What Can Filipinos Learn from the Israel-Palestine Conflict?
Filipinos can learn some valuable lessons from the ongoing war between the Gaza-based Hamas and Israel.
We have heard a great deal about President Noynoy Aquino’s Bangsamoro solution to the Mindanao crisis.
“The ARMM (Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao) is a failed experiment. Many of the people continue to feel alienated by the system, and those who feel that there is no way out will continue to articulate their grievances through the barrel of a gun,” the President said.
His main solution is to create “a new political entity, it deserves a name that symbolizes and honors the struggles of our forebears in Mindanao.”
I don’t think the president knows he’s playing with fire. His Bangsamoro plan, which is apparently a threat to the people’s security, could significantly change the future and direction of the country.
Mr. Aquino badly needs to look at Israel’s failed 2005 unilateral Disengagement plan, which obviously put the constantly embattled Jewish state under a higher degree of Islamic danger and threat, to get a broader picture of the Mindanao crisis.
Seven years after leaving Gaza Strip, Israel, which seriously sought to achieve peace with Palestine, is faced with a deadlier, more militant enemy– Hamas, which traces its roots back to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told former U.S. President George Bush in 2004: “The Disengagement Plan will create a new and better reality for the State of Israel, enhance its security and economy, and strengthen the fortitude of its people. In this context, I believe it is important to bring new opportunities to the Negev and the Galilee. Additionally, the Plan will entail a series of measures with the inherent potential to improve the lot of the Palestinian Authority, providing that it demonstrates the wisdom to take advantage of this opportunity. The execution of the Disengagement Plan holds the prospect of stimulating positive changes within the Palestinian Authority that might create the necessary conditions for the resumption of direct negotiations.”
It appears that very recent events prove Sharon dead wrong! Instead of achieving peace, Israel received thousands of rockets from Gaza since 2005. The disputed territory has become a strategic military base for Islamic Hamas.
Gaza Strip, which was about 362 square kilometers and populated by 7,500 Israeli Jews and 1.3 million Palestinian Arabs, was formerly occupied by Egypt from 1949 to 1967. Obviously, the Palestinians did not resist Egyptian occupation because they were ruled by Muslims. Observe that Muslims do not violently protest oppression and even genocide by their fellow Muslims. They’d only rise up if their fellow Muslims were knocked down by kafirs (infidels).
Israel occupied Gaza in 1967 by virtue of a war of self-defense against the invading Egyptians. Israel won the six-day war. Did Israel legally acquire the territory from Egypt? Well, Former State Department Legal Advisor Stephen Schwebel, who chaired the International Court of Justice in the Hague, ruled in 1970 regarding Israel’s case: “Where the prior holder of territory had seized that territory unlawfully, the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense has, against that prior holder, better title.”
But what happened during Egypt’s occupation of Gaza? During the period spanning from 1947 to 1967, Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, a secular nationalist, brutally repressed the Muslim Brotherhood. There was a bitter, bloody rivalry between the pro-theocracy Muslim Brotherhood and the secular nationalists after the founding of Israel in 1947. The secular nationalists eventually dominated the Palestinian politics. However, they failed to sustain their influence and power, as they were defeated and replaced by the theocratic Muslim Brotherhood-backed Hamas.
Everything changed in 1967 when Egypt suffered a crushing defeat after it and other allied states (Jordan and Syria) attempted to invade Israel. Israel’s victory gave the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas the opportunity to expand and to replace the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization), which for decades led the Palestinian cause and politics. If the PLO abandoned its promise to annihilate the Jewish state in the 1990s, the pro-Islamic Hamas refused to recognize Israel and vowed to continue resistance. In 2011, Hamas strongly said, “No recognition. No negotiation”, which shows its unwillingness to make peace with the Jewish state.
Much of Israel’s attention was focused on the PLO and its terrorist activities. Israel simply let Muslim Brotherhood-backed Hamas grew and even dropped harsh restrictions previously imposed by Nasser’s regime.
For example, Sheikh Yassin, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, was free to spread and expand their Islamic cause openly. It was Yassin who spread and popularized the teachings/writings of Sayyid Qutb, who is considered the ideological leader of the global Islamic movement. Qutb, who was executed by Nasser for plotting to assassinate him, strongly advocated global jihad and Islamic caliphate.
If Nasser clearly understood the threat of the Islamists or the Muslim Brotherhood, the early Israeli politicians thought Yassin’s Islamic movement was harmless. In fact, the Israeli government even looked favorably on the paraplegic Islamic leader, who carried out various charitable activities. Yassin established Islamic schools, clinics, libraries and kindergartens. The Israeli government even supported the creation of an Islamic university, the Islamic University of Gaza, which it now considers the breeding ground of future terrorists and religious militants.
In other words, Israel didn’t quite yet understand the threat of militant or radical Islam. As Andrew Higgins concluded in his Wall Street Journal article, Israel helped to spawn Hamas. He wrote:
“A look at Israel’s decades-long dealings with Palestinian radicals — including some little-known attempts to cooperate with the Islamists — reveals a catalog of unintended and often perilous consequences. Time and again, Israel’s efforts to find a pliant Palestinian partner that is both credible with Palestinians and willing to eschew violence, have backfired. Would-be partners have turned into foes or lost the support of their people.”
Another fatal problem regarding the Israeli strategy is their Blind Appeasement. In trying to appease the Palestinians and global critics, Israel decided to give up Gaza in 2005. Instead of achieving peace for abandoning the disputed territory, the Israelis were terrorized by thousands of Palestinian rockets only a few days after their withdrawal.
Now it appears that Israel did not just create Hamas through its ignorance of the real threat of militant Islam; it also gave a strategic military base to the militant Islamic political establishment that now governs Gaza.
Today, Israel is dealing with a deadlier and more effective enemy. Hamas is undoubtedly deadlier and more committed than the secularist PLO movement. It is also more effective because of its new political weapon: Islamic ideology.
The rise of Hamas only proves one thing: their terrorism and resistance is not motivated by Israel’s alleged occupation; it is motivated by their god-given mandate to destroy the State of Israel and the Jews. In fact, Hamas Charter clearly states: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”
Now, President Aquino may choose to equivocate his desire to create a separate Bangsamoro territory for the Islamic separatist groups. Whatever his intentions, one thing is clear: he doesn’t know what he’s doing. The President is unwittingly trying to set this country on fire.
Every society or nation that tried to appease the Islamists failed and faced a greater threat. For instance, the Ghandis’ Islamic appeasement in India endangered the lives of millions of Hindus and put India under constant Islamic attacks and terrorism.
By proposing to establish a new political entity, which will eventually turn into an Islamic caliphate in Mindanao, President Aquino is undoubtedly trying to create a Filipino version of Hamas in the Philippines. This dangerous appeasement game makes the President a greater threat to our future and national security.
Despite being surrounded by hostile Islamic enemies that vowed to complete its destruction, Israel remains economically strong and technologically advanced. Here are ten (10) interesting facts about Israel:
- Israel is only 1/6 of 1% of the landmass of the Middle East.
- Twenty-four percent of Israel’s workforce holds university degrees – ranking third in the industrialized world, after the United States and Holland – and 12 percent hold advanced degrees.
- Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship – and the highest rate among women and among people over 55 – in the world.
- Israel is the only country in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees.
- With more than 3,000 high-tech companies and start-ups, Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world (apart from the Silicon Valley).
- Israel has one of the the highest percentages in the world of home computers per capita.
- Israel has been at the forefront of some of the major technological advances in recent years, including: some of the development for the very first cell phone was believed to have been done in Israel by Motorola (which has its largest development center in Israel), most of the Windows NT operating system was developed by Microsoft-Israel, the Pentium MMX Chip technology was designed in Israel at Intel, and voice mail technology was also developed in Israel.
- Israeli bank notes have brail on them so the blind can identify them.
- Israel has the fourth largest air force in the world (after the U.S, Russia and China), including an aerial arsenal of over 250 F-16′s.
- The glue on Israeli stamps is kosher.