Aug 05



THIS week, President Barack Obama is meeting with nearly 50 African heads of state in Washington DC, at a summit that is the first of its kind ever held by an American President.

Among the issues to be raised are trade relations between Africa and the United States, and, of course, the threats to Africa’s security that Al Qaeda and its affiliates pose to countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, Mali and Cameroon. No doubt the US will offer assistance to the threatened countries in particular, and Africa as a whole, in fighting the terrorists who are threatening the lives and limbs of our people.

If I were an African head of state who had gone to Washington to discuss such security issues with President Obama, I would tell him politely that I would not accept any help from him because he has made himself an accessory to terrorism, as inflicted upon the people of Gaza, by Israel.

I would tell him that I understood the determination of the United States to assist Israel to resist any attempts by its Arab neighbours to wipe her off the face of the earth. That while the birth of Israel had displaced millions of Palestinian people, the answer was not to wipe Israel off the face of the earth, but to try and salvage something out of the situation into which Israel and its Arab neighbours had been placed by the Great Powers. (It was their selfish desire to accommodate Zionist aspirations that had led them to create the state of Israel in 1948, on land that was then inhabited by Palestinians.)

In doing this, the Great Powers had turned millions of Palestinians into refugees overnight. These refugees were forced to live in other Arab countries, such as Lebanon, which already had their own internal problems. The Arabs reacted by trying to use war as a means of recapturing the land stolen from them. They fought in 1948. And they lost. They fought again in 1967. And lost again. They still tried once more – in 1973. And again, they lost.

What the Arabs did not seem to fully grasp was that in fighting against Israel, they were fighting against the United States. The US did not do anything as crude as sending troops to help Israel (though it is not beyond belief that they sent “military advisers” secretly to help Israel.) What the US did openly was to t provide Israel with some of the most sophisticated weaponry in the American arsenal. Plus intelligence gathered by satellites focused on the Arab-Israeli theatre(s) of war.

Now, if your “secret” military communications are being sent in real time to your enemy, seconds after you have transmitted them, you have already lost the war. But the Arabs ignored such realities and somehow seemed to believe that they could defeat the American deployment of military prowess on behalf of Israel, through the help of – possibly – metaphysical entities.

The Arabs are in fact snookered. The creation of Israel by the Great Powers is a fait accompli. Wars have not been able to reverse it. So a negotiated settlement is the only possible answer.

However, the current politicians of Israel do not want that. For unless they can dangle the threat of extermination-by-Arabs before the eyes of the Israeli electorate they will lose power. Hence the Israeli penchant to create, through their intelligence organisation, Mossad, to create movements within Arab states like Lebanon, which can be used as agents provocateurs to ratchet up incidents that continually remind the Israeli voters of the Arab “danger”. The Arabs should use political finesse to try and avoid the traps laid for them by the Israeli politicians, in this regard. Anwar Sadat tried that approach. But he was misunderstood and gunned down.

In fact, the “enemy” which Israel is currently “fighting” in Gaza, Hamas, was initially created by Israel to act as a foil against genuine Palestinian freedom fighters. This fact was revealed by The Wall Street Journal on 24 January 2009:

QUOTE: How Israel Helped to Spawn Hamas


WSJ Jan. 24, 2009 12:01 a.m. ET

Moshav Tekuma, Israel

Surveying the wreckage of a neighbor’s bungalow hit by a Palestinian rocket, retired Israeli official Avner Cohen traces the missile’s trajectory back to an “enormous, stupid mistake” made 30 years ago. “Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel’s creation,” says Mr. Cohen… [For] more than two decades, [Cohen was an Israeli official responsible] for religious affairs in the region until 1994. Mr. Cohen watched the Islamist movement take shape, muscle aside secular Palestinian rivals, and then morph into what is today Hamas, a militant group that is sworn to Israel’s destruction.

Instead of trying to curb Gaza’s Islamists from the outset, says Mr. Cohen, Israel for years tolerated and, in some cases, encouraged them as a counterweight to the secular nationalists of the Palestine Liberation Organization and its dominant faction, Yasser Arafat’s Fatah. Israel cooperated with a crippled, half-blind cleric named Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, even as he was laying the foundations for what would become Hamas. Sheikh Yassin continues to inspire [Hamas] militants today; during the recent war in Gaza, Hamas fighters confronted Israeli troops with “Yassins,” — primitive rocket-propelled grenades named in honor of the cleric. UNQUOTE

I would remind President Obama that he had been briefed on all this, and ask him, How can you turn a blind eye to the mistakes of Israel? Were you elected by the Israelis? Are you at all interested in how the world sees the United States, vis-a-vis its unshakable support for Israel?

Mr President: a lot of people in my country perceive Israel as a sort of “playground bully” who, having been offended by a tiny but insolent tot, then goes ahead to engage in a mammoth overkill, by giving the tot the pasting of his life. When the impudent tot’s cries reach the school teachers, do you think they will ask why the bully beat him up so badly? No! They will just punish the bully for beating up someone less than one-third his size.

, Mr President (I would add) having watched Israel destroy most of Gaza city with bombardments from the air; having seen on TV, the destruction by the Israelis of homes, hospitals and schools; having been told that about 2,000 Gazans, many of them women and children had been killed and thousands injured; knowing from the UN that Israel had bombed UN schools despite being told by UN officials that hundreds of civilians were taking refuge there: you, President Obama, nevertheless authorised your Army to replenish the arms and munitions that Israel had expended in its destruction of Gaza.

You, Mr President, knew that the whole world was appalled by the unequal contest Israel was

waging against Gaza. About 2,000 Gazan civilians had been killed, Yet Israel had lost less than soldiers! Is that a war or a massacre? You know fully well that the rockets Hamas fires into Israel are almost always intercepted. In fact, according to USA Today,

The rockets are less of a threat since many are intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defensive system that protects populous areas.”

You know all this, Mr President. Yet you resupplied Israel with weapons at a time when the emotions of most of the world’s TV audiences were aroused to fever pitch by the unequal punishment Israel was dishing out to the people of Gaza. Why should Africa believe that you want to help African countries defeat Boko Haram in Nigeria or Al Shabab in Kenya? What is the difference between dead children in Gaza and dead children in Tombuctoo?

I would end thus: President Barack Obama, your election as President of the United States was an unusual occurrence that filled many of us with the fantasy that having risen from the Black section of American society – a section that had been subjected to enslavement, brutal treatment at the hands of law enforcement officials and racial discrimination in every sphere of life — your sense of justice would be far more heightened than that expected of the usual run of American Presidents. But you have disappointed me and proved that my hopes were just what I now know they were – a mere fantasy.

In particular, your decision, announced publicly, to replenish Israeli weapons at this time when many hearts in the world are bleeding for the children that have been slain or disfigured by precisely such weapons in Gaza, was an act of insensitivity such as I would never thought you capable of. I don’t need any assistance from you. For life is indivisible. If you do not respect the lives of civilians in Gaza, I don’t see why you would value the lives of my people, either. Sorry.



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