By Shahid Ehsan Khalid
The Richest Liberation Fighter in History
When Yasser Arafat died ten years ago, he had more than a billion dollars in his account. Earning the dubious distinction of being the only leader of a liberation fighting organization, who was filthy rich. In fact, the liberation fighters for Palestine were always discernible for their high lifestyle and preference for wine, women and luxury.
Colonel Muhammad Khan is his incomparable “bjng amd”, had narrated Palestine, in the midst of Second World War, when the Jews were buying land and turning their settlements into envy of the modern agricultural world. The Palestinian were settling into tents and enjoying American cigarettes. Fast turning themselves into refugees.
From the mid-forties till 29 August 1969, no noticeable action was taken by the liberation fighters. Probably true to the Palestinian character, they were waiting for the victory of mighty Arab states. It was 1967 war, which shattered their dreams. This forced the Palestinian fighters in action.
Without guerilla warfare hijacking
Is just an act of terrorism.
Leila Khaled Hijacked a plane
In fact, Leila Khalid and Salim Issawi were remarkably successful in getting the world attention. These members of the Popular Front, a left leaning organization, forgot that liberation had to be earned with hard struggle demanding blood at every turn of history.
However, hard ground battles and long guerilla struggle, somehow does not appeal to the Palestinian leadership. They were the only guerrillas, in the history of guerrilla warfare, who were stuck in Beirut when the civil war in Lebanon, attracted Syrian and Isreali armed forces. “Rescued” by world pressure only. Unlike Tamils, when they were encircled, stuck in the northern Sri Lanka, they decide to sacrifice themselves. Without consistent struggle against the enemy, hijacking is not an act of resistance; it is an act of terrorism.
Before Yasser Arafat united all the parties of Palestine under the banner of Palestine Liberation Organization, the infighting was common. Something we now know, is the part of tribal and/or backward culture, be it Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Angola or Afghanistan. But in these countries, war of liberation was fierce and most courageous acts were performed against the occupying forces. Be it Portugal, USSR or USA.
Not so in the case of POL. Without consistent struggle against the enemy, hijacking is not an act of resistance; it is an act of terrorism. However, for the Palestinians, even this has made impact on the world. It is amazing how many countries have contributed materially and gave support ethically to the Palestinian cause. So many countries recognize Palestinian state in exile, before the present state came into being! Politically this is a success story. And all the credit (as all the discredit) goes to POL leadership, particularly Yasser Arafat.
In the balance sheet, one important factor seems missing, effort, blood that was sacrificed for the great cause of freedom? Or is it a matter of solace for anyone that here comes the world’s richest leader of the liberation organization. By the by, those billion dollars are causing friction and disputes among the successors of Yasser Araft—-as expected.
The irony is that perpetrators of inhuman deeds are the Jews! Let us differentiate between Zionists and Jews. The Zionists are Jew Brahmins, who do not consider anyone else a real human being. Whereas the Jews are the persons who have contributed disproportionately more in advancement of human knowledge, in every discipline under the Sun. The chosen people of Yahweh, in their three thousand years old history, according to their own account, have been displaced, mobbed, robbed to the extent that just to maintain their identity, they have to add “next year in Jerusalem”.
With experiences of exiles, extending right unto twentieth century and the holocaust, the state of Israel could have, should have acted differently. But lesson of history is that no one learns any lesson from history. This implies a shortsightedness which does not tally well with traditional idea of wise Jew. Probably their wisdom consists in money making and not in statecraft.
All the credit goes to the European and British statesmen, who were able to shift the
“European Jew Problem” to the Middle East, once for all. My apprehension is that they acted as true Christians and, once again, avenged the death of Christ by the Jews. The hard fact is that tiny Jew population is an island among a sea of Arabs, Muslims and Christians alike. The disproportion between Arab population and the Jews is bound to grow in one direction only. The inference is also evident. Sooner or later, the state of Israel will be engulfed by the sea of Arabs surrounding it. Whether it will happen in our lifetimes or a century later, is the question.
The answer lies in the bosom of Palestinian people desire to have a home of their own. A very human, hence least likely, possibility is that the opposing parties can live like cousins, who they really are.
A word of caution for Pakistanis, the Palestinians, rather all the Arabs, in general, feel less like a Muslim and more like an Arab, so try to curtail your enthusiasm.
While us, the people of Pakistan have always supported the oppressed and enslaved nations and individuals of the world, and we will continue to do so. However, our habit of being carried away by the most rotten cheater, if his slogan mongering is good, should be curtailed. Palestine and Kashmir are the only two nations still denied their right of nationhood. Let us all support their right of self determination with full moral backing. But they have to fight their own fight. Like Afghans had done against one occupying power and now fighting against the other. Blood cannot be replaced by dollars.