No Peace or Justice in Our Time with Netanyahu – by Stephen Lendman
Like his Washington paymaster/partner, Netanyahu deplores peace. Initiating talks never worked before and won’t now.
Speaking privately at the Clinton Global Initiative conference in New York, Bill Clinton said Netanyahu lost interest because Palestine has a president he controls, and normalizing relations with the Arab world is within reach.
“The Israelis always wanted two things that once it turned out they had,” he said, it didn’t seem so appealing to Mr. Netanuahu.”
Israel believes it has a reliable “Palestinian government, and there’s no question – and the Netanyahu government has said – that this is the finest Palestinian government they’ve ever had in the West Bank.”
In fact, President Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad are longtime Israeli collaborationists, serving as Israeli enforcers against their own people.
Of course Netanyahu approves. He controls them both.
Clinton added that “cynics” think his “government’s continued call for negotiations over borders and such means that he’s just not going to give up the West Bank.”
Of course he’s not nor any other Israeli leader. For decades, they’ve stolen most valued parts dunam by dunam. They’ll keep doing it until Palestinians have only worthless scrub land for a bantustan state Israel will agree to as long as it remains occupied or at least firmly controlled.
Clinton also believes Abbas would accept the deal Arafat rejected in 2000, adding:
“For reasons that even after all these years I still don’t know for sure, Arafat turned down the deal I put together that (Ehud) Barak accepted. (And) they also had an Israeli government that was willing to give them East Jerusalem as the capital of the new state of Palestine.”
In 1947, UN Resolution 181 internationalized Jerusalem as a separate body (a corpus separatum), administered by a UN Trustee Council. Israel spurned a policy still binding.
In July 1980, Israel’s Basic Law declared “Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel.” Yet on June 30, 1980, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 476. America abstained.
It stipulated that “all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant (Fourth Geneva) violation.”
Following Israel’s non-compliance, the Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 478, America again abstaining.
It “censur(ed Israel) in the strongest terms” for enacting the Jerusalem Basic Law, calling it a violation of international law. It also said the Council doesn’t recognize it, and told member states to withdraw their diplomatic missions from the city.
At the time, the Security Council and General Assembly reaffirmed that East Jerusalem is occupied territory, that expropriating its land is illegal, and that all Israeli legislative and administrative measures altering the city’s character and status are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith.
Israel never complied. Moreover, it continued land seizures, home demolitions, and dispossessions, flagrantly flouting its obligations under international law.
Camp David – July 2000
Bill Clinton hosted Arafat and then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Clinton and America’s major media called Israel’s proposal “generous” and unprecedented,” accusing Arafat of spurning peace for conflict by rejecting it.
Barak insisted Arafat sign a “final agreement,” declare an “end of conflict,” and give up any legal basis for additional Occupied Territory land. No written offer was made nor were documents or maps presented.
In fact, only a May 2000 West Bank map was used, dividing the area into four isolated cantons under Palestinian administration surrounded by expanding Israeli settlements and other Israeli-controlled land.
The cantons consisted of: Jericho, a southern canton to Abu Dis, a northern one including Nablus, Jenin and Tulkarm, and a central one including Ramallah.
Gaza was left in limbo as a fifth canton to be resolved when Israel disengaged in August and September 2005, but kept effectively occupied to reenter or attack any time.
Barak’s deal, if accepted, would have doomed real peace. It also offered no resolution of final status issues, including statehood, fixed borders, diaspora Palestinians right of return, East Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital, and others.
Arafat understood and rejected it. Yet he was unfairly blamed. Clinton was party to a deal calling for unconditional surrender, not peace or a viable Palestinian state.
Eleven years later he wondered why Arafat turned it down. He might have been run out of town back home or worse if he accepted it. That’s why.
Support for Palestinian Statehood
Despite his own cross to bear, Turkish Prime Minister Recept Tayyip Erdogan understands enough to support Palestinian statehood.
Addressing the General Assembly on September 22, he sharply criticized Israel for obstructing Middle East peace and refusing to apologize for murdering nine Turkish nationals aboard the Mavi Marmara humanitarian ship to Gaza, then added:
“What is more painful is that the UN has been incapable of taking the necessary steps to end the humanitarian tragedy that Palestinians have gone and are going through.”
He also urged UN member states to recognize Palestinian sovereignty, saying, it was established but never formally implemented.
Ahead of his September 23 General Assembly address, Abbas said pressure won’t deter him from submitting a Security Council bid, knowing it’ll go nowhere because Washington will obstruct it.
Nonetheless, he formerly petitioned the UN, handing Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon an official application for membership. PA delegation member Husam Zomlot called it a “historic moment.” He and others may rethink that view when Palestinians get nothing substantive, leaving them at square one.
Former Clinton administration official David Rothkopf said Obama stated “a clear US position and put himself squarely as a champion of the status quo,” leaving Palestinian statehood unresolved in limbo.
Whether or not he meant it, Abbas added:
Peace “negotiations with Israel achieved nothing at all. All parties are demanding that we return to negotiations, but we say that if Netanyahu does not announce his recognition of the Palestinian state on the 1967 borders and the halt of settlement (construction), we will not return to negotiations.”
On September 17, Hugo Chavez wrote UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, saying:
“I address these words to the United Nations General Assembly, to this great forum that represents all the people, to ratify, on this day and in this setting, Venezuela’s full support of the recognition of the Palestinian state: of Palestine’s right to become a free, sovereign and independent state.”
“This represents an act of historic justice toward a people who carry with them, from time immemorial, all the pain and suffering of the world….Palestine will live and overcome! Long live free, sovereign and independent Palestine!”
The New York Times’ Jihad Against Palestinian Statehood
On September 22, its latest editorial broadside headlined, “The Palestinians’ Bid,” saying:
In addressing the General Assembly, “Obama had no choice but to stand by Israel, this country’s historic ally. And we agree that a negotiated deal is the only way to ensure the creation of a viable Palestinian state, guarantee Israel’s security and build a lasting peace.”
Times correspondents, opinion writers, and editorials support wrong over right, especially on issues affecting Israel.
Obama indeed has choices but made the wrong one. Negotiations never produced peace or statehood and won’t now. Israel hasn’t faced security issues for almost 40 years, and doesn’t today as the region’s nuclear armed superpower.
Palestinians are denied justice and statehood because Israel and Washington won’t tolerate either. Peace won’t come until world leaders go around them for resolution enforced with teeth.
“There is no mystery to what a final deal would look like, just a lack of political courage to push it to the end. (It would) creat(e) a Palestinian state on territory equivalent to the pre-1967 West Bank Bank and Gaza Strip, with mutually agreed land swaps.”
In 1948, Israel stole 78% of historic Palestine. In 1967, it took the rest. Palestinians will settle for 22% returned. Land swaps won’t work because Israel will demand all valued areas, leaving Palestinians isolated in cantons.
Moreover, what about East Jerusalem as Palestine’s legitimate capital. The Times thought it unimportant to mention, let alone demand.
Yet it called for a “bold and fair” proposal, as well as “help to sell it to the Israeli and Palestinian people – not just politicians.” Otherwise a “diplomatic train wreck” may result.
In fact, Palestinians never got “bold and fair” proposals and won’t now. Instead they’ve endured 63 “train wreck(ed)” years begging to be ended.
As a result, now’s the time to go around Washington, Israel, their obstructionist allies, and collaborationist Abbas leadership for what they won’t achieve otherwise.
It may not be now or never, but if left up to Washington, Israel, and its fifth column leaders, statehood and full UN membership won’t ever come.
A Final Comment
On September 20, Gaza-based journalist and university lecturer Rami Almeghari headlined his Electronic Intifada article, “PA goes to UN without Palestinian consensus behind it,” saying:
It’s “clear that many Palestinians remain at best doubtful that the promised confrontation in New York will do anything to advance their rights and aspirations.”
True enough, but he’s wrong suggesting why bother given that likely outcome. Victories come incrementally, not all at once against long odds. Most important, they come by trying, knowing long sought goals are never achieved easily or quickly.
Moreover, committed leadership for what’s right is key. Palestinians sorely lack it, assuring failure under a man who’ll accept it, his rhetoric notwithstanding.
On September 20, London Independent writer Robert Fisk headlined, “Why the Middle East will never be the same again,” saying:
“The Palestinians won’t achieve statehood, but they will consign the ‘peace process’ to history.” Of course, it was stillborn from inception, and indeed Washington and Israeli obstructionism prevents any possibility of statehood now or in the foreseeable future.
The Mossad-connected DEBKAfile agreed, saying expect no “diplomatic showdown….when the Palestinian bid for statehood is filed Friday, Sept. 23….Neither the Security Council or General Assembly will (make) any immediate decisions….(In fact, the) process (can drag on for) weeks if not months,” and may end up dying from inaction.
“The game is lost,” said Fisk. “America’s political power in the Middle East will this week be neutered on behalf of Israel. Quite a sacrifice” for pyrrhic victories.
All the more reason why Palestinians should never quit trying for what one day’s within reach by persisting. It’s how all great struggles are won.
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.