jos55 instaslot88 Pusat Togel Online Prominent Thai social activist recommends Buddhist solution to the widespread suffering caused by Israel-Palestinian conflict - INEWHORIZON



Prominent Thai social activist recommends Buddhist solution to the widespread suffering caused by Israel-Palestinian conflict

Prominent Thai social activist recommends Buddhist solution
to the widespread suffering caused by Israel-Palestinian conflict


Bangkok — One of Thailand’s most respected social scientists and human rights activists has suggested that a dose of Buddhist philosophy could be of value in pursuing a peaceful solution to the decades-long Israeli occupation of Palestine.


Speaking at a virtual webinar organise by the civil society group Palestine Solidarity Campaign Thailand, Dr Sulak Sivaraks said, “From a Buddhist point of view, we believe that dukkha or suffering engenders many more crises whether individual, social, or environmental. Finding the cause of suffering is imperative. Once you have found it, you can end it using the Noble Eightfold Path. This Buddhist doctrine is applicable to Palestine.”

The historic webinar on “PALESTINE: The Truth Not So Well Told”, was organised on Nov 30, recognised by the United Nations as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Packed with powerful, no-nonsense statements by eminent speakers from Thailand, Palestine, Europe, Malaysia and Israel, it was broadcast over Zoom and Facebook, recording a viewership of more than 10,000 worldwide.

In a statement read on his behalf, Thai Prime Minister Gen (retd) Prayut Chanocha said, “The Royal Thai Government joins the international community in reaffirming continued support for the Palestinian people in their pursuit of freedom and basic rights, particularly their inalienable rights to self-determination and sustainable development.”

UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in a statement read on his behalf by Mr. Mitchell Hsieh, Chief, Communications and Knowledge Management Section of the UNESCAP, said, “The situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, continues to pose a significant challenge to international peace and security.”

He added, “Persistent v  iolations of the rights of Palestinians along with the expansion of settlements risk eroding the prospect of a two-state solution as the international community strives to restart Israeli Palestinian dialogue.”

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohammed also delivered a very forthright speech on the topic “Is Palestine Set to be Wiped Off the Map?”


The statements and speeches by all speakers put a clear focus on the root cause of suffering and conflict — what Acting PSC Thailand Chairman Stuart Ward called the “persecution, dispossession, marginalization, and victimization of the Palestinians on a daily basis” at the hands of the Israeli occupation forces.


The speakers stressed the humanitarian, geopolitical, social and cultural consequences of the conflict, blasted Western governments for double-standard policies and asserted that the Israel indeed was on track to wipe Palestine off the map. They rebutted the predominant global communications narrative which positions the Israelis and Jewish people as the “victims”, whether of terrorism or anti-Semitism.


In his passionate statement, Dr Sulak, a Buddhist and one of Thailand’s most respected thinkers, took the lead in ch allenging the relevance of that narrative, given the current geopolitical and economic balance of power.


Recounting the long history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Dr Sulak acknowledged the suffering of the Jews in the Holocaust but saw no justification for the occupation of Palestinian lands, and the role of the U.S. and British governments in aiding, abetting and supporting it.

He added, “Western superpowers’ policies are often disgusting lies. Learned Americans have warned their government to learn from their mistakes in Vietnam but their concerns have been ignored.


“Conflicts should be solved peacefully. The Palestinian issue has gone on for too long that most people have forgotten it. That’s why campaigning is needed to raise awareness about the Palestinians.


“The Palestinians and all well-wishers need to disseminate facts not propaganda to educate the world about their suffering caused by Western superpowers and Israel.”

Dr Sulak’s comments on the double standards of Jewish suffering were vigorously supported by Dr. Somchai Virunhaphol, a retired Thai military general. He said, “Your (the Zionist Jews) loud voices condemning the Nazis have persuaded the whole world to agree that the crimes committed by Hitler were nothing short of barbaric.


“Today, if anyone in the world praised the Nazis or dressed like a Nazi, you would be up in arms about them. If the Nazis faced trial at the International Criminal Court, shouldn’t you, the Zionists, be tried for your crime [against the Palestinians]?


“You and your Zionist movement condemn the Nazis for believing in the superiority of the Aryan race over all others. Their actions and yours aren’t so different. Just as the Nazis treated you like animals, so have you yourselves treated the Palestinians in similar manners, believing in the superiority of the Jews.


“My question is: How is your Zionist movement different from the Nazi regime when you regard the Jews as superior? What you have done to the Palestinians, expelling them from their land, killing them, and resorting to brute force to get what you want is a violation of human rights and the UN resolution 181.”

Dr Somchai added, “I demand and plead with you, Zionist Jews, if there is any humanity left in you, to take a step back and be less self-centred. See other races as brethren. Stand on the ground of compassion, which is a pillar of this world. Without compassion, humanity would self-destruct”.


In answering the question posed in his topic, “Is Palestine Set to be Wiped Off the Map?” former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohammed highlighted the broader reasons for the continued Palestinian suffering.


He said, “We have all stood by the Palestinians because we see blatant injustices and complete disregard for the most basic values of humanity. We pursue this cause because our values and conscience will not allow us to just stand on the side-lines and watch the cruelties and inhumane treatment being committed towards our fellow being.


He added, “Looking at all the stakeholders, from the Israeli regime, the United States and its allies, the neighbouring Arab nations to the international bodies, the future of the Palestinians and Palestine seem really bleak. As far as Zionist Israel is concerned, Palestine should not exist and that Palestinians are to them sub-human.


“To American leaders, it is more important to please the Jewish lobby and the Zionist leaders, so as to ensure the quest and longevity of the presidency do not get derailed. The consequence of this sees Washington pressuring the Arab nations to toe the line when dealing with Tel Aviv and any attempt to stand up and be counted in the Palestinian cause will result in regime change.


“Not many leaders from the Arab world are prepared to take such risks as they had witnessed the fate of those before them who had chosen such path. Even without having to analyse the politics and manoeuvrings, a mere look at what is left of Palestine since the formation of Israel, is enough for us to conclude that all efforts are being pursued by Zionist Israel to wipe Palestine off the map,” Dr Mahathir said.

Professor Dr. Jaran Maluleem, a highly respected former Head of the Department of International Relations, Thammasart University, spoke on “Why Palestine Matters to Peace-Loving Thai People”. He too voiced bitterness and frustration over the continued suffering of Palestinians.


He said, “The Palestinians are still losing their lands and their homes are being razed. They are being forced out of their own territories. No one, no matter the religion, should allow this to happen. The Palestinian plight is beyond land ownership, history, or political mechanism.


“We are discussing the life and future of our brothers and sisters who have suffered year after year, decade after decade, without any hope of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Despite the ransacking and dispossession of their homes in broad daylight, all we ever seem to talk about is the violence and crime committed by those who are trying to take back what was theirs to begin with.”


Two other prominent speakers were international human rights attorney and best-selling author Jonathan Kuttab, a Palestinian Christian, on the topic of “Beyond the Two-State Solution”, and internationally renowned Israeli historian and best-selling author Professor Ilan Pappé on “Ten Myths About Israel”.

Prof Pappe discussed his book called “The Ten Myths of Israel” which is designed to expose the “myths” used by Israel and the Zionist movement to justify the actions and policies before and after 1948.


Prof Pappe stressed that myths in general are not a negative thing; they are used by nations, religions, tribes and ethnic groups to define themselves as part of their cultural heritage. “This is natural. This is human. There’s nothing wrong with it.”

However, he said his book focussed on “narratives stories that are being told about Palestine in the last 100 years, which justify actions of dispossession, colonisation, occupation, apartheid. My aim in exposing the myths as fabrication of reality or as a misrepresentation of historical facts or of certain situations … ”


These narratives “provide the justification for what in very general terms is a settler-colonial project that began in the late 19th century displacing the Palestinians and replacing them with Jewish settlers that continues in many ways until today. So the main objective of exposing these myths is to show that what is still in many parts of the world being taught, researched, talked about as truth that justifies whatever Israel had done and justifies immunity to Israel for what it’s doing and will do in the future, that these are stories or narratives that are myths and have nothing to do with the reality.”


He said, “It is important to do that because, otherwise, if you accept the Zionist narrative,  which is built on this mythology, you would continue to deem the Palestinians as victimizers and not the victims, as terrorists and not as liberation fighters and as aliens instead of the indigenous people of Palestine.”


Prof Pappe said he thought it is still possible, despite everything that happened, to build a joint future both for the settler community and the indigenous people, and begin slowly, which will be a very painful process of decolonisation and build a democratic state for all historical Palestine, which will be not only good for the Palestinians.”


He added, “I think it will be good for the Jewish people wherever they are, because Zionism is not only bad for the Palestinians, it did terrible things to Judaism as a religion. It tarnished its moral image, and it created this confusion between what the Zionist movement did, what Israel does, and what Judaism is all about. and Judaism for me, and I’m a Jew, is not a religion of dispossession. It’s not a religion of colonialism. It’s not a religion of apartheid. It’s a religion that led my predecessors or ancestors to join the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, against racism in the United States, against imperialism in Vietnam. This is the kind of Jewish contribution to Palestine I would like to see in the future.”

Mr Kuttab also took a similar line of cautious optimism, noting that under the current status quo, “a Palestinian state is not about to happen” because the number of people, the disbursement, the administrative structures, the roads that serve Jews, the laws, the services, the psychological integration of the settlements into Israel are such that they canot be reversed.


He added, “So we have to go back to the drawing board and think through, is there a better solution? Can we move beyond the two-state solution? Is it possible to have something that recognizes and addresses the needs of both groups without saying that they are equal, without pretending that there is any symmetry, without going into the basic legal, moral, ethical, historical arguments for each side. Can these two live together? And in my little book, I say, yes, it’s possible we can envision a hybrid state that is both Jewish and Arab, but that requires that each side give up the claim of exclusivity.”


Mr Kuttab said he asked a lot of Jewish Israelis and Palestinian Arabs. What is it that you really, really want? What does Zionism and the Jewish state do for you? And what does Palestinian nationalism, a Palestinian state do for you on the other hand? And can I achieve those things without negating, oppressing, or disenfranchising or physically eliminating the other side? Is it possible for both people to share the same land?”


The answer he received is that yes, it’s possible. “It’s not easy. It’s not going to happen automatically. Especially you cannot convince the powerful to give up their privileged position, and it’s very hard even to get the victims the weak to accept the reality that there’s another group that is claiming your land, and somehow you must share it with them. But this is the basic premise of my book.” He then outlined various proposals on how to go about it.

The closing remarks were delivered by Bangkok-based journalist Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor, Travel Impact Newswire and former columnist at the Bangkok Post.


The event was moderated by Marut Mekloy who also provided translation support. Technical support was provided by a team of young professionals and secondary school students from Darun Inter Knowledge Learning Centre. All the presentations and speeches can be watched in full here:


PSC Thailand is an informal group of individuals who have come together in their personal capacities to support the Palestinian people in their quest for independence and statehood in accordance with international law and resolutions. The group supports the various UN resolutions on Palestine, especially those in the UN General Assembly, of which Thailand has voted in favor. It also wants to counterbalance the well-organized and well-funded Israeli PR and communications campaigns in Thailand, and facilitate trade, travel and cultural exchanges between Thailand and Palestine.




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