Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Palestinians: Now's Time to Remember Peter Hanson!

It’s ironical that the current targets of the Palestinian Arabs, in the wake of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) caricatures, are Denmark and all things Danish, when one of their most compassionate 'benefactors' had been a Dane.

While the current rightwing Danish Prime Minister has indicated his haughty disdain for Arabs and virtually condoned the deliberately provocative antics of the rightwing newspaper Jyllen-Posten, many Palestinians seem to have forgotten the good work of Commissioner-General Peter Hanson, who served as the head of the UN Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) providing relief care for the Palestinians.

Hanson is Danish, and for his unbiased exceptional concerns and care for the plight of the Palestinians and his outspokenness against Israeli brutalities, he was deliberately targeted by Israel, Jews and even the Simon Wiesenthal Centre on unfounded allegations of being anti-Israel and anti-Semitism.

In late 2004 at BolehTalk I posted Neo-Nazis, where I blogged on how Hansen decried the deaths of a little Palestinian Girl in Palestine, killed at a UN school by Israeli military gunfire. Ghadeer Jaber Mokheimer was not even 10 years old. Three weeks ago, another 10 year old Raghda Adnan Al-Assar was also killed by such Israeli gunfire. Hanson called such young deaths “horrific by anyone’s standards.”

UNRWA has repeatedly called on the Israeli military to stop firing at its schools in Palestine. At that time of my posting, there were already 4 such incidents in just under two years, a sign of the Israeli army’s indiscriminate and dangerous military tactics in Palestinian civilian areas.

The Israelis hated and even accused Hanson, falsely, of being a Palestinian spy. Some of their wild allegations included Hanson allowing UNRWA ambulance to be used to transport arms for Palestinian militants. All were proven to be lies, with the Israelis finally forced into humiliating retraction of their baseless accusations. Though Israel grudingly apologised that apology was never printed in the Israeli media, no doubt as a continued demonisation of Peter Hanson.

A polite gentleman of the 'old school', Hanson didn’t deny he was concerned for and sympathetic towards for the plight of the Palestinians, only because of his compassion, but which led to further Israeli accusations of his bias. The Israelis couldn't tolerate anyone who spoke out against their ruthless brutalities against the Palestinians, and Peter Hanson was just such a person!

In a subsequent posting (also at BolehTalk) titled The Might of Israel (2) I discussed how the Israelis used their bully-boy tactics aided by a servile USA to get rid of an outspoken and fearless Peter Hanson.

UN Secretray General Kofi Annan had to pragmatically give in to US demands that Hansen be replaced for 2 reasons – (1) US threat to hold back $120 million in aid to UNRWA and (2) the continuous Israeli obstruction of Hansen into and out of Gaza which interfered with the UN relief work.

Such had been the power of Israel, even and especially over the USA, that it got what it demanded. As we can see, the USA did, do and will continue to comply with any of Israel's bidding. It's no wonder that the Arabs in general and the Paelstinians in particular have no faith in a USA being a fair and honest broker of peace in the Middle East.

But read Peter Hansen's parting shot here. Politely he fell short of saying frankly why Americans have been receiving distorted information about the Palestinian problem.

But more importantly, I urge those Palestinians, who remember Peter Hanson and his good work for them, to now moderate the Arab anger against the Danes as a token of respect and appreciation for him.

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