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Harun Yahya - The Winter Of Islam And The Spring To Come - Palestine
The Winter Of Islam And The
Spring To Come
   

Palestine



The policy of terror of the occupying Israeli government

For years now there has been chaos and oppression in the Palestinian lands, where for 400 years during the Ottoman period peoples of different religions, languages and cultures lived together in peace and security. The slaughter and killing that continue with all their ruthlessness in the present day began when the region came under British domination and accelerated with the founding of an independent Jewish state.

At the root of what is going on in the region lies the fact that the Palestinian lands are seen as sacred by the three divine religions. However, those who defend the Zionist view have followed a policy aimed at eliminating the other peoples, instead of maintaining that sacred nature in peace and brotherhood. Zionist thought says that the Jews are a "superior race", which God has chosen, and that all other peoples in the world must bow their heads down to them. For Zionism, the belief in "the promised land" is just as important as that of the "chosen people." According to that belief, the Jews must live in the holy lands that God has promised to them. This region, from the Nile River to the Euphrates, consists of Palestinian lands more than anything else, and has Jerusalem at its center. Zionism believes that it is the Jews' most natural right to live in the promised land, and that all sorts of violence and oppression may be used against those who try to prevent this. At the root of the present injustice in Palestine, and the state of Israel's policy of violence and oppression towards the Palestinians, lies this racist belief and view.

For the Jews, the founding of an independent Jewish state on Palestinian land was a sacred mission. Another important aim is to preserve the existence of that state, which was established in May 1948. According to the rulers of the state of Israel, that can only be guaranteed by increasing the population on Palestinian territory and widening the areas inhabited by them. In order to bring that about, the entire Palestinian population must either be moved off that land, or else eliminated. For fully a half century now, the state of Israel has been engaged in the long-term extermination of the Palestinian people in accordance with that belief.

It needs to be made clear that the Jews' wish for a homeland of their own is entirely justified. Neither is there anything wrong in that homeland being in Palestinian territory, the Jews' historical homeland. However, Zionism is a twisted ideology which harbours an aggressive plan to take over all of Palestine and exile or eliminate the Muslim Arabs living in the country, and which sees nothing wrong in carrying that plan out. That is why its measures are condemned not just by Muslims, but also by a great many Israelis, Jews and Christians.

The Exiling of the Palestinian People

When the Zionists decided to found an independent Jewish state on Palestinian territory, one of the first problems they faced was the small size of the Jewish population living there. In the early 1900s, Jews constituted less than 10 percent of the population of Palestine. Thanks to the efforts of the Zionists, the number of Jewish migrants, 100,000 in the 1920s, reached 232,000 in the 1930s according to official figures. By 1939 there were 445,000 Jews out of a total population of 1.5 million. From representing 10 percent of the population just two decades before, they now constituted 30 percent by 1939. Jewish settlement areas were also expanded in line with the rise in population. By 1939 the land owned by Jews had doubled in comparison to the 1920s. By 1947, there were 630,000 Jews in Palestine and 1.3 million Palestinians. Between the partitioning of Palestine by the United Nations on November 29, 1947 and the founding of the state of Israel on May 15, 1948, the Israelis acquired a substantial part of Palestinian lands. As a result of pressure and killing in Palestinian villages, the number of Palestinians living in some 500 cities, towns and villages fell from 950,000 to 138,000. A great number of these people had been killed, and others were exiled. The Zionist terror groups that would later form the Israeli Army attacked Muslim villages at night. Muslims were shot, and everywhere these groups passed through was burned and destroyed. By these means, some 400 Palestinian villages were wiped off the map in 1948 and 1949. The property left behind by the Palestinians was taken over by the Jews by virtue of the Absentee Property Law. Until 1947, Jewish land ownership in Palestine was some 6%. By the time the state was formally established, it had sequestered 90% of the land.9 The Palestinian Arabs were left with just two separate areas, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.


For a Palestinian, setting out on what should be a 15-minute trip to go to work or visit a relative living in a nearby refugee camp becomes a true ordeal. He will suffer verbal and physical abuse from Israeli soldiers at the regular security checkpoints along the road.

As we have seen, each new arrival of Jews meant cruelty, oppression and violence for the Muslim population. In order to settle the new arrivals, Zionist organizations forced the Palestinian people to abandon the lands they had lived on for hundreds of years. Joseph Weitz, the head of the Israeli government's transfer committee of 1948, wrote in his diary in December 20, 1940: "It must be clear that there is no room for both peoples in this country. No development will bring us closer to our aim, to be an independent people in this small country. After the Arabs are transferred, the country will be wide open for us; with the Arabs staying, the country will remain narrow and restricted. The only way is to transfer the Arabs from here to neighboring countries, all of them. Not a single village, or a single tribe must be left."10 Heilburn, the chairman of the committee for the re-election of General Shlomo Lahat, the mayor of Tel Aviv, expressed the Zionist view of the Palestinian people in these words: "We have to kill all the Palestinians unless they are resigned to live here as slaves."11


REFUGEE DESTINATIONS
REGION
IN CAMPS
OUTSIDE CAMPS
TOTAL
JORDAN
238.188
1.050.009
1.288.197
WEST BANK
131.705
358.707
517.412
GAZA STRIP
362.626
320.934
683.560
LEBANON
175.747
170.417
346.164
SYRIA
83.311
253.997
337.308
TOTAL
991.577
2.181.064
3.172.641


Refugee Camps

By far the greater part of the Palestinian Muslims who were forcibly removed from the places they had lived in for hundreds of years are still living in refugee camps. The number of Palestinians living in refugee camps, and in those in neighboring countries such as Lebanon and Jordan, is some 3.5 million.




Most Palestinians, forced by Jews off lands they had lived for thousands of years, are still struggling to survive in refugee camps. The current number of those living in such camps totals some 3.5 million. These camps are frequently subjected to abuse, oppression and bombing by the state of Israel.

The conditions faced by the Palestinians in the refugee camps and the regions under Israeli occupation are particularly unpleasant. These people have difficulties in meeting even their most basic human needs. They can enjoy electricity and water only to the extent that the state of Israel gives permission, and have to walk miles to poorly paid jobs in order to make a living. Even journeys of just 10-15 minutes, to go to work or visit relatives in a nearby refugee camp, are not easy for a Palestinian. They are subjected to identity checks at frequent intervals along the road, and to verbal and physical abuse. Sometime Israeli soldiers close roads for "security" reasons, and Palestinians are then unable to go to work, or anywhere, not even to hospital if they are ill.


In addition to attacks by Israeli forces, the Palestinian people are also struggling with economic difficulties, hunger and drought.

As well as all this, they survive every day with the constant fear of being killed, injured or detained. That is because the people living in the camps are frequently subjected to armed attacks by fanatical Jews living in the nearby settlement areas, particularly during the night.

In his book The Israeli Connection, Benjamin Beit Hallahmi, a professor of psychology at Israel's Haifa University, describes the situation of the Muslims living in the Gaza Strip and Israel's view of them:

In 1986, the Gaza population stood at 525,000 and the density at 2,150 per square kilometer (in Israel it is 186). Most able-bodied Gazans, starting sometimes at age eight, work in Israel, at wages which are 40 percent below average Israeli pay. They pay income tax - without being entitled to any benefits, since they are defined as nonresidents.

In the Israeli consciousness Gaza has become the symbol of helplessness and squalor, but there is no sympathy for the denizens of Gaza, for they are the enemy.12

It will be useful at this point to briefly consider the impressions of a Palestinian-American citizen who visited the refugee camps in order to get a better idea of the conditions there. Yasmine Subhi Ali, a medical student, says this of her 1999 visit to the Shatila Camp:

… passing many damaged remnants of the civil war and the Israeli invasion all along our route. I expected that we would have to stop at some gate signifying the entrance to the camp when we reached it, but I saw nothing of the sort. I didn't need to: the contrast between the camp and the surrounding area (which was not the nicest part of town in the first place) was so striking that there could be no mistaking it. There were piles upon piles of trash, junk, and stones lining both sides of the road… Crowded shops line the street now, but in the distance behind them reminders remain: those bullet-hole-ridden, gunpowder-stained buildings… and a graveyard for which (we were told) the camp inhabitants were not allowed to build any memorials or even tombstones.13




Israeli forces defenseless people with automatic rifles and heavy weapons.



Genocide Against the Civilian Population

Israel has implanted systematic state terror against the Palestinian people ever since it was founded. Naturally, the main targets of that terror are the Muslims living in the region. For half a century now, Palestinian Muslims have been ejected from their homes with no justification even being offered, and have been shot and attacked, have seen their homes demolished and their fields and gardens torn up, and been subjected to torture and violence. What is going on in Palestinian lands reveals that there is a terrible genocide being carried out by the state of Israel.

Very few of the attacks on and bombings of women, young people and children in Palestine are reported by the world media.


The Israelis carry out their killings before the eyes of the world.

In Palestine, 70 percent of whose population consists of young people, children have experienced exile, detentions, imprisonment and slaughter ever since the occupation in 1948. They have been treated as second-class citizens in their own land, and learned to resist, even under the most intolerable conditions. Half of those who lost their lives in the Intifada which started with Ariel Sharon's provocative visit to the Dome of the Rock in October 2000 were under age 16. Sixty percent of those injured were less than 18. At least five children a day still die in those regions where the conflict continues, and more than 10 are injured.

Journalist-writer Ruth Anderson described the inhuman images from the Aksa Intifada in The Palestine Chronicle, published in Palestine:

No one mentions the newly married young man who went off to demonstrate only to die a martyr leaving his young bride a widow. No one mentions the Palestinian youth whose head was crushed by Israelis and whose arms were broken before he was so brutally slaughtered. No one mentions the little 8-year-old boy who was shot to death by Israeli soldiers. No one says how Jewish settlers armed with all sorts of weapons and encouraged by Barak's government, storm Palestinian villages and uproot olive trees and murder Palestinian civilians. No one mentions the Palestinian babies who have died when their homes were bombed by air raids or who were caught in a hail of Israeli bullets while being transported to an envisioned safety. Everyone knows that babies cannot throw stones. Everyone knows but Israelis and Americans.14

The reply from Ehud Barak, the prime minister of the time, to the inhuman scenes going on in Palestine was particularly interesting as a reflection of the state of Israel's view. He simply stated that he doesn't mind how the conflict in Gaza, the West Bank and the other zones will ever die down and that the use of all means against Palestinians crowds was justified. He also noted that he is not interested in how many Palestinians die, but he is only concerned with the security of his own people.15

ISRAEL SHEDS CHILDREN'S BLOOD



Whenever he holds the upperhand, he goes about the earth corrupting it, destroying (people's) crops and animals. Allah does not love corruption.
(Qur'an, 2: 205)

The response from E. Eytan, a general in the Israeli army, is even more thought-provoking. He stated that they do not regret anything they have done and they are ready to use all means for the security for their people and soldiers. He said that the order was given to the troops to use weapons against Palestinian demonstrators and that people must be shot in the head and chest to instill fear into the population.16

The above statements from Israeli officials are the clearest possible expression of this cruel mentality. The figures show that most Israeli soldiers carried out their orders with the greatest efficiency. According to a Palestine Health Organisation report, 34 percent of the more than 400 people killed during the Aqsa Intifada were under age 18. The important thing, however, is that 47 percent of the dead were people who did not take part in the demonstrations or clashes. Thirty-eight percent of those injured on the West Bank were hit by real bullets, and 75 percent of those in the upper parts of their bodies. In the Gaza Strip, 40 percent were injured by real bullets, and 61 percent of them in the upper body, in other words in the chest. The total number of wounded exceeded 10,000. Some 1,500 people suffered permanent disabilities. The hospitals where these people were being treated were also frequently attacked. A total of 1,450 people were detained, and 750 of these are still in Israeli prisons.

Some 2,760 buildings were seriously damaged. Of these, 773 were the homes of Palestinian civilians, 180 of which were completely destroyed. Among the damaged buildings were 29 mosques, 12 churches and 44 water depots. Forty-one schools were rendered completely unusable, and four of them were actually used as military warehouses by Israeli troops. Thirty school buildings were burned by Israeli soldiers. The situation led to damage totaling around $400,000.

Finally, 45 students were killed on their way back home from school during the first two months of the al-Aqsa Intifada.17

Age distribution of those killed
Number
%
Wound Sites
Number
%
Under 15
60
14.9
Head and neck (including 9 people shot from behind)
154
41.8
16-18
75
18.7
Chest (including 12 people shot from behind)
117
31.8
19-29
176
43.8
Stomach
32
8.7
30-39
50
12.4
General entire body
61
16.6
40-49
18
4.5
Arm
4
1.1
over 50
23
5.7
 
 
A chart showing the numbers of people killed in the al-Aqsa Intifada, and where they were hit. It shows that Israeli troops aim at children and the young in particular, and shoot at the head and chest to be sure of making a kill.

All these statistics point to one clear fact: The state of Israel is engaged in a conscious and systematic policy of the elimination of the Palestinian people. The above figures show that Israeli troops did not use their weapons to remove a threat to public security, but to kill and maim. Most of the children who were killed and crippled were shot in the head or chest, or else from behind. It is obvious that no soldier whose aim is simply to maintain order would shoot people in the head or chest, or from behind as they run away.

There is no doubt that the terrorist actions targeting civilians resorted to by some radical Palestinian groups in the face of the Israeli oppression were unjustified, and we duly condemn those. Such attacks are generally the subjects of massive world criticism and are much more harmful than beneficial to the Palestinian cause. Yet it must not be forgotten that the starting point for these acts of terror was the Israeli occupation. Before 1967, in other words before it had occupied all the Palestinian territories, Israel faced no terrorist threat. It was the Israeli occupation and strategy of "ethnic cleansing" that gave birth to and sustained Palestinian terrorism.

However, Muslims are charged with behaving in the manner commanded by Allah and being guided by the sunnah of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, at all moments of their lives.

The verses of the Qur'an call people to the ethics of Islam, through which the world can be made a haven for peace and tolerance. Allah commands us to rule justly without discriminating among people, to preserve people's rights, not to tolerate cruelty, to support the oppressed in the face of cruelty, and to lend a helping hand to those in need. This justice requires one to face a decision by protecting the rights of both parties, to evaluate events objectively, and to think without bias. It requires justice, honesty, mercy, and compassion.


For years now, Israeli troops have been savagely killing the defenseless, including young Palestinians no more than children, without batting an eyelash.
It is obvious that attacks such as these against civilians cannot be excused. As explained above, such a method is absolutely inconsistent with Islam. When we examine the Qur'anic verses and the actions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, it is clear that there is no place in Islam for attacks against civilians. Whether during the conquest of Mecca or during other wars, the Prophet carefully protected the rights of innocent and unarmed people, and prevented them from being harmed. He reminded believers in this regard on various occasions, commanding them to "Set out for war in the name of Allah and for the sake of Allah. Do not lay hands on the old verging on death, on women, children and babies. Do good, for Allah loves .the virtuous and pious" (Muslim) Muslims oppose tyranny and barbarism, the unnecessary use of weapons, and all unjust practices.

In any discussion of the attacks on Israeli citizens, another topic which must be examined is the place of suicide in Islam. Some circles are gravely misinformed about Islam, believing that this religion of peace permits the practice of suicide attacks; nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that Islam forbids the taking of one's own life, just as it forbids the taking of another's. Allah condemns suicide explicitly when he says, "do not kill yourselves." (Qur'an, 4: 29). No matter what his reason, it is forbidden in Islam for anyone to kill himself. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, also condemns suicide in one of the hadiths, indicating that those who choose this path will suffer eternal damnation:

Whoever purposely throws himself from a mountain and kills himself, will be in the (Hell) Fire falling down into it and abiding therein perpetually forever; and whoever drinks poison and kills himself with it, he will be carrying his poison in his hand and drinking it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever; and whoever kills himself with an iron weapon, will be carrying that weapon in his hand and stabbing his abdomen with it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever. (Muslim)

Consequently, every Muslim should condemn these incidents, which cast a pall on the just cause of the Palestinian people.



During the events sparked off by Israel's opening a tunnel near the Jerusalem Mosque that had been kept closed for centuries, the Palestinian minister of finance was attacked by Israeli troops wielding sticks (top left).Israel is trying to counter the rightful struggle of the Palestinians, one which has been going on for more than half a century now, with bombs, bullets and truncheons.

It should be bore in mind that any mode of struggle outside of the values of the Qur'an - for example, the "guerilla" tactics envisaged by communist ideology - is not correct, and cannot succeed. For this reason current situation on Palestinian lands must be evaluated sensibly and realistically, and a new strategy consistent with the Qur'an must be determined. If Palestine were to engage in a diplomatic and cultural struggle against Israel, which is militarily so much more powerful than Palestine, instead of a military one, it would not only enjoy much greater success, but would also put an end to the sufferings of innocent people.


The world has been watching what has been going on in Palestine for half a century now. This savage oppression is covered by newspapers all over the world every day, and read about by billions of people.

Conclusion

One could say a great deal more, and cite a great many more examples of what is going on in Palestine. Yet what we must above all not forget is the responsibility that falls to every person of conscience in the face of them. The events in Palestine mean much more than an Arab-Israeli war. First of all, the Muslim people whose lands have been forcibly taken from them are engaged on an important quest for justice. The lands in question are considered holy by the entire Islamic world. The Palestinian people are resisting abandoning Jerusalem, a city which belongs to the whole Muslim world. That is why all believers have a duty to wage a war of ideas with those ideologies used to support the continuing oppression in Palestine, and to try to find a solution to it.

Every person of conscience must consider that fact and look for a way out. As we have said in other sections of this book, that way out lies in spreading Qur'anic morality among people worldwide. That is the only way to bring about peace and brotherhood, whether in Palestine or any of the many other countries experiencing war and conflict. If the justice, cooperation, compassion, love, self-sacrifice and forgiveness that the morality of the Qur'an commands come to prevail in the world, then the result will be a place of justice, peace and security.

With the words, "Let there be a community among you who call to the good, and enjoin the right, and forbid the wrong. They are the ones who have success" (Qur'an, 3: 104), Allah draws attention to this honorable duty placed on all believers. What all Muslims therefore need to do is themselves to live by a morality that is pleasing to Him, explain it to other people, and preach the morality of the Qur'an to the entire world.

 
   
    

9- Ralph Schoenman, The Hidden History of Zionism, Veritass Press, 1998 ((emphasis added)
10- Weite Diary, A 24617, entry dated 20 December 1940, Central Zionist Archives, Jerusalem, pp. 1090-91 (emphasis added)
11- Ralph Schoenman, The Hidden History of Zionism, Veritass Press, 1998 (emphasis added)
12- Benjamin Beit Hallahmi, The Israeli Connection: Who Israel Arms and Why, Pantheon Books, 1987, p. 239 (emphasis added)
13- "It is Always Eid in Palestine" Yasmine Subhi Ali, http://www.alhewar.com/EidInPalestine.htm
14- Ruth Anderson, Intifada Al-Aqsa and American Propaganda, The Palestine Chronicle Online, www.palestinechronicle.com (emphasis added)
15- Fikret Ertan, Israil'in Emniyeti, (The Security of Israel), Zaman Gazetesi (Turkish Newspaper), 14 October 2000 (emphasis added)
16- Fikret Ertan, Israil'in Emniyeti, (The Security of Israel), Zaman Gazetesi (Turkish Newspaper), 14 October 2000
17- These figures cover the period from September 2000 to March 2001. They were compiled by the Palestinian HDIP Institute from information supplied by organizations working in the region, such as the Red Cross and the United Nations. See http://www.hdip.org