Towards the end of the twentieth century, political analysts in the likes of Ali Mazrui anticipated the happening of two things.
(a) A black person becoming the president of the United States and
(b) A Muslim leading the U.S.S.R
Some expectations were also set for both cases.
Should a black person become the president of the U.S, is he going to make the liberation of the black majority of South Africa his top most agenda and help end the apartheid regime? Will the Muslim Head of the U.S.S.R be expected to champion the agenda that will end Israeli occupation, subjugation and murder of Palestinians in their homeland?
U.S.S.R died out before the end of the 20th Century while Israel's occupation and subjugation of Palestinians are at their pinnacle.
In South Africa the blacks were freed from apartheid long before the U.S voted Barrack Obama into the White House.
The collapse of the apartheid regime superseded the dreams of Martin Luther King Jnr. Did Obama escape the acid test? Did he succeed? Let’s delve into Obama’s U.S for the answer.
Under the leadership of a black president, hundreds of black Americans are being killed by the police in the name of self-defense.
Walter Scott, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Yvette Smith were victims of this racial brutality.
According to BBC, Sam Singangwe, a concerned African – American who took up the task of counting police violence in the U.S has indicated that in 2014 alone 1,149 people were killed by the police. About 75 percent of them were blacks.
Most of these cases unfortunately went unpunished. Among those killed were children who were as young as twelve years old.
Historically, the blacks in the U.S have been victims of brutality by white supremacists. The Ku Klux Klan (KKK), the police and a host of right wing groups have been the perpetrators of these violence.
The KKK was a terrorist movement motivated by racism. They used violence and intimidation to keep the blacks segregated and subjugated in the U.S. They stood against the rise of blacks to an equal status as the whites.
On June 12, 1963, an African American, Medgar Ever was killed in front of his house by a member of the Klan. The murderer, Bryan De La Beckwith was tried several times, but was not convicted until February 1994. Justice delayed is said to be justice denied.
The murder of a 14-year-old black boy, Emett Till in 1955 in Mississippi is also worth mentioning.
Young Till was murdered by members of the Klan for daring to have a word with a white girl. He was kidnapped, had his eyes pulled out and murdered. The men who committed the act were tried in court and were not found guilty.
When Obama was voted into the White House in 2008, the world foresaw the fall of racism on our planet. The question is: Is the coming of Trump an endorsement and re-emergence of racism?
The police brutality is supposed to have come to an end when on the October 17, but the president of America’s largest police management organization issued a formal apology to America’s minority populations.
Should Obama be judged on this apology? We pray for an end to racial discrimination and police brutality.
In September 2002, George W. Bush Jnr., then the president of the U.S issued the national security strategy to the American Congress as required by their national security act of 1947.
In the report he made the following observations:
“The United States possesses an unprecedented and unequalled strength and influence in the world and ………………this position comes with unparalleled responsibilities, obligations and opportunities. The great strength of this nation must be used to promote a balance of power that favors freedom………..”
This statement had, before the coming of Bush himself been the supposed driving force behind the policing of the world by the U.S.A. In the following paragraphs we analyze how this freedom doctrine has been put to use by the U.S especially with regards to the Israeli – Palestinian conflict.
The series of events that characterized the Arab spring received worldwide attention when the Libyan leader Muammar Ghadafi was killed in October 2011.
He was overpowered by the NATO Coalition forces in his bid to silence the challenging voices of the armed rebellion in his country. His virgin body guards could not protect him anymore. They failed to do for him what the Virgin Mary does for the pope. The U.S is part of NATO and Obama was fulfilling the statement of his predecessor- to promote a balance of power that favors freedom.
In 1990, the Iraqi government led by Saddam Hussein ordered the invasion and occupation of Kuwait. The U.S government condemned the act and asked a section of the Arab leaders to do the same. They demanded a trade embargo and a U.N sanction on Iraq. The UN Resolution Number 660 was passed demanding the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait. The then president Bush Snr. equated Saddam to the German Hitler and ordered an offensive on the Iraqi military.
He was fulfilling what his son was to spell out some years later to the U.S Congress. But was the police not a thief in the time past? The U.S itself had invaded Panama in about less than a year before the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. The Christian Bible in John 8: 6 said “let he who has never sinned throw the first stone”.
The recent call to duty by the international community to isolate Russia for invading and annexing parts of Ukraine is worth mentioning. In what regards has the promotion of freedom doctrine failed?
The world is becoming curious in their bid to understand the motive behind the military and financial support the U.S extends to the oppressive Israeli government; putting them in a position to avoid any meaningful peace deal with its neighbors. The U.S commitment to promote freedom and withdraw foreign aid from oppressive regimes around the world seems to have exceptions especially when it comes to the state of Israel. Washington must live by the standards it sets for itself.
The U.S’ vetoes against any major UN resolution that seeks to isolate and censor Israel is a direct endorsement of the repression of the people of Palestine. It is a vote for the human right abuses that the Nyatanahu government is known for and an acceptance of the suffering of the Arab Palestinians. The U.S has been the major arbitrator when it comes to the Israel-Palestine conflicts. Their deceptions over the years have soiled their legitimacy to broker any meaningful peace deal. Is there any hope for the future?
It was in 1938 at the meeting of the Jewish Agency Executives that Benjamin Gurion David, the then to be the first prime minister of Israel encouraged his fellows to accept the partition of Arab Palestine as a temporary measure beyond which it would be redeemed in its entirety. Today Benjamin Nyatanahu is fulfilling that dream. His government has confiscated a chunk of the Palestinian lands and surprisingly he talks about security concerns for his people. A true call to any negotiation must begin with the permanent withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territories.
Life in Palestine is a hell; human right abuses, bombardment of homes, imprisonment of citizens and journalists without trial and murder are some of the routine this people are subjected to. Night raids at homes, humiliation on the street and the complete denial of the basic necessities of life in Gaza is what the ally of the world police is pursuing. It is in the interest of world peace to bring this conflict to an end as it is one of the main polarizing forces between the west and the world of Muslims.
The PLO recognized the State of Israel at the Oslo Accord and Israel must in return recognize the statehood of Palestine declared on 15th November of 1988. It is irritating for Israel to control the air space, territorial waters and the flow of basic amenities like food into the Gaza strip in the name of security. The illegitimate capture and raid of flotillas that carries food and material aid to the gazans is anti-humanitarian. On board one of the flotillas were 13 women of different nationalities who in their own words were “united by their drive for justice, peace and freedom for Gaza.” Were they fulfilling the promotion of freedom doctrine of Bush than the U.S. itself?
From schools under attack and hospitals under siege, a day in the life of the Palestinian is worse than a year spent under the apartheid regime of South Africa. Do the Palestinians have any sympathizers?
Pan Africanism evolved as a movement of black solidarity to counter colonialism, humiliation and the discrimination the black African is subjected to in the hands of white supremacists. After the independence of Ghana in 1957, President Nkrumah became one of the voices and advocate for independence of the entire continent of Africa. The independent nations of Africa became home to freedom fighters so much so that Ghana and Nigeria could freeze the assets of France for testing a nuclear device on the soil of Algeria. Is there a term like Pan-Arabism?
It is surprising to see how the Middle East has become the test ground for power play and missiles from across the world. To the question of “who protects the interest of the Arabs? The Arab League is definitely not the answer. This vacancy in my estimation is what has led to the breeding of terrorist movement and organizations throughout the Arab World. It is even surprising that Saudi officials share common platforms with the Israeli government in the name of fighting a common enemy-Iran. This is but the betrayal of the century. In June 2015, a former Saudi general, Anwar Eshki mounted a platform with Director –General Dore Gold of the Israeli Foreign Ministry at the Washington Head Quarters of the council on foreign relations to discuss “key” issues about the middle east, the topmost agenda of course been Iran. Major news outlets have it that the two nations have been holding secrete talks over a year before the Washington meeting. Yet the Saudi government claims to be championing the struggle for freedom of the Palestinians.
Libya is at war with itself, the Jordanian past ambition has been captured by history, Egypt is not united, Iraq is on its knees, Saudi drops missiles in Yemen and Syria is torn between the U.S, Russia and the ISIS. The Arabs are at a war with their selves. The Saudi-Iran tension is fueled by the quest for regional dominance and sectarianism. And yet the victor of this tension is the state of Israel. In our quest to embrace our enemy’s enemy as a friend, we must not forget our permanent interest. Saddam became the friend of the U.S when he fought Iran in the 1980s. The end result was his death by hanging on U.S soil on the day of Eidul Adha in December 2006. Sometimes a word to the wise is always enough.
Walls and blockades
The closing of the Rafah Crossing between Gaza and Egypt is yet another challenge. According to the Aljazeera, it has led to a number of developments including the payment of bribes to be able to cross and have access to some basic amenities like food, clothing and pharmaceuticals in Egypt. This aggression has been imposed on the innocent gazans whose only crime was to be governed by the Hamas. President Fattah Al-Sisi can do better.
The West Bank separation wall must be reduced to the ground. It has been declared illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004 and the court demanded the pulling down of the wall. It has claimed many Palestinian lands and has led to the destruction of their homes. We must see the U.S calling on its ally to respect international organizations.
This wall adds up to three other walls that have gained global significance. The other three are The Berlin Wall, The Great Wall of China and the Wailing Wall in the old city of Jerusalem. The Berlin wall features in German politics and symbolizes the separation between communism and the western world. It was brought to its knees in 1992. The Wailing Wall on the other hand features in theology as a symbol of spirituality serving as the remnant of the temple mount in Jerusalem destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. In China, the construction of the great wall started around the 7th century BCE to protect the Chinese empire against invasion and raids. Does the west bank wall have any similarity with that of the Chinese? Protecting the Israelis against the suicide bombs of the frustrated Palestinians must not lead to the confiscation of their land. This wall symbolizes thievery, cruelty and imprisonment. Should the Trump’s America-Mexico wall materialize, it becomes the 5th wall with such global significance. We pray for an end to separation walls.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), in 2007 alone, more Palestinians were killed as a result of Intra-Palestinian violence than were killed by clashes with the Israeli security forces; the main contributing factors being inter factional violence. The Fatah-Hamas war alone brought about the death of about 600 Palestinians, a situation that is quiet embarrassing. This war which started in July 2004 broke out just after the Israelis promise to pull out of Gaza. Power struggle is at play. The South Sudanese are going through the same challenge after they have liberated themselves from the people they call their oppressors. This phenomenon arises when there are factions, tribalism or different ideological believes within a group of oppressed people. Their shared dreams and believes creates a sense of group identity and solidarity enabling strong attachment among them. Once the core business of doing away with the oppressor is done with, old tensions and rivalries looms its ugly head. Civil war broke out in many newly independent African countries largely because of this phenomenon.
Sometimes too the difference in approach to the struggle can lead to factionalism and ideological rivalries. In this phenomenon, Ghana saw the breakaway of Nkrumah from the elitist United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) to form the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) which eventually won the votes of the masses. Whilst the UGCC was negotiating independence on the dining table, the CPP of Nkrumah tapped into the energy of the Ghanaian on the street demanding independence now. In Palestine it is a split between a moderate group wanting to coexist peacefully with Israel and a more militant Hamas Faction with the reputation of terrorism. Is there a common ground for unity? John Milton in his book ‘Paradise Lost’ referred to Satan when he said it was better to rule in hell than to serve in heaven. At this doom hour of their nation’s history, the best they could ever do is to rally behind their legitimate leaders and rescue their land from the predator. The state of Palestine can only be successful when there is peace among the Palestinians.
The U.S and Israel must accept the statehood of Palestine and recognize that their peace and security depends on the peace and security of a stable neighbor. A stable Palestine can only exist if they are given back their confiscated lands and properties whiles reinstating the expelled Arabs or probably swapping citizens between the two states.
President Obama made a categorical and emphatic statement in his 2011 address to the UN General Assembly in which he said “America’s commitment to Israelis Security is unshakeable”. Is the unshakable commitment parallel with the commitment to promote freedom? The later commitment has rather proven to be shake able. The unquestionable support for Israel and its atrocities has already brought about Americas loss of good will around the world.
The reminder for me has been that for every home destroyed in Palestine a frustrated person is created and every frustrated person is a potential terrorist.
Wahib Adam Hassan is a Ghanaian based Chemist with keen interest in the plight of the Palestinians. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Ghana and is a specialist in food and beverage industry. He wrote this article as contribution to the celebration of independence of the Palestine on the 17th of November.
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