Saturday, September 24, 2011

US Stabs Palestine in the Back

Why Obama Stabbed the Palestinians in the Back

There are two ways of looking at the disgusting performance of Obama at the UN where he openly and cynically stabbed the Palestinians in the back. One explanation is based on Obama’s electoral considerations and his need to coddle Israel at Palestinian expense. The second explanation is based on the logic of great power imperial strategic considerations. Israel is a serious ally and its services may be required express any day in the present stormy ME region. Incidentally, the two versions are not mutually exclusive.

The Unsinkable Aircraft Carrier

Firstly, it might be a bit unpleasant, and some of my friends will be offended by the stark language, if not the essence of the matter, but the truth must be told in clear and bold language. It has been clear now for quite a while. The abandonment of Palestine to de facto annexation into Greater Israel is a process enabled and facilitated by the United States. For its own selfish imperialist reasons, the United States, led by Barack Obama, is prepared to sell the Palestinians down the river. Thus, the deeper reason for Obama’s disgraceful performance is the rising importance of the US’s unsinkable aircraft carrier in the region. The US correctly views the Middle East as being in a free for all. After Mubarek has been deposed, with Yemen and Bahrain hemorrhaging, the US needs its main ally, Israel, always ready to fight at the drop of a hat. The US has made some gains in the ME, notably Libya and Syria. But the revolutionary processes in the region are just beginning. Just compare the performance of the two main US allies, Israel and Pakistan, to understand why the US with its waning powers refuses to complicate life for Netanyahu.

Of course, during the “peace process,”the United States promised everyone a “happy end” to the protracted drama. But as things got worse and worse and the US stopped calling back – it became clear that DC had other fish to fry and Netanyahu was and is Obama’s exclusive point man in the region.

Scared of Rick Perry – Fear of Losing Jewish Votes

I doubt whether the sordid US behavior is only a matter of Obama trying to protect the “Jewish vote.” The stench of growing anti-Semitic Christian fundamentalism will probably keep the Jewish voters, who can figure out that all this love and friendship is supposed to end in their conversion, in the Democratic Party. With all due respect to pro-Israel sentiment, the mass of Jewish voters just will not want to pray in Rick Perry’s church. However, if I am wrong about the imperialist essence of the matter, and Obama willfully and cynically sacrificed the interests of the entire Palestinian people for an uncertain cheap electoral consideration, this is also proof that the US is in the hands of irresponsible, dangerous politicians. The end result is not all that different, whether the motivation is imperial strategic needs or cheap, local politics. The US continues to build its regional strategy on a sick, blind devotion to an Israeli, anti-Arab, regional hegemony. The Likud people are chortling all over the place. Netanyahu has the President of the United States in his hip pocket. Members of the ‘moderate’ public in Israel have now joined legions of liberal and progressive people in the United States who, having been fooled by Obama at one stage or another, now justifiably consider themselves betrayed.

Illusions regarding the US

What with the illusions in the Palestinian camp, represented by the policies of Abu Mazen, it was hard for the moderate peace camp in Israel to see things as they actually were for quite along time. Stressing the difficult situation wherein the US reigned as the single super power and the fact that the main opposition to the US role was dominated by Islamic forces – many on the left refused to see the handwriting on the apartheid wall and ignored the deadly danger of the US embrace. The US was throwing peanuts to the Palestinian Authority, in order to debilitate its resistance and encourage false hopes. For little expense, the US could pretend to seem to be working for peace. But this game is also over.

Many dear friends on the left, supporters of a reasonable two state compromise fell asleep on the job. They refused to criticize Abu Mazen and the PA and defended them because they were willing to make serious concessions for peace. But they refused to warn that Abu Mazen’s “practical “ line of leaning on the US for day to day support and sustenance had involved him in a set of military and economic concessions which hollowed out his support among the Palestinians. One can understand how our friend Uri Avneri, an indefatigable opponent of the occupation, allowed himself to be hoodwinked by the Obama administration – because of all the chatter about supposed common values. But how did the leftist Democratic Front for Peace and Equality in Israel allow itself to become the loyal, almost servile supporter of Abu Mazen and his policies – despite the pro-US orientation of the PA and the scandalous establishment of General Dayton’s army?

Meanwhile the Likud hacks are going wild with joy. If they have unqualified support from the US – they do not have another care in the world. Bibi returns to Israel in a blaze of glory. He and his friends have appointed Netanyahu as the leader of the Jewish people. There is no base in law or morality for this claim, but he will do everything to usurp such a role. So far, his main contribution has been to justify some of the more flagrant accusations against Israel by openly and cynically using the sufferings of the Jewish people to justify the occupation and its crimes.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Palestinians are going to the UN

The Whole World is Watching

The Palestinians are going to the UN and demanding recognition as an independent state. It appears that the demand for UN recognition enjoys broad Palestinian support, chiefly for its symbolic value. It is not hard to understand that many Palestinians would prefer to be led by a more reliable and militant leadership. However, the dissenters would be making, in my humble opinion, a serious mistake were they to oppose the UN initiative with a long list of objections and reservations – howsoever justified. It seems that one needs only a minimum of political wisdom to understand that the complicated and fateful issues dividing the Palestinian public are almost totally irrelevant in this context. There will still be time for the complicated issues dividing Palestinian society.

Here in Israel, matters are even clearer. From Zionist doves to Anarchists Against the Wall (and everyone in between), “two staters,” “one staters” and “no staters” can all unite in protesting the disgusting and cowardly performance of the UN, which allows itself to be manipulated by every conceivable trick and tactic to block entrance of the Palestinians as full and equal members of the international community.

The Palestinian initiative is opposed by the main bitter enemies of the Palestinian people. The main culprits in this sordid and ugly crime against international morality are the US government and its leaders and its Israeli partner. Nor shall we ever forget the slimy role of the Tony Blair’s and the Dennis Ross’es who attempt to mask rank discrimination as honest mediation.

There is no reason for illusions regarding the Palestinian initiative. Things after the UN sessions on Palestine will not be radically different. There is reason to believe that the enemies of Palestine are not only evil, but increasingly out of touch with reality. One senses that they – the US and Israel - still believe that they are the unchallenged masters of the region. They are, we fear, laboring under a misconception that is both silly and extremely dangerous.