Face-Off: Palestine v. Washington/Israel on Statehood – by Stephen Lendman
With the moment of truth arriving next week, rhetoric from both sides suggests Palestinians again will lose out.
Instead of an advocate representing them in New York, a collaborationist apparently will show up. Public statements and body language say so.
What could at last be looks likely to be denied. Instead of a new beginning, betrayal appears in the cards.
It’s almost no exaggeration saying the fix is in. What’ll finally emerge will be portrayed as a Palestinian win. In reality, it’ll be defeat – a worthless half loaf in place of what’s easily within reach.
With more than enough international support backed by international law at a time Israeli and US influence are weaker, a golden chance is slip-siding away.
The daily soap opera continues. Here’s the latest.
On September 14, Haaretz writer Avi Issacharoff headlined, “Palestinians trying to dodge pre-UN vote face-off with Obama,” saying:
“Next week, intense negotiations will be undertaken between the European Union, the PA and the American government regarding the specific formula of the request for Palestinian statehood recognition.”
The “specific formula” says it all. Only an easily attainable one delivers statehood and full de jure UN membership. Anything less continues status quo betrayal.
Instead of going for it with overwhelming support, bet on Abbas petitioning only for reshuffling the deck chairs, leaving status quo denial in place.
Apparently he’s less concerned about justice than embarrassing Washington, if Obama followed through with his threatened Security Council veto. Bet on it, and it won’t be long before it’s known.
On September 13, New York Times writers Steven Myers and David Kirkpatrick headlined, “US Scrambles to Avert Palestinian Vote at UN,” saying:
Ahead of next week in New York, “maneuvering became an exercise in brinkmanship as the administration wrestles with roiling tensions in the region, including a sharp deterioration of relations between….Egypt, Israel and Turkey.”
While Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Palestinian statehood “not a choice but an obligation,” Arab League Secretary-General Nabil el-Araby said after meeting with PA officials:
“(I)t is obvious that the Palestinian Authority and the Arab countries are leaning towards going to the General Assembly” for a meaningless status upgrade from “observer entity” to “observer state,” leaving them back at square one.
Even so, Obama, Hillary Clinton, regional envoy Tony Blair (a reinvented war criminal), EU representative Catherine Ashton, US Middle East envoy David Hale, and pro-Israeli hardliner Dennis Ross want Abbas to call the whole thing off.
In their minds, even a fig leaf is too much.
Only Israeli interests matter. Palestinians must accept their status as powerless occupied people and shut up.
“The administration has spent months trying to avoid” the embarrassment of a Security Council veto, even though under international law it’s toothless. Only the General Assembly admits new members. The Security Council recommends.
Both get their say on admissions. One body alone matters, and it’s ready to do the right thing if proper procedures are followed.
Lots of times, Abbas and chief negotiator Saeb Erekat had their say more for Israel than Palestine.
Erekat, in fact, signaled no change now, saying:
“We don’t intend to confront the US, or anyone else for that matter (suggesting Israel and its EU allies).”
The early 2011 released Palestine Papers revealed that policy position was longstanding, siding with Israel against his own people.
So did Abbas as chief Oslo negotiator where he sold them out entirely and did so ever since.
Expect no change of heart now. For him, Erekat and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, it would be entirely out of character. Leopards can’t change their spots, nor snakes in the grass.
Nor Congress, threatening to cut off aid in the event of a UN vote, what most in it call a “confrontation,” not long delayed justice.
The same Congress backs Obama’s imperial wars, banker bailouts, austerity hardship for needy Americans, and repressive police state laws to slap them down if they complain.
The deck indeed is stacked, and unrepresented Palestinians hold no aces.
So hinted Jimmy Carter, America’s 39th president and author of “Peace Not Apartheid.”
His September 13 New York Times op-ed headlined, “After the UN Vote on Palestine,” saying:
Camp David promises proved hollow. Despite overwhelming Knesset approval, “call(ing) for honoring all aspects of United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 (November 22, 1967),” Israel systematically violated its provisions.
Key ones included denying “the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security.”
“(i) Withdrawal of Israel(i) armed forces from territories occupied in (1967);” and
“(ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.”
In 1948, Palestinians lost 78% of their historic homeland. In 1967, they lost the rest. Camp David I, Madrid, Oslo, Oslo II, Wye River, Camp David II, Taba, and decades of peace process futility accomplished nothing.
Every post-Camp David I negotiation favored Israel. Palestinians’ only choice was take it or leave it. Nothing’s changed now. Carter knows it but didn’t say. So do Palestinians and the Arab street with no power.
Carter did say Washington “basically withdr(ew) from active participation in the peace process. The Palestinians and other Arabs have interpreted US policy as acquiescing on the occupation and (being) biased against them.”
Given what they’re up against, “what are the options for the future?”
Instead of explaining the futility of peace process negotiations because Palestinians have no willing partner, Carter called for “comprehensive” efforts “based on the fully compatible US official policy, previous UN resolutions and the Quartet’s previous demands.”
In other words, he recommends another round of what won’t work instead of suggesting what may, and saying US policy must back it. With enough (sorely lacking) commitment, Israel would have a hard time saying no, but don’t bet it wouldn’t try.
Yet Carter’s vision calls for “peace for Israel and all its neighbors. The United States would regain its leadership role in the region, based on its commitment to freedom, democracy and justice, and a major cause of widespread animosity toward America within the Arab world would be eliminated.”
Shamefully, Carter omitted mention of America’s imperial wars. That the business of America is war. That permanent war is official policy.
That eroding homeland social justice pays for them. That repressive police state laws slap down resisters.
That post-9/11, $10 trillion or more was spent on militarism with all categories included.
That over the same period, millions of lives were lost. Many millions more were harmed, and killer weapons destroyed nonbelligerent countries lawlessly.
Libya, of course, is Washington’s latest trophy. Even so, death and destruction continue daily, turning the entire country into a hellish charnel house.
At home, unbridled greed, corruption, and imperial lawlessness define America.
Torture, extraordinary renditions, indefinite detentions without charge, military commissions, warrantless surveillance, and racial profiling are official policies.
Special Forces death squads murder people globally who disagree with US policies.
Decades of bad policies, including his own, have America on a fast track toward tyranny and ruin.
America’s middle class is disappearing. Growing millions suffer from poverty, homelessness, hunger and despair. America’s media don’t notice, let alone care.
America partners with Israel’s most lawless policies. Its leaders (including himself) support the worst of world despots and brutes.
Democracy in America is a sham illusion. Whistleblowing and dissent can be called criminal.
Times op-eds alone won’t change things, especially ones falling way short of the mark.
On October 1, Carter turn’s 87. Arguably, his post-presidency is the best of the lot, though far from perfect.
At this stage in life, why not go all the way burnishing it.
What better way than by forthrightly challenging US policies causing so much harm to so many, including permanent imperial wars and social injustice.
Then support Palestinian statehood and full de jure UN membership. At the same time, denounce Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, saying “harsh and grave consequences” will follow a UN vote.
That’s the kind of legacy worth working for!
It’s true for everyone, not just him!
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.