Saturday, January 3, 2009

Palestine

Source: Rembau Dot Net

There is no international issue that merits more of our attention than the plight of the Palestinians. Denied a viable homeland, an independent nation and any shred of dignity, Palestinians are today being rained on by the merciless artillery and ammunition of the Israeli military. The Tel Aviv regime and their allies will have you believe that these air attacks are both preemptive and retaliatory strikes against Hamas who control the Gaza Strip. It is said to be a justified response against aggression.



Let's put things into context: since Israeli air strikes began, more than 420 Palestinians have died and over 2,100 have been injured. Many of these are civilian casualties and not Hamas "combatants". A total of four Israelis have been killed by Hamas rocket fire. Is this a proportionate response? Of course not.



Israel and its allies will have you believe that Hamas started the latest round of violence after the ceasefire came to an end. But it will not tell you about the blockade that Israel has enforced around the Gaza Strip effectively choking the Palestinian population there of essential goods and services which has now escalated into a full-blown humanitarian crisis. This blockade has been in force, in some form or another, for the last 18 months. Imagine living in one of the most densely populated slivers of land already gripped by poverty, disease and decrepit infrastructure. Add to that the inability for people to travel to the West Bank or Egypt for work and health services, an acute shortage of electricity, clean water and petrol, and a virtual collapse of humanitarian assistance. That is the reality of the Gaza Strip.



Yet, as Israel continues to pummel Gaza with its military might, the international community is paralyzed by inaction. A resolution at the United Nations has been shot down. The lame duck US Administration drifts to Israel's corner, and the audacity of hope that is the incoming presidency is conspicuous by his silence.



The Islamic world is, true to form, too impotent and divided to make a difference. Even the Palestinian political leadership show little semblance of unity to fight the common enemy. This is truly the greatest tragedy of our time. A fundamental travesty of justice and denial of a people to self-determination continues as we continue with our complicity of being witnesses to a crime we can stop.



Today, Barisan Nasional Youth together with other Malaysian youth NGOs stood together with the Palestinian Ambassador in Kuala Lumpur to offer our support. We wanted to remind the Palestinian people that they are not alone. Although our voices may not be heard, we want the Palestinian people to know that for as long as an independent and viable Palestinian state remains elusive, as long as Jerusalem is not declared the capital of this nation, as long as Israeli settlements are not uprooted from Palestinian land, as long as a just solution is not found for Palestinian refugees who have been denied the right of return, and as long as the people of Gaza are brutally murdered by the state terrorism of Israel, we will not stay quiet and we will continue to stand with Palestine.



Below is the memorandum of support that I passed the Ambassador together with RM100,000 on behalf of YB Dato' Sri Hishammuddin Hussein and Barisan Nasional Youth to be channeled for humanitarian relief in Gaza. I also called on the Malaysian Government to allow double tax exemption for contributions to the Palestinian cause. This is a time for every Malaysian - regardless of religion and ethnicity - to reach out and help. This is humanity's greatest political problem.




COALITION AGAINST ISRAELI AGGRESSION
Barisan Bertindak Menentang Keganasan Israel



2nd January 2009 / 5th Muharram 1430



His Excellency Abdel Aziz Abu Ghoush
Ambassador of the State of Palestine to Malaysia
Embassy of the State of Palestine
63, Jalan U Thant
55000 Kuala Lumpur.


Your Excellency,

MEMORANDUM OF SUPPORT


In the spirit of peace, justice, unity and brotherhood, we, the Barisan Nasional Youth, together with other Malaysian youth organizations, hereby record our undivided support and deepest sympathy to the Palestinian people on the tragedy that has engulfed the Gaza Strip over the past two weeks.

The brutal massacre of Palestinians – including women and children – by the Israeli military which escalated on the eve of Awal Muharram, or the Islamic new year, has reminded the world of the urgency with which it must move to bring a just solution for the Palestinian people guaranteeing their sovereignty, security and well-being.

We also note the following salient concerns which require immediate attention from the international community:

1. Casualties

According to Palestinian medical official, as at 30th December 2008, the total death toll since Israel launched its offensive on Saturday, 27th December 2008, was at 348 with more than 800 wounded. According to the United Nations, many of the dead in the Gaza Strip are civilians, including at least 20 children under 16 years of age and 9 women.

2. Humanitarian Crisis

The current atrocities set to worsen the already impoverished physical and psychosocial well being of the communities living in the Gaza Strip.



For example, more than 33 percents of families in Beit Lahya, located north of the Gaza Strip, have 10 or more family members and live in extreme poverty and rely on coupons for food and cannot afford to adequately clothe and educate their children. Many children are affected by parasites and diarrhoea and only 24 percents of the cases are adequately treated.


3. Shortage of Esssential Amenities
While Gaza’s normal consumption of electricity is 240MW, its power deficit is as high as 103 MW, resulting from the blockade on fuel and mechanical parts as well as the deficit caused by the 2006 Israeli bombing of the power plant’s transformers. The remaining 137MW provided by the Israel Electrical Corporation (120MW) and by Egypt (17MW) is now being load-shared among Gaza’s 1.5 million population causing intermittent power supply to households across the Gaza Strip.


The Gas Station Owners’ Association (GSOA) reported that there is a severe shortage of cooking gas in the Gaza Strip and already 20 pita-bread bakeries out of 47 are not operational. Bread rationing (one bag per person) and long queues are occurring at bakeries. Cooking gas is also not available for household use, causing some families to use any available flammable object including wood and plastic to cook.


Petrol availability has been significantly reduced in the open market with only 124,410 liters received from Israel for first two weeks of November 2008. Gaza’s estimated needs of petrol are 100,000 lit/day, which translates to a supply deficit of 91.1 percents
Most Gaza residents are suffering disruption to their daily lives as a result of the reduced access to water, since they are dependant on electricity to pump water into their houses. During the power outages, the water cannot be pumped above ground level. The Coastal Municipal Water Utility (CMWU) reported that, due to the power outages and the lack of fuel, 20% of water wells (30 wells) are totally not functional, and 60% of water wells (85 wells) are partially functioning.

4. Economic Crisis
The Palestine Trade Center (Paltrade) estimated that Gaza needs a minimum of 850 truckloads of market-triggered imports per day to start any sort of economical revival, far above actual amounts (155 in August, 176 in September and 123 in October).

Exports from Gaza continued to be totally barred since February 2008.
The Palestinian Federation of Industries (PFI) estimated that as a result of import restrictions and the inability to export, only 23 of the 3,900 industries in Gaza are operating, six of which produce wheat, flour, one clothing, and the remainder work in food processing.


The economic situation has been comounded by the limited amount of currency, particularly Israeli shekels needed for day-to-day transactions, allowed into Gaza.

According to a World Bank estimate, banking activity has dropped from 40% of total Palestinian banking, to about 7% since the commencement of the closure in June 2007. The lack of currency has been an ongoing issue since some Israeli banks cut ties with Gaza as part of the economic sanctions imposed by Israel after the Hamas takeover.

We, the Malaysian Youth, in name of peace, justice and humanity, HEREBY:


1. Wish to express our continued support and deepest sympathy to the Palestinian people on massacre of innocent civilians by the Israeli military.

2. Condemn the continuous and brutal attacks launched by the Israeli military leading to severe casualty numbers and a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

3. Condemn any form of economic sanctions and travel restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

4. Call on the international community to intervene immediately and secure a lasting ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

5. Urge the United Nations to threaten Israel with military intervention and economic sanctions if they continue their brutal aggression against innocent Palestinians.

6. Propose a peace summit to be convened under the aupices of the United Nations which will commit both the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government to a negotiating process which will result in the creation of an independent Palestine with Baitul Maqdis, or Jerusalem, as its capital. There must also be a commitment by the Israeli government to close settlements in Palestinian land and provide an option for Palestinian refugees to return to their pre-1948 homes and land.

7. Support the international movement to support the Palestinian cause and vow to continue visible support for the Palestinian people and protest of Israeli aggression for as long as a just peace is not achieved.

8. Call on all Malaysians to contribute to a special Palestinian fund that will be directed towards alleviating the suffering brought about by the humanitarian crisis.

We, most respectfully, request the Embassy of the State of Palestine in Kuala Lumpur to submit our Memorandum of Support to the Palestinian Authority for its attention. We on our part will forward a copy of this Memorandum to our Foreign Affairs Ministry for their perusal.


We remain,

COALITION AGAINST ISRAELI AGGRESSION
Barisan Bertindak Menentang Keganasan Israel

2 comments:

Muslim said...

Salam,
First of all, I would like to tank you YB Khairy Jamaluddin for your support and sympathy with Palestine, and Palestinians particularly Gaza.. I also would like to agree with what you said about the disunity of our Islamic Ummah, allow me to quote your words;
"Even the Palestinian political leadership show little semblance of unity to fight the common enemy. This is truly the greatest tragedy of our time."

Actually, this is very true, It applies to the -illegitimate- government in Ramallah!
While Gaza is being attacked nowadays, President Abbas is blaming Hamas for the tragedy! his stance was very disappointing!

For your information, there are more than 600 Palestinian political prisoners in West Bank prisons! Just because Abbas doesn't like Hamas and anyone sharing its ideology he strikes them so badly in the West Bank!

My father has been jailed for about 70 days in isolation in a "Palestinian" prison! my father is a 50 years old school teacher who happened to be a religious man! No political inclination, but for Abbas government anyone who is religious is Hamas!! what a philosophy!!

Anyway, the Palestinian High Court ruled that my dad should be released as he didn't commit any crime, felony or mistake!! yet my dad is still in prison!

To cut it short, as a Palestinian abroad, I stress that there is no sole and legitimate Palestinian representative in the world but the Palestinian Legislative Council PLC that was elected in 2006! Hamas won a sweeping victory then! The U.S. couldn't respect democracy, as was expected, but Muslims should be cleverer than that!

Anyway, my Malaysian brothers from Pemuda UMNO happened to see the discrimination and irresponsibility of the "Palestinian ambassador" last Friday when he ordered all pictures of Hamas leaders and martyrs (all of whom were Gaza leaders) be put down! His orders were respected of course, but his discrimination was very clear! Pictures of Fatah leaders were everywhere there!!

Finally, I thank you again and pray to Allah that Malaysia prospers and enjoys a great future, insyallah..

n by the way, GoodLuck in upcoming elections for Youth leader :)

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