The people of Palestine should declare own nationhood, political independence and freedom from subjugation, oppression and colonialism. A question may be asked and answered; Whose Permission Does Palestine Need To Declare Nationhood and freedom? Nobody’s!
Palestine should declare nationhood, declare her own independence and her own freedom! This has become an imperative; as political and economic development in Palestine have been stunted, stifled and there is pervasive strangulations in micro and macro levels in Palestine brought about by outside actors.
It is common knowledge that the so-called peace negotiations have stalled for more than ten years with impenetrable impasse and deadlock. The last time there was any serious peace negotiations, was during the administration of President Bill Clinton, and since then, the President George W. Bush administration made no secret of its partiality to Israeli government. President Bush touted a vaunted and a so-called “Road Map” to peace, a moribund road map, which led to nowhere, or quite frankly, a road map, to a decidedly certain dead end.
President George W. Bush was afflicted with his self-imposed demons or afflictions, the crusading invasion and occupation of Iraq. The delusion grandeur of force-feeding democracy to Arabs and Persians in the strategic region of the world, known as the Middle East. President George W. Bush’s administration foolhardily walked into a debacle and quagmire in Iraq. I
t is also clear that the Bush administration set out to undermine and marginalize; Mr. Yasser Arafat, the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization at the time. Mr. Bush assumed the presidency of the United States and this Bush’s policy succeeded too well, and it publicly and privately winked and nodded approval to Mr. Ariel Sharon, who in turn employed scorched-earth policy against Mr. Arafat and all of Palestine, until Mr. Arafat was completely confined, crippled and died in lonely half demolished PLO compound, in plain sight and view of seemingly powerless world.
President George W. Bush, the United States and most of Western nations, ensured that Mr. Arafat was undermined, relegated and jettisoned. After the death of Mr. Arafat, President Bush and Western European allies, effusively and enthusiastically embraced Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, who they considered amenable, malleable and pliable to their own designs, which are not necessarily consistent with the interests of Palestinians.
Mr. Arafat was a larger than life icon and considered an institution in the struggle for the rights, freedoms and justice for the Palestinian people. Mr. Arafat was lionized as hero, by Palestinians and all those who admired the courage with which he advocated the cause of Palestine. On the other hand, Mr. Arafat was reviled by Israel, the United States and most Western nations as evil. Nevertheless, Mr. Arafat was psychologically, physically and symbolically suitably different from Mr. Abbass. Mr. Arafat was a firebrand liberationist with fire in the belly passion for Palestine cause and he was famous for his military fatigues, quite unlike Mr. Abbas who wore business suits as does corporate executives in the western world.
The now 74 year old Mahmoud Abbas has been a western puppet at the helms of the Palestinian Authority and he is now a completely spent force. Mr. Abbas was never near filling the shoes of Yasser Arafat’s big shoes. Mr. Abbas was a creation of the Israelis and western nations. Those who loathed Yasser Arafat’s popularity and standing, are as well, contemptuous of HAMAS. HAMAS is excoriated by western nations and HAMAS have accordingly been labeled as a gang of terrorists. And so, despite the fact that HAMAS ironically bought into the force-feeding of democracy as espoused by Mr. Bush, and HAMAS got itself elected in a free and fair election in Palestine. Even though HAMAS was elected by the majority of Palestinian people, President Bush and his Western nations allies, paradoxically, rejected HAMAS’ electoral victory and formed government!
It will be recalled that HAMAS has been very popular with the people of Palestine, even before placing itself on the ballot. HAMAS’ popularity arose and stemmed from the fact that HAMAS have always provided needful support programs and policies. These programs and policies have included provision of schools, after school programs, health care and other functions of an effective government. This, even well before HAMAS campaigned to be elected into actual formal government. Sadly enough, the United States, with the support of her Western nations allies, castigated HAMAS, repudiated and rejected the freewill and inalienable rights of the people of Palestine, to freely and democratically elect their own political leaders. President George W. Bush and his allies, selected a preference of leadership and imposed Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, on the people of Palestine and this led to the impregnable deadlock throughout Mr. Bush’s administration.
In the interim, Mr. Ariel Sharon of Israel became ill and became comatose, a condition in which he remains. Mr. Bush became further embroiled in two foreign wars, the Iraq war and the escalating war in Afghanistan. Therefore, peace negotiations between Palestine and Israel, through a combination actions, omissions, designs and accidents or happenstances, became a forlorn luxury in the scheme of things or order of priority for President Bush
Meanwhile, daily life for the average child, woman and man in Palestine, have become much worse in the most profound ways. Hardships, sufferings and desperations in daily life for Palestinians became extremely exacerbated by punishing Israeli reprisals and brutal attacks. In January 2009, Israeli military attacked killed 1400 Palestinians, Mr. Ehud Olmert, the prime minister of Israel at the time, was facing charges of corruption and he was in fact, clearly on his way out of prime minister position, even as he was facing mounting cloud of accusation of corruption and abuse of power.
Mr. Olmert, embarked on a horrific, vengeful and brutal war against Palestinians, a war in which 1400 innocent persons, comprised mostly of children and women civilians were murdered. This extreme action, taken by Israel, was at the cusp of the inception of a new government in the United States with and anticipated paradigm shift in policy position as compared the preceding 8 years of the President Bush administration. Israel acted as if it thought she could militarily pulverized Palestine and disable or cripple Palestine into accepting any and everything Israel may propose thereafter. There have been calls from across the world, demanding that Israel improve living conditions in the West Bank, as well as, ease pressures on Gaza and consent to negotiate with all issues on the table without exceptions.
At the inception of the President Barack Obama’s administration, the United States made public pronouncements which indicated a reawakening and revival of the comatose peace process. There were indications that Mr. Obama will make important demands of Israel and be firm with Israel regarding the outcomes he expected.
One such demand was that the Obama administration would and actually did demand that Israel completely freeze all settlement constructions upon any Palestine land or territory. Another issue related to the daily suffering and humiliation of Palestinians at checkpoints and lockdowns in the West Bank, actions of Israel which is of considerable irritation to the Palestinians and have caused exasperations to all those interested in freedom and justice.
In the beginning, President Obama’s administration position on settlements was clear, unequivocal, but it seemed to have changed. As the president has said on many occasions, the United States would not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. Even though the Obama administration continues to insist that it has not changed its policy, its public statements through the United States Secretary o
f State, Mrs. Hilary Clinton, have shifted significantly in favor of Israel. At the inception of Mr. Obama’s government, the US claimed it wanted to see “a stop to settlements, all settlements without exceptions.
As the year rolled on, President Obama seemed to have employed too many modifiers, which were subsequently echoed by Madam Secretary of State herself. At the U.N. General Assembly in September, according to The New York Times, “President Obama used the phrase “restrain” in referring to construction, suggesting the administration recognized they were unlikely to get a total freeze. Subsequent statements have used the word “curtail.” Instead of no constructions of additional unit is acceptable.
Additionally, President Obama appear as if he no longer particularly enthusiastic about peace talks or negotiations between Palestine and Israel. But instead, there were these meaningless photo opportunity between Mr. Obama, Mr. Mahmoud Abbas and Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu in September in New York City; where Obama presided over empty handshakes between Mr. Abbas and Mr. Netanyahu who took office in March 2009 and who was buoyed as hardliner on the crucial question of Israeli settlement construction on Palestinian territories and much else of the sundry contentious details of Palestine-Israel intractable crises.
Mr. Netanyahu’s intransigence is compounded by the ultra conservative Likud Party, which is extremely hawkish and unwilling to recognize Palestinian rights. Mr. Netanyahu and Israeli conservatives are adamant in their pursuit of continued settlement construction expansions in Palestine territories. Israel is adamant in continuing to build settlement on Palestine territory. Israel is also remain adamant in continuing to insist she want a demilitarized Palestine nation, in effect, a nation which will be without a standing armed forces, a nation therefore, which will be unable to defend herself, that is in effect, not a nation at all! The nation of Palestine should be able to have every security and defense force, for the same reasons, Israel and other nations have armed forces, whether those reasons are real or imagined.
Israel has also rejected, outright and, in most vehement manner, a United Nations Committee 575 page report, written by the committee led by the long respected South African jurist, Richard Goldstone, himself a Jew. Israel excuses the killing of 1400 Palestinians with right to defend herself!
Israel have often been able to impose impossible conditions on peace talks between herself and Palestine. Too often, these preconditions have made nonsense of negotiations. These sham of negotiations, is exemplified in Israel’s refusal to agree to a complete freeze to settlement construction expansions, and Israel’s failure to address status of return of refugees and the status of Jerusalem as political capital of an independent nation of Palestine. And as a consequence, there is a looming and persisting gap between Palestine and Israel, even though the Israeli public relations machine will have the world believe otherwise!
Israel is famous for having great clout and power over United States foreign policy, and this is regardless of whether a sitting president of the United States is an ultra conservative Republican Party member or a liberal Democratic Party member. President Obama at the outset, made pronouncements which portrayed him as determined to be fair but firm with Israel. But, Mr. Obama has since mellowed, blinked or reversed himself. The fear of Israel and Israel lobby is the beginning of political smart in America.
Mr. Obama has since returned to the usual palliative and appeasement of Arabs through proxies. And so, the usual suspects, have started to reappear on the White House lawn. Mr. Obama is now engaging these old proxies to placate Palestinians. Mr. Obama according to The New York Times “welcomed the 81-year-old Egyptian president for his first White House visit in five years, continuing a concerted effort to improve bilateral relations that had been damaged not only by the Iraq war but also by Bush administration criticism of Egypt over matters of democracy and human rights”
“The two-day visit by President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, who has been in power for nearly 28 years, came amid mounting speculation over an eventual succession in Egypt, fueled both by his age and a recent government crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group that is legally banned but is tolerated and has a presence in Parliament” I particularly find this in conflict with, inconsistent and contradictory to, Mr. Obama publicly stated policy which favors strong institutions as opposed to “strongmen” in African and world politics.
Mr. Obama’s “reasons” for snubbing Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya by refusing to “bless” the leaders of these three nations with his visit and golden handshakes, but went to Ghana, because of claimed institutional, political reforms and progress in Ghana, real or just advertised; Is the exact reason why Mr. Obama should not have gone to Egypt or invited President Hosni Mubarak to the White House, Mr. Mubarak has been president of Egypt for almost 30 years, perhaps, when Mr. Obama was still in High School.
Mr. Mubarak runs an autocratic regime which reeks with draconian policies and repression against Egyptians across the spectrum. Unless of course, Mr. Mubarak’s celebrity status with the United States and others, is perhaps because he tackles his Egyptian political opponents who just happens to be the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islam group.
Which is why some have seen a pattern or crusade against Islam and Muslims. After all, the United States is on record as being against political ascendancy in Algeria, even after it won elections there. The US is in Iraq, the US is opposed to the government of Iran, the US is in Afghanistan, the US has simmering disagreement with Pakistan. There is no love lost between the US and the government in the Sudan and there is no love lost between the US and the parlous government in Somalia. It just so happens, coincidently, that there is Islam and Muslims in all these nations. No one is trying to be a conspiracy theorist here.
The fact that the United States, Western nations and Israel herself, prefer to deal with Arabs who are very unpopular with their own people, their own national audience, speaks volumes about the expediencies which informs Israeli, American and other Western nation’s policies regarding Arabs, Persians and Palestine in particular. As explained, Mr. Mahmoud Abbas is a spent force, who now faces a double-bind. First, Mr. Abbas’ authority has been questioned and put under rhetorical and physical assault by HAMAS, the political and military opponent to Mr. Abbas’ FATAH Party. And second, Mr. Abbass despite a million hugs from Israel, the United and Western nations, have had no peace dividends to deliver to his people in Palestine. Mr. Abbas must be feeling used, dumped, abandoned, even as he now contemplates resignation from the Palestine Authority rule. Mr. Abbas methods have failed and literally blown-up in his face in the full glare of Palestinians and all the world. Mr. Abbas clearly has nothing left to offer or even pretend to offer Palestine.
Another spent force is the 81 President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Mr. Mubarak, it is, who has been president of his nation for 28 years a and Obama had met twice before: in June when Mr. Obama traveled to Cairo to deliver his speech, and at the Group of Eight gathering in Italy in July 2009 Mubarak continues his autocratic rule and repression against dissent
There are abundant evidences of policy failures regarding freedom for Palestine, in the so-called two state solution through negotiated settlement or peace talks. In this regard, the preceding eight years of President George W. Bush were lost years, years which saw to the squander of every negotiated peace dividends during the President Bill Clinton years. President Obama therefore, as in much else, inherited chaos and huge peace tal
k deficits between Palestine and Israel.
President Obaama in the beginning, manifested a clear understanding and full grasps of the issues and spelled out, a manifestly transparent process toward the peace process between Palestine and Israel. But President Obama have since then, employed a multiplication of modifiers and tongued tied expressions of disapprovals regarding Israel’s refusal to accede to American demands for Israel to completely freeze construction expansions of Jewish settlement on Palestine land.
In a news stories in The New York Times, by Mark Landler, BRIAN KNOWLTON ISABEL KERSHNER used in this article, it is made clear that a palpable gap and chasm exist in the peace process. For instance, Mr. Amr Moussa, the secretary general of the Arab League, was quoted as urging the United States not to accept what he called a “slap in the face” by Israel. How and why is it, that the United States seem to be acting as her hands are tied behind her back, when in fact, Israel is a client state to the United States, funded and propped up by the US itself? And yet, the US has no influence whatsoever, over Israeli policies! The US is always using kid gloves when it comes to Israel, never firm but employs platitudes, decreasing pressure and calling it encouragement
Mahmoud Abbas, is right in rejecting an Israeli proposal that would merely put a moratorium , a mere suspension, in temporary abeyance, on construction of settlements in the West Bank, but allow the completion of about 3,000 housing units and exclude East Jerusalem from any restrictions.
In all of these, the United States, through Madam Secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton, was quick to spin-doctor and describe Israel’s usual ambiguities and inactions, as unprecedented progress! This, even before Israel actually did anything which was demanded of her, by the United States! This, just because Israel said, tongue-in-cheek, she will continue construction of new settlements, but in a so-called restrained manner! How does anyone explain restrained construction of buildings? Does it mean some of the buildings would be without foundations or without roofs?
What exactly is restrained construction as opposed to say, construction freeze? A total and complete freeze on construction is the only meaningful action demanded of Israel. A complete freeze, which is what the US demanded, before the US itself, precipitously caved in or blinked and reversed herself in complete retreat! And now, more and more Israeli officials are finding favor in the General Ariel Sharon’s provocative reference to Palestine territories, which is occupied Israel, as Judea and Samaria, those terms now seem to have a new lease on life. Madam Secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton, and in effect, the Obama administration, have been inconsistent and contradictory in stances over Israel’s settlement construction complete freeze
These deadlocks in peace negotiations, these impasses and these paralyses the much touted and much vaunted two state solution is certain to lead to a new inferno and perhaps a catastrophe, a cataclysm and the world will reach a boiling seamy point, as the Middle East region neglect is a recipe for instability, violence and almost ripe and ready incendiary ingredients for the Third World War . There are toxic mixes of Israel’s arrogance and over confidence, inflamed by the open partiality and bias in Israel’s favor and this is stirring up the tempest in the Arab and Muslim world. And, curiously, some allow themselves to be lured to sleep by their possession of superior military firepower, even when the Taliban and other insurgents seemed to be inflicting deaths and pains with mere kerosene and fertilizers and raw determination.
In view of all the above, and with all things considered, there is really no need for Palestine to continue to have faith in stalled negotiations as Israel continue to expand settlements in occupied territories. The United States during President George W. Bush preceding eight years engaged in inactions and obfuscations and convolutions. President Obama made profound pronouncements in the beginning, but now, seem to engage in feeble gestures, while working too hard not to offend Israel by making demands on Israel. The Middle East and Persian Gulf nonetheless, remain more volatile than ever before. The Palestine issue will light the fuse and serve as catalyst to an inferno, which would have wide ramifications for the world.
It should be very clear by now, that Mr. Abbas has not delivered, he is worse than useless to Palestine, and further, that salvation for Palestine cannot be found within undemocratic and repressive president for life such as Mr. Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. President Obama inherited three wars, two foreign wars, one in Afghanistan, the other in Iraq and the third war, is the equally debilitating war in the home front, the economic debacle and quagmire, the worst since the Great Depression.
And of course, Israel maintains colonial authority over Palestine, with complete usurpation and control of Palestine’s political , economic and daily life; this means that Israel has no incentive to free her vassal, Palestine. Everyone, despite any pretensions to the contrary, has failed Palestine people at every step. Palestinians should declare their nationhood and freedom now and do so unapologetically. The people of Palestine really have only one choice at this point and it is that, they the Palestinians, they are, their own only reliable ally in this self-salvation. Palestine should declare her own nationhood, unilaterally and seek recognition and support, from all lovers of justice, peace, democracy and freedom worldwide