Palestinian Torment 62

Peculiarly enough, if I thought that the Palestinian attempt to gain recognition at the UN would succeed, I would probably oppose it. I don’t think the “two state solution”, where the Palestinians are overcrowded, walled in, divided up and deprived of economic viability and of water, is any solution at all. I remain firmly in favour of a single secular non-racist state in which all the current inhabitants of Israel/Palestine, including recent settlers, are welcome as citizens.

But as a tactic to isolate diplomatically the US and Israel, to show Obama for the lying Zionist puppet he is, and to reveal starkly the bullying and mendacity of US foreign policy, I think the statehood bid had been brilliant. With the US denying the most basic rights to the Palestinians, while supporting dreadful and cruel regimes in Yemen and Bahrain, any credibility which their Middle Eastern policy may have had is now completely buried, in the most public way. It is going to be even harder for wealthy and corrupt Arab elites to follow the US line, and will risk still greater reaction from their own people if they do.

This is a good and healthy day for the international community, where a harsh light is thrown on crawling things – including Obama.

62 thoughts on “Palestinian Torment

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  • Duncan McFarlane

    p.s The PLO under Arafat actually had a secular one state policy of equal citizenship for Jews and non-Jews for many years – got them no-where (at least at the time). That doesn’t prove it’ll never happen, but it’s unlikely to happen any time soon and i’d think a two state solution is more likely at least in the forseeable future (though as the Arab Spring shows, not everything’s forseeable)

  • wendy

    “But as a tactic to isolate diplomatically the US and Israel, to show Obama for the lying Zionist puppet he is, and to reveal starkly the bullying and mendacity of US foreign policy, I think the statehood bid had been brilliant. ”
    all true and fisk points this out in his piece today.
    i suspect the US may avoid the veto by forcing those colonies it controls at the UNSC to deny the palestinians a majority vote.
    shameful. but he was never the man, and who can see another black man ever becoming president of the US in any one our life times.

  • Chris

    Brilliant article!
    I gave up on Obama’s foreign policy when he appointed Clinton as America’s top diplomat. In the dark halls of political horse-trading, Obama gave up on the pursuit of a just and peaceful world for political expediency.
    Even George Bush had the guts to say “no” to Israel on a few occasions. What a shame…for a promising leader!

  • Quelcrime

    OT Libya
    Another little bit of truth leaking out through the cracks in an NYT article. Libyans picking on the blacks like Albanians picking on the Gypsies and Jews in Kosovo; people whose towns supported their government (tut tut) being subjected to reprisals:

    I thought the whole point of NATO’s aggression was to avert reprisals. Even against patriots. After all, as the man says in the article, “Even if we did [support the government as it attempted to put down rebellion], what’s the problem? We’re free”.

  • mary

    John K and Axman – Bliar is an Israeli stooge. He has been occupying a suite in the luxury Colony hotel in Jerusalem for years paid for out of the UN Development Fund, whilst the Palestinians in Gaza live in squalor, some even in tents.
    This is the view from Gaza. Abbas has acted unilaterally. He has no mandate and his ‘presidency’ expired in January 2009.

    IPS September 23, 2011
    Hamas Turning Away From UN Towards Arabs

    Erica Silverman interviews Hamas Deputy Foreign Minister GHAZI HAMAD

  • mary

    One State, Two States, No State

    The Futile Undertaking of Palestinian Statehood


    Today, September 23, Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas submits, to the UN the application for Palestinian statehood for the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967.
    What are the implications of this effort? Does it serve the Palestinian cause? And why do Israel and the U.S. oppose this action? What’s the alternative?
    Paradoxically, this month marks the eighteenth anniversary of when Abbas stood alongside Bill Clinton, Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin on the White House lawn in a ceremony celebrating the signing of the Oslo Accords.
    As one of its architects, Abbas sold the Oslo agreement to the Palestinian people as the vehicle towards the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and the restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people.
    But throughout the past two decades lofty promises were offered to the Palestinians, while endless negotiations across continents took place between Israel and the PA, which Abbas has headed since the death of Arafat in 2004: Madrid (1991), Oslo (1993), Wye River (1997), Camp David (2000), Taba (2001), Quartet’s road map (2002), Annapolis (2007), bilateral negotiations (2008), Obama’s promises for settlements freeze in Cairo (2009) and declaration of statehood within one year at the UN (2010).

  • mary

    In early August, the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, quietly passed the first reading of a bill that would turn the country’s “state of emergency” regulations — which have been in use since the state was created in 1948 — into permanent legislation.
    The move would cement the use of draconian measures, such as administrative detention orders and politically-motivated deportations, in an Israeli effort to combat an extremely broadly and vaguely defined “terrorist threat.”
    According to a statement released by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) following the bill’s first reading, “the Counterterrorism Bill contains sweeping provisions, which broaden the scope of criminality and threaten to turn law-abiding citizens and organizations (with no connection whatsoever to violent acts) into ‘terrorists’” (“The counter-terrorism bill 2011, Position Paper – Executive Summary,” August 2011 [PDF]).
    Under the proposed law, individuals who “express solidarity or identification with a terrorist group” either by publicly waving its flag, playing its anthem, or publishing praise or sympathy towards the group, can face up to three years in prison.

  • Dick Reilly

    Actually.the acid test for the credibility of the Palestinian Authority will come when the US exercises a veto in the Security Council. Predictably, the PLO will pursue alternative strategy aimed at the the General Assembly. However the tide of rising expectations inside the occupied West Bank may well ignite widescale and massive popular resistance – particuarly if the US veto is accompanied by a punitive response by the Obama Administration, including cutting off current US financial aid. Will the PA US trained security services continue to collaborate with IDF and the Shabak in suppressing cofrontational protest against the Israeli occupation?

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @Dick Reilly,

    Colonialist occupation that cannot succeed.
    The Palestinians are between a rock and a hard place:-
    1. 1948 NABKA.
    2. 1967 – international law recognition of the land occupied ( i.e. the whole of Palestine – with the Palestinians being painted out of the pre-1967 legitimate question: “Where did all my land go?”).
    3. Post 1967 on-going land grab and settlements and a cold-blooded undying support by the US for this illegality. But when the Israeli tail wags the US dog – what hope in hell is there for any sane, fair, rational, lawful, equitable resolution?
    4. 22% of the original land now placing itself for statehood, with 3 implications:-

    i) Ignore the 1948 issue and any question of any compensations/reparations related thereto.
    ii) Take the dog’s ass – 22%.
    iii) Even when left with terra firm marginal shit ( what is 22% given the historical conquest and practicalities of functioning within that tiny space?)
    But, even with this shitty proposition placed on the floor of the UN – the US is being wagged by
    The Israeli tail – and no such “solution” will be permitted to pass the Security Council – so, let
    justice and any hope be buried by the use and force of fascist power. Come on – what else can I
    call it – given the true history?:-

    – Land grab in 1948.
    – Negotiations from 1948 to present day.
    – 1967 war – and a line drawn for partition.
    – Frustration of the Norwegians in the Oslo negotiations – because Israel is engaged in a land grab extension.
    – Land grab continues with settlements built well beyond the 1967 boundary and an Apartheid wall to facilitate Bantustans being calculatedly effected and the US sits hand folded while Israel sets out to cast itself as poor victim.
    5. The Palestinians within Palestine are maybe what – 20% of population of Israel? Treated like dogs on a daily and their land stolen and what was not stolen is occupied. If they had democratic rights and a voice as 1/5th of the population they would be able incrementally to impact the political process in Israel over time. But, they must be ostracized if the so-called “Jewish state” is to maintain its identity. In-built into Israel is a functional highly discriminatory process to keep Israel “ ethnically clean”. Racism?
    6. Isn’t but one state the only answer?


  • BGD

    WTF, surely they wouldn’t (couldn’t)? Incredible.. How might this be legitimized so that electoral change didn’t immediately reverse it, Hamas would not likely be too keen, nor many others. (yes, it is a Fox report)

    “Senior Palestinian officials tell Fox News they are considering turning control of security in the Palestinian territories to Israel if there is no movement on the ground toward a Palestinian state.”

  • OldMark

    ‘Many Israelis will accept the two state solution. There’s no chance in the forseeable future of them accepting a one state solution because they don’t trust a government including Palestinians not to allow them to be killed,’.

    Duncan MacFarlane is spot on it discerning here that Craig’s preferred solution is a non- starter.Also, the move at the UN by Abbas will not (at least initially) achieve anything concrete; however, it has to be supported as (in the words of the FT’s David Gardner) it strips away ‘layer after layer of the cant and duplicity that has enveloped the so-called peace process.’ In quite the best article I’ve seen on Abbas’s move, Gardner goes on to write-

    ‘Going all the way back to Oslo, the peace process has served as an international smoke and mirrors screen for the inexorable expansion of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. It cannot be stated often enough that the biggest single enlargement of the settlements took place in 1992-96, at the high-water mark of the peace process under Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, when the number of settlers grew by 50 per cent, or four times the rate of population growth inside Israel.’


    ‘What is unilateral is Israel’s relentless land grab. What is destructive is US acquiescence in it. Last year President Obama first demanded a settlements freeze, then a short pause in settlement-building. Snubbed by Mr Netanyahu, he simply capitulated.’

    Of course, the Hasbara crowd have long since marked Gardner’s card,for his impertinence in speaking the truth so clearly & authoritatively, as this link to one of their US organs shows-

  • Duncan McFarlane

    BGD – the “three state” solution sounds just like the “Jordan is Palestine” and “there is no such thing as a Palestinians, all Arabs are the same” line that many Israeli politicians have been pushing for a long time.

    On the PA threatening to hand over security to the Israelis i suspect what they mean is they’re threatening to stop being enforcers on behalf of Israel any more (which is what the Israeli government sees as their only legitimate role) and leave it to the Israelis to try to fight off the terrorism that results from denying Palestinians a state, Israeli forces regularly killing civilians and forcing them out of their houses and off their farmland to make way for settlers.

  • ingo

    Duncan, your analysis is well written and spot on. It was the right move for Abbas to undertake and Israel will now be faced with a much bigger security problem, hence its large scale arming of settlers.

    Now we can see what the fortress designs of their hill top bastions were really meant for, defending the indefensible.
    The Apartheid wall must and will fall, whatever state solution is adopted.

    I for one believe that a two state solution is a receipe for continuous strife, that these warring factions, who, due to their living together for nearly two millenia, most likely share many of their genes, should be asked to live together, be subjected to a mandatory peace and reconcilliation process from outside, a re education programm a’la post Hitler Germany that wipes away the fascist symbols and thoughts of a rightwing nationalism and that equally tackles religous influences from outside parties, favoured by Hamas and Fatah.

    The problems of the occupied territories is now on the UN’s agenda as much as Syria’s Arab spring and the ferocious Assad nationalism, almost a cult in that country. The long occupied Golan heights and Sheeba farms issue will also become more accute.

    Thanks for all the brilliant links,

    I challenged Cloe Smith position on the Pink Un’s non football related discussion pages by using your words, Mary.

    This is what came back as to why conservative high flyer Cloe Smith has had her record in a muddle. It is, as usual for that forum, peppered with personal bile.

    “They will probably say that your hatred of the Jewish is only surpassed by your stupidity. MS Awareness week ran from the 21st to 27th May, Chloe Smith was in Parliament for the launch, she went to Israel on the 29th of May….”

  • mary

    Two revolting war criminals in the photo. Three were at the party. Cameron and Fox were obviously not bothered about the massacre that is taking place in Sirte.
    Baroness Margaret Thatcher attends Liam Fox’s party
    [Baroness Thatcher was prime minister from 1979 to 1990
    Continue reading the main story
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    Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has made a rare public appearance, attending a party to mark Defence Secretary Liam Fox’s 50th birthday.

    Baroness Thatcher – premier from 1979 to 1990 – joined guests including David Cameron at Mr Fox’s London apartment.

    The defence secretary said: “It was a pleasure to have two prime ministers at my 50th birthday party this evening.”

    Poor health had prevented Lady Thatcher from attending a party at No 10 to mark her 85th birthday last year.

    The former Conservative prime minister had been one of the first guests to visit Downing Street after Mr Cameron took over the premiership from Labour’s Gordon Brown in May 2010.

    Mr Brown also hosted her in Downing Street after taking office in 2007.

    In 2005, doctors advised Lady Thatcher that she should not make public speeches in the wake of some minor strokes.

    But she still attends some public functions, including an address by the Pope during his state visit to the UK a year ago.

  • ingo

    And not just the arming of settlers Duncan, Israel is inviting all comers to Israel and defend its occupied hill top bastions.

    Here is the first french contingent sunning their pale bodies whilst sporting the latests gun’s.

    Those who argue that they should have been stopped at french airports, just as the protesters who wanted to fly to Israel and demonstrate against Gaza’s blockade, have not realised this two faced French administration for what it is, offering one rosy cheeked face to the Libyans whilst slapping that of the Palestininas.

  • Ken

    Yeah, a secular, democratic single state is about as likely as rocking horse shit, but that does not mean that the left should not advocate it, just as we advocated similar deals in French Algeria and British Rhodesia. I opposed the Lancaster House agreement because I wanted to see the middle class Rhodesian crap chopped up and stuck in cooking pots – and I have a similar view towards Israelis.

  • Abe Rene

    Given that it is unlikely that Israel will agree to make itself into a non-Jewish state, I doubt whether anything better than a two-state solution is feasible. But the Palestinian state needs to be viable and with a good water supply. For the Americans to restore their local goodwill, it might be a good idea for them to build a large desalination plant in Gaza and a large pipeline to supply water to such a state.

    As for calling Obama a “lying Zionist puppet” and “crawling thing”, I take it that you don’t plan to visit the United States in the near future.

  • Ken

    That’s up to the Palestinians, Abe, if they want to give up 80% of their country. I do not recall anyone planning to allow the Rhodesians to have a chunk of Zimbabwe and when the South Africans tried that with the Bantustans it all went pear-shaped, but maybe this bunch of westerners will have more luck.

  • alexno

    “I remain firmly in favour of a single secular non-racist state in which all the current inhabitants of Israel/Palestine, including recent settlers, are welcome as citizens.”

    As Abe Rene and others say above, it is difficult to see how Israel in its present configuration could accept a single secular state. It would imply a major change in their mentality. For example, now there is no secular marriage in Israel. They would have to stop the pensions to the ultra-orthodox. Difficult to imagine.

    On the Palestinian side, would they give full citizenship to Palestinians? After what Israel has done in the past, for example with East Jerusalemites, it is not obvious. The most likely product of ais that Palestinians would be exposed to the full force of the Israeli state, without protection

  • alexno

    To continue:
    The most likely product of a single state is that Palestinians would be exposed to the full force of the Israeli state, without protection. They would be moved into ‘reservations’, and deprived of any come-back, because they are subjects of the state, and outsiders would have no right of intervention.

    Regrettably, I believe that the one-state solution is worse than the two-state.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    There is no chance of a One State Solution in the short term (years or a decade) unless the Israeli economy starts to need a more efficient economy allowing workers to travel more easily – as happened with South Africa; or unless the majority of Israeli Jews and non-Arabs start backing one.

    Since Israel is allowing anyone who is Jewish, had one Jewish grandparent or who is married to such a person to have citizenship in order to provide cheap labour and win the demographic war with Palestinian Arabs this is unlikely to happen any time soon – though it may still happen in the long run, if the balance of economic and military power between Israel and the Arab states starts to change.

    A two state solution is more achievable in the forseeable future, though the chances of the Israeli government allowing it to have contiguous territory, control of it’s borders or airspace and any real legal sovereignty even within it’s own territory is negligible.

  • alexno

    Of course Duncan McFarlane is right, that a two-state solution, though more possible in the short term, is not likely to be satisfactory, under the present conditions offered by Israel.

    The point of Mahmud Abbas’ application to the UN is symbolic. To change the terms of discussion. In that it seems to me to have been successful. The US has been isolated along with Israel. They can bully members of the Security Council to vote as the US pays. But that’s not going to last for ever.

    I don’t know why Israel has exchanged long-term security for short-term military success, but it is the case.

  • ingo

    Alexno, a single state would preclude a reorganisation of the judiciary and Israels policies of Apartheid, a whole tranch of laws designed to frustrate and harrass would have to be replaced with a unitarian system that establishes a fair quota amongst judges and the cases they decide upon.
    Otherwise, as you said, a single state would be used for more repression.
    We can not expect that the current set of judges and their trainers in various law faculties would change their attitudes overnight, some might try their best to be fair, it will take a generation or two to establish a new fair set of judicial policies and practitioners.

    There is nothing to stop such policies being developed now, discussed in open fora by both Palestinians and Jews, changed and selected to be put into the ‘goodie drawer’ ready for when when the day comes.
    A single state is required, imho, because the excesses of zionismn have already gone too far, the mentality that sets oneself above all others, the rejection of the UN and ignorance shown to its judgements, the breaking of international laws, all these reasons make a single state more appealing, because in a single state both factions will have to get on with each other.
    Equally on the Palestinian side, I expect lawyers and barristers to ready themselves and develop a set of policies that would normalise life in a single state, just as they are working out policies for a two state solution.

    two states would always have split loyalties, one to the laws that govern the state and one to their established age old deeds and customs, their ownership of the land of their forefathers.

  • mary

    Britain declines Palestine statehood bid September 28, 2011
    The British government has voiced opposition to the Palestinians’ statehood bid at the UN Security Council when it convenes a meeting Wednesday to discuss the request.
    “While we support the principle of Palestinian statehood, we know that only a negotiated settlement can create a viable Palestinian state,” Foreign Secretary William Hague was quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph.
    “No resolution at the UN can substitute for the political will necessary if both sides are to come to the negotiating table”, added the Foreign Secretary.
    The Security Council will meet Wednesday to start the process of formally considering the Palestinian request for membership in the world body, the council’s president has said.

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