TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – A political commentator based in London deplored the Israeli regime’s mass killings of defenseless people in the Gaza Strip and said Tel Aviv “has lost the last vestiges of moral accountability”.
“The Palestinian people will rise time and again and die, because for them, dying with honor is better than living in servitude at the mercy of what they view as a detestable power which has lost the last vestiges of moral accountability,” Riaz Karim, the director and co-founder of the Mona Relief Organization, said in an interview with the Press Shia Agency News Agency.
Dr. Riaz Karim holds a PhD from Harvard University. He is also the Director of Veritas Centre for Strategic Studies in London. He is also an analyst and commentator for a number of media outlets around the world.
Following is the full text of the interview:
Press Shia Agency: As you know, on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan each year, Muslims and anti-Israeli activists hold worldwide demonstrations to express their solidarity with the defenseless people of Palestine. Since March 30, Israeli troops have killed at least 120 Palestinians during mass demonstrations dubbed the "Great March of Return" along the Gaza border. Most of the dead and the thousands wounded were unarmed civilians against whom Israel was using excessive force. What is our assessment of the developments and the Israeli regime's crimes?
Karim: At this moment in time after the senseless killings of the Palestinian people in their quest for freedom, the Palestinian people are ready to make even greater sacrifices knowing that no matter how much force the Zionists use, they will never prevail in subjugating two million Palestinians (in Gaza) indefinitely.
The Palestinian people will rise time and again and die, because for them, dying with honor is better than living in servitude at the mercy of what they view as a detestable power which has lost the last vestiges of moral accountability.
Most of us can only imagine the utter misery that the Palestinians are experiencing day in and day out. We cannot even begin to imagine or understand the psychological and emotional disposition of the Palestinians. More than 80 percent of the Palestinians are under the age of 50 and were born under the occupation, having never experienced a day of freedom.
Fifty years of hopelessness and despair. Fifty years of humiliation and submission. Fifty years of fear and uncertainty. Fifty years of deprivation, fifty years of dehumanization and degradation, fifty years of resentment, hatred, and loathing and the Palestinians are the bad people?
Imagine a life whereby when you wake up, you feel hopeless. When you retire to sleep, helplessness sets in. You are living in fear and trepidation, with no better day on the horizon. For you, freedom is just another word. You do not see yourselves as militants or terrorists, you see victims — victimized from the day you were born. Prisoners of time — prisoners of a bitter fate, caring less about who is right or who is wrong. You yearn for a normal life — life with dignity and pride.
So the answer to your question is The Zionist Government of Israel has always used excessive force against the very people whose land they occupy, while the world watches quietly it is time the world stepped in against this tyranny. The killing of a 21-year-old Palestinian nurse symbolizes the dark side of the ongoing conflict. Despite her medical vest, to an Israeli sniper she was just another target who was killed trying to save the life of a fallen demonstrator. Just as the Palestinians have never known real peace for the last 70 years, it is time for every Israeli to also realize that as long as the Palestinians live under blockade, deprived of basic necessities, living in anguish and fear with little prospect of better days ahead, Israel will not know a day of real peace either.
Press Shia Agency: Another round of the Great March of Return protests were held on Friday concurrently with similar anti-Israeli demonstrations around the world to mark the International Quds Day. The National Committee of the Great March of Return said the protests would not end until the world listens to the Palestinians' legitimate demand for returning to their homeland and breaking the siege on Gaza. What do you think about the Palestinians' demands?
Karim: It is time for reckoning, time for the Zionist Government of Israel to face the bitter reality — the reality of Hamas and two million Palestinians are going nowhere. Israel’s policies toward Hamas and the senseless killing of Palestinians has brought nothing but international condemnation. Benjamin Netanyahu has single-handedly turned Israel into a pariah state, ruthless, self-absorbed, and immoral. The number one apartheid state in the world.
It is time to be realistic and face the truth, time to think about Israel's future, time to change the dynamic of this struggle. It is time to chart a pathway that could bring an end to a consuming and debilitating conflict which is undermining Israel's security and has eroded its social fabric and moral foundation.
The latest March of Return of Palestinians along the Gaza border with Israel that turned violent is no surprise to a multitude of Israelis and Palestinians as well. This tragic confrontation that resulted in the death of 120 Palestinians was not the first and will not be the last. Israel has waged three wars against Hamas and countless retaliatory strikes, and yet nothing has fundamentally changed.
The sad thing is that nothing will change unless Israel accepts the reality that Hamas is the governing authority in Gaza, with whom you must come to terms to bring an end to this unabating tragedy. Netanyahu's policy toward Gaza has and continues to be containment, but to what end? Hamas is a reality that neither the Zionist Government of Israel nor the USA can change. The Zionist Government of Israel along with its partners, allies and supporters can decapitate its leaders, but new leaders of the same ilk will rise and they will not be as forgiving.
Press Shia Agency: Israel has rejected international calls for probes into recent deaths and insisted that its open-fire rules for Gaza will not change. Some Western states, particularly the US and Britain, who call themselves champions of human rights, have supported the Tel Aviv regime’s crimes against Palestinians. The UN has also failed to restore the rights of the people. What do you think? What role can Muslim countries play in protecting the rights of the oppressed people of Palestine?
Karim: Over the past couple of years, Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu has gloated dozens of times about the rising warmth and cooperation between his government and Arab states. The most recent of these was at a Jewish New Year's event at the Israeli foreign ministry in Jerusalem, where he said: "What is actually happening with the Arab states has never happened in our history."
He said that cooperation between Israel and Arab states now exists "in various ways and different levels". "we're here to stay forever. This is the inheritance of our ancestors. This is our land." On the other hand, Arab regimes couldn't care less about Palestinians.
Arab regimes have long wanted to establish relations with Israel for their own interests, and sometimes as a way of pandering to the Americans, but they know that the only way to dodge popular fury would be to advance a peace deal for the Palestinians. As time passes, Arab rulers continue to lower their demands for Palestinians' rights, all for the sake of normalization with Israel. When your own people can do this to you what can you expect from others? The stronger the cooperation between the Zionist Government of Israel and Muslim countries, the deeper the knife into the backs of Palestinians.
In an opening speech to the 6th International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Intifada (Uprising), Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said all Muslim countries have a responsibility to support Palestinian resistance, which should be a source of unity in the Islamic world.
He so eloquently put it that "Despite the differences that exist among Islamic countries — some of these differences are natural, some originate from the enemy’s plot and the rest are because of negligence — “the issue of Palestine can and should be the pivot of unity for all Islamic countries.” Until such time that it happens, the Palestinian people will remain an oppressed people.