Response to US Senator Berne Sander's letter regarding terrorism in Gaza
Subject: Re: Gaza. 21.10. 23
Senator Berne Sanders
Capitol Hill, Washington D.C
I am in receipt of your email dated October 19. You have condemned Hamas for launching a barbarous attack against innocent men, women and children on October 7 and suggested that it must be strongly condemned by the entire world.
To start with, I disapprove violence in any form against innocent civilians. But this is not the first-time violence has gripped Israel and Palestine; it has been going on since 1948. The current phase of violence is a corollary of decades long occupation and subjugation of the people of Palestine. I recall in 2002, Shimon Peris lamented that people of Israel never slept a single night in peace in the past fifty years. Really! Israel has one of the strongest militaries in the world, owns more than 100 nuclear arsenals and a superpower on its side. And yet it could not provide security to its population? Something must have gone terribly wrong. Senator, I suppose you know well that Israel's security lies in the Palestinian neighborhood. Israel will not be in peace as long as 4 million Palestinians in the occupied territories and in Israel are subjected to daily humiliation, torture and subjugation. I am against violence but I am also opposed to extermination of a race in Palestine.
Barak Obama became President of the United States with a promise that he would end occupation in Iraq, seek peace in the Middle East. He wondered why Palestinian children could not aspire to have a country of their own. People in the United States and in the Arab World were thrilled. But he could not deliver. After eight years in the White House, he left with no tangible peace outcome in the Middle East. He made a farewell gift of $ 33 billion to the State of Israel for next ten years. What did Palestinians get? More settlement, more occupation.
Senator, Palestine has a long history of its own. It was rich, it had a government, a capital, currencies and its people had passports. But it became a victim of conspiracy. Israel was created in Palestine and not the other way. Leave aside the past history, in the last thirty years beginning from Oslo accord Palestinians signed and complied with all agreements concluded with Israel despite the fact that no agreements came close to sovereign independent states. Nonetheless, it remained compliant but Israel quietly walked away from implementing the agreements blaming Palestinian's intransigence.
President Biden called Hamas an evil and Prime Minister Netanyahu vowed to continue the war till Hamas is destroyed. But more than once Israel fought to destroy Palestinians struggle for self-rule, but each time, they emerged stronger. The 2002 intifada shook the entire country though it was quelled after a heavy death toll. In 2006, the war with Lebanon ended in failure, again with lot of death and destruction. Not a single day goes by when Palestinians are not killed by either IDF or Israeli settlers in occupied territory. Now Gaza is being destroyed, Netanyahu allowed humanitarian aid to flow in south Gaza and asked people to move to the south. People in desperation moved to south Gaza in the hope of getting some food, water and shelter. When they reached south Gaza, they were bombed.
Death toll among the Palestinians has already exceeded 4,000 and in Israel it is close to 1500. There is urgent need to stop the war. People around the world demanded immediate cessation of violence. But the United States has vetoed a peace resolution in the Security Council on October 18 enabling the IDF to carry on more destruction in Gaza. Our Jewish friends have demonstrated in front of the White House three days ago demanding immediate cease-fire.
I remember the lines of English Poet " Breaths there a man with soul so dead
whose heart hath never within him said,
this is my homeland."
I hear the voice of the Palestinian soul; I believe you do but many of your colleagues don't.
Senator, notwithstanding of our differences my friends and I admire your dedication to the cause of the low-income groups, struggling middle class and minorities in the United States.
Abdur Rahman Chowdhury,