A generational bloodstain

Fazal Masood Malik & Farhan Khokhar, Canada

As death rains from the sky in Gaza and violence erupts in the West Bank, American and British leaders have emerged calling for “restraint” and a “humanitarian pause” in a one-sided conflict between Israel and Palestine. Yet their platitudes and pleas ring hollow when their own hands remain soaked in blood.

For decades, the United States and the United Kingdom have acted as chief enablers and arms suppliers for Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian lands and oppression of the local populace. Following the 1917 Balfour Declaration opening the door for a Jewish state, Western powers backed Israel’s creation in 1948 at the expense of Palestinian self-rule – forcibly displacing 700,000 local Arabs in days remembered as the Nakba.

And the rivers of support have not stopped since $146 billion in American military assistance and tens of billions more in loans and contracts have bankrolled decades of Israeli settlement expansion, police state tactics, aerial bombardments of Gaza, and violent quashing of Palestinian resistance across occupied territories. (“Bringing Assistance to Israel in Line With Rights and U.S. Laws”, carnegieendowment.org) Despite touting support for a “two-state solution”, since 2015, the UK has approved $474 million in arms sales to Israel and continues to provide 15% of parts for M35s used against civilians in Gaza. The flow of arms and blood money betrays where its true sympathies lie. (“‘Selling Weapons to Israel Could Make UK Complicit in War Crimes’”, bylinetimes.com)

Like Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth compulsively washing phantom blood off her guilty hands after plotting regicide, the hollow diplomatic pretensions of these Western allies cannot hide the stains of the past. The mass displacement and dehumanisation of generations of Palestinians, facilitated by this aid, haunts their collective conscience.

Efforts at the UN have been obstructed despite worldwide demands for change. The UK and US veto critical resolutions. While publicly promoting peace, their actions allow conditions fueling tensions to persist. This duality frustrates the international community and raises doubts about the impartiality of bodies like the UN.

As for former Israeli PM Golda Meir’s defence that we will “ […] be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons.”, it rings hollow given the lopsided death tolls from Israeli military campaigns. (A Land of Our Own: An Oral Autobiography of Golda Meir [1973])

Religion is not to be blamed. As Golda Meir stated: “There is no Zionism except the rescue of Jews,” (Ibid.) While the Torah prescribes “an eye for an eye”, Israel’s Zionism-based policies have made it a “life for an eye” in a mismatch of reprisal and scale of force. Support from the USA and UK has enabled this doctrine of wildly disproportionate, collective punishment.

Do these Western architects of intervention believe their current policies are isolated in the sands of time without consequence? That the river of history flows in only one direction? Perhaps today, the military-industrial complex retains total dominance over a largely disarmed, disenfranchised Palestinian population. But the UK and USA ignore the lessons from fallen empires and the would-be invincibles of old.

The ancient legend of Nimrod is instructive: the powerful Babylonian king who ruled by force and fear defied the heavens – only to be humbled and vanished from Earth when the tides turned against him. So too, the judgement of history may one day befall today’s proud powers should they persist in the belief that “might makes right” without remorse or mercy.

Redemption remains narrowly within grasp; however, the prospects may seem dim given the present morass of hatred and mistrust. Allah has sent the Promised Messiahas – an ardent servant of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa –  to guide us back to peace and the righteous path. Embracing his message of peace and the continued guidance of his successors promises protection that offers to save people from calamity (Surah al-Anbiya Ch.21: V.106-108). Without spiritual insight, even the mightiest of civilisations fall into an abyss of their own making, forfeiting moral authority.

The generational bloodstain may never completely wash away. However, initiating the long-overdue process of accountability and reform could potentially catalyse a pivotal shift towards a more constructive trajectory. There may come a day yet when the children of Abraham can again play freely together amid the olive groves and rolling vineyards of this ancient land.

No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here