Saturday, May 26, 2018

Jerusalem turns ME murkier, to breed terrorism

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The renewed conflict in the Palestinian land that has left at least 58 people, including an infant, killed and several thousand injured following the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem to back Israeli claim to that holy city as its capital.

But why US President Donald Trump has been so hell bend to take Jerusalem away from the Palestinians is not a big question. It is the Jewish support for his often-criticised government and policies, and a continued tension in the Middle East would sell more weapons along with more easy interference by the United States in the affairs of region's countries.

Above all, we have noticed in the most counter-productive invasion of Iraq is the increase in religious fanaticism and terrorism, to which Bangladesh also became a victim and security agencies continue to arrest terrorists from different parts of the country.

It is indeed worrisome to see the mass killings of Palestinian protestors and this is just a beginning of a long period of unrest in the Middle East and which way it would take the world politics, especially Muslim-dominated countries like Bangladesh.

On one hand we seek better ties with the United States, but on the other we cannot accept what it is doing in Palestine with OIC countries committed to Jerusalem as the legitimate capital of Palestine. And then what about the peace process?

We in Bangladesh have worries as already our hands are full with more Islamization of the society as is proved by mounting numbers of religious schools, hijabs and of course sudden attacks of home-grown militants. The latest being the attack on Professor Zafar Iqbal in Sylhet.

If violence mounts, it is likely that many from Bangladesh would join the ranks of the Palestinians as has been in the case of ISIS which led to the attack on Gulshan's Holey Artisan Bakery.

The US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, in a State Department briefing, said the move forces "people" (apparently Palestinians) to acknowledge that "circumstances are changing" and that they'd have to "get on board before events overtake them."

He apparently is indicating that the world is moving and the Palestinians, mainly the Hamas, must accept a new map and settle down what would be handed down to them by the powers like the US. But no one can force or predict if the Palestinians would agree to a new map with Jerusalem as Israeli capital although Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Fahad has rebuked Palestinians to accept what is being offered or "shut up."

One American newspaper said, "What was supposed to be a symbolic celebration of Israel's might producing a right-to have its disputed capital recognized by the US, to sustain the status quo in spite of Palestinian protest-was eclipsed by a far more appalling symbol of how unsustainable the status quo is.

 Carmela Menashe, a veteran security correspondent for Israel's Reshet Bet radio station, foreshadowed the bloodshed when she explained the morning before the Embassy ceremony that the Army's mission on the Gaza border would be to prevent Palestinians from taking pictures of themselves crossing into Israel-pictures that might be used as inspirational propaganda later on. Now Israel would have to contend with a different kind of imagery."

Can Israel sustain Jerusalem without more bloodshed, which the saner world would not accept against for the 18-acre land grounds of the American consulate where the Embassy building will be built? It was once a no-man's-land between West Jerusalem and Jordan, which occupied East Jerusalem from 1948 to 1967.

The bloodshed by the young Gazans has drawn international attention and the killings condemned. Turkey recalled its Ambassadors to Israel and the US. South Africa recalled its Ambassador to Israel. Egypt condemned Israel's use of deadly force. The European Union called for Israeli "restraint."

"Israelis had been told to party; they went to bed checking headlines," one US commentator said after the embassy ceremony and the violence. It does not give much explanation except that Israelis now live in greater danger of attacks jeopardizing some semblance of peace with at least 300,000 Palestinians already in an integrated part of Jerusalem.

The murky but some kind of peace is now in jeopardy as Trump's Jerusalem move has made the situation murkier.
For Bangladesh, the need of the hour is to push its diplomats to work for a rightful solution other than regular jargons and alerting its security agencies to be alert against any "sympathy" attacks on our land.

The writer is Roving Editor,
The Asian Age

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