1. The Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War (KLFCW) held a special forum on Palestine.
2. In my opening speech I stressed that the war in Palestine is not a religious war between Islam and Judaism. It is a territorial war resulting from the European powers carving out a slice of Palestinian land in order to create the State of Israel.
3. It is grossly unjust for the Europeans to solve their Jewish problem by taking land belonging to the Arab Palestinian to give to the Jews for their homeland. It is grossly unfair that they should transfer their problem to the Arabs.
4. The participants at the forum represented all races, belonging to all religions. There were ethnic European Christians, Chinese Catholics, Hindus, Sikhs, Malay Muslims, Arab Muslims, Chinese Buddhists and many others.
5. They came together because they were moved by the human tragedy that is happening in Gaza, Palestine. That the Palestinian Arabs are mostly Muslims did not lessen the feeling of sympathy felt by the participants.
6. Two doctors from Jordan were present. They had gone to Gaza to show their sympathy and brotherhood and to help treat the casualties. They were not prepared to see the carnage caused by Israeli attacks.
7. The Israeli forces appeared to be using new kinds of shells and bombs which exploded after bouncing off the ground hurling sharp metal shrapnel which cut deep into the bodies of the victims.
8. Many had their arms and legs severed by the shrapnel, while others died when the shrapnel cut deep into their bodies and organs.
9. One man was saved because the shrapnel cut into a small Quran he had in his pocket but stopped short of his chest.
10. Phosphorus bombs scattered white phosphorus all over the victims. The phosphorus sticks to the body and burn as long as there is oxygen in the air. It burns through the skin, through the muscles and through the bones. It is impossible to remove the phosphorus without cutting deep into the tissues and bones.
11. The pictures of decapitated bodies, shrapnel severed arms and legs were horrifying. The surgeons had to operate on stretchers with several operations going on in one room at the same time. There was blood everywhere and yet there was no blood for transfusion.
12. The video also showed Israeli men and women being interviewed. They were quite hysterical, shouting and demanding that the Palestinian children should be killed as they, the Israeli women had lost their children because of rocket attacks by Hamas.
13. The Gaza attacks exposed the horror of modern warfare. No one is spared. The town of Gaza is reduced to rubble and bodies were strewn everywhere. Children were buried under the rubble of fallen buildings, with only their dead heads visible. There were burnt bodies of babies.
14. Professor Gurdial Singh spoke about how Israel could be tried by an International War Crimes Court.
15. Then it was question time. An Englishman voiced his anger that the pictures of the atrocities were not made public in the United Kingdom. He wished that the Jordanian doctors could give their briefings together with the pictures in London.
16. Responding to the remarks, Professor Michel Chossudovsky pointed out that the Western media is owned by a small number of people and they control the news contents. They were obviously pro-Israel and their policy is to promote the Israeli cause against Palestine and Muslims in general.
17. Many of the questions asked showed strong sympathy for the Palestinians. The questions were from all races and religions.
18. Then a young Arab man took the floor. The first thing he said was to emphasise that the Palestinian war is a religious war. Muslims must support the Palestinians because of their faith. There can be no two ways. The Arabs must fight a holy war against the Jews. They must fight because the Jews are the enemies of the Muslims, of the Arabs.
19. I felt uncomfortable, as there were many non-Muslim supporters of the Palestinians in the audience. Making the Palestinian war as a religious war seem to reject the sympathy and support of the non-Muslims.
20. A Chinese Catholic got up to reply that he has full sympathy for the Palestinians who had lost their land, who had been driven out of their country to live as refugees. He thought that the Palestinians were unjustly treated and the Israeli killings of the Palestinians were against all humanitarian values. He did not see it as a religious war but a war against injustice and oppression.
21. I was depressed by the attitude of the young Arab. It seems he was moved only by the hatred of the Jews. On the other hand the demand of the Israeli woman to have Palestinian children killed also exposes her bitter hatred of the Palestinians.
22. This is wrong. Of course enemies must hate each other. But that must not be the reason for the war. Actually it is a product of the war.
23. The real reason for the war is the seizure of Palestinian land to create the state of Israel. The objective of the Palestinians should be the re-conquest of the lost land, including removal of the settlements set up by the Jews. The whole war must be directed with this objective.
24. What I realised when the young Arab vehemently declared that the war is a religious war was that the war would have no end. The objective was to kill Jews because of their religion.
25. On the Jewish side it is the same. They want to kill and destroy the Arabs because they hate the Arabs. That explains their brutality, their targeting schoolchildren, babies and old people. That also explains the diabolical weapons that they use, not just to kill but to cause as much pain and disfigurement as possible.
26. The Israeli leaders, especially the military are said to welcome Hamas rockets. To provoke Hamas into firing their rockets the Israelis blockaded Gaza.
27. When Hamas fired the rockets, Israelis would condemn the deaths, especially of children. The people were angered by the death and demanded retaliation, which the military duly obliged with massive attacks out of all proportion to the damage done by the unsophisticated Hamas rockets.
28. For their part the Palestinians would show the effects of Israeli brutality, the destruction of the towns and the deaths of innocent children. The hatred against the Jews was fanned to red heat, and Palestinians would become ready to kill the Jews in any way they can. They would fire more rockets and the Jews would retaliate with even greater force and brutality.
29. Both sides have now forgotten the reasons for their war. It is like the clan war of old, when for generations the hatred would be kept alive and both sides would want to go on fighting and killing each other.
30. The Palestinians are getting the worse deal in this "I kill your people, you kill my people," fighting.
31. I was asked by the Jordanian doctor, when will this war end. I think it will have no end because it has degenerated into feuds of old, when Semitic tribes fight each other for generations simply because they were traditional enemies. The original reason for the enmity has long been forgotten.
32. If the war is going to be terminated both sides must try to remember the original cause and negotiate for peace. The backers of the contestants should cease providing money and weapons so they will continue to fight. Instead they should urge both sides to discuss a peace not based on who is more powerful but on justice.
[voice]: for those who didn't watch Majalah-3-episode-57 yet,dont forget to watch it at http://www.tv3.com.my/
February 14, 2009