Of the pen



Olive Trees for Peace


Personalities in Photos



In the Acadaemic



A life devoted to Peace among People and,
dignity and freedom for his Palestine people


Magazín Esto
Buenos Aires – February 22, 1991

The other version of the war

Palestinians in the Gulf conflict (view)

At this stage of the tragedy, we should begin to listen to all sides which are involved in the conflict. That is why we had a conversation with the director of the Palestine Information Office in the Argentine Republic, Mr. Suhail Akel. This is his view on the war.

The world asks itself when the Persian Gulf war will come to an end. But you should take into account the second question which will inevitably follow the first one: after the war, are Middle East conflicts going to come to an end?

It is hard to predict when the Gulf war is going to come to an end, but you are not making a mistake when you say that the end of the battle does not mean the end of conflicts which, compared with the present bombardments in Baghdad, may be called lower-intensity conflicts. In Middle East, there are borders which have not been defined, yet. But, apart from that, it is going to be necessary to define the future situation of the Palestinians living in the territory which the United Nations included as part of the State of Israel in 1948. The Palestinian conflict takes up around forty-five years of discussions and year 1991 is going to be the fourth year of Intifada (a popular uprising).

According to Palestinian statistics, there are thousands of deaths. Israeli spokesmen say that Palestinians are exaggerating. The conflict, beyond figures, exists. The Palestine Information Office in the Argentine Republic is located in 1020 Yerbal Street, Buenos Aires. The Argentine Government has not decided to accept a Palestinian embassy in our territory, yet. However, the director of the Office, Suhail Akel, has affirmed that there is an excellent relationship with Buenos Aires. Along with some “Arab” coffee, we had a conversation with Suhail Akel who –as a man born in what he calls Free Palestine, offered the Palestinian view on the war, from Buenos Aires.

Patriot versus Scud

“Israel is not providing any kind of security to our people living in the occupied territories. If Scud missiles fall on the Jewish side, they do everything to stop them by means of Patriot anti-missiles; when they fall on the Palestinian side, where are the Patriots? The Israeli government is using our people as a human shield. Our people are being “canned” in their homes without anti-gas masks; we, Palestinians, have become human shields used for the security of Israel”.

Suhail Akel strongly describes what –according to his testimony, seems to be a despicable attitude of the Jewish government. Akel affirms that “the world, and Israelis particularly, is afraid of poison gas. We, Palestinians, have been victims of these poison Israelis gases during the last four years of Intifada. They have unchained all types of gases against our people such as CS and CN, which are banned gases. They have attacked us with granades and they have bombed from helicopters, dropping a great amount of gas over our villages and towns. We have had hundreds of children affected; many of them have died. According to statistics, around four thousand women have had miscarriages due to the Israeli poison gas. By means of UN resolutions, the world has condemned it and repudiated it. These resolutions has never been respected by the government of Israel”.

Akel says “this is a real bloody war where human beings are in a second place as in all battles. But I feel that man seems to have reached a third place in this particular war. The US seems to have taken a terrible decision: the destruction of the Arab world. On the other hand, we, Palestinians, do not want to play the role of victims. We have been the victims throughout history. I am a Palestinian who was born in Jerusalem. When I was two years old –1948-, I was changed from an inhabitant to a refugee. My people and I are direct victims. They did not give me the possibility of developing, growing and bringing up my children in my Palestinian land; they did not give me the possibility of dying in my Palestinian land. Palestinians understand what martyrdom is all about. We regret that Jews, who were once victims of Nazism, became the henchmen of the Palestinians when they perfectly knew what being hunted down was like (...). You do not base this liberation struggle, which Palestinians are carrying out, on hatred and revenge. We believe that our freedom is never going to be at the expense of other people.

“We do not know whether this war is going to come to an end or continue or whether it is going to develop into the third world war or the end of the world. Today everybody speaks of sophisticated weapons, nuclear weapons which can destroy half of humanity. Nobody can really know what can happen; we do know that it is very important to stop this war so it may not advance and continue killing more people. Throughout the crisis, we, Palestinians, have been trying to stop the war which was beginning to take place. As a political solution, the President of Palestine, Yasser Arafat, proposed a cease-fire. His proposition consisted of four points: The first one refers to the withdrawal of the foreign forces from the occupied Arab homeland, US has nothing to do in Arab land; the second one refers to the fact that Iraq must move to the line of August 2; the third one refers to the creation of an Arab dissuasion force which may take the place of the foreign troops and the fourth point refers to a plebiscite where Kuwaiti people can choose between the previous regime and the possibility of being governed by Saddam Hussein. At all times, the Palestine Liberation Organization has tried to be a mediator between two Arab brothers. However, if an Arab country is attacked by the English or American imperialism’s troops or by Israeli Zionism, the PLO will be on the Arab country’s side”.

“You want to know whether the Arab homeland is broken –Akel thinks of his answer to our question. Well, I think that the imperial forces have achieved the division of the Arab homeland, at this time. As soon as they divide the zone, they can quickly subdue the Arabs. This is George Bush’s thinking”.

Photo 1: Suhail Akel, with his back to the wall where we can see a picture of Yasser Arafat, expressed his view on the Persian Gulf conflict.

Photo 2 and 3: Palestinians praying in a refugee camp in Jordan. Israelis do not even allow them to pray, according to the version of the events in this page. Recently, Argentine TV has spread images where Palestinians are receiving anti-gas masks to protect themselves in case of a chemical bomb attack.

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