Analysis: An ode to the potential Palestinian state

The future of a Palestinian State is now more unclear than ever before, despite moves by the Obama administration to push forward the "peace process.” As such, Israel has stepped up its political and diplomatic overtures, in all directions, in order to create the favorable conditions for its own survival in the unlikely scenario that such a Palestinian state is actually created.
Obama Jews.jpg
Barak Obama, now holding Israel responsible for the failure of the peace process.

BEIRUT, July 21, 2009 (MENASSAT) - When researchers Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer published their monumental document in 2006 entitled “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,” one of the main arguments presented so clearly, perhaps for the first time, was whether American strategic interests and Israeli strategic interests were the same.

At that time the two researchers concluded that similar strategic interests were assumed, and that the U.S. paid a heavy price for this erroneous assumption. Shortly after that, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter came out with his book “Peace not Apartheid,” where he criticized Israel and held the state responsible for stalling the negotiations with the Palestinians.

The book, which started as a research paper, faced some difficulties finding a publisher, before ending up in a London based publishing house.

Today, it is a sitting US president, Barak Obama, who is holding Israel responsible for the failure of the peace process. In his last meeting with the heads of Jewish organizations in the U.S., Obama said that Israel should “take a hard look at itself.”

The U.S. President knows and is convinced that the American strategic interest is different from Israel’s, and he speaks about this conviction loudly. Such a position was unthinkable in the country’s recent history.

As Obama stated, “In my opinion, a Palestinian state is in the security interest of Israel. If necessary, I will honestly say what are, in my opinion, the Israeli interests which might be different from what Israel defines.”

The idea here is simple: if the U.S. is paying for the Israeli military and non-military adventures, then the U.S. has the right to “define the Israeli interests differently than the Israelis themselves.”

The American President is referring to the two-state solution, which the current Israeli administration works against behind the scenes, while in public, takes every measure possible to hollow the future Palestinian state of any practical functionality, all while blaming Palestinians for the negotiations’ failure. And this is exactly where we see Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liebermann working in harmony to accomplish.

But the question remains: how will Israel accept the establishment of a Palestinian state, after spending its short history trying to “cleanse” historic Palestine of the Palestinians - knowing that even land in which Israel was built, is indigenous Palestinian land, no matter how much they deny it?

Obama, it seems, knows the answer, but will the Israelis be convinced? Do they even want to be convinced?

The price of a Palestinian state is at the expense of the Jewish-ness of the Israeli state, with all the racism and discrimination it entails, against Arab-Israelis, which they already suffer from under the current Israeli government. Not too mention that "transfer plans" of Israeli-Arabs out of pre-1948 lands are currently represented in the Israeli government by the hardliner Avigdor Liebermann.

Benjamin Natanyahu was clear a few days ago when he said the key for peace was for the Palestinians to admit the existence of a Jewish Israel, as well as to forget the "definitive waiver of the right to return,” of course.

The price of a Palestinian state is not the right of return, as some might speculate. This right was slaughtered in the Oslo agreement. The Jewish state is what will allow Israel to implement a policy of ethnic cleansing and discrimination with a cover of legitimacy. If the few elderly Palestinians in the exiled Diaspora were allowed to return to their land and homes in Palestine, they would discover Arabic names of their cities, towns, fields, and valleys have all been changed to Hebrew. They would also return to a place where commemorating their most significant historical tragedy, the Nakba, has been banned, or least to say, frowned upon in Israel.  

The demographic threat

“Solving the demographic problems of Israel happens through the two-state solution,” said Obama who suggested this point in his meeting with leaders of the Jewish organizations, and not the two prevailing Palestinian political “factions” – one could only imagine if Obama were to meet with the leaders of Hamas and Fatah.

The naïve Arab boasting about the "demographic bomb" in Israel [with a rapidly growing Arab-Israeli population] is not entirely shallow…sometimes. But Israel works hard, as it usually does, to address the issue, while Arabs languish in the fact itself rather than using it to their advantage.

Israel is attempting to eradicate the Palestinian cause at the expense of local groups and parties. Having divided the Palestinian territories into different sections, or what some call Bantustans, Israel has taken the traditional colonial approach of dealing with the Palestinians as “the natives”, rather than recognizing a people with an actual autonomous state, thus the demographic threat becomes justified. This threat is then manipulated and portrayed as a danger to Israel maintaining its identity as a Jewish state.

Although it is difficult to imagine large scale ethnic cleansing in the 21st century, Israel has been carrying out a systematic cleansing of the Palestinian territories since its conception (Illan Pappe is a brave Israeli voice on this matter), but also, by creating inhumane conditions that eventually force the local population to opt for leaving.

This is happening amid the American "understanding of the demographic threat”, which means, the U.S. or those the Americans delegate this task to, will welcome Palestinian refugees who left their country due to poverty, desperation, lack of hope and the official Arab subversion.

It has become clear that Israel is now playing in overtime in the two-state solution game – extra minutes in an existential match it is trying hard to prolong- before having to give into a Palestinian state, which, granted, will not look much different from the current state the West Bank is in right now, except perhaps with the granting of official statehood status. This alone requires a separate debate.

But if the US administration is determined to reach a final agreement that would lead to the creation of a Palestinian state, some are thinking it does no harm to ensure that the Jewish-ness of the Israeli state is internationally recognized, all the while getting rid of as much as possible of Arabs within Israel’s 1948 borders, and beyond, if possible.

The means of "cleansing" Palestine of Palestinians will vary. From procrastinating with the Americans until impossible living conditions force Arabs to leave, all the way to evicting large numbers of people during military operations, using brute violence.

During the 2006 war on Lebanon, some noticed an "increasing Israeli interest in an empty territory south of the Litani (river)" terrorizing civilians in an attempt to push them to leave their homes and lands. This may have been a drill for what’s to come if they were to expel Palestinians in the north of Israel or the Druze community in northern Israel who have increasingly clashed with the state over municipal expenses or because they refuse to serve in the Israeli army.

Of course, there are always plans that stand half way between fulfilling the dreams of “radicals” and official public policies. Liebermann’s proposal of "transferring" Palestinians in Israel to the West Bank and Gaza has not been accepted in the Knesset, nor has the loyalty law or the banning of the commemoration of the Nakba. Instead watered down versions were passed. Even proposals of "population swap" are not being rejected by the Palestinian Authority, the ruling authority in the West Bank.

Instead, they are coordinating with the Israeli occupation to suppress the resistance. At the same time, de facto Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) proudly announces refusing to meet with Netanyahu in protest to continuous settlement construction, in violation of the deceased "peace road map.” This rhetoric by the PA is meant for local Palestinian consumption.
The settlements in "Judea and Samaria", with their "natural growth", are the other Israeli response to the demographic explosion.

False introductions leading to false conclusions

But Israel has not abandoned the oldest colonial trick in the book– divide and conquer. Israel has been working on dividing the Arab countries since its creation. The rise of the Arab moderate alliance, which has rallied against the Iranian threat, is the perfect not-so-silent ally of Israel, having “common threats” that further the divisions between Sunni and Shia Muslim populations in the Arab world.

Israeli interference in Lebanese affairs and their drive to split the country are old, although a look at Lebanese politics these days suggests that some don’t mind playing the role played by the Lebanese Phalanges back in their days (60's and 70's), allying with Israel allegedly against the Syrians. The alignment of the Arab moderates, preaching the Iranian threat, constitute the best rallying point to attract the Arabs to Israel’s side to face up a “common threat”, under different guises and pretexts, but generally all reflecting the sedition between Sunnis and Shia, including Palestinian militants.
This scenario is definitely being set. The plan picks up speed or slows down to near halt in concordance with Arab regional developments. The attack by Prime Minister Fouad Siniora’s government on Hezbollah in Lebanon came after the failure of the Israeli offensive in July 2006. The attempt to destroy the secure phone lines of the Party of God in early May 2008 resulted in bloody fighting on May 7 - events which led to accusations that outside forces posed a threat in “their attempt to control Lebanon.”

The attempts to divide the lines are also underway on the Arab front. Egypt-Oh great Egypt- declared standing by Israel in the face of the Iranian threat long ago. Keeping Rafah cross-point closed in accordance with the agreements with Israel while the Palestinian people are being slaughtered in the Gaza war in December/January, heralded going beyond the point of no return. It wouldn’t be insane to say that a just solution of the Palestinian crisis goes through ridding of the regime in Egypt, knowing that the Egyptians’ suffering is not quite different of the Gazans’ suffering.

The Egyptian regime finds its significance by carrying out the "dirty work" of the U.S. and Israel. Look at the persecuting of “smugglers” in Rafah on the Egyptian side, and the deceitful stance towards internal Palestinian problems, even the position of the armed resistance as being futile and illegitimate, a position President Hosni Mubarrak tries to impose on all the Arab states as an unquestioned policy.

We can also speak about the case of Sami Shehab who was arrested in Egypt on the accusation of providing logistic support to Hamas and the lawsuits against Hezbollah-owned Al-Manar and l-Alam television channels.

Obama succeeded in attracting Jewish organizations opposing the Israeli policy to push his vision forward. He is able to impose changing the Israeli government if he comes to consider Netanyahu’s government as sabotaging his plans, although he accepted the idea of a Jewish state identity.

Israel is mobilizing Egypt, and other states on different levels, to attack or distract the Arab resistance movements, and is working at the same time on changing facts on the ground before Obama succeeds in imposing any serious settlements, trying to deem such agreements redundant.

Iran is building its nuclear power despite the Security Council's sanctions, and is supporting the resistance movements with weapons and money, and allying to Syria under the nose of the whole world, using a speech no-one dares to use in the face of Israel, through questioning the veracity of the Holocaust and, albeit rhetorically, calling for wiping Israel of the map. Despite all this, the US wants to have a dialogue with the Iranians.

Meanwhile, Mickey Mouse has been spotted prancing all over al-Walid bin Talal's satellite channels, please inform the Arab League and the Mufti of Saudi Arabia to due actions.