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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Bangladesh’

The Two-State Solution Is Obsolete

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

The Americans, the Europeans and the international community in general are constantly demanding the implementation of a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders. For example, when French President Francois Hollande spoke at the Knesset recently, he stated, “We need a compromise through a two-state solution.” He emphasized that Jerusalem should be a shared capital city of both the Jewish and Palestinian peoples and stressed that settlement construction should come to an end. Statements by US President Barack Obama, US Secretary of State John Kerry, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron are very similar to Hollande’s.

However, any political analysis of the current situation on the ground in the Holy Land would suggest that such models are an obsolete way of thinking. For starters, the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian Authority are not controlled by the same political entity. The Gaza Strip is controlled by the Hamas terrorist organization, who to date refuses to reconcile with the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority. By refusing to sign a reconciliation agreement with Fatah, Hamas has essentially ensured that there can be no united Palestinian leadership. If there is no united Palestinian leadership, there can’t be a unified Palestinian state.

History is full of examples of entities that broke up because they were separated by geographic distance and cultural differences. Bangladesh used to be East Pakistan. However, the culture in Bangladesh is very different from the Pakistani mentality. In Pakistan, they primarily speak Urdu, while the language in Bangladesh is Bangla. The Bangladeshi people felt oppressed by Pakistan. Some Bangladeshis accuse them of committing genocide against them. Furthermore, Pakistan was geographically disconnected from them and so they decided to break off to become a separate country.

The situation is quite similar in regards to the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority and the Hamas-dominated Gaza Strip. Fatah supporters in the Gaza Strip feel oppressed by Hamas and Hamas supporters within the Palestinian Authority view the Fatah leadership with disdain. Furthermore, the populations in Gaza and Judea and Samaria are very different from each other culturally speaking. The Arabs living in Judea and Samaria are more liberal and cosmopolitan than the ones living in the Gaza Strip. To add insult to injury, the two territories are geographically disconnected from each other and the two populations rarely intermarry with each other.

The Fatah-Hamas divide in itself should have killed the idea of a two-state for two peoples’ paradigm. This should be the case especially given the fact that Hamas refuses to recognize the existence of the Jewish state as well and states specifically in their charter that they are opposed to all peace negotiations. They support waging a violent jihad until Israel ceases to exist. For them, it is war until either Israel vanishes or they cease to exist.

Even if Fatah recognizes Israel’s right to exist, in the absence of a military defeat of Hamas, two-states for two peoples living in peace is a fairy tale for children. Yet interestingly enough, even Fatah remains committed to destroying Israel in phases, refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and views the two-states for two-people’s paradigm merely as the first phase towards liberating all of Palestine. Given this reality, it is time for the international community to consider other models for resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the absence of paradigms that have been proven to be unworkable.

Bangladeshi Pro-Israel Journalist Pushes On Amid Charges Of Fraud

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

DHAKA, Bangladesh – Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury sat at the cafe of the five-star Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in downtown Dhaka – capital of the third-largest Muslim nation on earth – proclaiming his love for Israel and the Jewish people.

“I am a Zionist and a friend of Israel,” he told JTA in a voice loud enough to be heard by hotel guests and local businessmen sipping their afternoon tea at nearby tables.

But nobody paid any attention. That in itself, said Choudhury, represented enormous progress in the impoverished People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

“Before 2003, you could not utter the word Israel in this country,” the devout Muslim said during a lengthy interview. “Now we celebrate Rosh Hashanah, and all the Jewish community in Dhaka participates. Even in some Bangladeshi media, they now allow positive articles on Israel. And I am more vocal than ever before.”

Choudhury, 46, is publisher of the English-language Weekly Blitz – one of hundreds of newspapers in this overcrowded, predominantly Muslim nation of 160 million. He’s also, according to some Jews in the United States and Israel who once supported him, a fraud.

On Nov. 29, 2003, half a year after he began publishing his anti-jihadist tabloid, the media mogul and father of two was arrested at Dhaka’s Shahjalal International Airport as he was about to board a flight to Bangkok with connections to Tel Aviv.

“I was tortured with electric shocks. They put nails in my ear. They broke my kneecap with a hockey stick. I was interrogated for 15 days and not allowed to bathe,” he said. “They told me, ‘confess you’re a Zionist spy. Otherwise, why do you support Judaism?’ I said that I’m a good Muslim, and a good Muslim must trust the Jews and Christians. And I’m proud of that.”

On Jan. 24, 2004, barely two months after his initial arrest, Choudhury was charged with sedition, treason and blasphemy. Eventually the sedition charge was dropped, and he was freed on bail in April 2005. His office was later firebombed, he was beaten by mobs and at one point briefly kidnapped by members of Bangladesh’s feared Rapid Action Battalion.

Richard Belkin, a Chicago doctor and Jewish activist, heard about Choudhury’s plight and petitioned U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) to intervene on the journalist’s behalf. In February 2007, a resolution co-sponsored by Kirk and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) demanding that Bangladesh drop all remaining charges against Choudhury passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 409 to 1.

The unlikely pro-Israel crusader quickly became the darling of the literary world.

Brenda West, writing in the online New English Review, noted that “many newspapers and institutions sang his praises with weekly articles. The Wall Street Journal carried admiring articles about him, as did many other newspapers, and bloggers flooded the Internet with their awe-stricken appreciation of what looked like Choudhury’s dedication to Western humanistic principles.”

Yet soon after his release on bail, allegations began surfacing that Choudhury was a ruthless con artist with a criminal past and a pseudo-journalist guilty of plagiarism who had strong Islamist connections before he inexplicably became an anti-Islamist. Some have even suggested that Choudhury may be an agent posing as a friend of the Jews in order to raise money for Islamic fundamentalist organizations.

Belkin, who runs a website that exposes alleged Muslim ethnic cleansing of minority Hindus in Bangladesh, has not spoken to Choudhury in several years. Asked why by JTA, he declined to explain. Nevertheless, Belkin expressed nothing but admiration for the man he helped rescue.

Other Jews who had stood up for Choudhury are less kind.

In March 2011, Aryeh Yosef Gallin, founder and president of the Root and Branch Association – a nonprofit group that promotes cooperation between Israel and other nations – expelled Choudhury from its Islam-Israel Fellowship after reports surfaced that the Bangladeshi had bilked “emotionally vulnerable single Jewish ladies” out of tens of thousands of dollars.

West, a self-described “Jewish woman and patriotic American who became very involved in counter-jihad work after 9/11,” told JTA that “subsequent research, easily available to anyone who bothered to do a little bit of reading, showed that he was a total fraud with criminal ties. He had swindled not just two ardent Jewish supporters but everyone in the Zionist and counter-jihad movement who believed in him.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/bangladeshi-pro-israel-journalist-pushes-on-amid-charges-of-fraud/2012/06/13/

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