There they go again. The story is so old already. Arab militia or Arab army or Arab terrorist attacks non-Arab. Or was that Muslim fanatic attacks non-Muslim? This time, it's happening in Sudan.
Ariel Natan PaskoAriel Natan Pasko, an independent analyst and consultant, has a Master's Degree in International Relations & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites and in newspapers.
While we're sitting and talking, probably a few hundred more black Africans in Sudan have starved to death, or been brutally killed, raped, enslaved, or simply pushed off their land by 7th century Arab imperialist invaders, or more rightly "Arab settlers".
Oh yes, that's right. "Arab settlers".
Like the ones Saddam Hussein brought into Kurdistan - i.e., the Kurdish areas of northern Iraq - in the 1970s to displace the indigenous Kurds during his forced Arabization campaign. Forcibly relocating many Kurds from the Kurdish heartland in the north, he razed all Kurdish villages along a 1,300-kilometer stretch of the border with Iran.
Now Sudan is doing the same thing.
While Arab militiamen known as the Janjaweed, rape, slaughter and drive out over a million black Africans from their homes in western Sudan, the government in Khartoum turns a blind eye. The Janjaweed have killed about 30,000 people and left some two million in desperate need of aid, or there will be humanitarian disaster. The Janjaweed has been described as an Arab Islamic group that has targeted mostly black Christians. According to some reports, the Sudanese government itself armed and paid the militia of Arab raiders, and authorized them to slaughter and drive out members of the Zaghawa, Masalit and Fur tribes.
This has all taken place under the watchful eye of Kofi Annan, the UN, Colin Powell, the US, the European Union, and 20-something Arab League states. I can understand the Arab states turning a blind eye to the ethnic cleansing campaign underway (or impending genocide?), it doesn't look good having "Arab settlers" butchering people. But why haven't Annan and Powell, sons of the African continent, gone ballistic? After all, it is their black brothers who are getting it, from the Arabs this time. And what about the Europeans, who are always so "human rights"-oriented when it comes to Israel? Why not when it comes to the African continent?
Sudanese President Omar Bashir pledged to US officials to disarm the Janjaweed and other militias, but he's promised that before.
Jan Egeland, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, complained that the United Nations was slow to act in Darfur, where aid workers say about 350,000 people could die this year of disease or malnutrition. He also blamed Khartoum for lack of action in aiding the refugees.
A typical UN do-gooder, Egeland seems to have overlooked the fact that the Sudanese government might have deliberately caused this problem. It's a typical Arab/Muslim land grab. It's happened in Iraq, it's happened in Lebanon, with Syria occupying Lebanon and persecuting the Christians there, and it's happened in Israel, where 7th century Arab imperialist invaders and 20th century Arab squatters have tried to displace the indigenous Jewish population.
Arab settlers, and they're violent, at that...
Describing the pogrom-like atmosphere, one woman told how the Janjaweed entered the village. She said, "The Janjaweed shouted, 'We will not allow blacks here. We will not let Zaghawa here. This land is only for Arabs.'"
Another woman described how the Janjaweed took her and her two sisters away on horses and gang-raped them. The raiders shot one sister, and cut the throat of the other, they then discussed how to mutilate her. "One Janjaweed said, 'You belong to me. You are a slave to the Arabs, and this is the sign of a slave,'" she recalled. He slashed her leg with a sword before letting her hobble away, stark naked.
"First the planes were flying over us and bombing us. Then the Janjaweed came," a third woman described. "They started to shoot and burn. They took all our belongings. They took men and slit their throats with swords. The women they took as concubines."
The situation is so horrendous that Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed, the former editor of the prestigious Arabic daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), recently published an op-ed titled, "The Death of 300,000 People". In the article, Al-Rashed decried the Arab media's apathy to the violence in Sudan.
Al-Rashed wrote, "They are not the victims of Israeli or American aggression; therefore, they are not an issue for concern... Is the life of 1,000 people in western Sudan less valuable, or is a single killed Palestinian or Iraqi of greater importance, merely because the enemy is Israeli or American?"
He continued, "It is a grave matter that government-sponsored forces or militias should be allowed to carry out the annihilation of people in order to achieve quick or decisive victory... As for Arab intellectuals who see nothing in the world but the Palestinian and the Iraqi causes, and who consider any blood not spilled in conflicts with foreigners to be cheap and its spilling justifiable, they are intellectual accomplices in the crime."
What does all this have to do with Israel?
Well, as I wrote in an article entitled "Israel Should Support the Kurds Against Syria":
"As the discussion of democratization of the Middle East continues, an important point that must be made time and time again, is the importance of building structures that liberate the minorities of the region from oppression.
"Non-Arab and non-Muslim minorities live throughout North Africa and the Middle East. Contrary to the propaganda that the region is Arab/Muslim, these minorities are remnants of the indigenous peoples, from before the great Arab imperialist wars of the 7th century, and the 'Islamicization process' that followed. Non-Arab Muslims like the Kurds in Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran; the Berbers - known as Amazighs - in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, have all resisted Arabization for over 1,000 years. Non-Muslims like the Assyrian Christians in Iraq - who are not Arabs - the Copts in Egypt, Christian Lebanese - many who claim not to be Arab, but Phoenician - the Christians in Sudan, and other Christians throughout the region, have been persecuted minorities since the rise of Islam. Others, like the Druze and Jews, have also been persecuted by Arab/Muslim regimes throughout history....
"Only Israel, the Jewish State, has fully liberated itself - in the political sense - from this Arab/Muslim oppression, although it still suffers from physical violence against her people. Israel should take the lead - in its foreign policy - to support democratization and regime change throughout the region. Israel shouldn't wait until countries of the region reform, but should pro-actively support the legitimate aspirations of the oppressed minorities of North Africa and the Middle East, and build alliances with them."
Since writing those words, news of Israeli security cooperation in the Kurdish areas of Iraq has leaked out. Although denied by all involved, I can only hope that it's true and that the Mossad is listening. It should begin to branch out to work with other minorities throughout the region as well.
I haven't yet mentioned the so-called "Palestinians", and I won't, beyond saying that they are part of the problem, not part of the solution. Aren't they an oppressed minority? No, as Arabs, they are part of the greater Arab nation that, since the 7th century, has conquered, oppressed and occupied everyone else in the Middle East and North Africa. As radical Muslims, everyone can see that Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the other terror groups are continuing down the same path as Osama Bin Laden. In fact, not long before his assassination, Hamas "spiritual leader" Sheikh Ahmed Yassin had begun speaking about the "Global Jihad" in Bin Laden- and Al-Qaeda-type terms. Hezbullah has also been working in the "Palestinian" administered territories for a while already, as evidenced by Israel's recent capture of a Hezbullah cell in Gaza. So they are part of the regional oppression network, not part of the future liberty and freedom alliance that Israel should work to build with other minorities in the area.
Like that Arab murderer in Sudan who said, "This land is only for Arabs," the late Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi said not long before his demise, "We will continue with our holy war and resistance until every last criminal Zionist is evicted from this land. By G-d, we will not leave one Jew alive in Palestine. We will fight them with all the strength we have. This is our land, not the Jews'." Most of the so-called "Palestinians" agreed with him.
Arab racism marches on....
Israel should speak out strongly against the ethnic cleansing and potential genocide taking place in Sudan today, just as I've urged it do about the atrocious Syrian occupation in Lebanon. Israel should support the rights of the Kurds to an independent state, and encourage other indigenous peoples and their liberation movements.
A major element of Israel's strategic foreign policy should be based on supporting the rights of minorities in the region. Only that way, based on democratization, liberation from oppressive regimes and encouragement of freedom, will the Middle East and North Africa be transformed into a region worthy of its millennia-old history.
A pre-Arab and pre-Muslim history, I might add.
(c) 2004/5764 Pasko