By Ben Okiror
THE current fighting in the Gaza Strip needs clarification for people to understand its genesis. I accept that the situation is complex, and that might explain why even the US President-elect, Barack Obama has so far opted to remain silent since the war broke out.
However, I would like to bring out what seems to have been ignored and yet it is important for a balanced analysis of the conflict.
Whereas on the surface it is the terrorist group, Hamas, fighting the only Jewish nation, Israel, it is in fact a continuation of the war that Arabs have waged against the Jews since Israel was created in 1948.
The geographic area called â€œPalestineâ€ was governed by the British after it took it from the Turks at the end of the First World War.
The League of Nations (precursor to the United Nations), according to the Balfour Declaration of 1917, mandated Britain to create a Jewish state in all of â€œPalestineâ€ due to historical right.
Tragically, Britain did not fulfill its mandate and instead created a formerly nonexistent Arab-Palestinian state called â€œTransjordanâ€ (now Jordan) on 77% of the Jewish soil in 1922.
Even when the United Nations decided on the Partition Plan on November, 29 1947, Britain voted against it and all the Arab states boycotted the vote.
Never mind that the Plan that gave the Jews only 23% of its original land was not legally binding since the UN Security Council did not ratify it.
In 1948 Britain abandoned Palestine without fulfilling its primary responsibility. Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948 but was attacked by six Arab states the next day.
Ironically, Jordan was led, armed and trained by Britain. It invaded occupied and annexed Samaria and Judea (now called the â€œWest Bankâ€) as well as East Jerusalem.
On the other hand, Egypt invaded and occupied Gaza. These are the so-called â€œoccupied territoriesâ€ after Israel recaptured them in 1967.
Incidentally, for 19 years when Egypt and Jordan were in charge of those territories, nobody cared about creating a Palestinian state.
Instead Jordan destroyed 58 synagogues in East Jerusalem and desecrated 38,000 of the 50,000 ancient and modern Jewish graves in the cemetery on the Mount of Olives. They used the stones for latrines and walkways.
In 1967 when Egypt and Syria announced on national media their intention to attack Israel, Jordan joined and attacked Israel.
However, Israel defeated them all and took back Gaza and the â€œWest Bankâ€, including capturing the Golan Heights from Syria from where it was shelling Israeli territory for sometime.
Due to international pressure, Israel, under prime minister Ariel Sharon, about two years ago, uprooted Jewish settlements from Gaza, from where Hamas has been firing rockets at Israel.
Last week alone it fired about 500 rockets. To those calling for peace talks, how can you talk peace with a person who does not recognise your existence and seeks to destroy you?
The goal of Arabs is simple: to wipe out the state of Israel from the map and create the twenty-second Arab state. If anyone doubts me, just listen to what Yasser Arafat, the late leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, told a reporter, Arianna Palazzi in 1970:
â€œThe question of borders doesnâ€™t interest us...From the Arab standpoint, we mustnâ€™t talk about borders. Palestine is nothing but a drop in an enormous ocean.
Our nation is the Arabic nation that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea and beyond it....The PLO is fighting Israel in the name of Pan-Arabism. What you call â€˜Jordanâ€™ is nothing more than Palestine.â€ Need I say more?
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