Tasnim News Agency Interview on the Issue of Israeli-occupied Palestine

[I was interviewed by Reza Saidi on the issue of Israeli-occupied Palestine. This is the text of my original answers. The published version, in Farsi, is available at http://www.tasnimnews.com/Home/Single/106880.]

Q. In your opinion, what are the most important crimes that Israel has committed ?

A. I think the greatest crimes Israel has committed are the murder of tens of thousands of Palestinians, the theft of thousands of dunams of Palestinian land, and the displacement of millions of people and the deprivation of the civil and human rights of those who remained behind.

Q. Why is the West, with the United States at the front, determined to maintain the policy of complete support and protection of Israel?

A. The U.S. Congress, and to a slightly lesser degree the U.S. administrations, have viewed the issue as a domestic political issue rater than as a foreign policy issue with dimensions affecting human rights and broader American interests.   Their belief (founded in reality, but exaggerated into paranoia) that there is a Zionist lobby (which they erroneously think of as a “Jewish” lobby) that will instantly dump from office anyone who doesn’t put Israeli interests above those of the American people  is the explanation for their determination to maintain complete protection and support of Israel.

Q. The European Union has recently placed Hezbollah’s military branch on their international terrorist list. Can one say that this action is in line with Western support Israel?

A. The Western media has portrayed this action as a response, in part, to the allegations that two suspects (a Canadian and an Australian) in a terrorist bombing that killed 5 Israelis and their Bulgarian bus driver are connected to Hezbollah. Since neither of these men has been convicted, nor their connection to Hezbollah proven, this seems like a mere excuse, and the pressure put on the EU at the behest of Israel seems like a much more credible explanation.

Q. In your opinion, will the recent talks between Israel and the Palestinians, with American mediation, be fruitful? What do you estimate the results of the talks will be?

A. I have no optimism about the proposed new talks. As long as Israel deems itself exempt from International law, notably in the matter of its illegal settlements and the refusal to recognize the Palestinians’ right of return, it is absurd to expect any meaningful progress from these talks.

Q. In your opinion , what are the most important solutions to deal with the Israeli oppression /Apartheid?

A. The main key to ending Israeli oppression/Apartheid is for the United States to end its unconditional financial and moral support for the Apartheid state. Once aid is made conditional on Israeli conformance to International law, the fanatics in Israel will have to give way to more reasonable voices that would gladly abandon Apartheid for a new arrangement in which their own legitimate rights could be realized without the demonization and oppression of the Palestinian people. While Palestinians may have to make some magnanimous material compromises to attain such a resolution, they would not be called upon to foreswear their fundamental human rights or their dignity.

Q. What is the importance of the international day of Quds? Why did Imam Khomeini choose this particular name for this called this day ?

A. I believe that Imam Khomeini chose to designate the last Friday in Ramadan as the “international day of Quds” as a demonstration of world-wide Muslim solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for their legitimate rights because it provided political capital to refute those who seek to drive a wedge between Muslim peoples based on their nationality or denomination. Lip service to the Palestinians is the one place where Muslims do not divide themselves between East and West or Sunni and Shia.

Q.  What do you predict for the fate of the Israeli regime?

A. The question is not if but when and how the Israeli state will fall. Eventually the drain that unconditional support of Israel puts on the economic well-being of the U.S. will become transparent and unendurable, and the American people will demand a change of policy. If that happens sooner rather than later, it may be possible that the resolution can be implemented by peaceful negotiations. If the Zionist lobby succeeds in postponing the inevitable long enough, Allah alone knows what costs it shall impose in wealth and blood on the Israelis, the Palestinians, and the peoples of the Middle East in general as well as the people of America.

Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D.
Minaret of Freedom Institute


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