Manjit Bhatia, Jan 6, 09 1:22pm
It's not surprising that [Malaysian] Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has called on the United Nations to convene an emergency meeting of the general assembly to discuss Israel's so-called invasion of the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip. He says the UN has a "moral duty" to end the violence. It's also not surprising that Abdullah wants to take the matter to the Non-Aligned Movement and the Organisation of Islamic Conference. Abdullah thinks that since the UN security council has failed in finding a resolution to end the conflict between Israel and the Hamas, the self-confessed Islamic freedom fighters, that the general assembly, NAM and the OIC can reverse the prospect and in the process hold the moral high ground.
Abdullah is Malaysia's worst and weakest premier. If his tenure as foreign minister was a joke, his reign as prime minister has been purely farcical. With his legacy in tatters, Abdullah's posture on the diplomatic front is nothing more than a ghastly ingenious attempt to leave something behind for Malaysians, especially the Malays, who dominate Malaysia's multi-racial populace, with something to behold.
Abdullah fools nobody. Like his predecessor Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Abdullah's anti-Israel stance is clear as Mahathir's longstanding anti-Semitism. Neither did the hundred hired anti-Israel protestors, apparently organised by the opposition Islamic party PAS, at the US embassy in Kuala Lumpur last week surprise anyone. Umno, too, brings busloads of hired demonstrators, whom it pays with money, food and accommodation, when it suits its political agenda.
There's nothing new about anything that the ruling Malay-dominated Umno regime does, nor PAS, when it comes to the Middle East. Even Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul who aspires to become premier in March, showed his objectivity, when he declared that his government would do whatever it could to help minority Malays in other countries. That kind of racism historically forms the core of Umno's and PAS' so-called principled political philosophy, which then goes into framing policies, but according to their immediate political agenda and opportunism.
How can Umno, and PAS for that matter, boast to be purveyors of moralism internationally when what they practice, and advocate, at home and abroad, are malevolent forms of racism.
Abdullah cannot be serious
Sure Abdullah cannot be serious in thinking that convening a general assembly emergency meeting to end Israel's 'atrocities' against the Palestinians will bring material fruition - a definitive ceasefire, let alone an end, to the conflict. The UN - Ban Ki Moon is looking as decidedly useless as Kofi Annan had been in that chair - has been an ongoing extraordinarily incompetent organisation when it comes to resolving international conflict, as it has also vis-à-vis the Third World's post-colonial economic development woes.
Likewise NAM. Just how many people still recall NAM or its significance in resolving conflict and other issues within its member states? What role did NAM play in ending Indonesia's militarist occupation and human rights violations in East Timor? Or the violence in Rwanda? Or in the Congo? Or in Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe, who happens to be Malaysia's good friend?
And the Organisation of Islamic Conference? Who is the OIC, and exactly what does the OIC stand for? Nobody really knows for sure. It's run by the rich Arabs, mostly those who control the world's oil cartel, Opec, and who disperse funds to Muslim countries or to Muslim populations in the name of promoting the virtues of Islam when its members practice brutal forms of repression against its own political dissidents and its women.
Some of these member states - Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Libya - are also sponsors of Islamic terrorist organisations such as the Taliban, al-Qaeda, Hizbollah and Hamas. And they sponsor madrassas, or Islamic schools, in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan, which have been turning out today's Islamic terrorists.
Everybody knows Hamas is a terrorist organisation whose sole validation is based on the annihilation of the state of Israel and nothing less. This directly contrasts with Fatah, the political arm of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation formed by the late Yasser Arafat, who was backed no less by the OIC member states.
What about the violence against Israel?
Malaysia never once condemned the PLO's violence against innocent Israeli citizens - men, women and children. Nor has Malaysia condemned Hamas or Hizbollah. Somehow Malaysia does not see Hamas' and Hizbollah's brand of violence as murderous as the guns and rockets they use to kill innocent Israelis, or Hizbollah's assassination of Christian leaders in Lebanon.
Hamas has been launching its attacks from within Palestinian territory against Israeli targets, mostly civilian centers, in what most sensible people understand has been a longstanding attempt of provocation of Israeli action. It even refused to renew the six-month ceasefire with Israel. Instead it chose to increase its attacks on Israel at a time when the US is in its presidency transition phase and the lack of clarity from either the incompetent Bush administration, lame-ducked, nor the incoming Obama whose policies and cabinet nominations already look in disarray.
Now that Israel has taken action (as it did against Hizbollah in Lebanon in 2005), Malaysia condemnsIsrael's 'aggression'. It's not untypical. It's entirely predictable. After all Malaysia never condemnedIndonesia when it invaded and occupied East Timor in 1975. It didn't even dare condemn the Burmese military thugs who rule Burma, whose justice is meted out in the Stalinist/Maoist standard of the end of gun's barrel.
What is most interesting of Malaysia's and Abdullah's hubris and hypocrisy is that few, if any, of the OIC members have directly condemned Israel, much less Hamas. In fact none of these Islamic moralisers have lifted a finger to lend Hamas a hand, or seek UN intervention in the conflict.
The exception may be Iran, under president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who backs the shi'ites with arms and money against the sunnis, and who, in his infinite wisdom, declared last September at the UN spring general assembly that the US financial crisis was rooted in part in US military intervention abroad.
Indeed, where is Fatah and the Palestinian Authority's president, Mahmood Abbas, in this latest conflict? He's not hiding. He's still president, whilst Hamas' Ismael Haniyeh is prime minister, and both distrust and hate each other with venom and vengeance. Odds on that Abbas is quietly glad that Israel is attacking Hamas with vengeance. He would be hoping that Israel will wipe out the Hamas once and for all.
This won't be easy but it's not impossible either. Israel has every right and the determination to kill by whatever means the entire Hamas leadership, including its so-called spiritual leaders who promote terrorism and murder in the name of their so-called jihad.
The problem is Hamas hides amongst innocent Palestinians in their towns and villages, in their homes and mosques and hospitals. Such, then, is Hamas' bravery.
Israel is defending itself and defend itself it must and will. Israel is acting in a way not different to any other sovereign state would justifiably defend its territory under extreme provocation. Fatah and Abbas know this full well. Perhaps even the OIC does.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Manjit Bhatia, Jan 6, 09 1:22pm