But we – Pakistanis – do have a monopoly on hypocrisy.

We don’t talk about hundreds of thousands of people killed in Yemen because Saudia killed them and we get our pimping dollars from them. We managed the army for Saudia to kill kids in Yemen. And we just got rice from Saudia. So, we don’t talk.

By the way, just to write the figures:

  • 30 were killed in a bomb blast in a guest house in Puli Alam, Afghanistan on April 30th, 2021.
  • 85 were killed – mostly school girls – in a bomb blast in school in Kabul, Afghanistan on May 8th, 2021.
  • 12 were killed in an explosion in a mosque during Friday prayers in Kabul on May 14th, 2021.
  • Though the violence has decreased in Yemen, yet the basics are denied. Tens of thousands of people will starve to death this year in Yemen.

So?

We don’t talk about men, women and kids being killed in Afghanistan. Because we have our own political philosophies. Of good men and bad men. Of snakes. So, we don’t talk.

We don’t talk about education camps for Muslims in China. Hundreds of education camps with thousands of Muslims being ‘educated’. We don’t talk about them because we don’t know about anything that happens in Uighur. Or Mainland China.

We talk about Kashmir. That’s business. That’s our philosophy of life. It gives direction to our budget and priorities. It makes us a security state.

And we talk about Palestine.

After the Ummah’s failure within 6 days, we want the UN to do something. Why would the UN do something? What interest does the UN have in you? None. You have nothing to offer. No research. No budget. No scientists. Funding to the UN by the entire Ummah doesn’t even count to pennies in comparison. But yes, we want the UN to do something because we failed and our OIC is impotent.

As said earlier, Ummah doesn’t exist. In fact, it never existed on the political platform of the world. Ummah means brotherhood. It’s like alumni of the same university – i.e. Muslims following the same Book and the Prophet PBUH. It’s an affiliation. It is not what is portrayed here in Pakistan.

Ummah: Saudia is killing Yemen, Talibans are killing Afghanis, ISIS is spilling blood in Syria, Uighur is never spoken of, Iran and Saudia play proxy wars in Iraq and Syria, Kurds are fighting for their rights from Turkey, Turkey has its own political preference against Saudia, Pakistan has its hand in Yemen and Afghanistan. Muslims against Muslims. Is this Ummah? This is Ummah.

  • This Ummah cannot come together on deciding a unified Eid day.
  • This Ummah cannot offer Namaz the same way. They don’t even know the exact way the Prophet PBUH offered Namaz. This is the practice the Prophet PBUH maintained 5 times a day.
  • This Ummah has its own sets of kafirs and momins. A kafir here can be a momin there and vice versa.
  • And this Ummah has its relations with Israel. Some despise it and some make a trade out of it.

You can praise Mia Khalifah and Bella Hadid; and curse Malala (neither a fan nor a hater). As you are misguided about history, your love and hatred is also misguided. Doesn’t matter. Why Malala said it that way is not going to solve issues. She is not your PM. Or anyone’s PM. She is not COAS. She does not hold any political office. Yet, you blame her for her tweets. It’s only your hatred. And that’s ok; you hate her. Fine. But this is not the way towards any resolution.

FORESEEABLE FUTURE

There were people who fought even when they couldn’t achieve their target. Imam Hussain. Che Guevara. Bhagat Singh. Nelson Mandela. Maximillian Robespierre. Malcolm X. Jinnah. And many others.

They all were different on different stages against different fascists but they didn’t wait for others. They didn’t beg. They planned. They stood. And they fought. With whatever means necessary. With or without a victory.

The solution is long-term. And it is evolutionary.

First, make yourself better. Grow economically. Enhance educational standards. Improve your healthcare system. Research more. Nurture scientists, philosophers, ideologists, thinkers, and rationalists. Follow religion but excel in it with Ijtihad. End these dogmas and orthodox ideas. Get your funding priorities straight. Get out of all the wars of the world and focus on yourself until you are someone with influence.

Get out of ghosts. Get out of graves. Get out of tombs. Get out of how a cucumber must be cut. Get out of these people who sell and make a living out of religion.

Read. Unlearn. Re-learn. Evolve.

Revolution and wars are not your way. Evolution is your way. It took 23 years for the religion to be bestowed upon you; evolution. The Holy Book was completed in over two decades; evolution. Evolve. Learn. Grow. Become someone so that you don’t have to beg others to stand for your causes. Become someone to become an impactful voice.

End this hypocrisy. Empathize above religion and ethnicities. I feel for Palestinians not because they are Muslims but because they are humans. Like there are humans suffering in Burma, China, Kashmir, Yemen, Egypt, Africa, India, Syria, Iraq, and Pakistan.

We just got rice from Saudia. An agricultural country getting donations of rice from a desert peninsula. Shame! We are succumbing to new downfalls every year. We are falling, yet we want the world to behave according to our wishes.

Caliph Umar RA declined to offer Namaz in a church in Palestine. Remember that? And what were the nurses doing in a church in Lahore? Wasn’t that blasphemy? Or do we have monopoly on blasphemy too?

Voice must be raised. No doubt. But it must be raised without hypocrisy. And one must remain realistic too.

And before asking our neighbors and the world to mend their ways, we need to mend our ways. A kid of a missing father lost his mother recently. Did we offer him his father back? Did we give him justice? No.

There are people suffering in our country. Are we offering them justice? Did we offer justice to the brutally killed family in the Sahiwal massacre? Did we give justice to the families who suffered by the bullets of Raymond Davis? Did we give justice to the parents of the APS incident? Did we give justice to the 444 murders of Rao Anwar? Everyday kids are raped and killed here. Everyday people are dumped here. People go missing here on a routine basis. People are dying of hunger. There are severe discriminations in different parts of this country. There are grave human rights violations in our own home.

We need to get our house in order before we point fingers at the rest of the world.

Till then, your hypocrisy is at your disposal. The choice is yours: to become someone. Or to remain nothing.

4 thoughts on “Palestine 2021 – A Perspective from Pakistan”

  1. I agree with the tone, I agree with the central idea. But i have always found your writings to be more pessimistic than realistic. The truth is, that Islam was supposed to be the guiding light. Do one thing. Do islam. The purest form of it. Dont tweak it for your convenience. Dont subtract from it or add to it to make it look like something that can profit you. But we did, we forgot how simple this religion is. We forgot how it, in its purest self, is the right way to live. And we made a version that suited us. We blamed Christians for tainting the ways of Isa, we blamed Jews for tainting the ways of Moosa, Sulayman and Dawood. But perhaps, we made the biggest mockery of Hazrat Mohammad (SAW). We are the society that is most guilty of Tauheen e Nabuwat and Tauheen e Risalat. No we didn’t make cartoons like France did and no we didn’t legalise anti-Mohammad speech like others. But, we did worse. We did worse because we were supposed to do better. Better than any other settlement in the world. Simply because we were blessed with Rehmatul Lil Aalameen, the man for whom Allah made all that is. And yet, we forgot the Adil, the saadiq and the Ameen much earlier than our enemies did. Hell had to break lose on us, for we deserved it and that too, For hundreds of years. No Sakinama, there is no long term de learning and re learning for us. There is just a savior. The Imam e Zamana, Mehdi and Hazrat Isa. We the Muslims have a thing for amounting to nothing without proper and divine leadership. And the only thing we should look forward to, shoot our arms up in prayer for, every night before sleep, every day after waking up is for them to appear. And for them to lead us out of our Depression. The pit we have befallen is too deep for us to climb out of, without the embrace of these personalities. And when we feel their embrace, thats when your process of “re evolution” will start. When we will re learn what we de learned. And when we will be restored back to the glory we come from. And to the level of imaan we come from. Till then, people like you and me, will keep agreeing and disagreeing on comments, and will continue with living our lives because having our hand forced by divine help is what we have always depended on. May Allah be with you, may you be with Allah. You write well, dont stop writing. You have prose, InShaAllah you will have hope too.

  2. I was looking for a intelligible piece on current crisis. And you have delivered. Anyone can apprehend the conflict just by a 10-min read of this masterpiece. Excellent work!

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