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OP-ED: Don’t pen opinions based on falsehood and distortion of history

  • Published at 05:37 am June 9th, 2021
west bank palestine
REUTERS

Since 1971, every Bangladeshi government has shown solidarity with Palestine

I have always believed that a writer’s opinion must never distort historical facts or speak falsehoods.

Recently, it has come to my attention that a small handful of writers in today’s Bangladesh have indulged in writing opinion pieces on Palestine based on little knowledge, distorted facts, and partial truths. As much as these writing attempts are misguiding, they are also deceptive and mislead readers.

I would specifically focus on three issues.

First, on the topic of Palestinian leadership’s rejection of previous peace treaties.

Former heads of governments of US and Israel, Bill Clinton and Ehud Barak proposed a peace deal in 2000. It is true our late PLO leader Yasser Arafat rejected that deal, but one needs to understand his reasons for doing so.

This needs to be clearly understood that he rejected the deal since it did not include East Jerusalem as the capital for a free Palestinian State. President Mahmoud Abbas again rejected a similar peace proposal in 2008 because East Jerusalem was excluded.

Israel has always wanted to keep Jerusalem under its occupation. This is the key reason.

Most importantly, no Palestinian leader ever has or ever will accept a peace deal where Jerusalem will be excluded as the capital for a free Palestinian State.

Second, Hamas rocket attacks are not acts of terror. If you look back into history, the countries which had been under foreign occupation and struggled for liberation and independence, have all fought back by launching armed resistance and through guerrilla warfare, including Bangladesh.

Without armed struggle, they would not have been able to become independent and sovereign 
states today.

It is important to clarify this important truth on the topic of the validity of Palestine’s armed struggle against the occupier, Israel. In the UN charter, it clearly permitted the people of an occupied nation to engage in armed struggle to liberate their country, as well as defend themselves.

Showing full respect to freedom of speech, we Palestinians respect opinions of all. But the opinion must be based on facts and complete truth.

For me it is sad to witness that some ill-informed Bangladeshi writers are writing opinion pieces without much knowledge on our correct history and facts. These writers may have a hidden agenda, and one of them is to divide the Bangladesh government and people’s unity and solidarity with Palestine. 

 Why are these opinions coming to light at a sensitive time as now?

The technique of picking and choosing elements from here and there to write an opinion, is to serve a hidden agenda. This does not work. In fact, it is unethical journalism.

Third, a handful of Bangladeshis, those who have turned vocal on normalizing diplomatic relations between Israel and Bangladesh, must know another fact.

Since its inception in 1971, each and every Bangladesh government along with the majority of its people have always shown their solidarity with Palestine. Brave and selfless Bangladeshis have also fought alongside their Palestinian brethren and have even sacrificed their lives for the cause. They are our true heroes. Let us not ignore 
their sacrifices.

The current government and the overwhelming majority of Bangladeshis are still dead against establishing relations with Israel. And for the second time, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has re-confirmed her government’s solidarity and support for the Palestinian cause.

I would also ask these so-called pro-Israel Bangladeshi elements to evaluate Israel’s diplomatic ties with other Muslim countries. The million dollar question here is, what have these countries gained from establishing diplomatic ties with the racist Zionist state? Name one Muslim majority country which has benefitted from establishing ties with Israel. There is none. Not one of these Muslim countries has benefitted -- either economically or diplomatically.

Last but never the least, “the recent Israeli atrocities have exposed for the first time!” It’s not the first time. How they have learned to commit crimes against humanity and openly attack and insult our religion right in front of the media! 

And they are committing crimes against humanity with complete impunity.

It is your choice to stay for or against Israel, but please learn the correct history and facts. Please follow the painful truth exposed through the global media and then decide to write.

A lie can be established for a temporary period, but the truth remains for eternity.

Yousef Ramadan is the Ambassador of Palestine to Bangladesh.