In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful.
For Immediate Release
MPAC Strongly Condemns Israel’s Act of State Terrorism
Sheikh Ahmed Isma’il Yasin who was born in 1936 in al-Jura, a Palestinian village that no longer exists, fell to the missile strike of the Israeli occupation forces in the early hours of Monday morning- 22 March 2004, as he, and 9 other innocent civilians, left a mosque after the Fajr prayer. Shaikh Ahmad Yasin is a most charismatic leader of his Palestinian people and a symbol of occupational resistance.
Like 200 other similar extrajudicial executions carried out by Israel in recent time, this dastard and savage acts by the Sharon-led Israeli government is bound to escalate the already charged situation in occupied Palestine.Condemnation has come from several world leaders. Across the Middle East, with seething anger from their leaders. They have variously described this act of state terrorism as: ‘regrettable and cowardly’ – Egyptian President Mubarak; to the Iranian ex -President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Sheikh Yassin’s ‘martyrdom’ would trigger an “even more serious struggle by the oppressed Palestinians against the Israeli terrorist occupiers and their US supporter”. Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah said: ‘Violence will increase now because violence always breeds violence.’ Lebanese President Emile Lahoud said Israel was ‘mistaken’ if it thought that by killing resistance fighters, it could kill the Palestinian cause.
Israel’s assassination of Sheikh Yassin was described as ‘stupid’ (Gush Shalom), ‘horrendous mistake’ (Yossi Beilin), ‘contrary to International law’ (Amnesty International), and ‘a war crime’ (Israeli liberal leaders). British government described it as ‘unjust’ and ‘unacceptable’. From the EU; this is ‘very unlikely to achieve [Israel’s] objectives’. Condemnation also came from France who believes that this latest cowardly act of aggression against the Palestinian people will only ‘feed the spiral of violence’. America, as expected, issued a vague statement calling for caution on both sides. This call for restraint is hollow, irresponsible and a further show of the bankruptcy and wrong-headedness of America’s foreign policy toward the Middle East which must finally be addressed. Unfortunately, Israel claims that it is following in the footsteps of the United States in fighting what it calls it’s own ‘War on Terror’. This arrogant and dangerous claim furthers our stance that the United States should refrain from setting the example that taking unilateral action, with little regard to world opinion or international law, is acceptable. Such a precedent can lead to a very dangerous and unruly world, and Israeli acts of state terrorism should place it outside the community of civilized nations. It is time for America’s law makers to put America’s interests ahead of any other foreign interest, including the Israeli government. By not condemning Israel for this savage attack on an 87 year old, wheelchair bound, quadriplegic man who is partially blind and almost completely deaf, the U.S. government has blindly one-sided in Israel’s favor and willing to allow Israeli nation to violate international law with impunity. The Israeli government’s policies of caging Palestinians inside Sharon’s apartheid-wall, bombing out homes, and its liquidation of Palestinian leaders has escalated amid a deafening silence from Washington. Indeed, the vast majority of the world’s leaders have categorically condemned Israel’s actions.
We at MPAC believe that this outrage and condemnation should go beyond the usual rhetoric, where everyone goes to sleep after the usual sound bites; waiting for who is next on the Israeli assassination list. We call on responsible governments around the world to cause the UN to convene a special session to deliberate on this brutal killing of a Palestinian leader and call Israel to account for this crime in the same way that other branded terrorists have been brought to justice. The US, who claims to be the bastion of democratic norms and modern day mother of civilization should come out openly to criticize and join the rest of the world in condemning Israel and stop forthwith its aid to Israel which it uses in maiming and killing innocent Palestinian people – men, women and children. We also call on Arab and Muslim leaders to face up to their responsibilities; take a unified stand and help the cause of the suffering Palestinian people.
This horrific act and latest aggressions by Israel will in many ways, shapes and forms, define the ‘eternal’ struggle ahead for the people on both sides of the divide. Israel has certainly ignited fury amongst the Palestinian and the leaders should be held responsible for what follows this dastardly act. Just like South Africa shed apartheid, Israel must shed Zionism and become a country for people of all religions rather than a country for and by Jews. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (including the right of refugees to return) provides the most logical road map to peace. The American public should no longer allow their government to keep supporting violence and war against the will of the international community as we have historically seen America done in vetoing all resolutions of the UN against several acts of Israeli aggression.
As always, our hearts, prayers and condolences go out to the Palestinian people in their struggle to live in peace, dignity and freedom in their own homeland.
Director of Media & Communications
Muslim Public Affairs Centre, MPAC