A Palestinian protester waves Palestine flag during clashes marking Land Day in the West Bank City of Ramallah, 30 March 2018. EPA-EFF

April 19 is a day of mourning for the Palestinians, a day when Nabka or catastrophe caused a mass exodus long before Israel was declared a state on May 14 1948. There were deaths, there were dispossessions and there were mutilations, too. Blood and tears for the dispossessed, but a pyrrhic victory for the Zionists. The blame must be squarely placed on the shoulders of the international community for its apathy. Apathy breeds atrocities. Alan Paton’s book, “Cry, The Beloved Country,” may be about Africa but it has some harsh words for all dispossessors: “It is not permissible to add to one’s possessions if these things can only be done at the cost of other men. Such development has only one true name, and that is exploitation.” If Israel wants the world and the rest of humanity to respect it, it must stop its hubris-ridden exploitation of the helpless Palestinians.

The sad truth is the Zionist regime is not going to stop its exploitation for it has a stealthy plan to turn much of the Middle East into Eretz Yisrael or Greater Israel. The plan may be stealthy but the idea is no secret. Speaking to his Likud party members in November 1990, the late Israeli prime minister Yitzak Shamir called for mass immigration of Soviet Jews from Russia to build a “bigger Israel, a strong Israel, Eretz Yisrael.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made no secret of his plan to dispossess the Palestinians of their land to build settlements on it. He has continued to disregard both Israeli law and international law that stand in his way to create “facts on the ground” for a perpetual occupation. The world community, especially Britain and US, must condemn this in no uncertain terms. Since 1967, Israel has occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza and its ruthlessness towards the Palestinians is well-known. Five decades is long enough for a people to be imprisoned in their own land. They must be freed, and freed now.

Britain and US, two countries that worked hand-in-glove to create Israel, must be reminded that they bear a moral responsibility to see justice done to the Palestinians. The world is weary with the 70 years of atrocities perpetrated by the Israeli regime on a helpless people. By arming Israel, US and Britain are nudging the Zionist regime to continue the plunder. The UN Charter loudly proclaims that the world body reaffirms “faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small”. The UN has left the weak defending itself against the strong. This is not the way to uphold the UN Charter.

This paper has said it before and it will say it again. There is only one way out of this Middle East muddle: a two-state solution based on pre-1967 border. The international community has long accepted this two-state reality. It must now do all it can to enforce it. There is no better time to do this than now.

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