• Opinion
  • 09:16 - 21 May 2013

A slap on the face

By Khalid Amayreh

 The recent Israeli decision to build four major settlements in the West Bank, including one in the vicinity of Ramallah, is a slap on the face of the Palestinian Authority (PA), the United States, EU and all those who still are working to revive the moribund peace process.

 The decision is a clarion political statement which expresses Israel's intransigence and rejection of all peace efforts despite the humiliating surrender displayed by the PLO leadership as well as the disgraceful concessions offered to Israel by the Arab League with regard to the so-called Arab initiative.

 In fact, even without the building of additional settlements in the West Bank, Israel has already decapitated any remaining chances for establishing a viable Palestinian state, especially a territorially contiguous entity with East Jerusalem As its capital.

 The phenomenal Israeli settlement expansion, along with the unrelenting unlimited political and military support Israel is receiving from the U.S., leaves no real chance as to the possibility that Israel might rethink its policies.

 There are two main reasons for this prognosis: First, Israel is too fanatical and stubborn to rethink its settlement policies, as the vast majority of Israelis would reject any notion of giving up the spoils on the 1967 war.

 Second, the U.S. government, including Congress, White House and the media is reeling under effective Jewish-Zionist control that seriously restricts American freedom, ability and independence to pursue an honest policy toward the Palestinians.

 Indeed, for this to happen, the U.S. will have to undergo a real revolution in America's collective thinking, something that is unlikely to happen in the foreseeable future.

 This also means that the ongoing efforts by the American Secretary of State John Kerry to revive the clinically-dead peace process are doomed to failure.

 It is just a pointless repetition or regurgitation of past American and international efforts to resolve the Palestinian question.

 Needless to say, all these efforts, from William Roger (1968) to John Kerry (2013), failed due to purely domestic considerations, namely the rejection by a Jewish controlled Congress of any proposal that would make Israel give up the occupied territories.

 This also means that it is foolhardy to count on the U.S. to convince, let alone force Israel to walk in the path of peace. The U.S. is too weak, even if willing, to do so. Moreover, the classical Jewish mentality is too insolent, too self-absorbed and too uncompromising to allow for a dignified peace in the region.

 Needless to say, the U.S., Israel's guardian-ally and bankroller, has had more than half a century to force or convince Israel to give up the occupied territories, but to no avail. And there is no convincing reason which would make any honest observer believes that the Obama administration will succeed where all other administrations since Lyndon Johnson's failed.

 The more likely goal of the present American administration is to bully or cajole the powerless and gutless PA to cede fundamental Palestinian rights, including the paramount right of return for millions of refugees who were uprooted from their ancestral homeland at the hands of Jewish-Zionist invaders.

 So the American logic goes like this. If the Obama administration is too weak and two cowardly to pressure Israel to give up the occupied territories in implementation of international law, the same administration is at least powerful enough to bully the vulnerable Palestinian leadership, e.g. Mahmoud Abbas, to give up Palestinian rights "for the sake of peace."!!

 But the Obama administration is very likely to be mistaken in thinking that Abbas would be able to sell the highly politicized Palestinian public a deformed deal with Israel that would seriously compromise the right of return as well as other vital issues pertaining to Jerusalem, the Jewish colonies and Palestinian sovereignty.

 The Palestinian people is stronger than its leaders, including Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas may try to play the financial card, given the fact that the financial survival of the PA depends to a large extent on American bribes.

 Congress prohibited the transfer of funds to the PA when the latter sought international recognition at the United Nations a few months ago. Eventually, the funds were released after the Obama administration persuaded Congressional leaders that a financially sunk PA would harm Israeli interests and was likely to benefit Hamas.

 There is little doubt that Congress would resort to the same punitive measures if the PA leadership showed determination to cling to Palestinian national constants by refusing to capitulate to Israeli dictates and conditions.

 In the final analysis, Mahmoud Abbas would have to choose the less of the two evils, either be answerable to his people who reject any deviation from the well-known redlines or commit a political and moral suicide by succumbing to American and Israeli pressure.

 The Palestinian question has been extant since the Balfour Declaration in 1917. It is therefore sad and illogical that some Palestinian leaders are prompted to think that "now it shall be or not at all."

 Towering Palestinian leaders lived and died without compromising our national rights. On this occasion, we mention Izzidin al-Qassam, Hajj Amin Husseini, George Habash, Yasser Arafat, Ahmed Yasin, Abdul Aziz Rantisi and others. Abbas must never be think that the Palestinian cause must be resolved in his lifetime. He should show a real willingness to leave this world, when his time comes, rather than act under pressure.

 After all, time is on our side. True the Israelis are trying to narrow our horizons by building more settlements. But eventually, that which can be built, can be destroyed.

 More to the point, it is now crystal clear that Palestinians already constitute a numerical majority west of the River Jordan. This is a factor of both historical and strategic significance. It shows that Abbas and cohorts should not be chasing after a futile peace deal that would only consolidate and perpetuate the historical injustices meted out to our people.

 With these facts in mind, it is not far fetched to think that at a certain point in the near future, Jewish-Zionist leaders would grovel at Palestinian feet to "beg for peace" as the circle of history would haunt Israel as it did haunt many other oppressive states and empires before.

 So Mr. Abbas, you don't have to worry about the Palestinian cause and people. Israeli inequity shall not prosper. Israel will disappear sooner than many people think.


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