New U.S. Foreign Policy for Palestine;
By Mike Whitney
-- -- The United States and Israel have finally agreed on a
plan to resolve the decades-long Israel-Palestine conflict.
Israel will continue lobbing missiles into civilian areas of
Gaza and the West Bank while the US cuts off food and other
vital aid to the territories. That way they can maximize the
human suffering while preparing the people for a violent death.
This is not what Palestinians bargained for when they accepted
the western-model of democracy.
The Road Map has become a cul de sac of aggression, subjugation
and outright murder.
I wonder how many Palestinians would have stayed home if they
knew how they’d be treated for voting for the party of their
Presently, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are
experiencing what United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)
John Ging calls, “the countdown to a humanitarian crisis”. In a
wanton act of collective punishment, Palestinians are being
deprived of food, money and access to the outside world. As
Jimmy Carter says in his article, “Punishing the Innocent is a
Crime” “Overwhelmingly (the victims) are school teachers,
nurses, social workers, police officers, farm families, who are
just hoping for a better life”.
They voted for the wrong party; the party that will not fulfill
its primary obligation to act as Israel’s security apparatus in
Americans won’t believe this, but the vote for Hamas was
actually a vote for peace. Palestinians were sick of the
ineffectiveness and corruption of the PA and wanted a change.
That certainly doesn’t imply they were offering their support
for terrorism; quite the contrary. As Carter notes, “Public
opinion polls conducted after the January parliamentary election
shows that 80% of Palestinians still want a peace agreement with
Israel based on the international road map premises.”
This is statistical evidence that the vast majority of
Palestinians voted for the party that they believed would
produce a negotiated settlement with Israel and resolve the
conflict according to international agreements and UN
Simply put, they want peace.
Never the less, Israel is doing everything in its power to
destroy the newly-elected government and plunge the territories
into chaos. In the last few weeks, there have been nearly daily
attacks on Gaza including a bombing raid on a soccer field
which, according to the AP, “killed 5 Palestinians, including 4
in the same family”. The failed assassination attempt left body
parts and pools of blood scattered across the playfield.
This steady up-tick in the violence suggests a coherent strategy
to increase the provocations until Hamas breaks its year and a
half-long truce and retaliates. Then Israel will be able to
crush the leadership in one fell swoop.
Hamas is being vilified for not “renouncing terrorism” and for
“failing to recognize Israel”. Both charges are intentionally
misleading and show how the language of the conflict has been
fashioned to serve Israeli policy objectives. In fact, Hamas
goals are no different than those of the international community
and articulated in countless UN resolutions.
Just recently, Hamas prime minister designate Ismail Haniyeh
reaffirmed his commitment to recognize Israel if Israel
conformed to resolution 242 which establishes the 1967 borders
as the legitimate boundaries of the Israeli state. Israel, of
course, rejects these boundaries as inconsistent with its plans
for an expanded Israel on Palestinian land. Regardless, Hamas
refusal to recognize Israel is nothing more than a demand that
Israel accept international law.
The “renounce terrorism” charge is equally disingenuous. Hamas
has maintained its “hudna” or cease-fire for the last 18 months
even though Israel never suspended operations in the West Bank
or Gaza. Hamas was not involved in the recent Tel Aviv
suicide-attack and may abandon violence altogether to pursue a
political track. All the same, Hamas should not give up its
rights to resist occupation just to appease Israel. “Armed
struggle” is enshrined in international law as a legitimate way
to shake off military occupation. Haniyeh has neither the right
nor the power to repeal that law.
Hamas is expected to accept the precedent that was set during
Oslo when Arafat was forced in 1988 to “renounce all forms of
terrorism." The American media has been abuzz with accusations
that Hamas is refusing to respect the “restraints and decisions
taken by previously elected parliaments” (Tom Friedman)
But what’s the fuss al about? It was Ariel Sharon who announced
the end of Oslo and then quickly consigned the Road Map to
“formaldehyde”. Hamas rejection of these prior decisions is
nothing more than tacit support for Sharon’s pronouncements.
Even Tom Friedman can’t be too upset about that.
The real problem with Hamas is not terrorism, which only
strengthens Israel’s presence in the territories, but that it
will never be a trusted ally in subjugating its own people on
Israel’s behalf. That is its unpardonable crime.
Israel has a reliable friend in Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas,
the Palestinian Karzai, who makes no demands on Israel and has
done everything he can to obstruct the new government. If Abbas
spent even half the time he devotes to scolding Hamas on
pressuring Israel for a settlement, his party might still be in
power. Instead, he has turned into a comical Israeli-stooge with
more support in the Knesset than among his own countryman.
Israel may be able to pull off its latest coup and topple the
Hamas government. Currently, 165,000 PA employees have not
received their salaries for weeks and Israel is withholding $300
million in revenue collected from Palestinian taxes. Food and
supplies have been cut off as well as $200 million in charitable
donations from Saudi Arabia and Iran. The US and Israel are now
using a slow-rolling famine to punish the Palestinian people and
affect regime change in Ramallah.
PA finance minister Omar Abul Razeg said, “There won’t just be a
financial collapse. There will be chaos and violence all over
the area. In short, not only Hamas will suffer, but everyone
else as well…..Muslims around the world now view the United
States as an evil power hell bent on tormenting Muslims”.