Archive for January, 2009

Palestinians and Pakistanis : Indians’ obligation to be informed!

30 January 2009

I grew up believing that Israel was wrong in using disproportionate force against Palestinians, but was morally justified in retaliating against ‘Palestinian-terrorists’. Yes!, I felt Palestinians were instigators in attacking poor ‘innocent’ Israelis, who had already suffered so much under ‘Christian’ – Nazism. I concluded that Palestinians were stupid in killing some Israeli’s here & there when they knew they will lose many more in return. I consider myself generally free of biases from which many people I know suffer thanks to some enlightened persons I met early in my life & my healthy reading habits that met with good diet. Yet I felt as I felt. I had also idolized Israel as a 10 year child in a village 180 kilometers away from Pune reading about the 6 days war in 1967. Several Arab countries had ganged up against Israel, a single hapless David surrounded by giant Goliaths (or for those who fell strongly for Hinduism – helpless Abhimanyu in the midst of venom spouting Kauravs). My daily informer, Sakal – a vernacular daily published from Pune, marveled at Israel for such a Lilliputian country to have bravely taken on the might of ‘Muslim’ – Arabs. I too lionized Israel like Sakal & echoed its’ musings as to when India too will teach a befitting lesson to Pakistan. Though I remember weeping, probably the only time at politician’s death, when the news of Shastri’s death on foreign soil crackled on the radio one early wintry morning with many of us friends solemnly sitting around; I was unforgiving for giving away at Tashkent what Army had earned through blood & sweat on the battlefield. Perhaps his simplicity, unimpeachable integrity, his stirring slogan of Jai Jawan – Jai Kisan, & his well meaning advice to well fed to skip 1 meal in a week to increase food availability for the poor during the drought year earlier, went very well with the Indian ethos of respecting an ascetic. My parents were remarkably free of voicing common anti-Muslim biases & stereotypes at home. Outside it was a mixed baggage. But by & large I remained free of any hardened & well entrenched belief and prejudices. It left me free to experience life as it is, make my own observations & reach my own conclusions.

Main reason for giving this somewhat lengthy background is to let others share my disbelief in I having been so utterly foolish in holding Palestinians guilty until about 4 years ago. Almost all sources of information, Radio – TV channels – Newspapers et al gave what the western world lead by USA wanted us to hear, think & know. All these information channels require oodles of cash that only the rich have & they are bothered about lining their nests unconcerned with nations, liberties or human rights. These are not really information channels, but often misinformation channels though truths often slip through thanks to some fearless journalists. Today there are those who righteously hold & propagate : ‘All Muslims are not terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims’. They also consider Palestinians the archetype & fountainhead of Islamic terrorism. They also rejoice in the current cozy relationship between Israel & Indian state started by BJP and continued & enlarged by UPA after self-servingly abandoning the morale support given to Palestinian cause for some 50 years. After the dastardly terror attacks in Mumbai by proven LeT operatives, their chorus has become shriller: ‘Do unto Pakis what Israelis do unto Palestinians’.

The turning point was marked by induction of Broadband connection in my life. I started using it initially only for my business, but gradually to also pander my avid reading interests. Soon I felt I had stumbled upon a treasure trove. I came across courageous journalists, thinkers, commentators who at grave risks to reputation, liberty & even life are unflinchingly pursuing naked truth & telling it as it happened, not as somebody wished. Anna Politkovskaya/ Stanislav Markelov from Russia, Lasantha Vickrematunge / Richard De zoysa from Sri Lanka, Mohammed Omer/ Dahr Jamail from Gaza, Uri Avnery/ Yehudith Harel from Israel, Zinn/ Solomon/ Chomsky/Finklestein/Goodman from USA, John Pilger from UK are some of those shining luminaries to name a few. Cyber Web lowered entry barrier & even somewhat leveled the field for intrepid truth seekers to propagate their findings, research, news & views without fear of mainstream censorship. It has created a vibrant community across the world that is seeking, providing and sharing unadulterated facts motivated only by concerns of well being of fellow humans. However the blessing is not without a curse. It is also a cheap weapon for spreading canard, hatred & loathsome propaganda. It is not difficult to verify & rip open the façade, but unfortunately many take written word as evident truth & in today’s TDAD world (Time Deficit Attention Deficit) only catchy sound bytes make lasting impression giving wide berth to enquiry & contemplation. Bill Gates famously titled one of his books : Business @ the speed of thought. Well, yes!, but the flip side is : ‘Disaster @ the speed of thought’. Ultra efficient system leaves no slack that can act as buffer when things go wrong. Today’s economic crisis that has resulted from super efficient financial mischief has left everyone mortally wounded save laggards like India, China & rest of slow footed brethren.

Reading these pioneering journalists & thinkers was an eye opener. Article after article, scores of documentaries, interviews, provide the true picture of Zionism & it’s ugly face. All backed by solid research & fact finding. Facts that are almost never denied or contested by mainstream media. Simply ignored to die or lay buried in obscurity or cleverly give it a spin to make victim the aggressor & aggressor the victim. While Europe’s hunted, dispossessed, persecuted Jews have found home once again in the Promised Land ever since Israel’s founding, Palestinians have become hunted, dispossessed, persecuted refugees in what is also their home land. What Zionism has unleashed on Palestinians is no different than what Nazis did to Jews just 65 years ago. The highly unequal fight is between one of world’s highly armed military and mostly unarmed & economically blockaded Palestinians. There are resolutions after resolutions in the UN condemning Israel & asking it to abide by international treaties, conventions & laws. Yet it has brazenly done what it feels like while thumbing its nose at the world community secure in the knowledge of USA’s veto power. Israel has committed each & every crime described in principle VI of unanimously adopted UN resolution 95 such as crimes against peace, war crimes & crimes against humanity. Fit case to try every well known Israeli leader as war criminal at ICJ (Hague). USA is addicted to war. Its latest effort in Iraq has left over 1 million Iraqis dead. Israel has proved to be worthy of that legacy. It is a terrorist state. IF someone still wants to look for archetype for Islamic terrorism, they better look elsewhere unless they conclude that Zionist terrorism is that model. During my travels abroad, I have met Arabs from at least 8 to 9 countries. I found Palestinians to be the most cultured, sensitive, and invariably well educated. They also have democratic mind set, are unlikely to be religious fundamentalist & treat their women well. Truly independent, democratic & prosperous Palestinian nation living in peace & harmony with Israel was possible & would have made a beacon of hope & model of inspiration for all Arabs to change & reform their own governments. May be USA & UK were afraid of autocratic governments in oil rich Arab countries that it had so assiduously helped foist to ensure cheap & sustained availability of hydro carbons falling like nine pins.

What lesson does it have in the context of Mumbai terror attacks? History should never be forgotten. It was Ronald Reagan who supplied most sophisticated arms to Afghan resistance; General Zia had it indoctrinated with extreme Islamist theology to create highly motivated fighters to take on Russian infidels. US encouraged Arabs, including Osama Bin Laden, and Central Asian bigots to join forces in Afghanistan. Taliban & Al Qaeda was born. There are good terrorists & bad terrorists. Taliban & Al Qaeda were fighting Soviets. Then they were good terrorists. Al Queda attacked world trade center. Now they are bad terrorists. India should not get involved in these games. It is true that Pakistani army under Zia got so enmeshed with indoctrination that it too has, at least in parts, become fundamentalist. Pakistan has today a civilian government even if only in form. While US applies pressure on Pakistani Army to engage itself on Afghan border & its own ungovernable tribal regions, India should engage civilian government in a serious dialogue to resolve issue of terrorism. Today terrorism has become threat even to the very existence of Pakistan. It is in our interests to see Pakistan doesn’t become a failed state like Somalia & worse, because it is nuclear & has sophisticated weapons. If it fails, all the hordes of terrorists will be on our border. This takes me back to year 1972, when in my village school we had called one Brigadier Bal as a chief guest for annual gathering in January. 1971 war with Pakistan was fresh in people’s mind. In the common hall at the village opportunity was taken to have Bal speak on Pakistan. Flush with glow of dismembering Pakistan, everyone expected Brig. Bal to paint a picture when Pakistan would cease to exists. He who had served on Afghan border in frontier provinces of the then British India knew better. After sketching a history of Afghanistan, British Afghan wars, & his experiences with freedom loving & authority hating Afghans, he ended his talk by somberly announcing : ‘Pakistan chiraayu Howo’ (Long live Pakistan) to utter bewilderment of assembled crowd. Exactly 37 years later his words ring true for more reasons than could be anticipated then.

Secondly there is hardly any resemblance between Pakistanis & Palestinians.

1. For one Pakistanis are not stateless refugees in their own land who are subjugated & subjected to daily insults, bodily checks, denial of livelihood, denial of freedom of movement & association and countless other harassments.

2. But neither is Pakistan hapless & helpless like Palestinians. They have well oiled Army, Navy, Air force, ISI & is nuclear device enabled. They have been armed with highly sophisticated weapons by both USA & China.

It will be foolhardy to think India can indulge in Paki bashing the way Israelis can open & close war against Palestinians at will.

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What if Israel Were in Your Neighborhood?

By Russell Mokhiber

January 27, 2009 “” — I left Washington last week when many of friends and family members were coming here to celebrate the inauguration of our first African-American President.

My eleven year-old son asked me — why turn your back on Obama?

I threw back at him Martin Luther King — It’s not the color of his skin, it’s the content of his character.

What does it say about Obama’s character that he sides with the Israeli slaughter machine against those that it slaughters?

What does it say about the character of his “progressive” supporters, who cry for joy at his inauguration, but say not a peep about the slaughter machine and its victims?

(See, for example, former AIPAC staffer and “progressive Democratic” columnist David Sirota, who broke down and cried watching Obama’s inauguration, but has not written one word about the slaughter in Gaza.)

Earlier this month, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) took out full page ads in major newspapers around the country.

The ad was titled: What if Hamas Was in Your Neighborhood? (link to ad at:

The ad showed missiles reigning down on Phoenix, or Boston, or Washington, D.C.

“Imagine if Hamas terrorists were targeting you and your family,” the ad read. “No country would allow such danger on its border, and neither will Israel. That’s why Israel is fighting back.”

In response, the American Arab Anti-Defamation Committee (ADC) last week put up an ad on its web site titled — What If Israel Were in Your Neighborhood? (Link to ad at:


Death and Destruction with American built F-16 fighter jets and Apache helicopters.

Yes, when Hamas launches rockets that kill innocent civilians, it engages in war crimes.

But Hamas has no Army, no Navy, no Air Force.

The slaughter machine has a modern military with hundreds of nuclear weapons and U.S. supplied F-16s and Apache helicopters.

So, there is a balance of terror.

And the Palestinian bodies tip the scales in the slaughter machine’s favor.

Since the first rocket was launched into Israel in 2002 up until the December 17, 2008 invasion of Gaza, the Israel body count was maybe two dozen.

The Palestinian body count was 2,700.

That would be about 100 to one.

Since the invasion, the Israeli body count is 14.

The Palestinian body count was more than 1,400.

That would be about 100 to one.

As the ADC ad puts it: “Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip cannot be justified by self-defense. An armed attack that is not justified by self-defense is a war of aggression. Under the Nuremberg Principles affirmed by U.N. Resolution 95, aggression is a crime against peace. Prosecute Israel for War Crimes.”

So, here’s one concrete thing you can do to counter the slaughter machine’s propaganda.

If you are interested in placing the “What If Israel Were in Your Neighborhood?” ad in your local newspaper, contact ADC’s Nabil Mohammad at

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