Israel: Zionist Atrocities, Nigeria’s Silence

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“[A] state that habitually violates international law, possesses weapons of mass destruction and practices terrorism-the use of violence against civilians for political purposes….Israel fulfils all of these three criteria and it must wear it”- Avi Shlaim, Oxford Professor of International Relations, Israeli citizen who served in the Israeli Army and author of THE IRON WALL: ISRAEL AND THE ARAB WORLD

On Sunday, May 31, 2010, in a most infamous and piratical style that has become the hallmark of the Zionist state, Israeli armed forces dropped commandoes on a flotilla of humanitarian shipping, in international waters, in clear violation of international law. At the end of the operation, Israel had killed nine people on the main ship, the MV Mavi Marmara, owned by Turkey (ironically the only Muslim state that has extensive relations with the Zionist state), while wounding several others. The ships were on the way to Gaza attempting to break the illegal, three year blockade of the strip, which even the Americans (who abet every action of Israel) have described as a disaster. The bandit-like takeover of the ships by Israel, led to anger around the world; many countries recalled their ambassadors while there were demonstrations in major cities in practically every continent.


The majority of humanity is fed up with the impunity of Israel. It regularly kills Palestinians; it is building an apartheid wall that alienates Palestinian land which is ruled unlawful by the International Court of Justice; Israel is building illegal settlements in occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem; it is the only country that possesses nuclear weapons in the Middle East but is egging on the USA to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities (that so far have not broken international law); it has NEVER implemented United Nations Resolutions; it is PERMANENTLY abetted and protected by the USA as it flouts international law and is the ONLY country that has a veto against international censure of its actions. Israel has the most powerful army in the Middle East, yet, is one of the most insecure and LEAST loved countries in the world, because of its arrogant oppression of the Palestinian people. The events of the past ten days have deepened the feeling of anger against Israel while underlining the inhumanity of the Zionist ruling elite, given their posture since the killings on the high seas.


What has worried me as a Nigerian is the fact that not even a whimper of condemnation came from our rulers; where is their sense of internationalist disgust against the atrocities perpetrated by Israel on the high seas? What went wrong with our old humane foreign policy? Why has our country lost the ability to express indignation at international illegality? What drives our foreign policy today? These questions are important, because sections of the media describe Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto as “conservative”; but in the First Republic, he ensured that at least the old Northern Region did not have relations with the Zionist state of Israel, even when other regions did, because of its treatment of the Palestinians. It is also on record that under General Yakubu Gowon, Nigeria joined other African countries to break diplomatic relations with Israel after the 1973 Yom Kippur war, over its annexation of African land in the Sinai.


Those days of principled attitudes were buried from the time that Babangida re-established relations with Israel. Today, the Israeli presence in Nigeria extends into every facet of our national life from construction to defence contracts and security. It is has also become policy to toady to American imperialism (Israel’s principal defender), therefore our spineless and puppet ruling elite will not express the disgust we feel as a people, whenever Israel commits its numerous atrocities. But even for the sake of national decency and human solidarity, those who rule Nigeria should learn to stand for what is righteous in international relations by adding the [increasingly] lightweight of Nigeria on the side of what is just and right. It is just to condemn the atrocities of the Zionist state of Israel in its piratical takeover of a humanitarian ship and the killing and wounding of many people, as happened ten days ago; it is unacceptable to continue a blockade of Gaza, as Israel has continued to do in three years. Nigeria’s bandit ruling elite must find some honour, even if they do not possess it (the Nigerian people do!) to join the majority of humanity to tell their Zionist friends to respect and obey international law.


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