Zionism beyond control…
and choices for the Palestinians
By Alan Hart
The conclusion to be drawn from the Obama administration’s predictable and predicted failure to get an Israeli-Palestinian peace process going is that the Zionist (not Jewish) monster state is beyond control. And the question arising is this. What are the real choices for the Palestinians?
In an editorial on 14 April the New York Times (NYT) offered its advice to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. It was that they should make a statement for the record of the principles they believe must underpin a two-state solution “should the Israelis and Palestinians ever decide to make peace”. And then what? They should “move on and devote their attention to other international challenges like Ukraine”. In other words, the NYT’s advice to the Obama administration was: “Wash your hands of the Israel-Palestine conflict and walk away from it.”
“There are no principles in politics”
On the day of that editorial I had a conversation with a Pakistani friend now resident in the UK who had one-on-one conversations with President Parvez Musharaf when he, my friend, was a senior general in Pakistan’s army. According to my friend, Musharaf once said to him: “Should we not make peace with Israel in order to solve some of our problems and forget about these stupid Palestinians?”
My friend replied: “No, Mr President. It’s a matter of principle.”
Musharaf then said, “There are no principles in politics”.
Nobody knows that better than Obama. His explanation for the failure to get a real peace process going was that both Palestinian and Israeli leaders “lack the political will to take the tough decisions”.
That explanation is not only disingenuous (dictionary definition: “not frank or open; merely posing as being frank and open; crafty, devious”). It is historically dishonest.
The truth of history is that the Palestinian leadership demonstrated the political will and took the tough decisions necessary for peace on terms any rational government in Israel would have accepted with relief more than 34 years ago. It happened in 1979 when, by 296 votes in favour and only four against, the pragmatic Yasser Arafat persuaded the Palestine National Council (PMC) – more or less a parliament-in-exile – and then the highest decision-making body on the Palestinian side, to approve his policy of politics and what had been until then unthinkable compromise with Israel.
The true nature of the compromise for which Arafat secured overwhelming PNC support more than 34 years ago can be simply stated. It required the Palestinians to make peace with Israel in exchange for its withdrawal from the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip (land grabbed in a war of Israeli aggression not self-defence) to make the space for a Palestinian mini-state with East Jerusalem its capital and/or the whole of Jerusalem an open, undivided city and the capital of two states. In other words, the Palestinians were ready to make peace with Israel in exchange for the return of only 22 per cent of their land. While not recognizing Israel’s “right to exist”, they were recognizing its actual existence on the other 78 per cent of their land.
Only Arafat (no other Palestinian leader) could have persuaded the PNC to be ready to make peace on that basis. What he needed thereafter was an Israeli partner for peace and there wasn’t one.
There’s a case for saying that Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin might have been the Israeli partner for peace Arafat needed but he was assassinated by a Zionist zealot who knew exactly what he was doing – killing the peace process that had been set in motion by the Rabin-Arafat handshake on the lawn of the Clinton White House.
Obama lacks the political will to confront the Zionist lobby and its traitor agents in Congress. That is what he would have to do in order to use the leverage America has to try to oblige Israel to be serious about peace…
One indication of how troubled Zionism was by Arafat’s success in preparing the ground on his side for peace on the basis of a viable mini-state for the Palestinians was the decision in 1982 by Israeli Defence Minister Ariel Sharon to order an invasion of Lebanon all the way to Beirut for the prime purpose of exterminating the entire Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leadership and destroying the organization’s infrastructure. (The PLO as a “terrorist” organization was something Zionism could live with. The PLO as a partner for peace was not.)
The honest explanation for Kerry’s failure to get a real peace process going can also be simply stated. Obama lacks the political will to confront the Zionist lobby and its traitor agents in Congress. That is what he would have to do in order to use the leverage America has to try to oblige Israel to be serious about peace on terms the Palestinians could accept, and which would be in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions and international law. (I think it is correct to describe the Zionist lobby’s stooges in both houses of Congress as traitor agents for the simple reason that it’s not and never has been in America’s own best interests to support the Zionist state of Israel right or wrong.)
As Obama was preparing to wash his hands of the conflict in and over Palestine that became Israel and walk away from it (not least because funding for the mid-term elections to Congress is underway), Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu came out with a statement that was outrageous even by his own standards of duplicity. The Palestinian leadership, he said, had had a choice to make: ”Peace with Hamas or peace with Israel.” They could not have both, he asserted, and they had made the wrong choice in going for a reconciliation with Hamas.
With the cameras running, Netanyahu told his cabinet that “Hamas denies the holocaust even as it attempts to create an additional holocaust by destroying the state of Israel”. And in an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation” programme he asserted that “Hamas calls for the extermination of Jews worldwide”.
The reality is that Hamas’s top leaders are on the public record with declarations that while not and never recognizing Israel’s right to exist, they are prepared to live at peace with an Israel withdrawn to the 1967 pre-war borders and which respects Palestinian sovereign rights. As Richard Falk commented in a recent article:
The contention that Hamas is pledged to Israel’s destruction is pure hasbara (propaganda bullshit) and a cynical means to manipulate the fear factor in Israeli domestic politics, as well as ensuring the persistence of the conflict. This approach has become Israel’s way of choosing expansion over peace.
The Netanyahu notion that Israel’s leaders are open to peace on terms the Palestinians could accept is also complete, absolute, total propaganda nonsense. Zionism’s demolition of Palestinian homes and theft of Palestinian land and water – ethnic cleansing slowly and by stealth – continues.
Choices for the Palestinians
So, given that Zionism’s monster state is beyond control, what are the real choices for the occupied and oppressed Palestinians?
In my analysis there are three.
One is to abandon their struggle, surrender to Zionism’s will and make peace on its terms. This would give the Palestinians a few isolated bits of West Bank land, Bantustans, which they could call a state if they wished. In this scenario the Palestinians would be doing what they refused to do in 1948 – accepting their lot as the sacrificial lamb on the altar of political expediency.
Another choice is to let events take their course as dictated by Zionism. In this scenario the most likely end game is a final Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine. (In my view, a resort to armed struggle or violent confrontation in any shape or form is not a choice the Palestinians should make because it would play into Zionism’s hands and give Israel’s neo-fascist leaders the pretext they would otherwise have to create themselves to proceed with a final ethnic cleansing.)
The third choice is to change the political dynamics by demanding and obtaining the dissolution of the corrupt and impotent Palestinian Authority (PA) and handing complete and full responsibility for occupation back to Israel. This, as I have indicated in previous articles, would impose significant security and financial burdens on Israel and, more to the point, it would make calling and holding the Zionist state to account for its crimes something less than what it currently is – a mission impossible.
As I have also asserted in previous articles, the momentum generated by changing the political dynamics as indicated above would be greatly assisted by the Palestinian diaspora putting its act together and becoming politically engaged for the purpose of bringing the PNC back to life, re-invigorated by elections to it in every country where Palestinians are living.
This would enable the Palestinians to be seen to be determining policy by truly democratic means and speaking with one credible voice; and that in turn would assist them to deploy the only weapon they have much more effectively than has been the case to date.
What is this weapon?
The justice of their cause.
Justice as a weapon
Because there are no principles in politics, I agree with Susan Abulhawa, the Palestinian author (and also the founder of Playgrounds for Palestine, a non-governmental organization for children). In a recent article she said there is nothing for the Palestinians in negotiations with powerful elites which, I add, either do Zionism’s bidding or are frightened of offending it too much; and that it is time to take the struggle to the “global street”.
What she meant and said in her own eloquent way is that is that Zionism’s oppression of the Palestinians does not appeal to popular notions of morality, and that if enough citizens of conscience everywhere were aware of Zionism’s on-going destruction of an indigenous population, they could be mobilized to demand justice for the Palestinians.
On that basis Susan Abulhawa sees hope for her people.
In principle so do I, but there’s a troubling question that has to be addressed.
What, really, explains why the Zionist state of Israel is not interested in peace on terms the Palestinians could accept?
Over the years I have written and said on public platforms that most Israeli Jews are beyond reason on the matter of justice for the Palestinians. To my way of thinking the best explanation of why this is so was provided by Israeli journalist Merav Michaeli in an article for Haaretz on 30 January 2012 entitled “Israel’s never-ending holocaust”. Here are five paragraphs from what she wrote:
The holocaust is the primary way Israel defines itself. And that definition is narrow and ailing in the extreme, because the holocaust is remembered only in a very specific way, as are its lessons. It has long been used to justify the existence and the necessity of the state, and has been mentioned in the same breath as proof that the state is under a never-ending existential threat.
The holocaust is the sole prism through which our leadership, followed by society at large, examines every situation. This prism distorts reality and leads inexorably to a foregone conclusion… that all our lives are simply one long shoah [experience of persecution and extermination].
The “Hitlers” are always there: just a week ago, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said for the nth time that there is no shortage of those who want to exterminate us completely. In other words, there is no lack of reasons to continue to reinforce the fear of the holocaust which, according to his father, historian Benzion Netanyahu, has never ended.
So it is that we don’t have any rivals, adversaries or even enemies. Only Hitlers. This is how the holocaust is taught in school, this how it is that Israeli students are taken to visit death camps – and how it came to be that… just 2 per cent of Israeli youth feel committed to democratic principles after studying the holocaust… That’s the way it is with traumas. Because of our human limitations, a trauma that is not dealt with makes us constantly see yet another trauma approaching – even when whatever is coming has no connection to the previous trauma and may even be a good thing. Trauma leads to belligerence and a strong tendency to wreak havoc on one’s surroundings, but first and foremost on oneself.
What we consider rational is actually a frightened, defensive, aggressive pattern. Our current leaders have made Israeli Judaism just a post-traumatic syndrome, while they lead us to self-destruction.
There will no doubt be some and perhaps many anti-Zionists who will welcome the prospect of Israel self-destructing. I don’t because of what Golda Meir said to me on camera in the course of an interview I did with her for BBC television’s flagship “Panorama” programme.
At a point I said: “Prime Minister, I want to be sure I understand what you have just said. You do mean that if ever Israel was facing a doomsday situation, it would be prepared to take the region and even the whole world down with it …?”
Without the shortest of pauses for reflection she replied (she almost spat the words at me), “Yes! That’s exactly what I’m saying!”
I believed her then (as did the writer of the lead editorial in The Times which quoted what Golda said to me) and I still do.
Who said the following?
Israel better rid itself of the territories [grabbed in 1967] and their Arab populations as soon as possible. If it does not Israel will became an apartheid state. Demography is a greater danger than not having the territorial depth the right wing is always claiming Israel needs to defend itself.
No, dear readers, it was not US Secretary of State Kerry! According to veteran Israel journalist Hirsh Goodman, it was David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s founding father and first prime minister.
In his 2005 book Let Me Create Paradise, God Said to Himself, Hirsh tells how home on for leave for 36 hours at the end of the Six Days War he turned on his bedroom radio and heard Ben-Gurion speaking those words. Hirsh, who grew up in South Africa, added: “That phrase, ‘Israel will become an apartheid state’ resonated with me. In a flash I understood what he was saying.”
Unlike Kerry, Ben-Gurion did not offer a grovelling apology for using the “A” word.