Posted: Monday, November 20, 2023. 3:13 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Leader of the Opposition Moses “Shyne” Barrow picked a bone with four Belizean statesmen on Friday, writing that former Prime Ministers Dean Barrow and Said Musa and former Ministers of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Assad Shoman and Godfrey Smith have left him “perplexed and alarmed by the message of extremism and selective outrage” they have sent in declaring “unwavering support” for the Government of Belize’s decision to suspend diplomatic ties with Israel.
Barrow discusses multiple international present conflicts, some of which others have cited, asking why these Belizean elders have not pushed the Government to comment on them: Yemen, where he alleges Saudi Arabia has waged war for years; the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi allegedly on the orders of Mohammad Bin Salman (mentioning in turn Prime Minister John Briceno’s recent trip to Saudi Arabia for the CARICOM-Arab Conference); Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and last but not least the Belize-Guatemala dispute.
The younger Barrow counseled his elders “to encourage diplomatic dialogue no matter how exhausted we become. Extreme acts are what got us in this position of a terrorist attack on Israel that slaughtered 1400 children, women, and men along with 200 hostages being held and a retaliation that has led to thousands killed in Gaza with the current humanitarian crisis that we are all asking to be alleviated.”
He also chides the language used by Musa, Barrow et al. as not friendly to either side, especially mentions of “genocide” and derision of Israel as “colonial settlers” and “occupiers” which he said only encourages Hamas and retards the development of a true Palestinian state. He also brings up the late Osama bin Laden’s letter to America attempting to justify the September 11, 2011 attacks and insists that bin Laden, his still-extant organization Al-Qaeda, and Hamas do not represent the Palestinian people.
Barrow also attacks as a “complete falsehood” claims that the current settlers of Israel are Europeans who moved to Israel in 1948, pointing out that Jews and Judaism have existed in the Holy Land from Biblical times. In a bit of historical retelling, he points out that neighboring Arab states from Egypt to Saudi Arabia have long been opposed to the establishment of Israel from the time of its British mandate expiring on May 14, 1948, after the 1947 partition created by the United Nations resolution.
Barrow concludes, “We are at a crucial moment in history with the war in Ukraine, war in Israel/Gaza, territorial threats to Belize and Guyana, it is now more than ever that diplomacy is required. The channels of dialogue must remain open, we cannot close our ears, eyes, minds, and hearts. The only way to stop the military operation in Gaza is through diplomacy.” He repeats his call for the unified Israeli government to allow unimpeded humanitarian relief in Gaza and conclude their military operations and for Hamas to release the hostages and renounce terrorism as their means to establishing a viable Palestinian state.
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