The Bailey Mail
March 22, 2008
2008-03-21 10:25:46 **opinion**
I have said it before and I will say it again, the best possible thing for the Palestinians to do is distance themselves completely and utterly from Al Qaeda. The Palestinians are in a legitimate fight for their own freedom, and because the struggle is the most legitimate armed Muslim struggle in the Muslim world, it is being used by Al Qaeda as a cause for recruitment. It has been used time and time again over the years, and has been used again Mar 20, in the second audio release by Osama Bin Laden in as many days.
In the tape aired by Al Jazeera, which hasn’t yet been confirmed as authentic, the man claiming to be Bin Laden says the best way for Muslim’s to aide in the Palestinian struggle is to go and fight the Jihad in Iraq. His exact words were:
“The nearest jihad battlefield to support our people in Palestine is the battlefield of Iraq. The people of the blessed land should sense the great favour God has bestowed upon them and do what they should do to support their mujahideen brothers in Iraq. It is a great opportunity and a major duty for my brothers the Palestinian emigrants [in Arab countries], between whom and jihad on the plains of Jerusalem a barrier has been built.”
The BBC article on the speech ended with something I have read before, always with great scepticism: that the U.S.’ efforts in Iraq, along with the capture and killing of several Al Qaeda’s senior members are proving to be major set-backs for the group. According to the BBC the most successful arm of the U.S. Iraq mission is the current effect the “Awakening” councils — ex-Sunni militants now fighting alongside the U.S. — are having in clearing “Al Qaeda inspired” foreign militants out of central Iraq.
As much as it pains me to say: the current Al Qaeda PR drive; two releases in as many days from Al Qaeda’s leader Osama Bin Laden, is a sign that the U.S. led War on Terror is finally making some gains against the group, which is clearly becoming desperate for recruits in Iraq.
It is undoubted that the U.S. has international support in its war with Al Qaeda, in fact it is pretty much a war between the Western world and Al Qaeda, in which only a few countries are fighting it with their military.
The Palestinian’s best chance of obtaining their own state is to gain the widest possible level of international support in that aim. Any bond between their cause and that of Al Qaeda will give them absolutely no chance of achieving that, and will actually increase support for Israel’s brutal military actions, and strangulation of Gaza in every way imaginable. I personally think Bin laden’s release requires a response from the Palestinian groups, especially Hamas, publicly distancing themselves from Al Qaeda.