"Since my house burned down,
I now own a better view,
Of the rising moon"
– Harati Masahide
"Gaza will change history".
So remarked the most outstanding, most lovable Arab journalist of our times – the great Gazan Mr. Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of ‘Al-Quds Newspaper’, writing during one of the most disgraceful and disgusting conflicts in the recent history of man, in which over 1300 Palestinians were killed, and over 5000 injured. And I believe he, once again, could be right.
I write these words in Egypt, and as nations go, I could not be nearer physically to the Gaza Strip. Furthermore, being of Gazan origins, I could identify with Gazans in more ways than one.
But being so near, yet so far, and feeling so helpless in the face of it all, confining ourselves to protests of dubious benefits, and donations that only goodness knows whether they reach the ones who need them (or whether they end up in the filthy pockets of some PLO officer) – that is a great source of sadness.
Our hearts are firing on all cylinders, with a fire that is fuelled by the nonsense that we hear day in and day out by the supporters of Israel. Through her sheer madness, Israel and her mindless supporters, the moral degenerates who haven’t a strain of morals or humanity, have succeeded in reigniting a fire that has been latent in many of our hearts for quite a while, and this time, ceasefire or no ceasefire, the fire will not cease. It is here to stay, and shall be burning until we, the Palestinians, retain our stolen land.
This is no mere cliché. This is the case, and I swear it will remain so. Nothing has ruined the lives of Palestinians more than clichés – whether of pan-Arabism, the Peace Process, Hamas, the PLO and others.
The Palestinian, who is loyal to his culture and people, knows in his heart of hearts that the interests of his people do not lie in the hands of the many politicians who are pretending to serve them as we speak. We can all see that those politicians, except for a very few, remain in their positions of power – and the only victims of every single atrocity committed by themselves, or by Israel, are the Palestinian people. Our politicians have accomplished nothing – and I mean – absolutely nothing of intrinsic value to the Palestinian people.
I do not wish to be reminded of the accomplishments of Hamas in the areas of medical care, education and social services to the Palestinian people. Nor do I wish to be reminded of how the PLO should be congratulated for putting the ‘Palestinian resistance movement’ on the map.
Regardless of all these things, they remain dogmatic movements, and carriers of different degrees of fundamentally fallacious ideas and abhorrent thoughts that will carry the Palestinian people nowhere, which I have explored in some depth in my aforementioned work. It is time for the Palestinian people to wake up, and realise this, for nothing has harmed them more than the blind acceptance of such folly.
The Palestinian people need to realise that they are the victims of a dirty game, a play, played by a bunch of idiots, that, to put it bluntly, no one, except the decent common man, has any genuine interest in, and that it is time for them to emancipate themselves from, and develop a powerful resistance to the ideas of those playing games with them.
Are we not sick and tired of all this pointless bloodshed? The bloodthirsty Israeli fools know that, no matter what they do, Hamas, or at least their ideas, will not disappear by military conflict. The world did not need Hamas officials, like Khaled Meshaal to tell us that "Hamas will never change", or as Talal Nasser, another Damascus-based Hamas official tells us, "We will do everything we can to get weapons to our people." That is the lesson of all military conflict. If anything, the actions of Israel, as the great George Galloway repeatedly reminds us, will generate far more extreme advocates of such ideas.
Have Hamas not learnt that they are dealing with a really ugly monster in Israel, who has no morals or integrity, and "firing rockets" at it, will accomplish nothing of value to the Palestinian cause (not that I believe that Hamas were the ones to break the ‘ceasefire’ – we all know that the decision to hit Gaza "had been meticulously planned, for over 6 months according to the Israeli press", as Chomsky put it in his powerful article on the subject).
Isn’t sixty years too long for any conflict? Haven’t the Palestinian people suffered with a capital ‘S’? "How much longer is the world willing to endure this spectacle of wanton cruelty?" wrote Bertrand Russell in his last message to the world about the suffering Palestinian people. It looks like it will be a lot more than the thirty nine years that have passed since the great British philosopher wrote those words.
As a Palestinian, I can only relay my disgust with everything going on. It is time we seriously did something about it. We have used every means possible – to absolutely no avail; if anything, things are only getting worse.
We need to find out why – why on earth is nothing working? Why is the world so willing to endure this "spectacle of wanton cruelty"? Why have the Palestinian people been subject to such humiliation?
We can only speculate as to the answers, but speculate we must. We cannot merely leave things as they stand, and wait for politics to save us. We cannot seek refuge in anyone.
Hence the cry for God that almost all the victims of the current conflict are making.
Only God can help us now, in a time when everyone, except the common man, who has almost no power over the major events of the world, has forsaken us.
And this refuge is the ultimate refuge, an active, and not a passive one as many an idiot would like us to believe. It is the only guarantee for salvation for the Palestinian people.
To give an analogy from my own specialty, one of the most important things that the medical professional learns, early on in his or her career, is that very few diseases occur de novo. There are usually several aetiological factors that interact and lead to the disorder, and only by their treatment will the disease be cured or controlled.
We, the Palestinians, have been afflicted by a disease called Israel, which has been likened by some to a "cancerous growth in the heart of the Arab world", though I think it to be more akin to AIDS, for three reasons:
1. While cancer can afflict any individual, AIDS only occur in he or she who is immunosuppressed. It is only by virtue of an innate weakness that we became so susceptible to the Zionist virus. To put it another way – if we had a more powerful identity and faith in being Palestinian, would we have been so humiliated by everyone, a humiliation that continues to this day – not just by Israel, but by fellow Arab nations as well?
If we, the Palestinians had the identity of lions, would that not have deterred anyone interested our land and ruining our lives?
2. While the majority of cancers start at a single point, with a single defective cell, AIDS is led to by a variety of agents. Israel has come to be founded through the contribution of many different agents – especially so from the opposition and hatred that the Jewish people faced in Europe before 1948, the Balfour Declaration signed by Britain after the achievements of Chaim Weizmann which contributed to their success in the Great War immensely.
3. Unlike cancer, AIDS is a disorder that carries a lot of stigma, and people are never willing to discuss their having it without shame. We, the Palestinian people know it, but hide away from stating that we are equally to blame for our crisis under the cloak of ‘victims’. That is the most difficult thing for a Palestinian to admit. Yes we are victims, but we have to admit the fact that we allowed ourselves to be victims. It is about time we looked at ourselves in the mirror and found out just why we allowed ourselves to become the victims, to be free of the physical and psychological weapons of self-defence and continue to face the devastating onslaught of the Zionists 60 years on. The great Bertrand Russell once made a great remark:
"In the modern world, if communities are unhappy, it is because they choose to be so. Or to speak more precisely, because they have ignorances, habits, beliefs, and passions, which are dearer to them than happiness or even life. I find many men in our dangerous age who seem to be in love with misery and death, and who grow angry when hopes are suggested to them".
I cannot for a moment believe that we can put it all down to the Zionists. We have to face the facts, and acknowledge that we too are to blame for the initiation and perpetuation of the crisis. We owe it Palestine to start this self-criticism. We will only be capable of getting rid of this disease, or at least getting it under control, when we have identified the reasons for our immunodeficiency.
It is for this reason, that given the choice of a Palestinian nation today – I would definitely disapprove; for what I would wish for is a nation built on solid foundations, and not the haystacks that the Israelis, and their supporters would wish for.
An independent Palestine led by Hamas will be a haven for traditionalist Islam and its supporters, and I have written before on the many flaws of this primitive and irrational system, that is incompatible with modern life. Their insistence on mixing politics and religion is devoid of any wisdom, and rather abhorrent, not to say dysfunctional and incompatible with the Palestinian identity and society itself, which, as Hanan Ashrawi, our most eloquent female voice identified "has always been much more open, tolerant, pluralistic, not a religion-based society. Palestinians were religious in many ways, but they did not subscribe to political Islam, historically."
An independent Palestine led by Fatah will be no different to the many vacuous Arab nations that we already have, and most likely will be subservient to American and other colonialists’ interest. Once again – the cunning foxes of the PLO, led by one of the most nauseating faces of the modern political arena, Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, have exposed themselves, and contributed to the spread of the myth that the targets of the Israeli attacks are the Hamas, when they know full well that it is the Palestinian people who are the target. Did we not read that, "the Palestinian leadership of Mahmoud Abbas, the Fatah leader, reacted to the opening shots of operation Cast Lead with a very clear accusation that Hamas had brought the attack upon itself", and read that Nimr Hammad, an advisor to Mahmoud Abbas, says, "The one responsible for the massacres is Hamas, and not the Zionist entity, which in its own view reacted to the firing of Palestinian missiles. Hamas needs to stop treating the blood of Palestinians lightly. They should not give the Israelis a pretext." He called upon the leaders of Hamas to stop carrying out "operations which reflect recklessness, such as the firing of missiles"", not to say Yasser Abd Rabo’s regrets that the war ended without Israel completely eliminating Hamas, and his expressed wishes for it to have continued. Political parties like Fateh would never wish for the truth and divine guidance to prevail if it conflicted with their interests.
I want my Palestine and my people to be free from the dogmatism of those movements. I want it to be a haven of love, peace, knowledge, wisdom and all the wonderful things one would wish for; I would wish it, as being at the junction between three continents, to combine the best elements of each, with one unique aspect to the Palestinian identity.
As a Palestinian – I take pride in one thing more than anything else; that my nation is the spring from which all the greatest monotheistic religious leaders started their work or drank from. Abraham is buried in Hebron, a city named after him ‘Khalil Ibrahim’, Moses and Jesus are so obviously connected and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) went on his ‘Journey of the Night’. The very Gaza Strip is named after the great grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad – ‘Gazat Hashim’.
This is a fact we should never forget. We, the Palestinians, are intimately connected with submission to God – the fundamental message of all these great religious leaders.
It really does surprise how no one seems to mention this in any discussion relating to the conflict.
And perhaps it is this neglect of this most obvious of facts that has taken us into our current state.
The Hamas want to take us into traditionalist Islam, a far cry from what any great religious leaders would prescribe for his people, and the Fatah want a secularist state, where we, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s".
No. Let us the Palestinian people free ourselves from all this mythology, become political anarchists, or ‘direct democrats’, in the way the brilliant Akiva Orr, one of the most neglected, yet most profound thinkers exposing the Zionist state, envisaged in his pamphlet, ‘Politics without Politicians’, and devote ourselves wholeheartedly to the Only Being who deserves our devotion.
The greatest of political and religious leaders – the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) (and this is not my estimation, but that of the objective observer, Michael Hart, author of the ‘100 Most Influential People in History’) spent most of his life inviting people to God – and through His grace, he became a political leader towards the end of his life. The Hamas seem to me to wish to put the cart before the horse.
They fail to understand that we the Palestinian people, though historically associated with the greatest of Prophets, have become knows to everyone as "the most indifferent Muslims. They pray seldom…They drink wine", as Richard Ben-Cramer reminds us in his brilliant work, ‘Why Israel Lost’. Indeed, it is partly this indifference to religion that made the ideas of the irreligious PLO appealing to many Palestinians, not because of any intrinsic value of their thought (it is mostly empty slogans and cliches).
Hamas need to understand that they cannot suddenly transform an irreligious people into devotees of ‘traditionalist Islam’, without there being a degree of concealed, or apparent dissatisfaction, or psychological turbulence. One can however transform, with much greater ease, an irreligious people into devotees of God, for being the latter is only being a follower of one’s own instincts, the ‘religio naturis’, the ‘Fitrah’ upon which God has created us.
We need to stop this indifference, respect our God and faith, with all the beautiful things it teaches, and success will be ours no matter what. Even if we do not retain
To the Christian minority, this is a belief embodied in the following verses of the Bible – firstly, Colossians (1:16) which says, "All things were created by him and for him." and Isaiah (43:21), "The people which I formed for Myself, that they might tell of My praise".
To the Muslim majority, two similar verses embody that belief, "I have created not the jinn and men except that they should worship Me" (51:56-58) and, "So glorify the praises of your Lord and be of those who prostrate themselves (to Him). And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the Hour that is certain (i.e., death)." (15:98-99). To those who idolise the Palestinian land, God has the following reminder to make – "All that is on earth is to perish. And there is abiding for ever is the Entity of your Lord Majestic and Venerable" (55:26-27).
The primary allegiance of anyone with faith should be humanity and to their religion – be it Islam, Christianity or Judaism. To make that allegiance to a piece of land is a form of polytheism, incompatible with these faiths.
I do not understand why the Hamas, who claim to be driven by religion, do not understand that, "Verily, God does not change men’s condition unless they change their inner selves, and when God wills people to suffer evil [in consequence of their . own evil deeds], there is none who could avert it: for they have none who could protect them from Him"(Quran 13:11) and "God helps those who help themselves".
It is about time we returned to our grass-roots, to the Godliness of our ancestors, and devoted ourselves to Him.
In our heart of hearts, we Palestinians know we do not do traditional Islam. And neither do we do secularism – it is incompatible with our inherently religious identity, a notion we saw Ashrawi remind us of earlier and reiterated here by Rashid Khalidi:
"The intellectuals, writers and politicians who were instrumental in the evolution of the first forms of Palestinian identity at the end of the last century and early in this century…identified with the Ottoman empire, their religion, Arabism, their homeland Palestine, their city or region, and their family, without feeling any contradiction, or sense of conflicting loyalties".
We are an inherently religious people, perhaps inspired into being so by the number of great prophets who treaded on our soil.
Let us worship Him, glorify Him, and praise Him in the day and night, and defend Him from the militia of those who abuse His idea. Let us, the Palestinians, free ourselves from the folly of the world, from attachment to confused political parties like Hamas and the PLO, and engage ourselves in productive activity with which He would be pleased. Let there arise from among us the greatest of men and women, "a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong" (3:104). Our very survival depends on our excellence – if we fail in this regard, we will not just be doomed to failure and possible extinction, but also to being forgotten. And better to be an extinct, but excellent fossil, than to be an unidentifiable one.
We the Palestinian expatriates, who do not experience what our people are currently experiencing, with a lack of medicine, water, food, electricity and all the basic things needed to survive, owe it to Palestine to change what is within ourselves. We owe it to the children who are growing up (if that – over 400 were shot dead by our Israeli friends) in the most catastrophic of fashions, without knowing the pleasures of childhood, who are destined for the most catastrophic adulthood post-traumatic stress. We owe it to all our brothers and sisters, suffering and dying for us, while we sit and play in our new homelands.
Let us be a people striving for excellence in all that we do, so as to be deserving of this, the holiest of lands.
We lost it, partly because the world is so full of fools, but partly perhaps because we were deemed unworthy of it.
We, the expatriates, have been playing for too long. We need to stop this chronic state of stupor that has inflicted us. We need to dissociate ourselves from the delirium of the Arab world, and the God-neglect that it shares with the West. We need to be active in our love and devotion to one thing – God, and all that this, the most glorious of things, entails.
It is this that made us uniquely Palestinian in the past, and may it be our creative force for the future.
It is only when we uphold a belief like this that we can be optimistic about the future, and convinces me that, the great Abdel Bari Atwan may be correct, yet again about his predictions regarding our future:
"The Gaza war is the most important moral test for the civilized West and this West, its leaders, values, and media (with some few exceptions) have fallen deeply and loudly. When US President George W. Bush supports this bloody war on the blockaded Gaza Strip, when the Czech Republic – the EU Chairman – says Israel is fighting a "defensive" and not oensive war, and when most of the media hesitates about publishing photos of the children’s limbs whose chaste bodies were shredded by Israel missiles and writes in detail about the eects of the "Hamas" rockets on some Israeli houses, then this is the epitome of moral, religious, and human collapse.
Gaza will change history, expose all the Western human rights and justice lies, and create a new world, exactly as its sister "Acre" did. In Acre was the end of the French campaign and from Gaza will start the countdown for the joint Israeli-US evil empire"
I conclude with a prayer : God, verily we have wronged ourselves, so please set us back on the Straight Path – the path of all those Great Men who have treaded on Palestinian soil. Only You can help us now, you who have guided us to belief in you, in submission to you, and made us belong to this wonderful breed of men and women – the Palestinians.
 John Loftus writes, continuing my medical theme, "To the Saudis, a democratic Palestinian nation would be a cancer in the Arab world, a destabilizing example of freedom that would threaten Arab dictators everywhere. As King Fahd said, "Next to the Jews, we hate the Palestinians the most." The harder the Israelis and Palestinians worked for peace, the more money King Fahd poured into his murder for hire program".
 While I am not aware of any Palestinian Jews myself, we are told that apparently showed that 11% of those living in the Gaza Strip when it was Palestine were Jewish (see Wikipaedia article on ‘Palestinian Jews’). I leave them, and their Israeli friends, with the following extract from the brilliant work of Akiva Orr, ‘The Un-Jewish State’:
"Theocentrism is the essence of Judaism. The worship of God has noulterior purpose whatsoever, either for the individual or for the community.It is not a means to achieve health, wealth, power, peace of mind, paradise,or to satisfy any human need. It is an end in itself, not a means. Everything else, including the very existence of the entire human species, is a means to reveal the glory of God.
Worship is performed as an act of reverence to God;if it is performed for any other purpose it becomes profane.In Judaism religion does not exist to serve humanity; humanity exists toserve God.This point is made painfully clear in the Bible story about Godcommanding Abraham to sacrifice his own son Isaac as an offering.Abraham obeys without questioning and God relents at the last moment,saying, ‘Now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou has not withheld thyson, thine only son, from me’ (Genesis 22, 12). In this test the believer isfaced with a conflict between basic human morality and God’s word, and
passes the test only if he is ready to sacrifice his son, his human morality, his interests – in short, everything – to God.
History, as well as current political events, are, according to Judaism,a result of God’s will. Wars, conquests, persecution, extermination, exile,peace are acts directed by divine providence for an ulterior purpose,namely, to guide humanity towards an awareness of God and a life dedicatedentirely to his glorification.In this scheme of things the Jewish people have been selected by God to serve as an example. This is not a status of superiority, but a burden: to live according to God’s rules or suffer the consequences. Accordingly,whatever happens to this community of believers serves as a lesson to everyone else. It is the entire community of believers, not the individual believer, that matters. Individual believers can serve as a model to other individuals, but it is the community of believers which serves as a model -of improper as well as proper conduct – to humanity.
The theocentric essence of Judaism is ruthless in its rejection of saints,shrines, ‘holy’ places, objects, people. Only worship of God – for its ownsake – is holy, all else is profanation. Drinking a cup of water can beimbued with holiness if it is carried out not with the intent to quench thirst,but with the intent to glorify and thank God. Asking God for favours likehealth, wealth, peace, etc. stems from self-interest, and is therefore profane. The insistence of some religio-nationalistic groups that the Wailing Wall, Jerusalem, or the territory of Palestine are ‘holy’ is blatant blasphemy, because the ‘holiness’ of a place or object is incompatible with theocentrism. Only God is holy, and only what is done to worship him alonehas holiness imparted to it, everything else is profanity".
Regarding this verse, Muhammad Asad comments, "This statement has both a positive and a negative connotation: i.e., God does not withdraw His blessings from men unless their inner selves become depraved (cf. 8: 53), just as He does not bestow His blessings upon wilful sinners until they change their inner disposition and become worthy of His grace. In its wider sense, this is an illustration of the divine law of cause and effect (sunnat Allah) which dominates the lives of both individuals and communities, and makes the rise and fall of civilizations dependent on people’s moral qualities and the changes in "their inner selves"".