Palestine’s Rocky Road to Statehood – by Stephen Lendman
Some roads prove too rocky to traverse, especially when opposition against the real thing comes from alleged supportive allies.
The worst of all enemies often are traitors to a just cause. That in a word sums up Palestine’s dilemma as loyalists count down to September’s General Assembly meeting next week.
The 11th hour. The moment of truth, looking more like disappointment, shame and betrayal.
In other words, again Palestinians face what they’ve endured for decades, despite millions of global supporters, including most or perhaps the entire Arab street.
What do Palestinians want and deserve? In a word: justice.
They want sovereign statehood – no ifs, ands, buts or maybe next time.
They want it comprised of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem – 22% of historic Palestine, not parts only in isolated pieces.
They want control over their shoreline and air space.
They want fixed borders and unfragmented territorial integrity, not isolated cantons on worthless scrub land constituting no state at all.
They want Israel’s illegal occupation ended.
They want unauthorized incursions on their land called naked aggression.
They want international law provisions enforced, including UN Charter Chapter VII, Article 51, saying nations may attack another only in self-defense. Even then, it’s only until the Security Council acts as the final arbiter on matters of international peace and security.
They want freedom over their own lives.
They want decades of Israeli state terror ended.
They want no more of their land stolen.
They want access to every international convention and institution able to help them.
They want diaspora refugees freely able to return as codified in international law.
On December 11, 1948, UN Resolution 194 “(r)esolve(d) that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live in peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation (paid by responsible governments or authorities) should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return….”
Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his (or her) own, and to return to his (or her) country.”
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) states:
“No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his (or her) own country.”
In short, they want and deserve the same rights as all citizens. Sadly, too few have them, but no one anywhere should quit struggling for what’s right, especially those long-suffering and denied.
Victories Take Sustained Commitment
Great victories aren’t won by the timid. Only those committed to stay the course may succeed. They’re also the most deserving because they put their bodies where their hopes and dreams lie.
They’re willing to stake it all for a just cause. They’re willing to settle for only what new generations may enjoy. That’s commitment.
Palestinians have it, but not their collaborationist officials, planning to sell them out in New York, despite duplicitous rhetoric to the contrary.
On September 15, reiterating his “no retreat” vow on full UN membership, Abbas said:
“Going to the United Nations to request full membership for Palestine in the international organization is an inevitable thing and there is no retreat from it.”
“Despite the pressures exercised on us, Palestine will go to” New York on September 23 “to request full membership.”
Heavy US/EU/Israeli pressure haven’t stopped demanding he give it up. Washington, in fact, vowed not to stop trying. According to State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland:
“We want to leave no stone unturned in our effort to get these parties back to the table,” where Israel holds all the aces. Palestinians have none, the way it’s always been.
Nonetheless, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (notoriously pro-Israeli like Obama and his handpicked envoys) said:
“The only way of getting a lasting solution is through direct negotiations between the two parties, and the route to that lies in Jerusalem and Ramallah, not in New York.”
Earlier she called destroying Libya and NATO’s genocidal rape “liberation.”
She backs the worst of Israeli crimes of war and against humanity. She deplores the idea of Palestinians having any say over their own affairs. She feels the same way about Americans, as does Obama.
He called Palestinians petitioning the UN a “distraction,” adding:
“What happens in New York can occupy a lot of press attention but is not going to change, actually, what is happening on the ground until the Israelis and Palestinians sit down.”
He’s saying Washington and Israel will deny independent Palestine a moment of peace and security, threatening its right to exist.
Israel calls Palestinian statehood an attempt to isolate it and undermine its legitimacy. It’ll say or do anything to get its way. So will America and its deceitful EU partners. They’re enemies of independence and freedom as is Israel.
Its extremist ultranationalist Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, raged about the prospect, warning “harsh and grave consequences” will follow any attempt by Palestine to petition the UN for what’s right.
Stopping short of revealing specifics, he said:
“The moment has not yet come to give details of what will happen. What I can say with the greatest confidence is that from the moment they pass a unilateral decision there will be harsh and grave consequences.”
“I hope that we shall not come to (that point), and that common sense will prevail in all decisions taken in order to allow co-existence and progress with negotiation.”
Spoken like true despot, he also accused Palestinians of planning an “unprecedented bloodbath” after the UN acts.
With racist hatemongers like Lieberman and Netanyahu in high places, anything ahead is possible. Both symbolize the worst of Israeli state terror, directed against Arabs for not being Jewish.
On September 15, Haaretz writer Gideon Levy headlined, “Israel does not want a Palestinian state. Period,” saying:
It has no “single persuasive argument against” one. Neither does Washington or pro-Israeli EU partners.
“Next week will be Israel’s moment of truth, or more precisely the moment in which its deception will be revealed.”
Its position is wholly without merit. In fact, its entirely self-serving and underhanded, forgetting that the UN, in part, established Israel and other new nations since 1945.
Moreover, it’s the only way to create Palestinian statehood, what neither Israel or Palestine can do on their own. Nor Washington.
Notably, Oslo promised final status talks in five years. It didn’t happen and won’t in 50 or 500 if left up to Israel.
Every Israeli excuse turned up empty, leaving disturbing naked truths exposed. They’re plain as day now to see.
As a result, Palestinians have “three options, not four: to surrender unconditionally (and stay occupied); to launch a third intifada; or to mobilize the world on their behalf.”
They chose the third and got most of it. Israel has no leg to stand on, yet persists against what world public opinion calls the right thing at the right time.
“Yesterday, a coalition of Israeli peace organizations published a list of 50 reasons for Israel to support a Palestinian state.”
In sum, they come down to backing what’s lawful, principled, high-minded, righteous and timely.
On September 14, New York Times writer Isabel Kershner headlined, “Palestinians Say a UN Gamble on Statehood Is Worth the Risks,” saying:
“Going to the United Nations remains a high-stakes gambit for Mr. Abbas,” adding that it’s “far from clear what will happen when the Palestinians go to the United Nations next week to seek recognition of statehood.”
What’s very clear is that status quo occupation is intolerable and unacceptable.
That independence beside a rogue aggressor is better than living under its rules.
Moreover, anything improving their current lot advances true liberation for millions deserving it, even if getting it means waiting years or even decades longer.
Try finding any Times writer or op-ed contributor saying so.
Notably, its Jerusalem bureau chief, Ethan Bronner, stands out. On September 14, Max Blumenthal’s Columbia Journalism Review article headlined, “Conflict in Israel? saying:
In charge since March 2008, Bronner “joined the speakers bureau of one of Israel’s top public relations firms, Lone Star Communications,” an organization with a pro-Israeli agenda.
It “arranges speaking dates for Bronner and takes 10 to 15 percent of his fee. At the same time, (it) pitches (him) stories.”
His Times bosses see no conflict of interest. Why should they with their pro-Israeli agenda and refusal to hire on staff with views different from their own. Bronner fits the bill.
Combining journalism with “paid engagements from a firm that also pitches him stories” he reports is big time conflict of interest, especially one with a “clear ideological bent.”
“Bronner faced an earlier controversy when his young son decided to serve in the Israeli military….(F)ormer Times editor Bill Keller strongly backed (him) and he weathered it.”
At first, however, he and Times editors declined comment. Foreign Editor Susan Chira said only that:
“Mr. Bronner’s son is a young adult who makes his own decisions. At The Times, we have found Mr. Bronner’s coverage to be scrupulously fair and we are confident that will continue to be the case.”
Others disagree based on studies showing a history of Times misreporting on Israel/Palestine, besides on so much else. In fact, bias and distorted coverage defines how its correspondents and opinion writers do their job.
Calling it “scrupulously fair” is laughable on its face. It’s also insulting to those affected.
A Final Comment
On September 23, Abbas will formally petition the UN for whatever he intends to propose. He’ll address the General Assembly the same day.
So will Netanyahu after earlier saying Shimon Peres would represent him. Advisors warned him against it, saying not being there would show weakness and support what Palestinians want.
He claims he decided to go “to tell the truth before anyone who would like to hear it.” In fact, he and truth are total strangers. He couldn’t look it in the eye and see it.
Neither can Obama, those around him, and most in Congress, warning harsh measures if Palestinians pursue their rights.
“Make no mistake,” said House Appropriations Committee member Steve Rothman (D. NJ), “I have no doubt that Congress will act swiftly and with an overwhelming majority to impose penalties….”
Besides cutting off funding, he may even have declaring war in mind. Why not with a legislative body packed with rogues. They’re bipartisan criminals, backing imperial rampaging and wrecking America for their deep-pocketed funders.
They also support whatever Israel wants, including the right to reign terror on Palestine.
“The PA has little to gain and much to lose,” added Rothman. Most Americans, in fact, gained nothing and lost everything under Republican and Democrat scoundrels, sacrificing them for their own self-interest.
Homeland justice depends on committed grassroots activism. It’s true as well for Palestinians.
On September 23, Abbas plans to sell them out like so many previous times. Rothman and his bunch needn’t worry.
Americans are on their own. So are Palestinians.
The struggle for liberating justice here and there continues.
With enough sustained commitment, maybe one day it’ll show up.
For Palestinians, however, not on September 23. Abbas didn’t book it passage on his New York flight.
Hopefully, he won’t be warmly greeted when he returns.
Many there hope he’s gone and won’t come back.
That would be a big step forward, especially if his number two, Salam Fayyad, leaves with him.
Great victories come a baby step at a time.
Hopefully some are coming, but only people power ones matter most.
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.