Florida Support

Florida Support works to stop the executions in Florida and to work for alternatives to the death penalty. Florida Support will work to prepare information for media and update the public on what is really happening in Florida. Florida Support also works on international related issues

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Outside View: Israel`s punishment

Middle East Features
Outside View: Israel`s punishment

By Hrh Prince Hassan
Bin Talal Aug 15, 2006, 13:21 GMT
printer
email
RSS
Talkback

';
var PageContent= 'AMMAN, Jordan (UPI) -- How much aggression in our region has been justified by the mantra that Western interests are under threat? The battle cries claim that all is at stake and every strike is a final defence of freedom and stability. \nBut the premise behind this thinking has become all too obvious. Arabs and Muslims of whatever race or hue are not to be trusted. They are not to be dealt with fairly and the `liberal values` that protect the righteous of Israel or the U.S. are not for our defence or our protection. It seems, even the moderates in Arab societies lack the fibre that would grant them equality under international law. We are all as one, barbarians at the gate to be cowed and bullied into silent submission.\n\nBut we should be thankful that Arab moderation fights on with stoicism. Moderation will continue to battle for the hearts of those millions for whom this war on terror is an offence to their existential realities. Boaz Ganor, the prominent Israeli thinker, addressed the question of terrorism and demanded that there be `no prohibition without definition.` Terrorism must be defined objectively based upon accepted international laws and principles regarding what behavior is permitted in conventional wars between nations.\nThe roots of that Arab anger and disillusionment which allows legitimacy to be handed over to extremists cannot be ignored. Terrorism is a tactic borne out of a perversion of lines of representation. If we do not allow the many to speak, then the violent few will scream to be heard. It may be difficult for most Israelis to admit, but the Shiites of southern Lebanon became politicized and militarized only in response to repeated Israeli aggression. The citizens of Israel and the other states in the Middle East must be honest about the effects of decades of abuse of people and of international law, unless you believe that we Arabs possess a unique terrorist gene which has ignited our responses in recent decades. If this is the case, then throw firewood on the blaze and let our region burn until you have killed or exiled every last Arab in your neighbourhood.\nThe founders of Israel and, indeed, the United States, fought what they perceived as an occupation. Last week, some Israelis commemorated the bombing of the King David Hotel in 1946 as a landmark act in ending the British mandate but surely this must be defined as an act of terror. A statement in the British House of Commons at the time described the attack, in which 92 people were murdered, as \'one of the most dastardly and cowardly crimes in recorded history.\' The Lebanese have been damned to repeat this phrase to describe attacks on their country. But in our world, righteousness belongs to the victor. If this is the way of the new world order and international law no longer has a place then, by all means, the extremists on all sides must fight to the death. The question is what can usefully be won in such a scenario? The evils of pain, suffering and moral bankruptcy are all the spoils of our new-world fighters.\nThe traumatic effects of the collective punishment of civilian populations will be felt for generations to come. The Israeli Defence Forces who occupy have made terror a daily reality for the civilian populations of Palestine and Lebanon, populations who have lived and continue to live through illegal occupation. For the other side of this global war on terror, violence is most often something to read about. The threat of terror is fetishised by media and politicians and provides a scant excuse for policies that make terror a daily reality in the lives of millions of people in the Middle East.\nNo one can ignore the pain and suffering of the Israeli people in recent weeks but the policies of disproportionate reprisal and abuse of humanitarian norms can only beget further violence. Jordan is a country that fought two world wars on the side of the allies. We have suffered from the shockwaves of aggression on all sides and we have endured threats and terror right up to Zarqawi`s terrible attacks on Amman. So do not patronise us by dubbing us allies in the war on terror and then dismiss our words when we question your policies.\nThe politics you entertain in this region are the product of a false perception. Our regional perspective is being ignored and, all the while, empowered extremists are gaining greater control. We must not be fooled into thinking that a new Middle East can be devised by political strategists and imposed from top down. The promotion of participatory democracy has been curtailed by a fear of empowering moderate Arabs and moderate Islamists. Regimes within the region and powers outside attempt to stifle the protests of dismayed populations, protests that should be aired through banners and the ballot box. But the moderates are now shouting also. The evolution of freedoms cannot be controlled from above, nor blasted into alien forms that poorly represent the needs of those seeking freedom. With the ever-increasing polarisation of hate we should be grateful that exasperation has not stifled the protest of moderates.\n(Prince Hassan is the brother of the late King Hussein of Jordan, he is president of the Arab Thought Forum.)\n(United Press International`s \'Outside View\' commentaries are written by outside contributors who specialize in a variety of important issues. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of United Press International. In the interests of creating an open forum, original submissions are invited.)\nCopyright 2006 by United Press International ';
PrintArticle();//-->

AMMAN, Jordan (UPI) -- How much aggression in our region has been justified by the mantra that Western interests are under threat? The battle cries claim that all is at stake and every strike is a final defence of freedom and stability.
But the premise behind this thinking has become all too obvious. Arabs and Muslims of whatever race or hue are not to be trusted. They are not to be dealt with fairly and the `liberal values` that protect the righteous of Israel or the U.S. are not for our defence or our protection. It seems, even the moderates in Arab societies lack the fibre that would grant them equality under international law. We are all as one, barbarians at the gate to be cowed and bullied into silent submission.
But we should be thankful that Arab moderation fights on with stoicism. Moderation will continue to battle for the hearts of those millions for whom this war on terror is an offence to their existential realities. Boaz Ganor, the prominent Israeli thinker, addressed the question of terrorism and demanded that there be `no prohibition without definition.` Terrorism must be defined objectively based upon accepted international laws and principles regarding what behavior is permitted in conventional wars between nations.
The roots of that Arab anger and disillusionment which allows legitimacy to be handed over to extremists cannot be ignored. Terrorism is a tactic borne out of a perversion of lines of representation. If we do not allow the many to speak, then the violent few will scream to be heard. It may be difficult for most Israelis to admit, but the Shiites of southern Lebanon became politicized and militarized only in response to repeated Israeli aggression. The citizens of Israel and the other states in the Middle East must be honest about the effects of decades of abuse of people and of international law, unless you believe that we Arabs possess a unique terrorist gene which has ignited our responses in recent decades. If this is the case, then throw firewood on the blaze and let our region burn until you have killed or exiled every last Arab in your neighbourhood.
The founders of Israel and, indeed, the United States, fought what they perceived as an occupation. Last week, some Israelis commemorated the bombing of the King David Hotel in 1946 as a landmark act in ending the British mandate but surely this must be defined as an act of terror. A statement in the British House of Commons at the time described the attack, in which 92 people were murdered, as 'one of the most dastardly and cowardly crimes in recorded history.' The Lebanese have been damned to repeat this phrase to describe attacks on their country. But in our world, righteousness belongs to the victor. If this is the way of the new world order and international law no longer has a place then, by all means, the extremists on all sides must fight to the death. The question is what can usefully be won in such a scenario? The evils of pain, suffering and moral bankruptcy are all the spoils of our new-world fighters.
The traumatic effects of the collective punishment of civilian populations will be felt for generations to come. The Israeli Defence Forces who occupy have made terror a daily reality for the civilian populations of Palestine and Lebanon, populations who have lived and continue to live through illegal occupation. For the other side of this global war on terror, violence is most often something to read about. The threat of terror is fetishised by media and politicians and provides a scant excuse for policies that make terror a daily reality in the lives of millions of people in the Middle East.
No one can ignore the pain and suffering of the Israeli people in recent weeks but the policies of disproportionate reprisal and abuse of humanitarian norms can only beget further violence. Jordan is a country that fought two world wars on the side of the allies. We have suffered from the shockwaves of aggression on all sides and we have endured threats and terror right up to Zarqawi`s terrible attacks on Amman. So do not patronise us by dubbing us allies in the war on terror and then dismiss our words when we question your policies.
The politics you entertain in this region are the product of a false perception. Our regional perspective is being ignored and, all the while, empowered extremists are gaining greater control. We must not be fooled into thinking that a new Middle East can be devised by political strategists and imposed from top down. The promotion of participatory democracy has been curtailed by a fear of empowering moderate Arabs and moderate Islamists. Regimes within the region and powers outside attempt to stifle the protests of dismayed populations, protests that should be aired through banners and the ballot box. But the moderates are now shouting also. The evolution of freedoms cannot be controlled from above, nor blasted into alien forms that poorly represent the needs of those seeking freedom. With the ever-increasing polarisation of hate we should be grateful that exasperation has not stifled the protest of moderates.
(Prince Hassan is the brother of the late King Hussein of Jordan, he is president of the Arab Thought Forum.)
(United Press International`s 'Outside View' commentaries are written by outside contributors who specialize in a variety of important issues. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of United Press International. In the interests of creating an open forum, original submissions are invited.)

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home