Palestine’s Dilema Part 2 !

 The United Nations officially came into existence on October 24th 1945. The charter was ratified by China, France, The Soviet Union the United States, the United Kingdom, and by a majority of other signatories. The name United Nations was coined by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt,  in 1942 during the second world war  26 nations pledged to continue fighting against Hitler’s  Germany, Italy and Japan the three major Axis powers. Over the years the role of the United Nations has evolved to include fighting human rights abuses, and supposedly working toward  permanent world peace. It would be fair to expect that the United nation by the words in its own charter, ensure that each and every country is treated with respect and that all people are guaranteed equal respect , and afforded their fundamental rights given to them by God Almighty, whatever they may call their God. Today Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas entered the chambers of the United Nations to a standing ovation and sustained and thunderous applause from members of the General Assembly. Abbas came to the United Nations with the hopes and aspiration of the Palestinian people weighing heavily on him.

  Cable television showed  thousands of Palestinian people in the West Bank standing in rapt concentration in Arafat Square, as their president, Mahmoud Abbas affectionately  called Abbu Mazen, delivered a historic speech, punctuated with applause from the entire world body of leaders in the assembly.  Abbas spoke  eloquently and passionately of the trails and tribulation of his people under Israeli Occupation and brutal  Oppression. He spoke to the plight of Palestinian farmers cut off from their farms,without access to water, sick people taken to hospital subject to checkpoints, its people subject to humiliation and degradation from the Hands of Israel and it’s agents, Abbas spoke passionately and eloquently about the fact that Palestinians are the only occupied people left on planet earth, occupied by a power that have thumbed it’s nose at international laws and the attendant condemnations that come with those transgressions.

The United States,  through the progression of many presidencies, somehow convinced the world that it is an honest broker for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinian people, this however does not pass the smell test, when the United States start  every statement on the issue, by affirming its commitment to the state of Israel.  How can any mediator say “I will mediate peace between  these  two warring factions, but I am on the side of this one”? At the heart of the problem is the demand by Israel that Palestinians recognize their right to exist as a jewish state. To the casual observer that may seem like a pretty easy thing to do as a catalyst to peace. The truth is, the problem is far more complicated than that. In 1947 the Jewish state of Israel was created, and instituted by the United States and England  at the mouth of the Suez Canal, a vital shipping corridor to and from the Arabian peninsular,the Jewish State from its inception has been a subject of intense fighting and debate , not as some would have you believe that it’s about Israel’s right to exist, but more so ,a question of Israel’s right to exist at that particular location. The Americans have armed and supported Israel despite repeated condemnation from most countries in the world a move that for all intents and purposes isolates Israel further in the eyes of most of the International community, which sees  Israel as a pariah state, one not subject to International laws, but  protected by a superpower which is hypocritical, as it  speaks from both sides of its mouth , supporting an apartheid style rogue state, whilst at the same time arguing for democracy in other countries with which it disagrees.

At the same time Abbas was articulating the case for statehood for his people, the United States was waiting in the wings with the threat of veto if the request  garners enough support . The Palestinians need nine votes out of a total of fifteen countries that make up the security council. There is however a sub-plot to America’s threat to veto any statehood for the Palestinians. America has stated its commitment to see a two state solution to the problem over the course of several presidency, this is true also of  the present occupant of the White House, Barack Obama. So how then can America argue that it will veto something it says it supports ? President Obama ,Prime Minister Netanyahu, US Ambassador to the UN  Susan Rice  and supporters of Israel say quote ” There is no shortcut to peace” they argue there can be no peace from a piece of paper adopted at the United Nations; They argue the Palestinians must negotiate with Israel with a view to a settlement  of their dispute. Wait just one minute ! Did America negotiate it’s independence with England ?

Did the people of South Africa negotiate with the Apartheid regime for their freedom? How then, can America expect any objective person not sold out to the Israeli lobby, to  accept that the Palestinian people under occupation and subjugation, negotiate with their oppressors for statehood , when they can’t get from point A to point B without going through several checkpoints? Many people have argued and lamented at the oppression of the Palestinian people, not least of whom is former President and nobel peace prize winner Jimmy Carter. What Israel and its supporters have done is to attack the messengers as anti-Semitic and  anti-Israel. It is one thing to demonize freedom loving  people who speak out , it is one thing to blockade Gaza and turn back convoys of food and medicine intended for suffering people in that overpopulated ghetto. It is however another thing when Jimmy Carter a  former President who has worked assiduously and tirelessly to further the peace process between the two factions speak out. It is another thing when former president Bill Clinton stated in an interview with CNN a few days ago quote ” Israel should state publicly that it does not support a two state solution, let the Palestinians get on with their lives , and live with the consequences” end quote.

What gives the statements of these two ex-presidents such weight, is the fact that they were at the forefront of many arduous discussions, back and forth in an effort to arrive at a just resolution. Netanyahu summed up Israel’s position rather succinctly, when he stated that Israel is a very small country that needs  additional territory to be able to defend itself , never mind that the very land-grab they claim as legitimate and necessary for their security , is at the heart of the case the Palestinians are making why they cannot negotiate with Israel as long as  the building of settlements continue. What this mean is that there is a stalemate.  Israel knows full well that the Palestinians will not agree to any  discussions with them as long as they continue to annex more Palestinian lands.

 It is clear to  honest objective observers  that Israel’s strategy is to annex as much real estate as possible which it will claim later, it cannot give up as its citizens are living on the land or they have to control the land in order to maintain their defenses. The Palestinians are certainly not blameless in the debate, they must renounce the strategy of suicide bombings, and attacking innocent Israeli citizens on buses and in their homes, there are Jewish people within Israel whom are conscientious  and caring, and who in fact disagree vehemently with the posture of their Government. The resolution that Palestine seek will not come from suicide bombings and firing rockets into Israel, it will only embolden Israel to use disproportionate force on Palestinian civilians as they have done over the years as the world turns a blind eye.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also addressed the General Assembly, as usual he was combative, belligerent and  forceful, his arguments were the same as they were before, he started out by insulting the members of the general assembly, calling the assembly   a place where darkness dwells, this comment comes as a result of the stance  other  countries take as  it relates to fairness and equality, of course Israel the perpetual victim feels no other perspective is legitimate, and anyone who criticizes it’s actions are enemies of Israel, or worse anti-Semitic, this fear of being labeled as an anti-Semite has stilled the tongue of many who do not want to risk the wrath of the United States and it’s proxy Israel. Those of us who value peace and dignity for all humanity must unite and call for a State of Palestine for the Palestinian people, we must demand that Palestinians stop using suicide bombings as a strategy, we must demand that Palestinians do not rain rockets on Israeli cities killing and terrifying innocent citizens who just want to live in peace. We must demand that Israel return occupied lands to their rightful owners and cease the illegitimate construction of settlements in the West Bank, and return to pre 1967 is inconceivable that in 2011 any nation could argue they are holding onto lands they captured in a war, that kind of thinking must be  outlawed and condemned. There is no legitimate argument to be made for the continued building of settlements on contested land, Israel itself has not even made the claim that the land its settlers are occupying belongs to the state of Israel, therefore it must reasonably be construed that the actions of Israeli settlers in building homes on land they know do not belong to them, is simply a land grab,provocative ,and will do nothing to further the possibility of peace between the two factions.Netanyahu argued that the settlements are  not the cause of the problem but is a result of the problem. Seriously ? What  that means is that settlers have some kind of legitimacy in expanding Israel’s borders for the Protection of Israeli citizens. That is a fundamentally flawed position to take as that would mean Israel would have to continue to annex more and more land as where ever its citizens live they will need a buffer from Palestinian retaliation. No one should begrudge the people of Israel a homeland, no one should object to Israel’s right to exist, in fact anyone who so opine is an enemy of humanity, Jewish people have suffered greatly at the hands of  people who felt they were less than human . As a result of this a reported six million Jews were slaughtered at the hands at racist Nazis. This should sensitive Jews to suffering , oppression, and injustice the way slavery, Jim crow, and continued racism sensitized me to inequality, violations of human rights, and oppression. How can Jews continue to expect and in some cases  demand that others  remember the holocaust when they are oppressing  others ? Many who are in support of Israel on religious grounds are unaware of what is really  happening on the ground as it relates to the plight  of the Palestinian people. Israel claims it does not trust the United Nations to be fair.  It seeks to delegitimize the world body, so that it can  continue to ignore resolution after resolution, without consequence. No other country of six, or sixty  million people on this planet would be allowed to thumb  its nose at the world body as Israel has. War has been waged on Iraq, war has been waged against Bosnian Serbs, War has been waged on Libya, Afghanistan, other nations like Iran has been threatened with war based on assumptions of nuclear programs, generally at Israel’s demand and with Israeli intelligence.All on UN resolutions, The same body Israel claim not to trust as a place where darkness dwells. Why is Israel different? Why is Israel protected by western powers under the guise it is an ally? Does the term ally give a nation carte blanche to ignore and circumvent International Law ? How can Israel claim not to trust the UN, when the very powers that supports her are the chief sponsors and financial supporters of the body?  How come Israel calls on the Un to stop Iran’s supposed nuclear program, but claims the body is a place where darkness dwells ? It is time for the nonsense to stop , if there are to be rules that govern the international community, then the laws must be applied fairly and justly across  the board, irrespective of the status of the transgressor or its friends, then and only then can we as a specie begin to lay claim to a just and peaceful world, as there can be no peace without justice.

This situation as it obtains, is untenable, traditional Israeli allies like Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan a very influential figure in the middle east has been sharply critical of Israeli killing of  an American citizen of Turkish decent, he spoke to the silence of America on the issue, wondering if America’s silence has anything to do with the slain American Turkish ancestry. The people were killed by Israel’s military trying to bring food and medicine to desperate citizens in Gaza.

Prime Minister Netanyahu came to the UN talking about Iran’s supposed nuclear program, he talked about the prospect of Ahmadinejad  having nuclear weapons, he talked about things of the past and things not connected to the issue of the day. In the end the day belonged to Mahmoud Abbas and the hopes and dreams of the people of Palestine and their desire to be free respected people like any other human beings created by God.

mike beckles:

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