Muslim bodies wary of UNHCR’s ‘pretentious statement’ as Israel’s aggression on Gaza continues unabated

The UN is no less than a ‘talking shop’, a US puppet;  calling ‘both sides to de-escalate’ is an act of equating the oppressor and the oppressed  

Boy Special Correspondent

New Delhi: Indian Muslims see little substance in the statement issued by the  UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Saturday wherein he called “both the sides to de-escalate” tension.

Notably, a day after the Amnesty International appealed to the world leaders to take “firm steps” against Israel’s disregard for Palestinian rights,  Bachelet warned that the “firing of large numbers of indiscriminate rockets by Palestinian armed groups (read Hamas) into Israel, including densely populated areas, in clear violation of international humanitarian law, amounts to war crimes.” He, however, chose to do a balance by raising concern on Israel airstrikes into densely populated areas of Gaza. He said that “some  attacks by the Israeli Defence Forces on civilians…do not meet the requirements to be considered as military objectives.”

Taking a grim view of the situation, the bodies raised concern of “viability of the global body” in stopping and punishing the repressive regime.  Commenting specifically on Bachelet’s statement, All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM), a consultative forum of dozens of India’s Muslim bodies, rejected the “pretentious contention” of calling both the sides to “de-escalate”.  AIMMM president Navaid Hamid said, “The statement is factually incorrect. The rocket firing by Hamas was in retaliation to the violence unleashed by the terrorist state apparatus of Israel on the peaceful worshippers at Al Aqsa mosque.” He demanded to know the substance in Bachelet’s statement calling “both sides to de-escalate”.

Dr Zafarul Islam Khan, an authority on West Asia, “These are empty words. Such statements are being issued by several agencies…The UN is no different…What is actionable in it?” The former chairperson of Delhi Minorities Commission went on to question UN’s viability, calling it no less than a “talking shop”. “How can you equate oppressed with oppressor,? he asked, adding that the “whole system is flawed, formed on unethical ground”. “Why some countries enjoy veto powers? Why several big countries, such as India, Indonesia or others, are still kept at bay?” Khan, whose voluminous Palestine Declaration has widely been recognised, also poohpoohed Muslim nations, including Turkey, Pakistan and Iran, for doing nothing except issuing “condemnations.” He, however, slammed Arab countries for adopting a “criminal silence”, rather shamelessly taking strides for “normalisation of relation with repressive Zionist regime”. “Israel cannot dare to walk a step without the U, so it’s should be held responsible for high handedness of the Zionist regime,” he said, informing that the “US provide $3.3 billion in annual aid to Israel.”

The Popular Front of India (PFI), which has significant imprints across the country, however, is least surprised by the formulation of UNHRC’s statement calling the international forum “a toothless body.” “Asking both the sides to de-escalate is weird, bereft of substance,” said Anis Ahmed, secretary of the Muslim-managed social rights organization.  “If the UN is really serious, it should impose a very strict sanction on Israel, much on the line of the one slapped against the apartheid regime of South Africa….And all the major powers, including the US, should support it,” Ahmed said.

Noted human rights advocate Nadeem Khan of United Against Hate (UAH), who leads the campaign along with several other civil rights activists, said, “Such calls never deter Israel” adding with a degree of anxiousness that “rarely any powerful regime ever pay heed to the appeals made by the UN or other human rights organisations.”  Khan, who also runs India Palestine Friendship Forum campaign, flagged a joint declaration, of which he was also a signatory among dozens of rights activists and organizations, that sought “United Nations, International Court of Justice, human rights organizations, NGOs, media houses, activists etc to take cognizance of the situation and exert maximum pressure to make the Israeli regime mend its ways.” He also called upon Indian government to summon the Israeli envoy and convey the feelings of millions of citizens of this country.”

“When it comes to Israel, the UN bodies do ‘cut and paste’ job. Calling ‘both the sides to de-escalate’ has peculiarly been played out for decades”, said Advocate Sharfuddin Ahmad of All India Lawyer Council. “The name of Palestine has virtually been changed into Israel under Zionist design even though the UN bodies keep singing the same tune,” he observed. He added: “The UNHRC writes the words given by the US. It’s not an independent body but under strict control of the US.”

Nearly a dozen Muslim religious organizations across India already pointed out Israel’s “regard to the appeals made by international human rights bodies”,  saying the United Nations failed to live up to its commitment of ensuring peace in the region.

In fact, soon after the Al Aqsa violence, the top Muslim bodies, including Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind among others, had issued a statement demanding the UN to address the crisis. JIH chief Sadatullah Hussaini had even warned Israel to desist from butchering innocents demanding an apology from the Jewish nation.

A semi-literate muezzin of a local mosque in Delhi’s Jamia Nagar locality when asked about the ongoing conflict, he folded the Urdu paper he was reading and bluntly said, “You are fools, barking up the wrong tree. The UN is the puppet of the US.” The muezzin who wished not to be quoted, however, said, “The weak rarely get justice. We are not living in the Kingdom of God,” concluded the muezzin.

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