Comment: The Israel hypocrisy

On Monday June 6 the Adhaalath Party released an ominous statement claiming that allowing the Israeli national carrier El Al to fly to the Maldives is “a threat” to the country’s economy and statehood.

Maldivian authorities have announced that the airline could begin operations in December this year.

In a valiant effort to shoulder the unwieldy burden of speaking for the 1400-year old Islamic faith, the Adhaalath Party has responded to the news by threatening “nationwide protests”, exhorting citizens “who love their religion” to join them.

It has become absurd theatre to watch the Mullah reach for the raw teats of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and milk the tragedy for all it is worth.

Hawks and doves

First, the facts – the world has overwhelmingly recognised the need for Palestinian statehood.

In his 2009 address to the Muslim world at Cairo, President Barack Obama reaffirmed US support for a two-state solution, recognising both parties as having “legitimate aspirations.”

In perhaps the most pro-Palestinian speech by a US President in history, Obama also asserted in a major speech last month that “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines”, while also calling for full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces from Palestine.

Various polls show that a majority of Palestinians and Israelis support the idea of two states co-existing peacefully side-by-side.

Pope Benedict XVI, Bishop of Rome, and leader of the billion-strong Roman Catholic Church, has also thrown his weight behind the idea of Palestinian statehood. Celebrities, left-leaning Israeli parties, public intellectuals and several high-profile Jews and Jewish organisations around the world have also lent their support to the Palestinian cause.

Why, then, has this convoluted tangle remained unsolved for decades?

Perhaps the answer partly lies in the reactions to the US President’s conciliatory speech.

While Obama’s statements were well-received among Palestinian lobbyists, the right-wing militant Hamas wasted no time in heaping scorn on it. On the other side of the fence, within hours of the US government’s announcement that it “does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements”, hawkish elements in the right-wing Israeli government announced the construction of 1500 more housing units in occupied Jerusalem.

Peace, unsurprisingly, is not welcome by those whose politics depend on division and hatred.

Selective outrage

The Adhaalath party has stated that “the government should not establish ties with oppressive states that violate international human rights conventions.”

Fair enough. But one must wonder why this magnanimous vision is not being applied uniformly to our ties with the rest of the world.

Why does this party not take the moral high-ground on our ties with China? After all, that country has, by numerous accounts, oppressed the people of Xinjiang and Tibet regions for over half a century.

During Chairman Mao’s infamous Great Leap Forward, between 200,000 and one million Tibetans – of whom Muslims form the largest minority – lost their lives. To this day, the Tibetan government operates in exile and their displaced populations have little hope of returning to their homeland.

Why does the Mullah not demand “nationwide” protests against the twice daily flights operating from India – a country that, according to Amnesty International and various other Human Rights NGOs – has continued to exercise brutal military control over Kashmir since 1947?

Apologists for the “boycott Israel” camp insist there is an as-yet-unexplained “difference” between the Palestinian situation and the rest of the world’s humanitarian crises.

Don’t the Kashmiris, who have been fighting for a homeland and self-representation in the most militarised region of the world for a full year longer than Palestinians, find equal sympathy in the heart of the otherwise easily outraged Mullah?

There are, after all, 1.5 million refugees from the vivisected remains of Muslim-populated Kashmir, according to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

Why should the mass-graves unearthed in Kashmir be less of a humanitarian catastrophe than Palestinians going without gasoline?

And why doesn’t the big-hearted Mullah condemn the Kashmiri Islamists as well? Surely, the murder and displacement of over 400,000 Kashmiri Hindus, which the US Congress declared an act of ethnic cleansing in 2006, qualifies as a crime against humanity?

Pray why haven’t the Mullah’s minions gathered outside the Turkish Embassy in Male’ with their pitchforks?

Surely, the Turkish government’s continued denial of justice for the genocide of hundreds of thousands of Armenians – by burning, poisoning, drowning and marching till exhaustion – counts as “violating Human Rights conventions”?

If the Mullah contends those wounds have been healed and forgiven by the passage of time, then perhaps he could also explain his meek silence over the ongoing genocide in Darfur – an area approximately the size of Spain.

Even the Sudanese authorities have officially admitted to a death toll of nearly 20,000 since 2003 – which outnumbers the total Palestinian deaths over the last three decades. Aid agencies on the ground in Darfur have estimated about 400,000 dead as a result of systematic ethnic cleansing, aided and funded by the Sudanese government.

A party that can issue swift press releases condemning the President’s dance moves can certainly spare a word of condemnation for the war crimes in neighboring Sri Lanka, and perhaps organise “nationwide” protests against their airlines as well.

The Maldives continues to maintain ties with undemocratic, repressive regimes throughout the Middle East.

Syria has killed over a thousand Muslims and erased the whereabouts of another ten thousand over the past two months.

Bahrain has ruthlessly cracked down on doctors and nurses attending to injured Muslim protesters.

Should we also reconsider our ties with Pakistan in the light of increasing evidence that points towards decades of sponsored terrorism that has cost numerous lives in bombings of Mosques and market places?

If the argument is that Palestine deserves a special consideration because of the holy sites present there, then the shouldn’t the esteemed Mullah be the first to demand that the Maldives cut off all ties with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – a nation that violates numerous International Human Rights conventions, and is widely alleged to have tortured thousands of its own citizens?

The answer in all these cases, one might reasonably expect, is an unreserved “No”.

Why then does the Mullah vent his spleen so selectively over just one nation – Israel – with a passion and vehemence that he denies for all the other inhuman atrocities taking place in the world?
What explains the Mullahs’ double standards in singling out just one nation – Israel – while maintaining healthy relations with the United States, Italy, England and Australia – all of whom have allegedly ‘wronged our Muslim brothers’ by participating in a global war on abstract concepts?

This two-faced approach towards foreign policy is patently dishonest, disingenuous, and riddled with bias. Genuine empathy and humanitarian compassion is unconditional and transcends all petty distinctions of race, ethnicity and artificial geographical boundaries.

In that context, what is being passed off as ‘humanitarian concern’ by the Adhaalath party, unfortunately, smacks of mere political opportunism.

Sovereign Republic or Arab Satellite state?

A nation is truly sovereign when its leaders have both the will and capacity to take independent decisions that places at its heart the best interests of its citizens.

A note-worthy example is India – the first non-Arab nation to establish diplomatic relations with the PLO, and well-known champion of the Palestinian cause, that nevertheless maintains strong defense and diplomatic ties with Israel.

An indicator of their successful foreign policy would be that despite being a severe critic of Israeli military misadventures in Lebanon and Gaza, India emerged on a 2009 poll conducted on behalf of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, as the most “pro-Israeli” nation in the world ahead of the US!

The sovereignty of Dhivehi Raajje is put under a cloud by those who place Arab priorities above the interests of Dhivehin.

The Maldives was the second nation – and the first Muslim nation – in the world to recognise the state of Israel. Israel became the first modern country to send an ambassador to the Maldives in 1965, during the reign of the Sultan Mohamed Farid.

When the Indian Ocean tsunami struck in 2004, Israel was among the first nations in the world to respond with emergency relief measures. Israeli Magen David Adom has provided training and support to Maldivian armed forces, police and fire departments.

Israeli medical volunteers from ‘Eye from Zion’ have conducted free treatment camps in the Maldives late last year, in a bid to strengthen friendly relations between the two nations.

However, just as with the Hamas and the Far-Right parties in Israel, Maldivian Islamist groups responded to the extended olive branch with claws and daggers.

If hostility seems insurmountable, it is because there are those who cannot stand the idea of peace.

Era of Peace and Dialogue

According to Maulana Jamil Ilyasi, who led an official delegation of the All India Organization of Imams and Mosques, a body representing over 500,000 Imams across India, to Israel in August 2007, “The time for violence has come to an end, and the era of peace and dialogue between Muslims and Jews has begun”

The Senior Indian cleric also called upon Pakistan to recognize the Jewish state, saying “The Jews I have met here say that we are all children of Abraham, part of the same family… The Muslims in India should come and see things for themselves.”

According to Transport and Communications Minister Adil Saleem, 500 Maldivians have traveled to Israel this year – and history bears witness that people-to-people exchanges are the surest way of ensuring lasting peace and mutual understanding.

Those who willfully spurn all attempts at peace have no moral authority to complain about violence.

So when vested interests claim that an Israeli airline would threaten the country – it is a blatant attempt at fanning the fires of hostility.

This so-called “threat” to our statehood and economy comes only from those who seek to stoke baseless controversy for mere political drama.

All comment pieces are the sole view of the author and do not reflect the editorial policy of Minivan News. If you would like to write an opinion piece, please send proposals to [email protected].


71 thoughts on “Comment: The Israel hypocrisy”

  1. yaamyn stop commenting on the name of Emanuel Appel. you are not fooling anyone!

  2. From a son of Israel

    Ignorant, uneducated fools who've never opened a history book speak of someone else's Prophets as Moslems. It's the standard Arab tactic of scrubbing away everyone else's history as the "time of ignorance". No, the ignorant ones are these impudent ones who aren't ashamed to use bare lies to forward their political program.

    Israel was a Nation with her own writings and culture 2000 years before Mohamed appeared on the Arabian scene.
    It's possible that poverty keeps people from libraries and proper schools. But, for the ones here with access to the internet and Israel's history through Google, there's no excuse but fanaticism.

    Israel's boundaries are the same as any other nation's. They're established through treaty or warfare (see India, Pakistan, Kashmir).

    Israel is made up of Semites as many other nations of the Middle East before the coming of Islam. The pathetic attempt to make Jews into something they're not, Europeans, is part of the Arab self delusion that makes them so backward.

  3. This article is not about white washing Israel or atrocities committed by it. It only speaks of the hypocrisy in singling Israel out. Therefore any argument from the point of injustice, International relations, religion etc is moot. If you really want to get on the moral high horse, do so all the time.

    Rather than view an action for what it is, people's indignation seems to depend on the party which takes the actions.

    Therefore we have people angry and protesting about France banning the full face veil, while nobody bats an eyelid about a Muslim country, Tunisia (under Ben Ali) banning the niqab or another, Turkey banning it for public servants.

    I can understand it's hard to reconcile cold hard facts with emotions which are fostered since childhood; cognitive dissonance allows creative arguments, doesn't mean they hold water.

    Yameen Rasheed forces us to realize the grapes of rationale and logic are too high up for us to reach; let's shoot the messenger and get ourselves some peace of mind.

    @Son of Israel - It's "Muslim" not "Moslem"

  4. To the Son of Israel who seems to claimed a monopoly on God and his prophets and sees all others especially Arabs as ignorant.
    In some his posts he mentions that people [Arabs, Muslims?] having claimed other's Prophets as theirs and calling them 'Moslems'. The Qur'an definitely describes many pre-Mohammedan prophets and peoples (e.g. Moses, Jesus and some of their contemporaries) as 'mulims' ('m' with a lower case) meaning those who had 'surrendered themselves to God' in the sense that they believed in Him and molded their lives in the light of this belief, i.e. they were morally righteous people. The Qur'an does not use the term 'muslim' in an institutionalised sense meaning that these pre-Muhammadan prophets were followers of Islam to describe these prophets. (Check the exegesis of Tabari [d.923 CE), the earliest extant work on Quran exegesis and The Message (a modern translation and commentary) by Muhammad Asad (d.1992), an ethnically Jewish scholar of the Qur'an, on the usage of the terms 'islam' and 'muslim' in the Qur'an.

    As for the term 'time of ignorance', it is a transaltion of a Qur'anic expression 'jahilliyya' which occurs four times in the Qur'an. This term comes from the Arabic root jhl from which the infinitive 'jahl' is derived. 'Jahl' in this context (check for the Arabic usage the Qur'an: 25:63) is more close to 'wild' i.e. without any sense of morality or manners or etiqeutte rather than to 'ignorance'. Ignaze Goldziher (d.1921) a very learnered Jewish scholar of Hungarian nationality and considered by many orieltalists as the Father of Orientalism wrote and excellent chapter on the meaning of the term 'jahilliyya' (check his Muhammedanische Studien V 2 [Muammadan Studies]).

    By the way you also seem to be very well versed in history and thus must be aware that even though Judaism predates Islam great works pertaining to Judaic teachings and which are even influential today were influenced by Islam. For example Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon) who lived and thrived in Muslim Spain wrote many of his works including his work on Jewish theology (Dalil al-Hayran [A Guide to the Perplexed] in Arabic influenced by Muslim theologians of the time. In addition his commentary on the Mishnah was written while he was studying in Fez, North Africa, in an Islamic University and among Muslim scholars.

  5. From a son of Israel

    There seems to be some misunderstanding re terms.

    "Moslem" is standard English. You can use whatever spelling or term you wish but I refuse to be dictated to in my language.

    I don't claim to have a monopoly on God but I refuse to surrender my heritage, my history, my historical characters to the Arab Moslem. If I stated that Mohamed was the father of rock n' roll, you'd refer me to a psychiatrist. Similarly, to use the Koran as a means of stealing all the religious figures of Israel for Moslem purposes is shameless and crazy.

    Re "time of ignorance" - regardless of what it says in the original, the purpose of the idea is to stamp out pre-Moslem history and culture or diminish it.

    Re Jews and Islam

    Before the French Revolution and the entrance of Britain and France into the Moslem world, the status of Jews in the Arab, Turkish, and Iranian areas was one of official discrimination based on either religious or popular bigotry.
    Maimonides achievemnets were written in the face of Moslem persecution. He was forced out of his native Spain to Cairo. This was repeated millions of times to lesser known individuals. In essence, the only relationship allowed was one of superior to inferior. For those interested in the relationship google "jimena" and "farhood".

    In short, before Islam, the Semites of western Asia were divided into various nations similar in look and language. Each was equal to the other on their own land. The Arabs came from what is now Saudi Arabia and imposed a religious and cultural imperialism over a vast area.

    To this imperialism, Israel says "NO".

  6. Israel is an APARTHEID state.... and if you all think ANC fight against the apartheid regime in South Africa was justified...What Palestinian's are doing is justified and right....Else you are just being racist towards Arabs!!

    I wander if the author will support flights from South Africa back then...just becos Adhaalath party is against Israel that does not make it wrong...but i must say u got a point when referring to China, Sudan etc

  7. it's funny how you blame Hamas for being skeptic about Obama's speech...and how you forgot Obama administration not having enough guts to take any concrete steps against Israel when they started building in occupied land the "next day" after Cairo speech....and its also hypocritical to say the least, how Obama can talk about freedom standing in Egypt where American tax dollars were spent to prop up a regime that tortured its own population to submission...

    You maybe right when u stated "perhaps the most pro-Palestinian speech by a US President in history"... but that only shows how little anyone sitting in white house has done rather than Obama speech being pro-Palestinian...

    I once saw an article on states that Muslims ruled Jerusalem for the longest in history and history proves they ruled it most justly...mayb if Israel wants to survive they should learn to be just and fair...else they can hide behind the walls they build and keep begging for flight landing approvals from tiny almost irrelevant countries like Maldives!!

  8. The British divided Palestine.

    The British divided India.

    We are living with the terrible consequences of both these acts.

    Israel reminds Arabs and Muslims of Western imperialism and domination. They hate it because it is continuing. It has not ended.

    Israel is a powerful state militarily and economically. It does not really need Maldivian support for anything.

    USA is playing a dirty game when it comes to Israel. This continues to be so even under Obama.

    Despite all the learned talk of the writer of this article, I believe it is better for Maldives that it keep Israel at arms' length. Do not get too close to Israel.

    Palestinian Arabs need our support and we can best support the Palestinians by not being too close to Israel.

  9. Emanuel Appel wrote:

    "Soon, all the original displaced persons will be dead of old age. Then what is the position of the grandchildren – Refugees by inheritance. Can a more ridiculous situation exist?"

    Utterly hilarious! this is the EXACT claim YOU, the Sons of Israel, make to the land of Palestine YOU have invaded, brutalised and occupied after being chased out of your homes in Europe.

    Emanuel Appel wrote:

    The Arab- Israeli conflict is none of the business of the Maldives.

    NOR is it the business of the terrorist organisations the USA, UK nor the EU. As long as YOU make it their business, it is MY business. WHY? because you are torturing & slaughtering innocent men, women & children everyday, as we speak.

    The moment your puppet dictatorships around you fall (as is happening right now) and become even SLIGHTLY democratic.. hehehe.. I'll leave it for you to do the math!

  10. @Yameen Rasheed

    since that Maulana (an Indian Mullah?) dude of yours said that thing he said in 2007:

    how many homes have been bulldozed? how many bulldozed homes have been rebuilt?

    how many Gazan children have dissolved in WHITE PHOSPHORUS?? how many children have starved to death in Gaza?

    how many refugees have been allowed back?

    how many uprooted palestinian farms have been replanted??

    I'm not talking about ancient 2000 year old, nor 60 year old history. I'm talking about the past 10 years. Amid the world's reign of the biggest champion of human rights that had ever set foot on the planet.

  11. This is a great article. Exposes Adhaalath for the hypocrites that they are.

  12. From a son of Israel

    The Maldives are part of South Asia. As such, the schools would do well to concentrate on the history and culture of the region rather than the futile and sterile Arab/ Israeli conflict in west Asia.

    Previous posters have made references to apartheid, abuses, and the false murder of Jews in order to stir people up in a negative fashion re Israel. If Israel is such a terrible place, why is it that the most killing of Moslem Arabs takes place from Pakistan to Morocco? Syria, Jordan, and Egypt have killed more Palestinians that Israel ever did but it doesn't fit the bigotry.

    Because there's a cute double standard - killing Moslems by other Moslems is not important at all. However, when someone draws a cartoon deemed offensive, the whole sky falls in. It's a perverted set of values.

  13. If Jews killing Muslim (& vice-versa) is bad so is Muslims killing Muslims. Killing in the name of faith, belief is age old phenomenon. Truth is all religions are born out of "Vedic" philosphy. It took different names and form due to geographical, social and political conditions. Vedas are the most ancient books written in Sanskrit (known as mother of all languages) and history of human kind. Jews - they worship "fire"; Muslims believe that their god is in Makka; Hindus believe in both - fire and Makkeshwar (god of Makka). As told by a Hindu friend.

  14. @ Emanuel Appel

    A great big THANK YOU for finally listing out the terrorist state of Israel in the same list as the murderous, undemoratic states of Syria, Jordan, Pakistan, Morocco, Libya..

    As a Son of Israel, this step would have taken a great deal of courage to take!

    I rest my case.

  15. From a son of Israel

    Jews don't believe in "fire". You have us confused with Farsis.

    Conducting warfare against Arabs is exactly that. Terrorism is deliberately targeting non-fighters. Arab guerillas are combatants and legitimate targets.

  16. Zeenat, Muslims killing Muslims is bad.
    "Muslims believe that their god is in Makka"!?
    Which Muslims? Zeenat, you and your hindu friend should get your facts right. Anyone can make claims.

  17. From a son of Israel

    Jews are nationalists and are willing to separate political questions from religion. For example, there is a tiny minority of observant Jews who could live on the moon, practice the universal values of the religion, and be content. The vast majority prefer the Land.

    Arab Moslems think along different lines in my opinion. From the 7th century on, they've used conquest as a means of furthering their religion. The pattern is that they name this or that place "holy" ( apart from Mecca and Medina) as a means to claim territory. God has nothing to do with it but politics.

    That will not do.

  18. Lolling at habeeb right now

    Hey dude, go back to Saudi Arabia and tell them we know of their involvement in the creation of the unneeded palestinian war.

    And tell them that their doom is upon them.

  19. Ahmed Aliased, we must first tell ourselves of our "involvement in the creation of the unneeded palestinian war"


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