ROFTO RADIO – PALESTINE
American loyalty or subservience?
On March 22, Netanyahu declared before his trip to Washington: “As far as we are concerned, building in Jerusalem is like building in Tel Aviv, and we have made this clear to the Americans.” There has been much ado about the ‘crisis’ in US-Israeli relations, which the media tends to portray as one of the worst in decades, but it seems that most of the differences between the two have already been ironed out. There is obviously more truth in the repeated declarations of unflinching loyalty of US politicians to the Israeli agenda, such as Obama’s infamous statement that Jerusalem ‘will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided’, which he made in his speech to AIPAC the very morning after he secured the Democratic nomination as a presidential candidate in 2008.
This statement was hastily watered down in the following days, when it was answered by the Palestinians and foreign policy commentators with sharp denunciations. International law, after all, has it that East Jerusalem is illegally occupied territory. Despite this, the fact of the matter remains that Israel has been given a free hand in the Judaization of Arab East Jerusalem through the forced eviction of Palestinian residents from their homes, the ongoing excavations underneath the neighborhood of Silwan, the continuing isolation of East Jerusalem from its surrounding Palestinian hinterland, and the announcement of plans for the extensive construction of illegal settler buildings in East Jerusalem.
As Joe Biden declared when he visited the Israelis on March 9th: “There is absolutely no space between the United States and Israel in terms of Israel’s security. None.” He might as well have said ‘policy’, instead of ’security’, if we base our judgment on actions rather than on words.
There is no hard evidence about the alleged master-slave relationship between the United States and Israel. There is however widespread speculation about it, ranging from allegations of an overwhelming influence of the Jewish lobby, to absolute control of the Israeli regime over United States foreign policy. What remains clear is that Israel has always had a green light for its horrendously racist treatment of the Palestinian population, and for its role in forcing other regimes of the region into submission – backed up by the public secret of its huge arsenal of nuclear weapons.
From the horse’s mouth
The publication by Harvard scholars Walt and Mearsheimer in 2007 titled ‘The Israel Lobby’, laid out the mechanisms of how Israel dominates American politics through campaign donations and media clout.
“Every time we do something you tell me Americans will do this and will do that. I want to tell you something very clear, don’t worry about American pressure on Israel, we, the Jewish people control America, and the Americans know it.”
Another example: Condoleezza Rice was ordered by George W. Bush to abstain from a vote for a ceasefire in the Gaza War in the UN Security Council on January 12th, 2009. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, in a speech in Ashkelon in those days, explained why:
“I said ‘get me President Bush on the phone’. They said he was in the middle of giving a speech in Philadelphia. I said I didn’t care. ‘I need to talk to him now’. He got off the podium and spoke to me. I told him the United States could not vote in favor. It cannot vote in favor of such a resolution. He immediately called the Secretary of State and told her not to vote in favor.”
The United States has a long tradition of posing as an ‘honest broker’ in the conflict, despite the fact that it is very well-known that even during this decades-long posturing it has always staunchly and relentlessly served every single Israeli military, strategic and economic objective. With this in mind, one can hardly maintain that the so-called criticism of Israel that was recently uttered by Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton has any serious content or weight. Is it considered normal to have one of the two competing teams provide one of their players as a referee in a World Cup Final? In football, it clearly isn’t, but for some reason having a partial referee seems to be an accepted fact in Middle East politics that everyone prefers to leave unmentioned, and accepts as if it is a law of nature.
The rule of weakness
That’s why at least part of the blame for the fact that this unclean game has been allowed to continue for nearly two decades, should be sought on the Palestinian side. The acceptance of these policies has resulted in the acquisition of thousands of acres of Palestinian land by the Israelis, the building of a racist infrastructure of illegal walls, settlements and roads in the occupied territories, and the near tripling of the Jewish settler population in the West Bank and Jerusalem – all of this during the period known as the ‘Oslo peace process’.
It seems that barely any government in the world feels comfortable expressing support for Hamas, based on how the organization has been labeled, despite having won the 2006 elections fairly and squarely. But there is also little hope for the ‘other side’, although the Palestinian Authority undoubtedly should be the ideal Palestinian partner to do business with from a Western point of view. The proof for this lies in the fact that it has demonstrated an almost complete lack of resistance to the Israeli occupation, and a full willingness to cooperate with anything that sounds even vaguely like a ’solution’. Isn’t that exactly what the West wants?
However, the PA apparently has displayed such a lack of spine that even the Western regimes seem to have become increasingly uninterested to pay it any significant political attention, let alone moral support. After all, this Palestinian Authority will obviously only be supported financially for “institution-building”, not politically, and only if it complies with Israeli demands.
The end result: the Palestinian people are being forced to go it alone, if they wish to oppose the Israeli occupation.
A Third Intifada?
Some people may choose to continue to blame the Palestinians: after all, not all of them advocate a ‘political solution’ to the problem. Is this strange, considering the options they have been given, and considering the fact that the Palestinian Authority has in all these years failed to give them even one single reason to expect any success from that?
The captain of the ship mentioned before may be using the most gracious words of hope in order to keep his control and authority over the passengers. He may be making promises that hardly anyone could believe, even if they wanted to, except perhaps if their fear of being engulfed by the waves compels them to grasp any floating straw they can find. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether this is how the Palestinian people will respond. History has shown that they are capable of organizing tremendously powerful uprisings, based purely on people power, and on the strength of their social cohesion and dedication to their faith.
If no one else in the world will make any move to protect Al Aqsa, and put a halt to the inhumane aggression of Israeli occupation and expansion, the Palestinian people surely will not grasp at straws, but are bound to grab any stick they can find, and defend themselves against the demolition of their homes, the murder of their children, and the destruction of their holy sites and their national identity.