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A new political option for confronting Israel

Hasan Abu Nimah, The Electronic Intifada, 9 April 2010

As more people recognize that the “peace process” has come to an unbridgeable impasse, there is debate. Some, especially those who prospered from the path of failed negotiations, argue that there is no alternative to continuing with the US-brokered “peace process.” Others intimate that a third intifada might be the solution and there have even been warnings of regional war. Others still suggest the Arab states should withdraw their eight-year old Arab Peace Initiative.

Neither war, nor an intifada — in the sense of a violent Palestinian response to Israel’s unrelenting violent aggression — are the only alternatives. Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, recognized by foreign powers as the head of the Palestinian Authority, has constantly expressed strong opposition to any armed resistance against the occupier, and has frequently condemned and ridiculed resistance. And, after ignoring them for years, Abbas and his colleagues have lately started to endorse and even associate themselves with the nonviolent struggle of Palestinians in the West Bank, which are always met with Israeli aggression and brutality.

This however is not the only kind of nonviolence I see as a possible alternative: there is also a political option. It is important to recognize first that all efforts to settle the century-old conflict caused by the Zionist invasion of Palestine have failed because they were unjust, arbitrary, distant from legality, and did nothing to right fundamental wrongs.

A new political strategy would involve recognizing this basic shortcoming and demand a return to legality, in effect a return to the days before the 1991 Madrid Conference which launched the past two decades of futile “negotiations” and accelerated Israeli colonization.

The Arab States, including the Palestinians, could demand full implementation of Security Council Resolution 242 in the same manner as it was implemented on the Egyptian side leading to the total evacuation of all the Egyptian occupied territories including the removal of all illegally-built settlements on Egyptian soil. This significant precedent should apply to Syria’s occupied lands as well.

All the dubious formulas of Oslo, the Quartet, the Roadmap, Annapolis and the many other understandings should be dropped. The two-state solution should be dropped, too. Once the occupation ends and the Palestinians recover their territory they have the right then to establish their state on it independently from any Israeli or other foreign intervention. A Palestinian state on part of their historic homeland is not an Israeli gift. It is a right Palestinians alone can decide to exercise, if they so choose.

The Arab states should insist on a comprehensive deal ending the struggle along such lines in its entirety. What applied to Sinai should exactly apply to the Syrian Golan Heights the West Bank including Jerusalem as the situation exactly was before the Israeli invasion on 5 June 1967. And as all Israeli settlements were removed from Sinai and Gaza they should be removed from the West Bank and the Golan Heights if international law is to be applied.

The Arab States should not withdraw their peace offer. They should only amend it in accordance with the exact requirements of international law. They should not declare war on Israel but they should instead unite in demanding international justice in the United Nations — not the Quartet — in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions. They should not negotiate with Israel except through the United Nations apparatus. They should suspend any dealings with Israel until Israel complies with international legality and until justice is realized.

The same should apply to the issue of Palestinian refugees, whom Israel bars from returning home in defiance of international law, justice and common practice because of its totally illegal and immoral position that they are not Jews. International law does not permit such blatant racist discrimination, and Arabs are within their rights to demand it end in accordance with the law.

Under the prevailing circumstances all this may sound unrealistic. Perhaps so, but it seems that achieving Palestinian rights via the path of endless, unprincipled negotiations, or working with the occupation itself, has proven even more unrealistic and counterproductive. If the total closure of the road towards peace is not going to turn into uncontrollable violence this should be seriously considered.

Continuing to negotiate with no purpose and no hope of progress with an intransigent Israel only leads to the degradation of the Palestinian and consequently Arab standing and dignity. It also provides a convenient cover for continued Israeli colonization and judaization of Palestinian and Arab lands.

It is high time to admit that the peace process is dead; that Israel has so far manipulated it to consolidate the gains of its aggression; that exploiting Palestinian weakness and official Arab incompetence can only deepen the mistrust and the radicalization of Arab masses; and that the continued neutralization of the UN system is a recipe for growing violence and terror worldwide.

Arabs should offer Israel a choice of either becoming part of the region by respecting international law and implementing UN resolutions — which would also guarantee whatever legitimate rights and concerns Israelis have — or continuing in isolation if it chooses rejection, racism and intransigence.

Of course such Arab positions would be labeled as “radical” and “hard line.” The answer to that is simple: it is Israel’s insistence on its racist character and its defiance of the law that is radical, hardline and aggressive. Palestinian and Arab insistence on the implementation of UN resolutions that reflect a world consensus and universal rights could not be more moderate or reasonable.

Hasan Abu Nimah is the former permanent representative of Jordan at the United Nations.

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April 9, 2010 - Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism

2 Comments »

  1. Your optimistic solution requires just too much for the Israelis to digest. They are totally blinkered now that they have the US as their captive and subservient superpower to do their bidding both in the middle east and on the shores of the US. No more can you rely on them for any alternative option that has not been constructed by the Israelis on their behalf.
    There is no such thing as an independent US viewpoint any more.
    Now if you can accept that and by reading the real media on the internet you should be convinced, then you can rethink your options, which seem to be all you have left, as follows…..

    1. Using the UN as a vehicle for a return to honest brokerage in this matter
    This ineffective body has so little credibility due to the ability of the US to veto anything that Israel does not want to see happen. If you count up the Resolutions that have been ignored by Israel over time, most with US vetoes, the UN is unlikely ever to have enough credibility to be effective again in this matter.
    2. Convincing the Arab states that they need to band together as a block for the support of Palestine.
    Against this you have states like Egypt who do not appear to have the slightest interest in the fate of Palestine and have shown this in so many ways. As well, they are very energetic in their compliance to the dictates of the US and that means Israel.
    3. Encouraging the support of Russia whose clearly stated announcements to Israel is that any action against Iran is an action against Russia or words similar.

    To a normal country, normal that is to the sensitivities of others, (Israel does not qualify as normal) Israel should see this as a serious impediment to running riot in this geography. Hence it’s concentration on controlling the US in every way, which it does. But the fact that Russia’s interest in the proceedings it never warrants a word in the Israeli press which can only mean that Israel feels cocky enough with the US doing its bidding.

    The prognosis is not good for any solution with which you would agree. The longer this goes without any resolution the more difficult it will ever be to see a negotiating environment that has any serious intent. This has been in train since the after second world war.

    One final consideration which has not had much of an airing in any press anywhere. The control of US foreign policy so blatantly displayed every day of every week in the US, supported as it always is by Jewish media controllers, could have been engineered along the following lines. We, the US, will accept your humiliating treatment of this US superpower, your insults to the Vice President, your disdain for the President’s viewpoint time and again and we will keep supporting you with aid, weapons and technology and of course our compliance with your wishes at the UN. You can control all our foreign policy, which you do and you can manipulate public opinion through Jewish ownership of the US media to the extent that you wish because the people don’t seem to care.
    In return for all this, you will remain as a bulwark against the expansion of Islam in your region. OK?
    How’s that Netanyahu? But go easy on the insults, brother. We are sick and tired of your arrogance.

    Comment by rexw | April 10, 2010 | Reply

  2. The USA isn’t a superpower. There’s no escaping the consequences of the growing indebtedness that has brought the nation low, whether through default or through weakening the dollar. But Americans don’t yet realize how poor they are. Tea Partiers typify the blindness in that they want to go to war against everybody but Israel. Who’s going to pay for their warmongering? Not the Chinese, whose trade deficit shows that it’s absurd for Washington to badger China about revaluing the yuan. In Israel, immigrants from Russia are gaining ground, which is why Israeli leaders now go to Moscow in order to find out what to do. Then they go to Washington to tell the Americans what to do.

    Americans elect politicians who want a strong defense establishment in order to protect Israel. So-called pacifists in Congress always vote for war if Israel wants war, and Israel’s very being is rooted in war. The defense budget will end up consuming the entire federal budget, leading to a military coup, the sign that the nation has died. Long before that happens, Israel will have abandoned the USA to its fate.

    Palestinians will get nowhere by negotiating under American guidance.

    Comment by horacemanoor | April 10, 2010 | Reply


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