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Silence on Palestinian Issue Sends a Loud Message
by Arab News (reposted)
Saturday Jul 15th, 2006 11:14 PM
In the name of God stop the bombs terrorizing women and children in Lebanon. It is inhumane of US President George W. Bush, who takes pride in being a man of God, to refuse to ask Israel to curb its vicious assault.

Sunday,16 , July, 2006 (20, Jumada al-Thani,1427 )

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Silence on Palestinian Issue Sends a Loud Message
Samar Fatany, Arab News


In the name of God stop the bombs terrorizing women and children in Lebanon. It is inhumane of US President George W. Bush, who takes pride in being a man of God, to refuse to ask Israel to curb its vicious assault.

The calls to show restraint by world leaders are not enough. The international community has a responsibility to protect innocent Lebanese civilians who are targeted by the Israeli aggression that threatens the stability of the whole region.

Rage continues to dominate the Arab streets everyday. The arrogant and barbaric Israeli retaliation for the capture of two Israeli soldiers is outrageous. Prisoner exchange is a legitimate right in any war. The United Nations and the Western media have chosen to turn a blind eye to the11 , 000Palestinian prisoners that include women and children held for years in Israeli jails.

A war has been waged not to allow innocent Palestinians their freedom. Is this justice? Where is the conscience of political leaders? When will we see an end to the Israeli aggression and occupation of Arab lands? Recently, former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright took part in the Fortune/Aspen Institute Brainstorm held in Colorado. Although her position on the war on Iraq was greatly appreciated by all, her silence on other aspects of America’s Middle East policy was disappointing.

In a session called “Relations Between the Arab and Western Worlds: Can They Improve?” Albright had nothing to contribute. Even after hearing a very moving presentation by a Palestinian student from Hebron about the brutality his people suffer daily at the hands of Israeli soldiers, Albright still refused to put any blame on Israel for the current circumstances.

I was disappointed because I was looking forward to exchanging views with her. I hoped she could help me understand the reason behind American policies regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict.

After listening to the student’s moving presentation I asked Albright why politicians have been unable to find a solution to the Palestinian problem after so many years and why peace remains elusive. I asked her why there lacks a mechanism to provide international intervention to separate the two sides, both of which obviously are unable to resolve their differences. It worked in Bosnia and Kosovo, so why not allow it to work in Palestine?

Albright declined to answer me even after I repeated my question a second time. I thought the whole purpose of the brainstorming exercise was to come up with new initiatives and ideas that could provide solutions to make our world a better place. Instead, we spoke in generalizations and omitted the specifics that could make a difference.

It makes me wonder if resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is beyond the US agenda. In my view this is the core issue behind the global misunderstanding and the distrust that continues to haunt the Muslim world today. It is the perception in the Arab and Muslim world that the threat of terrorism will not disappear as long as Israel is allowed to practice state-sponsored terrorism against the Palestinians. There will continue to be self-proclaimed leaders who make empty promises to rescue Arabs and Muslims from further humiliation. America must review its Middle East policies and recognize that justice and peace go hand in hand.

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http://arabnews.com/?page=7§ion=0&article=85403&d=16&m=7&y=2006