By Mohammad Mazhari

Palestinian cause is again alive and kicking: ex-Lebanese diplomat

May 24, 2021 - 15:53

TEHRAN – Noting that "Deal of the Century" was buried in the Sheikh Jarrah district, a former Lebanese ambassador to Chile, Poland, and Canada says that the Palestinian cause is again alive and kicking.

 "Former U.S. President Donald Trump tried to kill and bury the Palestinian cause with his so-called "Deal of the Century" which, in fact, died on the 3rd of November when Trump lost the elections and was buried on the 10th of May in the Sheikh Jarrah district. Now the Palestinian cause is again alive and kicking," Massoud Maalouf tells the Tehran Times.

Following is the text of the interview:

Q: What are the causes and roots of escalation in Palestine?

A: The roots of the escalation go back to the year 1948 when the Jews, who came to Palestine from different parts of the world, evicted the Palestinians from their homes and established the state of Israel. The causes of the recent escalation and the current events are the decision of the Israeli settlers to evict Palestinians from their homes in Jerusalem, and the desecration of the holy Al Aqsa mosque during the holy month of Ramadan by Israeli soldiers, and shooting rubber bullets on the civilians praying inside the mosque and spraying them with tear gas. This is what initiated the current cycle of violence in Jerusalem, which later spread to Gaza and other cities of occupied Palestine. 

Q: Why isn't there any considerable opposition by a Western power to Israeli settlement projects in occupied territories?

A: As everybody knows, the United States strongly supports Israel and avoids criticizing it irrespective of what Israel does to the Palestinians. Former U.S. President Donald Trump tried to kill and bury the Palestinian cause with his so-called "Deal of the Century" which, in fact, died on the 3rd of November when Trump lost the elections and was buried on the 10th of May in the Sheikh Jarrah district. Now the Palestinian cause is again alive and kicking!
Israel's airstrikes on Palestinian civilians in Gaza have forced West Asia onto Joe Biden's agenda amid new questions about how his emphasis on human rights applies to Palestinians.
It has also laid bare the extent to which the Israeli right has been empowered in occupied East Jerusalem during Donald Trump's presidency. Unrest there sparked wider battles and drew the Biden administration more deeply into the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict even after this latest seismic eruption abates.
President Joe Biden talked a lot about human rights in China and in Russia, but it seems that the issue of human rights dies at the doorsteps of Israel.

Q: How does Western media cover development going on in Palestine?

A: Western media, in general, is biased toward Israel, especially in the U.S. However, we are starting to see and hear from Jewish Americans, who are usually supporters of Israel, clear criticism of Netanyahu for letting the police enter the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque and allowing the settlers to try to evict Palestinians from their homes in Jerusalem. Also, in the U.S. Congress, some voices are starting to criticize Israel and support the Palestinians. Senator Bernie Sanders, who is Jewish and was running for President of the U.S., has been a strong voice for human rights in Palestine, and he is introducing a resolution to stop the U.S. Administration from sending $735 million in the form of precision weapons to Israel. This is a very important development. These developments, as well as the speeches and statements made by members of Congress like Rashida Tlaib (of Palestinian origin), Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and some others in support of the Palestinian people, are widely reported in the U.S. media. 

Q: What is the difference between the narrative people in West Asia adopted with that of Western people in regard to Palestine?

A: The narrative adopted in the Middle East (West Asia) is not a unified one. Some countries show more support to the Palestinians than others. However, it is known that the media in the West is more pro-Israel and they report the narrative that they read or hear from the Israeli authorities. But there are, of course, some media who report the events truthfully, though they are not the majority.

Q: What are the main crimes committed by Israel in Lebanon?

A: Lebanon's recent history is filled with events of Israeli aggressions, including the 1978 invasion of Southern Lebanon, followed in 1982 by another invasion by Israeli troops, which reached the capital Beirut. We should not forget the war of July-August 2006 in which Israel destroyed a substantial part of the Lebanese infrastructure, including the airport and the port of Beirut. These are the major aggressions, but there were also many other attacks on Lebanon's sovereignty by Israeli warplanes.
 

Leave a Comment

4 + 12 =