Friday, May 27, 2011

Following The Palestinian Autumn

By Zuheir Kseibati
This commentary was published in al-Hayat on 27/05/2011

It is with a storm of exceptional applause and enthusiasm that the American Congress chose to support Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the face of President Barack Obama, in order to topple the president’s public recognition – for the first time – of the necessity to negotiate along the Palestinian track based on the 1967 border, although Obama recanted this recognition three days later in the context of his explanation of the modifiable border during the negotiations between the two sides.

This enthusiasm carried a double message. The first was addressed to Netanyahu and talked about the understanding of his stringency with the Palestinians, and especially his insistence on getting them to recognize the Jewish state in Israel as a condition for the negotiations. After this, there will be nothing left to negotiate over when coupled with the “no’s” of the leader of the Likud, i.e. No concessions in Jerusalem, No return for the refugees and No peace talks based on the Security Council resolutions.

As for the second facet of the message, it was addressed to Obama himself and assured that the second presidential term could not be secured by twisting Netanyahu’s arm and imposing solutions on Israel against its own wish, especially during the era of the Arab revolutions.

The revolutions which were tackled by the prime minister, who said they conveyed a conflict between tyranny and freedom in a hypocritical tribute to these revolutions, are the same ones troubling the Israelis. Indeed, no slogans were raised on the change squares threatening to wipe out the Hebrew state - as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad usually does. And yet, the Israelis know full well that the Egyptians, Tunisians and Libyans who haul out their freedom from the heart of tyranny and oppression, cannot but support the Palestinians when they launch their comprehensive uprising against the state of thieves and racial segregation in Israel.

One slap to the enthusiasm of Congress as it was listening to Netanyahu’s speech was enough. It was seen in the cry of Jewish activist Rae Abileah who interrupted him and condemned the war crimes committed by Israel against the Palestinians, at a time when he was reiterating the lies related to its democracy before an audience that believed him. He even wished he could claim that this “democracy” had inspired the revolutions of the “Arab Spring!”

After Obama’s attempt – in the speech he delivered before AIPAC – to appease Netanyahu’s anger toward the public recognition of the 1967 border, it became clear that the latter was the one who managed to twist the president’s arm. He thus forced him to adopt the Israeli position toward the Palestinian reconciliation verbatim, but also to ignore the Jerusalem issue and the right of return of the refugees. It is likely that the campaign of the American presidential race, which requires the blessing of the Jewish lobby in the United States, will prompt Washington to exercise all possible pressures on the Palestinian side, in order to foil its efforts to earn the United Nations’ recognition of the independent state in September. What is certain at this level, is that an administration preoccupied with the priority of winning these elections, will not rethink of ways to resume the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations before 2013.

Republican leader in the U.S. House of Representatives Eric Cantor - among the most enthusiastic applauders of Netanyahu’s speech - pledged to enhance Washington’s support for the Jewish state as “its only democratic ally in the region,” although by saying so, he overlooked the entire Arab Spring. More importantly, the double standards in the United States’ foreign policy disprove its claims regarding the defense of political morals, as it mobilized the entire West to internationalize the human rights file, except when it came to the rights of the Palestinian people and the Israeli crimes.

It might be said that the Palestinians are once again facing the wall following the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, as neither the extremism and racism of the Israeli right-wing will be transformed by the winds of the Arab uprisings, nor is the United states capable of imposing a settlement overcoming Israel’s wish to see a “Canton” state for the Palestinians. And after the Hebrew state used the September 11 incidents to establish a partnership with Washington in “the war on terrorism” and proclaimed war on the resistance movements, it now seems ready to use the pretext of the advancement of the Islamists in the Arab region following the uprisings, as a card to justify its rejection of the “quite small” border that is “indefensible.”

Will the Palestinians remain silent? When will their autumn arrive?

Once again, political morality conveys the inability of the West to get rid of the complex of the persecuted or besieged Israelis, at a time when the latter are exercising all sorts of persecution and fast killings in cold blood against an entire population. As for Europe, which is the spearhead of the internationalization of the battle of Arab human rights and the confrontation of the Arab tyrants, it has probably not yet found a classification for the Israeli tyrants who are fiercely defending the democracy of the Jews, which can only persist with the humiliation and shattering of the humanity of the Palestinians.

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