Overview for Blood and Sand: The West Asian Tragedy
The Israeli-Palestinian confrontation has become a clich? of international diplomacy. Yet behind the West Asian tragedy lies a tale of heartbreaks, the enforcement of an occupation of Palestinian lands with a savagery that has few parallels in the Post-World War II era, the Palestinian resort to suicide bombings as a desperate attempt to change the status quo and an American attitude that has veered between tolerance of blatant settlement building to downright encouragement of such hardline Israelis as Ariel Sharon. This is the story of the tragedy seen through the eyes of an Indian observer who has lived in the Persian Gulf for close to seven years, has visited the Arab states that are major playersâ€”sometimes unwittinglyâ€”and has been on both sides of the Palestinian-Israeli divide. The September 11, 2001 events and the assumption of office of Republician George W. Bush have radically transformed the situation more to the disadvantage of Palestinians. Spread over some two decades, these cameos give a graphic account of how hopes have alternated with despair and how the American obsession with Iraq has made the Palestiniansâ€™ lot even more miserable than it has been. The United States has obvious strategic compulsions reinforced by a powerful American Jewish lobby influencing Washingtonâ€™s policy. The compulsions of the Second Gulf War led to the Madrid peace conference which became mired in Israeli reluctance to give up occupied land, American helplessness and unwillingness to pressure Israel and Palestinian suicide bombings working wonderfully for Israel to lead to the reoccupation of Palestinian towns for shorter or longer periods. The infrastructure and mobility of the Palestinian Authority have been deliberately destroyed and Yasser Arafat, the embodiment of Palestinian statehood, has been declared irrelevant and shunned by Israel and Washington alike. This story has no end, and, judging by Israeli policies backed to the hilt by the Bush administration and the divisions and weaknesses in the Arab ranks, the prospects of a happy ending seem remote.
S. Nihal Singh (Author)
S. Nihal Singh is a pre-eminent Indian political commentator and editor. In a career spanning more than 50 years, he was at various times a sub-editor, a staff reporter, parliamentary correspondent, political correspondent, foreign correspondent and editor. His sojourns abroad have been in Singapore, Islamabad, Moscow, London, New York, Paris and Dubai. He has edited tow of India’s leading newspapers, The Statesman and the Indian Express, was founding editor of the Indian Post and editor of the Khaleej Times in Dubai.
Among his publications are The Yogi and the Bear: A Story of Indo-Soviet Relations; Indiras India and The Gang and 900 Million: A China Diary. Nihal Singh received the International Editor of the Year Award in New York in 1978 for his role as editor of the Statesman during the Indian Emergency of the 1970s.