Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Palestinians: On Their Own for Justice

Palestinians: On Their Own for Justice

by Stephen Lendman

Palestinians are ill-governed, ill-served and ill-treated. Grossly abused by their own government, Israel, America and other Western countries.

Hamas is Palestine's legitimate government. Democratically elected in January 2006. Lawlessly besieged in Gaza. 

Outrageously called a terrorist organization. Despite the European Court of Justice removing it from its terrorist blacklist. Attacked at Israel's discretion.

The Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority operates as Israel's enforcer. Hugely corrupt. Mindless of the rights of its own people.

Doing virtually nothing throughout its post-Oslo existence to help them. Benefitting hugely by serving Israel, America and other Western interests.

Abbas' Security Council statehood resolution was farcical. An embarrassment. Falling way short of legitimacy. 

Excluding fundamental rights Palestinians deserve. Mandated by international law. Ones Palestinians never had. Nor will they under PA leadership.

On the one hand, longstanding UN policy calls for affirming Palestinian rights. Including self-determination on numerous occasions.

On the other, the world body consistently fails to enforce rights its sworn to uphold. It's done nothing to enforce the rule of law. 

Hold Israel accountable for decades of high crimes against humanity. Affirm justice for Palestinians with actions, not rhetoric.

A Palestinian BDS National Committee statement correctly calls Israel "a criminal regime of settler colonialism an apartheid that systematically oppresses and displaces Palestinians with the aim of achieving control of an exclusive 'Jewish territory' in most of the country, including most of the 1967 Occupled Palestinian Territory (OPT)."

Throughout its existence, PA officials did nothing meaningful to contest what demands rejection. Including brutalizing Israeli apartheid.

Worse than South Africa's. Brazenly violating core international humanitarian and human rights laws. Suffocating an entire population. Committing mass murder at its discretion.

The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court calls apartheid inhumane acts "committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime."

Article 1 of the International Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination calls the practice “any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life."

Israel is a rogue terror state. A democracy in name only. A nation affording rights solely to Jews. Treating occupied Palestinian territory as its own.

Stealing its resources. Exploiting its people. Brutalizing them. Controlling all aspects of their lives.

Israel has no constitution. Basic laws substitute. So-called Israeli human rights require conformity with its values as a "Jewish and democratic state." 

Racial discrimination is permitted. In violation of international law. Israeli civil law falls short of recognizing the existence of Palestinian people. Military orders deny them virtually all rights.

Chief Palestinian negotiator/longtime Israeli collaborator Saeb Erekat said a second draft statehood resolution will be submitted to Security Council members.

Arab League officials will decide when. At yearend, Abbas signed the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Asked the ICC to investigate Israeli war crimes. 

Retroactive to mid-June. When Israel stepped up state terror against defenseless Palestinian civilians. 

Followed by its genocidal war on Gaza. Lasting 51 days. Planned months before launching. Unrelated to Hamas rockets. Or other bogus Israeli accusations.

Everything to do with preventing Palestinian statehood. As well as denying Palestinians all rights they deserve.

On January 7, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Palestine will join the ICC on April 1. He'll act as "depository" for ratification documents.

The Court said the PA formally recognized its jurisdiction to investigate Israeli war crimes. What follows remains to be seen.

Hold the cheers. The ICC is a Western tool. Serving its interests. Its January 1 statement said:

"(T)he Registrar of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Herman von Hebel, received a document…by the Palestinian government declaring Palestine's acceptance of the jurisdiction of the ICC since 13 June 2014."

"Acceptance of the ICC's jurisdiction does not automatically trigger an investigation."

The ICC was established to prosecute individuals for genocide and aggression. As well as crimes of war and against humanity.

Controlled by Western interests. Functioning as an imperial tool. Petitioning it at most will embarrass Israel. 

None of its officials will be held accountable. Business as usual won't change. Palestinians remain isolated on their own.

Robert Fisk is right saying wanting international law enforced won't help them. Demanding justice this way never worked. Why expect something different this time?

Palestinians "went to the international court in The Hague to have Israel's apartheid wall dismantled," said Fisk.

"They even won, and Israel didn't give a hoot. Any sane Palestinian, you might think, would long ago have turned his or her back on such peaceful initiatives."

Why waste time on failure? Repeating the same process. Knowing it won't work.

Yet "still…Palestinians persist…Here they go again, dutifully seeking membership of the International Criminal Court. Will (they) never learn?"

Why were dozens of pro-Israeli US Security Council vetoes ignored? Including rejection of Palestinian self-determination for nearly 40 years.

Why act now when not earlier? What about decades of Israeli repression? Multiple daily crimes. Including murder. Land theft. Political imprisonments. Naked aggression.

Fisk quoted Israeli historian Avi Shlaim saying:

"The prospect of a real change in American foreign policy looks slim to non-existent."

"Nor is there at present any evidence to suggest that Israel’s leaders are remotely interested in a genuine two-state solution…"

"They seem oblivious to the damage that the occupation is doing to their society and to the reputation of their country abroad."

Business as usual persists. Hague deliberations won't change things. Regardless of their outcome.

Washington provides one-sided support for Israel. Spurning Palestinian rights entirely. Controlled by powerful Israeli lobby interests.

AIPAC gloated over "administration efforts to prevent adoption of (Palestine's) UN resolution."

Ludicrously claiming adoption "would have represented a severe setback to the prospect of a resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks."

Ignoring the greatest hoax in modern times. Dead on arrival each time begun. Israel categorically rejects peace. 

So does Washington. Violence and instability serve their interests. Palestinians suffer horrendously. So do other imperial victims.

AIPAC lied claiming Palestinians "consistently rebuffed direct negotiations with Israel." 

PA officials never learn. Repeating the charade of so-called talks doomed to fail. Effectively endorsing occupation.

Their Security Council text called for Western peacekeepers in lieu of Israel's military.

One repressive force replacing another. Meaning everything would change but stay the same.

Including expanding Israeli settlements on stolen Palestinian land. Dispossessing its occupants. 

Heading toward formal Israeli annexation of all West Bank land it wishes. Jerusalem in its entirety. As an exclusive Israeli capital.

Pursuing justice through UN resolutions won't work. Nor Hague jurisdiction. Never before. Not now. Not ahead. For sure no time soon.

Resisting tyranny is a universal right. People have power when they use it. Justice won't come any other way. Palestinians are on their to pursue it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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