Shireen M Mazari The brazen violation of international law by the Israelis in their attack on a humanitarian aid flotilla bound for the besieged Gaza shows who the real rogue state is in the international community. Of course, we also know only too well that without the unquestioning support of the US, this rogue state would not be able to break all norms of international behaviour with such impunity. It was truly pathetic to see the US media such as The Washington Post refer to the humanitarian unarmed participants in the flotilla as militants with ties to Hamas and Al-Qaeda So with one stroke of the pen, respectable peace activists from across the world have been branded as militants some of whom may have had links to Al-Qaeda and Hamas - thereby also trying to make a far-fetched connection between Hamas, the electoral representative of the Palestinian people, and the terrorist organisation of Al-Qaeda Such is the power of the Zionist lobby in the US. Yet it is the same US media that chides us for so much as even questioning the credentials of American journalists. What a laugh And, of course, as many are aware, it is difficult for Americans to catch any of the non-western media channels on their regular networks so they have no idea of global realities, except as the biased US media projects them Which may help to explain the average Americans ignorance about the world and the trauma when the world confronts his country However, the issue is why the Muslims are such easy targets for abuse by the US and Israel? It is not that the Muslims are powerless, but that their leaders are too beholden to the US and that the Ummah is too busy fighting with each other, if not overtly then at least covertly. Meanwhile, the Muslim street is too busy becoming easy prey to extremism in its frustration and anger at the injustice they see being meted out to Muslims not only by their own rulers, but also by the US. Of course, from a Pakistani perspective it is sad to see us in the position we are in today. A nuclear power brought to its knees by a quivering leadership to do the US bidding which includes killing our own people, as well as rendering many citizens to the US on demand As for raising a voice against injustice to the Muslims or against Israel, these issues send our leaders into a state of panic almost and no one dares to summon the US envoy to present a strong protest. At present, the only hope for the Muslim World ironically seem to be Turkey where the peoples strong sense of nationalism and justice is making them raise a loud voice against Israeli aggression. Remember it was also Turkey that, unlike Musharrafs Pakistan, stood firm against American demands for access into Iraq till its conditions had been met And this is a country that is a member of NATO, so one would have expected it to give unconditional access to its NATO partner, the US. But the Turkish people and its leadership are imbued with a sense of national commitment first and that is reflected in their foreign policy. Even today, it is Turkey, which has diplomatic relations with Israel, which is leading the protest at all levels against Israels blatant violation of international law and the murdering of unarmed people in international waters. The statement of the Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davu-toglu, in the UN Security Council, was uncompromising as he called the Israeli action tantamount to banditry and piracy. It is murder conducted by a state. The US is resisting any UNSC resolution that condemns Israel but it cannot stop nation after nation condemning Israel for the attack on innocent civilians in clear breach of international law. And where is the voice of Pakistan today? Nowhere. No strong condemnation of Israels murder of, amongst others, our Turkish brothers. This is what we have been reduced to: a whimpering state going around with a begging bowl before the US and IMF and getting its people further entrapped in their designs to destroy our nation. What makes our present leaders posturing so painful to bear is because we have seen glory days of Pakistani diplomacy when Pakistan was a young country with few resources but a national pride and commitment and a belief in itself. That is why in the mid and late fifties we supported the Tunisians and the Algerians in their independence struggle against France. The Tunisian leader Habib Bourguiba travelled on a Pakistani diplomatic passport and so did Algerian leader Ferhat Abbas and our embassy in Paris was used as a communication line by these leaders and their companions. We were also one of the first states to lend support to the PLO including providing them training at PMA - which we do even today. And let us not forget that our pilots were the only non-Arab pilots who fought Israel. In the 1973 Ramadan War, two of our pilots flew Syrian jets and brought down two Israel planes. Nor was it just the Muslim brethren whom we supported. Our commitment to rid South Africa of its apartheid regime was as solid as they come and we proudly displayed our green passports which stated at the time of Apartheid in South Africa, that it was valid for all countries of the world, except South Africa and Israel. As for our relationship with China, we were the country that first provided a window for China into the non-communist world. And if one wants a perfect example of national defiance, it was Z.A. Bhuttos rebuff of Kissinger over our nuclear programme and his major diplomatic coup when he used the 1974 OIC Summit to bypass India and recognise Bangladesh through the OIC collectivity so that it was welcomed by the Pakistanis. The result was it was India that was then left diplomatically isolated on the issue of the 90,000 Pakistani POWs and the threat of trying them for war crimes. In the end they came home without India being able to hold these trials. This diplomatic feat was done at a time when we as a nation were still traumatised by the break-up of the country. Is it not sad to see how we have lost that commitment to principles, at a time when we have made ourselves physically secure through our nuclear capability - which we again got against all odds? We cant even take a strong position against Israels rogue actions. But let me end by a statement sent to Palestinians from Ron Pundak, a long-term Israeli peace activist, which shows that finally even within Israel some voices are coming out against their countrys acts of terror. I write to you as the Israeli Chair of the Peace NGO Forum with sorrow and shame for last nights and this mornings violent acts in the Mediterranean waters. No more people should be killed over this conflict and yet every crossroad between the Israeli army and political struggles hold this potential. It should be clear that we Israeli peace organisations are working against violence, towards solving every dispute in diplomatic and non-violent ways and towards the end of occupation, the end of the siege on Gaza or any other sort of collective punishment. Gaza is under siege, but it is Israel that behaves as if it is under siege, which makes it choose aggressive solutions rather than diplomatic onesone fact remains - Israel killed unarmed civilians and this will not stand against international criticism. It is therefore a stupid act. We all hoped that this political campaign will be successful in attracting the needed media attention towards the suffering of people in Gaza and will not end this way. We woke up this morning to witness that we were painfully wrong. The peace NGOs will convene this Friday at 4 pm in Sheikh Jarrah to demonstrate against the Israeli governments policy in Gaza, to commemorate 43 years of occupation and say 'no more, and to showcase that we are together despite all odds in our non-violent strive to end occupation and bring peace to our region through a real and viable two states solution. And I ask once again what has happened to Pakistans voice of commitment?