In a comment on a short article of mine, entitled, ‘The House of Saud’, which was published in International Finance, Economic Affairs, International Affairs, on 22nd November 2017, one Mr. Kenn Stepman wrote a comment. I thought what he wrote needed a cordial reply. I am reproducing his comment, followed by my reply for all my readers to see:
Kenn Stepman wrote:
When any group, religious or not, seeks to destroy another using the claim that they alone can exist, it is wrong.
What is tragically happening to the Palestinian Muslim people is what the larger Muslim Middle-East world once would tragically have happen to Palestinian Jews, and others in 1948 to 1967.
When it is declared that no other state but a Muslim state may exist on Muslim land, it lays open the counter claim that god gave these lands to the Jews.
Least we forget, Palestine was a name given to this land by British General Allenby, copying the name from Ancient Rome. When he did, this land was occupied by 25%-40% Christian, 30%-40% Muslim, and 15%-25% Jewish. Israel is still 19% Muslim, and 3% Christian. While Gaza and the West Bank are 3% Christian, 97% Muslim. When you can answer honestly what happened to all of the Jews and nearly all the Christians that lived in these territories? You may have discovered an inconvenient Truth.
Nasir Khan’s reply:
Mr Kenn Stepman, I have read your comment. I admit you have a few good points, but much of the rest is bathed in foggy concoctions. However, my way of looking at the political problems of the people of the Middle East, or more specifically the people of Israel and Palestine (thus called by Allenby, or some others, as you mention is a superfluous digression on your part, which in any case is not so important in my sight) face, should be addressed on the basis of imperial links and liaison that patronized the Zionist cause and resulted in the Balfour Declaration (1917); and thereafter came the colonial charade of Mandatory system, a new word imperialist used to divide the areas of the Middle East that were part of the Ottoman Empire before its collapse in the First World War. Now the fallen provinces of the huge empire became possessions of Britain and France as the ‘Mandatory powers’. Britain took the Mandate of Palestine from which it was kicked out by the Zionist terrorists in 1948.
In my life and my humble work as a writer and political activist, I have never judged people because of their religious dogmas or identities. That is for me, a bit too naive for any serious historian and political analyst to indulge in. Assailing any religion and its followers goes against my basic political stance and my humanist outlook. Neither, am I going to comment on the whole history of the Middle East and the relations between its different religious communities, as you tried to do. That is not history; that is, playing poker with history and the facts. Many have done that, and in the process of doing so have put themselves into those mental ghettos and iron shackles from which they are not able to extricate themselves. Luckily, I am not one of them. At least, that is how I see myself!
I am fully aware how the Zionists have been able to blur the distinction between Jews and Zionists – one a religious community and the other a supremacist political ideology. If you have not read, then, perhaps you may find the following two books by two Israeli historians of some use in understanding the issues in the conflict:
1. Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
2. Avi Shlaim, Israel and Palestine
I hope you will find much useful material in these two books.
Once you have done that then you may write your comments, which I will be happy to discuss with you or anyone else. I do not discuss fables and hearsay in my texts.
As far as I am concerned, I have endorsed the views expressed by those Israelis and Palestinians who think the question of the two-state solution has become almost irrelevant because of the Israeli expansion since 1967. There is much food for thought in such propositions. There is nothing much left for the Palestinians any more, despite all the empty rhetoric thrown out by some people.
However, I agree with the late Palestinian writer and political activist, Edward Said, that the only solution was a one-democratic-state in the area where both Jews and Arabs could live in a free and truly democratic state. To do so, first steps will be to create one democratic state; thus ending the Zionist entity called Israel in its present form, and its eschewing of any claims to be a Jewish state. It is common knowledge that in a democratic state, the citizens can follow their religions; but a democratic state has not religion. A democracy can never be a theocracy!
In a truly democratic, secular state, Jews, Arabs and other believers or non-believers will have equal rights and obligations. We have the Nordic countries, for instance, where people from all parts of the world have come to live over the last few decades and all religions and followers of religions are not under any social or political restraints. There is freedom in the real sense. There is every possibility that such a state for Jews and Palestinians may become a catalyst of a new dawn for the whole of the Middle East and bring some much-needed fundamental changes in the political structures and mouldy world-views that have no relevance to this age.
I do not speak for or on behalf of any community. I am an independent writer and a Socialist. I speak in the interest of all, not some chosen few.