Sunday, December 28, 2014

America's War on Palestine

America's War on Palestine

by Stephen Lendman

America one-sidedly supports Israel. Both countries partner in each other's crimes. United against Palestinian statehood.

Determined to keep 4.5 million Palestinians subjugated. Hostages on their own land in their own country. 

Under militarized occupation rule. Afforded no rights whatever. Congressional members demand Obama veto Palestine's Security Council statehood resolution.

On December 18, Senators Lindsey Graham (R. SC) and Chuck Schumer (D. NY) addressed John Kerry by letter.

Urging him to veto Palestine's statehood bid. Saying:

"We write to express concern about ongoing efforts to impose the terms of a peace agreement on our friend and ally Israel outside of direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians." 

"We urge you to make clear that the United States will veto any United Nations resolution and would oppose any efforts to bypass direct negotiations and impose peace terms on Israel through the United Nations Security Council and other international bodies."

"For decades, the United States has consistently opposed efforts to bypass direct negotiations and impose terms on Israel through the United Nations Security Council."

"As President Obama said to the United Nations General Assembly in 2011, "I am convinced that there is no short cut to the end of a conflict that has endured for decades…"

"Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations...Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians, not us, who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them; on borders and on security, on refugees and Jerusalem."

"We strongly agree with this sentiment. Yet there are multiple efforts in the United Nations Security Council to set parameters for final status negotiations, effectively imposing terms on our ally Israel in matters that are vital to its security and national interests." 

"We strongly urge you to make clear to all parties that the United States strongly opposes, and if need be will veto, any effort to bypass direct negotiations and impose peace terms on Israel through the United Nations." 

"A failure to decisively announce that we will veto any resolution from the United Nations that dictates the peace process runs counter to decades of American foreign policy and only gives momentum to these counterproductive proposals."

"We thank you for your continued dedication to this issue and we look forward to supporting our government's efforts to bring both parties back to the negotiating table without preconditions."

On December 18, Senator Kelly Ayotte (R. NH) addressed Obama by letter, saying:

"You have frequently indicated that the only path to peace remains direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, and that the UN Security Council is not the appropriate venue for determining the outcome or setting the parameters for negotiations." 

"The United States must continue to oppose efforts to impose or internationalize a solution, which would undermine the prospects for pace and make it more difficult for the parties to return to direct talks."

On December 19, Representatives Steve Israel (D. NY) and Pete Roskam (R. RI) issued a statement saying:

"This harmful resolution completely undermines hope for serious peace negotiations in the future by asserting deadlines and contours for an agreement in contravention of this critical, foundation principle…"

"This UNSC resolution will move Israelis and Palestinians further away from peace and security for both sides - a disastrous outcome that would only further destabilize the Middle East and threaten US national security and regional interests."

Congress near unanimously supports Israel. Including its worst crimes. Permanent militarized occupation harshness. 

Denying Palestinians all rights. Treating them like subjugated people. Suffocating them out of existence. Brutalizing them.

Supporting Israel's killing machine. Terrorizing Palestinians for not being Jews. Forced to endure virtually every imaginable indignity, degradation and crime against humanity.

In violation of fundamental international humanitarian and human rights laws. Requiring occupying powers to protect the rights of people they control.

Israel controls virtually all aspects of Palestinians' lives. Denying them fundamental rights. Ongoing for decades. 

Going all-out against Palestinian self-determination. Will full US support an encouragement.

On Saturday, Senator Graham met with Netanyahu in Jerusalem. Expressed full US support. Bashed Iran irresponsibly. 

Said no P5+1 deal, if consummated, will be accepted without congressional approval. Effectively saying Iran has no right to legitimate peaceful nuclear power. Sanctions won't be lifted.

Graham denounced Palestine's self-determination quest. Saying:

"Any effort by the French, the Jordanians or anyone to avoid direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians over the peace process, anyone who tries to take this to the UN Security Council, there will be a violent backlash by the Congress that could include suspending funding to the United Nations."

"(Y)ou can count on the United States Congress, Republican and Democrat, to be there for you when you need us most."

Reports indicate Palestine will press for a Security Council vote early this week. Revisions were made in an earlier draft text released. So far not made public.

What's known is tepid at best. Not what Palestinians deserve. A previous article said PLO/Jordanian text language falls way short and then some. 

Loopholes give Israel enough wiggle room to drive tanks through guns blazing. Accepting statehood in rump form is too inconsequential to matter.

Two states once were possible. No longer. Establishing one on worthless scrubland is statehood in name only.

Palestinians remain at square one. Represented by longstanding PA Israeli collaborators. Against the interests of their own people. For special benefits they derive.

On Saturday, senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Sahar called draft statehood resolution text language "disastrous."

Hamas categorically rejects it. Days earlier, its spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said "(t)his resolution does not have any national cover."

He urged it be withdrawn. So do other Palestinian parties. Wanting it done "immediately."

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine accused PA leadership of supporting much less than Palestinians deserve. A group statement saying:

"They have been presenting it before the political bazaar at international level for bids. Then they claim they are making amendments as if it has been submitted by others."

Imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti expressed concerns. Accusing PA officials of making damaging concessions. Stopping short of "a commitment to the people's inalienable national rights."

Ignoring thousands of illegally held political prisoners. Besieged Gazans. Other vital issues left unaddressed. Saying:

"We must stop negotiating with ourselves without any results. The Palestinian leadership should not allow any attempt to harm these terms of reference, which ensure the rights of our people to freedom, independence and the right of return for refugees."

Ramallah-based political analyst Hani al-Masri said draft resolution text language "does not meet the minimum afforded to Palestinians under international law."

"It excludes using the Palestinians trump cards. Namely, going to the ICC and turning to resistance and boycott." 

"All it does is put all the Palestinians' eggs in the basket of negotiations." A worthless exercise.

Palestinian political activist/human rights champion Mustafa Barghouti said Israel's main goal is denying Palestinian statehood altoghter.

Their own country. A normal economy. Rights everyone deserves. Including free movement.

Abbas gained nothing from talks with Netanyahu, he said. "Oslo is dead," he added.

Calling it "the most genius idea the Israelis had to get rid of the impression that the world had during the first Intifada, that Israel is an occupying force oppressing occupied people."

Negotiating with Israel is futile, he maintains. A waste of time. Achieving nothing. Nor will it "as long as the balance of power is not changed."

"I think that hoping that the United States will put pressure on Israel is a false hope," Barthouti said.

"The only way to change the situation in my opinion is through changing the balance of power through popular, non-violent resistance first, through BDS second, through Palestinian unity and also through helping the steadfastness of people on the ground." 

Ordinary Palestinians "are not going to give up." Israeli officials should be held accountable, Barghouti stresses. In the International Criminal Court.

Treated more severely than apartheid South Africa. Calling Operation Protective Edge a "turning point."

"Israel has to understand that there is a price to pay for what it is doing. Unless the occupation, apartheid and oppression become costly, nothing will change."

Israel invested plenty in maintaining status quo conditions. "You're talking about a huge military-industrial complex which is using Gaza and Palestinians as a testing ground for warfare." 

"If you saw the kind of weapons they used you would be so surprised. There is a huge military industry." 

"Israel is now the third largest military exporter in the world and they make money. So there is a huge personal interest."

Israel is a colonial power. An imperial one. Ruthless and then some. With a huge military/industrial complex. According to Barghouti:

"The army itself is nothing but part of that complex because all these generals eventually become heads of companies that sell weapons and security apparatus."

Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Lieberman, likeminded extremists, and others preceding them made Israel a racist Arab-hating state.

It's not in the interest of anyone in power to change things, Barghouti asserts. Palestinians remain isolated on their own. 
Nothing in prospect suggests otherwise.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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