What is going on in Palestine lays a burden on every responsible person. Above all, the main responsibility is to be well-informed and well-focused. One must have a true picture of the situation in order to find out what to do about it. Then he must analyze his position well and decide what kind of responsibilities he carries and what he is able to do in that position. After that, he must take a step without delay.
We will give short information about the issue of Palestine and question ourselves about our responsibilities through this brochure. It is incumbent on each person to determine his position and what to do accordingly.
Where is Palestine?
Palestine refers to the region which has been called so for at least 5000 years according to the known history. It constitutes the southwestern part of the area which is known as “Bilad-ı Şam” (“The province of Sham”) in the historical sources.
Today, it is the area which is bordered with the Jordan River and the Lake of Lut in the east, Mediterranean and the desert of Sinai in the west, Lebanon in the north and Red Sea in the south. East Bank that lays in the east of the Jordan River was regarded as part of Palestine in the history. In other words, the entire region of Jordan that is composed of the eastern and western banks of the Jordan River was part of Palestine.
Because the occupying state of Israel that was established through the private plans of the international imperialism was granted territory by the 1947 UN decisions, an important part of Palestinian land is shown as Israel in the official political partition. The region which is shown as Israel constitutes a territory of Palestine that is more than 20 thousand km2. This territory is known as “1948 region” among Palestinian people. Palestinian territory that is outside of the land called “Israel” in the UN decisions is Gaza, West Bank and East Jerusalem. East Jerusalem was annexed to the land called “Israel” after 1967 through the one-sided decisions taken by the occupying powers. However this decision of annexation has not been approved in the international decisions. An important part of the region called West Bank, since it is placed in the west of the Jordan River, has been seized by the Jewish settlers who were brought from other countries. On the other hand, the Jewish settlements in Gaza on the Mediterranean coast in the west of Palestine were evacuated in the 2005 withdrawal.
Palestine throughout History
Palestine has a long past and a long-established history. It has also a central place in the Islamic combat. We note that Palestine had a special status in the lives of most of the messengers mentioned in the Qur’an who spent most of their lifetime, if not all, there.
Muhammad (pbuh), the last prophet, encouraged the believers to take an interest in the land of Masjid Aqsa, visit there and pray in that temple. This encouragement influenced the battles of the later Islamic state in widening its borders of sovereignty. All the rightly-guided caliphs paid special attention to this region. Yet, the conquest of Jerusalem and its surroundings took place during the time of the second caliph Omar. After then, it has been under invasion for 1400 years; by the crusaders between the years 1099-1187, by the British between 1917-1948 and by the Zionists after 1948.
The aim of the British occupation in 1917 was to help the Zionist organizations to bring the world’s Jews together in order to realize their goal of establishing a Jewish state. The 1916 Sykes-Pikos Agreement and the 1917 Belfur Declaration prove this aim evidently.
How did Israel Come into Scene?
Since the aim of the British occupation was to support the Zionist organizations in their plans to have a state, the initiatives oriented toward this aim started soon after the occupation. Jews’ migration to the Palestinian land was facilitated through every means. The British occupiers, by putting heavy taxes, confiscated the land of Palestinians and sold it to the Jewish immigrants at symbolic prices. But in spite of all these encouragements, the intended Jewish population was not ensured. Ironically, with the Nazi storm in Europe in 1933, the Jews fled to the land of Palestine because the Nazis used to kill some Jews, put their bodies in trucks and go to the Jewish provinces saying “if you don’t leave these territories, the same will happen to you too!” As a result of the migrations after these threats, the number of the Jews in Palestine rose to 800.000 by the end of the Second World War while it had been less than 200.000 in 1933 before the Nazi attacks.
On the other hand, the Zionist groups formed various terrorist organizations in Palestinian lands, the most important of which are Haganah and Irgun. These organizations forced the Palestinians to leave their land by organizing several terrorist attacks. As a result, the British decided to withdraw in 1947 after ensuring that the Jewish terrorist organizations began to be institutionalized as a state and the sufficient number of Jewish population was assured for this. The Jewish terrorist organizations came to consensus and declared the establishment of a state called “Israel”. Shortly after that, it was recognized formally by the UN and a significant part of the Palestinian territories was given by the UN Assembly Resolution 181 to the so-called state shaped by the terrorist organizations.
Is There A Difference Between The Zionist Occupation and The Crusader Invasion?
As summarized above, the emergence of a state called Israel was possible only through occupation which is not different from the Crusader invasion. Therefore it is unlawful like the Crusader invasion and is based on injustices. It was carried out by inhumane terrorism, brutality and forced immigration like the Crusader invasion. Today, to protect and carry on its existence, this state still uses the same means it used in its establishment. As a result, Israel is not only a state that was established by terrorist organizations but “is a terrorist state”. The Crusades, while being carried out during a period of 88 years, did not achieve legitimacy and came to an end. In spite of all the efforts by the international forces to make it legal, the occupying state of Israel is not going to be legalized either.
Palestine: Stranger in Its Motherland
The establishment of the occupying state of Israel, which was achieved with the help and support of the international imperialism, led millions of Palestinians to become refugees in their homeland. All the properties of the Palestinians, owned in legal ways, were seized by violence. The Zionist terrorist groups applied the same methods used by the Nazis against Jews in Europe. They killed some Palestinians, took the dead bodies to the Palestinian cities by trucks and threatened others. The lands and houses of the Palestinians who had been forced to immigrate by these methods, were registered as “having no owner” and sold to Jewish immigrants at symbolic prices or for free.
People Who Long for Their Homeland
Millions of Palestinians, who were forced to migrate by occupation and deforcement, are dispersed in different countries today. Most of them live in refugee camps formed in Palestine or other neighbouring Arab countries. Because Gaza, West Bank and East Jerusalem were not occupied then, some of the immigrants settled in these cities. For example two third of the Gaza’s population today consists of Palestinians who became refugees after 1948 and their offsprings. A lot of refugees still live in the refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. Most of them were born in those camps. Especially in the camps in Lebanon and Jordan, people live under extremely poor and unhealthy conditions. They live longing for home each and every day. In sum, one of the most important aspects of the question of Palestine is the problem of refugees.
The Priority of the Palestinian Cause
Palestine has a special priority not only for the Palestinian people but also for the entire Islamic world. If its meaning is grasped, the priority of the Palestinian cause will be understood. However the international powers, in order to hold back the Muslim people from upholding this cause, attempt to introduce the question of Palestine to the world as an Arab-Israeli conflict or a Middle Eastern issue for years. Now it is time to notice this delusion and defend the Palestinian cause with an awareness of the brotherhood in faith.
The Palestinian issue is prior, first of all, because of its position in the Tawhid struggle and hence being mentioned as “fertile land” in the Qur’an. Secondly, Masjid al-Aqsa, the first qibla in Islam, is located in Palestine. These two reasons also served it in being the place of the Night Journey of the Prophet (pbuh). Its role as the venue of the Night Journey gives it a special status and importance from our perspective. Another reason for its priority for us is that it is entrusted by its conquerors to the Muslim generations following them till the last day. Fifthly, it has a strategic significance. It has been influential throughout history and therefore virtually the mirror of the entire ummah. It can be said that the interests of the international imperialist powers meet jointly in Palestine today and therefore the Palestinian cause should be given precedence in order to prevent the plans against Muslim societies. Another reason that gives priority to the Palestinian cause is its being the vessel for the tawhid inheritance of the messengers. Palestine, the homeland of dozens of prophets including Prophet Abraham and Prophet Moses, belongs to the believers in Tawhid.
Did the Palestinians Sell Their Land?
Before the establishment of Israel, the Jews had a land of 2 million acres of the Palestinian territories that made up 28 million acres. In other words they owned only 7% of all Palestinian land. They bought 650.000 acres of these territories during the Ottoman Empire times; 1.200.000 acres were donated by the British occupiers; and 800.000 acres were sold by the British at unimportant prices. The remaining territories that were not able to be sold by this method were taxed heavily. In addition, 2.400.000 acres of the land were bought from the Arabs from Lebanon and Syria who owned property in Palestine. In the territories acquired by the Jews till 1948 that compose 7/8 of all territories, Palestinians had no involvement. The Jews bought 250.000 acres which correspond to 0.9% of all Palestinian territory from the Palestinians themselves. Moreover, those who sold their land faced severe reactions from the people and had to leave the country. Now let us compare the percentage of the sold territories to the whole country and the number of the Palestinians who sold their properties to the whole Palestinian population: While making a judgement about a community, would you prefer deciding based on the behavior of the 0, 9 % of the population or that of the %99, 1? Furthermore, because the Palestinians who sold their territory to the Jews were excluded from the community, they do not have any affiliation with those who struggle for the Islamic identity of Palestine today.
Palestine’s “War of Independence”
The struggle being carried on by the Palestinian people is not a violent act aimed toward gaining dominance but a battle to save their motherland from occupation. In other words, it is a war of independence. The reasons that justify and legitimize the Turkish war of independence are also true for the struggle in Palestine. The motives that rationalize the struggles of the oppressed people in Bosnia, Chechenya or any occupied land are applicable to the Palestinian struggle as well.
Supporting those who Support Masjid al-Aqsa
The responsibility of supporting Masjid al-Aqsa and the struggle it symbolizes would lead us to ask the following question to ourselves: how much do we support those who support Masjid al-Aqsa? Some take risks to defend this sacred place and make sacrifices and face difficulties to protect it. In fact, they act in this way on behalf of all Muslims who are responsible of protecting that holy place.
Yet, how much do we support them while they defend the holy temple in the name of us and all Muslims? First of all, can we say frankly that they are right in their struggle and each and every human being should support them in their right cause? Rather, if we dare blame those people before history based on the misinformation transmitted us and are misled by their portrayal as terrorists, it means that we are making a big mistake.
A State Which Needs War to Survive
The Zionist state that occupied Masjid al-Aqsa and the region where it is located constantly calls for violence and war to maintain its existence. Consequently its short history is full of six wars and plenty of massacres. Yet it is not satisfied with the ones it committed till now and therefore keeps committing new ones. The most important reason for this is its lack of legitimate foundations. Like the Crusades, since it lacks legitimate bases, it needs constant violence, attacks and fights to survive. So, we can simply conclude that the occupying state of Israel is an institutionalized terrorist organization.
Massacre is a Pleasure for Israel
An Israeli official killed a 13-year-old Palestinian girl named Iman Al-Hism in Rafah Refugee camp on the 5th of October in 2004. The official claimed that he killed the child because she might have a bomb in her bag. This assertion demonstrates how easy killing is for an Israeli soldier since it is possible to suspect every child having a bomb in his/her bag. How could we possibly talk about the safety of the Palestinian children if a suspicion like this may be the reason for murder? What is more, he emptied the whole charger of his gun that included 20 bullets onto the girl after he had wounded Iman el-Hism and she had fallen on the ground. 1/3 of the Palestinian civilian people who have been killed since 2000 are children.
A State Legalizing Torture
Torture is an act that is decried by all religions, is rejected by all judicial systems and is prohibited in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. International law does not approve torture even on the captives of war and regards it as a war crime. However, Israel has legalized torture on the Palestinian prisoners and captives. Strangely enough, UN, the overseer of the implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, does not even need to discuss in its agenda the Israeli law that gives permission for torture to the police and intelligence service called Shin-Bet.
A great number of Palestinians died as a result of the tortures they were exposed to. These incidents are proved not only by the institutions in Palestine but also by the reports of Betselim, an Israeli Institution of Human Rights. Israeli courts do not need to investigate these death incidents and the international organizations keep silent.
DUNGEONS, THE COGWHEEL OF ZIONISM
The most important dimension of Israel’s cruelity towards Palestinians is capture and imprisonment. Today, 20% of Palestinian population have once been in Israeli prisons. This fact was obtained through a research done in 2005. This means that one of every five Palestinian has been in Israeli prisons and thus at least one or two from every Palestinian family has been in prison and tortured. At present, there are more than 10.000 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons and about 1000 of them are women and 150 are children.
Palestinian prisoners and captives are under very bad conditions in prisons. Some of them are in open-air prisons in Nakab Desert and some kept in big numbers in very small cells. Health services are not sufficient. Prisoners with chronic diseases are deprived of basic health services. Most of the time, they have unhealthy food.
Racist Wall of Separation
The main injustice in the West Bank is the wall of shame that is about to finish. Israel feels itself so comfortable in building this wall thanks to the silence of the world community. Although decisions of condemnation have occasionally been taken and it has been declared that the building of this wall is against human rights, there has been no real action to stop its building. So Israel continued to build it and completed greater part without any reaction.
At this point it must be asked why the contemporary world that discussed about the Berlin Wall, considered it as a wall of shame and saw its destruction as a very important issue is silent about this wall of shame built in Palestinian lands. Or are they silent because this wall is built for the benefit of a government protected by the US politics? If it is so, isn’t it hypocrisy?
Secondly, this wall has been built in a region represented as Palestine in the UN resolutions, seizing Palestinian estates in illegal ways. So this wall is contrary to all UN resolutions about this district. Therefore, UN, in the first place, should have intervened and stopped the construction of the wall. But UN has never intervened or put restrictions or even bothered to put the construction of this wall on its agenda. When we compare the attitude of the UN in the implementation of its various embargo and political pressure decisions and its attitude on the wall in Palestine, we notice the double standard.
Thirdly, this wall is a source of extreme injustice and violations. Above all, for the construction of the wall thousands acres of land were taken unjustly from the landlords. Also, this wall has divided a lot of residential area, inhabited by Palestinians, in the middle. In some regions the villages are divided such that a part of it is left in one side of the wall while the other part in the other. In some cases, social institutions such as schools and hospitals lay inside the wall while the residential places remain outside. the villages have been divided in a way that some parts of the village have been in front of the wall and some behind Also in some regions houses are outside the wall whilst the land is inside or vice versa.
The Democratic Model of Imperialism for Palestine
It is very clear that freewill is eliminated and rather compulsion is practiced in the democratic models offered to Muslim people. This manner has clearly manifested itself against Palestinian people. It was expected that the democratic model offered to the Palestinian people would allow an election that legitimized the occupation defended by the modern imperialism. For this, free will would have to be eliminated. Imperialism, in one respect, said to the Palestinian people “either you do what we want or you are considered as having chosen the embargo.” Therefore Palestinian people are punished for granting power to Hamas freely in the 2006 elections. Since then, they have been condemned to a collective punishment through every means including economic embargo.
Palestinian People Enclosed in Shi’b al-Ibrahim
The treatment imposed on the Palestinian people today was practiced also against those who gathered around Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) when he invited them to Islam. They were secluded in the area called Shib al-Abdilmuttalib (the valley of Abdilmutttalib) only because they used their free will. Today Palestinian people are also secluded in Shib al-Ibrahim, the province of Prophet Abraham (pbuh) who moved to Palestine after proclaiming Tawhid and put his mark on this land. Palestinian people confront huge problems due to the embargo today. The inhumane isolation and embargo in Mecca were broken by some merciful people who were not among believers that day. Today there is no excuse for Muslims all over the world for being silent about the isolation and embargo put on the Palestinian people. It is necessary to make this embargo and isolation ineffective by overcoming all difficulties and obstacles.
Will the Palestinian Children always be Alone?
All the humanity witnessed the heartbreaking scene where Muhammad was killed by Israeli soldiers while trying to hide behind his father. Everyone heard that the Israeli judges justified Iman al-Hims’s case in which he was shot by twenty bullets. Apart from these two incidents, numerous children were killed or injured by Israeli soldiers. Sadly, they were not able to find anyone who would protect or give an ear to them. There are tens of thousand of orphans whose fathers were killed in Palestinian lands today. Also tens of thousands of children live apart from their fathers who are kept in prisons. Hundreds of thousands of children in refugee camps survive under very poor and unhealthy conditions. Would these children always be alone? Would not anyone give a hand to them? Would not an orphan hold the hand of a fatherly person? There are many people having property. Let’s think: if each of us holds a child’s hand, helps him regularly to afford his expenses every month and favor him in lightening his burdens, then so many children would be supported. So they would feel themselves safer and look at the future safer.
Destitution is not Their Choice
Destitution, suffering and misery are not the choice of those people. They are faced with these miseries because of the injustices imposed on them. They face these difficulties probably because they defend the sacred entities, historical values and the identity of that holy land. If they had given away their land or sold it as is claimed, they would not be suffering like this. Yet, they counter all these difficulties and uphold the values of the ummah. It would mean twofold injustice to leave them alone and to approve the blames against them ignoring these facts.
To be the Guardian of the Unguarded
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “I am the guardian of the unguarded”. Today those who follow his path must uphold his Sunnah. Those who are able must put this sunnah into practice by being the guardian of the unguarded. Today the dismayed people in Palestine need guardianship more than anyone else. We can even say that Palestinian people are a people without any protector. The world community ignores them. The Muslim countries ignore them. The Muslim communities do not actively take any step for them. This indifference leads them to suffer more and more. Today we can be their guardians and share their sorrows by caring for their orphans, giving alms to the poor and supporting the sincere activities for their sake. We must keep in the mind that any good deed done for the sake of Allah will be rewarded.
For Lasting Solutions
It is important to find lasting solutions to solve the problem of the Palestinian people. We need this kind of stable solutions in order to save them from the miserable and needy position they are in. First of all, we have to understand their problems thoroughly and defend their just cause in order to take steps on the way to find any solution. For example; unless the right of the refugees to return to their homeland is accepted, hundreds of thousands of people would be obliged to survive in refugee camps under extremely bad conditions in need of others’ help. They should be supported in their claim to return to their homeland if they are to be saved from this situation.
The most effective way of producing permanent solutions for the problems of the orphans and the needy in Gaza and giving them self-dependence is to make investments in the region and create employment opportunities. On the other hand, emergency relief should not be ignored and the people should be backed until these employment opportunites are created.
Humanity is dying in Gaza
Palestinians gave Hamas the political power and the role of leadership in 2006 elections because it resisted against the Zionists on behalf of the entire Islamic world and made big sacrifices during this resistance. The fact that a group that they regarded as enemy came to power shocked Israel, its Western allies and some Arab countries. So, the Palestinian people began to be isolated after these elections which unveiled many seemingly ally regimes. The parties not only parted their ways with Hamas government instead of finding a way of consensus but also gave open support to the opposition party. It is for their political interest to make chaos out of any political difference among Palestinian people. The imperialists who have insisted in rejecting ruling Hamas since 2006 have cut relationships, put economic embargo and organized military attacks for two years. The efforts by external powers which support the alternative of a two-headed Palestine increased the tension that could lead to a civil war among Palestinian groups. The trouble created in the country by the collaborators necessitated the intervention by Hamas to stop the fire in Gaza. The fact that Gaza has been under Hamas’ control since then annoyed the Zionists and their friends. The Palestinian people who are sentenced to death through increasing pressures and attacks since the beginning of 2008 have given up neither the resistance nor their elected government.
Do We Have the Right to be Indifferent?
Are the facts that we are used to the scenes in Palestine, the events are repeated over and over again and thus become normal, these people are ignored by the world, the history is twisted and many lies are made up about them sufficient reasons for us to be indifferent? None of these take the burden off our shoulders. For, we are responsible because, first, we are humanbeings and second we are Muslims. We have to be aware of our responsibilities and think about what we can do. Then we will see that there are many things to do.
It is an opportunity to find reliable connections which would help us to support them. Let’s make use of these opportunities. After finding these kinds of means, we will have no excuse to be insensitive anymore.
We are all Palestinians
Palestine belongs to all of us and we are all Palestinians. We have to uphold this cause all together. Palestinian people fight against not only the Zionist occupation but also modern imperialism. To ignore this fight means ignoring the future of all Muslim socities because modern imperialism gives importance to the continuation of the Zionist occupation in terms of many plans and projects about the future of Muslim communities. To spoil these plans is possible only through sincerely supporting the Palestinian cause.