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PALESTINE: WHY IS IT HAPPENING? Part 1

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) made laws of success and failure in this life. These are as foolproof and as incontrovertible as the laws of physics, also established by Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). These laws must also be learned and taken into account if you want to succeed. For example Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) said about being influential, victorious, powerful and leading people:

8_46

 

And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute (with one another) lest you lose courage and your strength depart, and be patient. Surely, Allah is with those who are As-Sabireen (those with staying power). 8:46.

Now keeping this basic principle in mind – that this world runs according to the laws of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and if you want something you have to follow that law; du’ā’ without a strategy or a strategy while disobeying Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)won’t work – let us see what is happening in Palestine.

Historical Overview

To understand this we have to go back in history. Jews were persecuted all over Europe, both in Eastern (Russia) and Western Europe for centuries. The pogroms of the Tsars of Russia or the Final Solution of Hitler are all historical events – as deplorable, despicable and tragic as what is happening in Palestine today and has been happening for the past sixty years. Ironically, the only place where Jews were not persecuted was in Muslim lands, under the Ottoman Empire and earlier rulers. But it appears that memories are short and gratitude is a forgotten art.

Hitler’s genocide of six million innocent people was the final straw after which Europe could no longer hide its discriminatory policies against Jews. Meanwhile Jews in Europe, though Semitic originally, became very European and a great number today have little to do with their Semitic origins and are, racially speaking, European. This is important to remember in order to understand the events that unfolded after World War II and the birth of the State of Israel.

Europe accepted its culpability in the genocide of Jews at the hands of Hitler, but its centuries old prejudice against Jews wouldn’t allow it to do what would have been honorable, just and logical – give them a homeland in Europe. Carve it out of Germany which was responsible for their genocide, thereby making the German people rightfully pay the price of silently supporting Hitler and his goons. Neither did the European ruling America and Russia accept their collective guilt in allowing six million innocent people to die and therefore grant a homeland to the displaced Jews in America or Russia.

Events of history always favor those who are prepared to take advantage of them. The seeds of Zionism were planted in 1896 by Theodor Herzl, long before the Holocaust. He lived in Austria-Hungary and wrote about the need for a ‘Jews only’ state – erroneously referred to as a Jewish State. Herzl founded the Zionist Organization in 1897. Israel was formed by mostly atheist Zionists whose purpose was to create a state for ethnic Jews, not to create a theocracy; a state for Jews, not a Jewish state. Zionism is a political ideology, not a theology, and has nothing in common with Judaism.

There is a very interesting conversation between Arthur Balfour, UK’s Foreign Secretary, and Chaim Weizmann, the representative of the Zionist Organization, which took place in 1906.

During the first meeting between Chaim Weizmann and Balfour in 1906, Balfour asked what Weizmann’s objections were to the idea of a Jewish homeland inUganda (the Uganda Protectorate in East Africa in the British Uganda Programme) rather than in Palestine. According to Weizmann’s memoir, the conversation went as follows:

Mr. Balfour, supposing I was to offer you Paris instead of London, would you take it?”

He sat up, looked at me, and answered: “But Dr. Weizmann, we have London.”

“That is true,” I said, “but we had Jerusalem when London was a marsh.”

He … said two things which I remember vividly. The first was: “Are there many Jews who think like you?”

I answered: “I believe I speak the mind of millions of Jews whom you will never see and who cannot speak for themselves.”

To this he said: “If that is so you will one day be a force.”

Two months after Britain’s declaration of war on the Ottoman Empire in November 1914, Zionist British cabinet member Herbert Samuel circulated a memorandum entitled, “The Future of Palestine” to his cabinet colleagues. The memorandum stated, “I am assured that the solution of the problem of Palestine which would be  much the most welcome to the leaders and supporters of the Zionist movement throughout the world would be the annexation of the country to the British Empire”.[1]

The Jews themselves were sick of Europe and Europeans and the growing anti- Semitism, and had been actively planning for an independent country for Jews in Palestine. Their worst fears came true with Hitler’s horrific holocaust which was directed not only against the Jews, but also against Gypsies and other so-called non-Aryan people. But the Jews by far exceeded all other ethnicities for the number of lives lost. The holocaust is one of those events in the history of mankind which one wishes had never happened, but also illustrates how those who are prepared can take advantage of the worst calamities and turn them into opportunities.

A Zionist State

The plan to create a Zionist state in Palestine was underway much before Hitler came into power with the Balfour Declaration of 2 November 1917.

The Balfour Declaration (dated 2 November 1917) was a letter from the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Baron Rothschild (Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild), a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland.

His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

The text of the letter was published in the press one week later, on 9 November 1917. The “Balfour Declaration” was later incorporated into the Sèvres Peace Treaty with the Ottoman Empire and the Mandate for Palestine.”[2]

 

 

Figure 1: The Balfour Declaration. Credit: Wikipedia

What came to the aid of the Zionists were the events of history, and they were prepared to take every advantage. The great Ottoman Empire ceased to exist and was being dismembered and parceled off to local rulers who were puppets of the real rulers – British/American/European combine. The goal of finishing off the Khilafa Othmania or Islamia had been accomplished. Mustafa Kamal Pasha was enthroned on the Ottoman Throne with the mandate of demolishing the Khilafa which he did. However, two major problems remained – what to do with the Jews and how to ensure that a new Islamic Khilafa didn’t emerge if one day all the local rulers decided to unite under one banner.

The solution was very simple for anyone who’d read history and happened to have the strings of power in hand at the time. Create a so-called ‘historical Jewish homeland’ in Palestine, which was the traditional land of the Abrahamic Faiths – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Palestine was never Jewish alone after Titus finished with it, and was always the common property of the three religions who claimed common lineage from Abraham (Ibrahim 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him)). But at this point in history, Islam was on the back foot – the Ottoman Empire was dead and the local chiefs who had recently been given their own kingdoms were like kids in a toy shop – beyond care for anything other than the latest toy their money could buy. The Christian powers were the brokers and the Jews were more than ready to make the deal. So the term Judeo-Christian came into being, and Israel was born.

This served both the objectives – getting the Jews out of Europe and putting a Europe-friendly power in the middle of the chicken coop of Arab countries, which could be used in the future to keep any aspiring leaders in check and ensure that no puppet could break his string. That is why all the military aid, atomic weapons and a carte blanche to Israel – after all you don’t become tough on your own.

As for Palestinians, they were conveniently as weak then as they are now. They belonged to nobody and were fair game; open season was declared on them and this has not closed since then. As the saying goes, ‘As long as lions have historians, history will always glorify the hunt.’ Weakness has never been fashionable and as Hitler said, ‘Victors write their own history.’ The poet Iqbal also put it very aptly when he said,

Taqdeer ke Qazi ka ye fatwa hai azal se  Hai jurm-e-zaeefi ki saza marg-e-mafaajaat.”

From the first day of creation the ruling of the Judge of destiny has always been the punishment for the crime of weakness is sudden death.

Now let us apply the laws of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) to this situation. As is mentioned in the ayah above, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) laid down two rules – adherence to the Kitaab wal Sunnah and Unified Strategy. Each is not sufficient by itself. They have to both exist simultaneously and work dynamically for the result to happen. A plane needs wings and an engine.

Neither by itself is sufficient. The man making dhikr and du’a still needs to pull the rip cord of the parachute if he doesn’t want to die. The rule is the combination of its elements. Not either element by itself. The equation works when both sides interact. With only one side it is not an equation. To recollect what Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) said:

8_46

 

And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute (with one another) lest you lose courage and your strength depart, and be patient. Surely, Allah is with those who are As-Sabireen (those with staying power). 8:46.

The first part of the equation deals with the importance of personal piety and I have dealt with that in another article – without it there is no connection with Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and therefore no success.

Talking about the second part of the equation – Unified Strategy – there is probably no better example of what lack of unity can do than in the 13th century (1200-1260) when Genghiz Khan (in 1220) annihilated the Khwarazm Sultanate with its iconic cities of Samarkhand, Bukhara among many others which were iconic names in Islamic civilization and history. Entire populations were slaughtered, libraries burned, masajid demolished, fields turned into grazing land for Mongol horses and cities razed to the ground. Khalifa An Nasir of Baghdad, the rival of Sultan Alauddin of Khwarazm, watched in delight as all this happened, not knowing of course what was to happen to his family and people in Baghdad.

In 1258 Hulegu Khan besieged Baghdad, the capital of the Abbasid Khilafa and upon its capture, executed Khalifa Al Musta’asim and burned the city to the ground. When Hulegu saw Musta’asim’s treasures he was so enraged that Musta’asim hadn’t used them to raise an army to defend his kingdom that he locked him up with the treasure and said, ‘Eat it as you are so fond of it.’ Musta’asim died there. The famous libraries of Baghdad and House of Wisdom were burned to the ground and the population decimated. This is considered the end of the Golden Age of Islamic Civilization.

 

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