FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Israel’s Record is "Not Reassuring"

by RAMZY BAROUD

The main fallacy of the so-called Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in the last 12 years has been the complete omission or the indefinite postponement of fundamental Palestinian demands ” demands sustained and cemented by international law and most recently by the July 2004 ruling of the International Court of Justice.

The problem lies in the Israeli occupation of Arab lands, Palestinian and others. It has invited a legacy of violence and counter violence that has claimed the lives of thousands of Palestinians and Israelis. It has systematically and intentionally destroyed any chance for peace. It insisted to punish the victim for the sins of aggressor.

Palestinians are victims, and their rights, security and welfare should be the priority of the international community. Israel has no right to demand security from its victims; it lost that right the moment it breached international law when its tanks rolled onto Palestinian land.

Unfortunately, however, it is as if the opposite were true. This dreadful habit of blaming the victim has also defined US foreign policy and media discourse for years: Only if Palestinians would unify their security forces, clamp down on terrorism, reform their political institutions, cease incitement and put down their weapons and become more democratic. Only then could they become worthy peace partners. But even then, Israel is under no obligation to do much, since democratic or otherwise, the mere existence of Palestinians is problematic.

This is not an exaggeration. The fact that the birth rate among Palestinians is higher than that of Israelis is termed a “demographic bomb”, a problem in the eye of Israel that must be countered by any means necessary, including the fencing off and the caging of Palestinian towns and villages to keep the unwanted multitudes of people out of Israel’s domain, while keeping Palestinian land.

The occupied territories make up 22 percent of the size of historic Palestine. But much of the little remaining has been stolen throughout the years, ethnically cleansed of its Palestinian inhabitants to make room for Israeli settlements, all illegal under international law.

Arafat’s death on Nov. 11, 2004 has indeed “revived hope.” But by hope Israel and its friends mean the hope of returning to the Oslo which has yielded nothing but a few symbolic gestures to the Palestinians.

Israel’s real motives behind the impetus in the peace process are anything but a secret, and thus must not be seen as a Palestinian construct. While Israel is congratulated for its courage and “painful compromises” in deciding to “disengage” from Gaza, Israeli officials spoke openly of Israel’s dishonest objectives of wanting to partially withdraw from Gaza to simply strengthen its grip on the West Bank.

Strangely enough, it was this repugnant Israeli ruse that was translated (thanks to Israel’s friends in the media and in the US administration) into an Israeli gesture of good will. As revolting as the Israeli government’s intentions are, they supposedly placed the ball in the Palestinian court. Palestinians are now expected to reciprocate for an illusion deprived of any substance or value.

A just peace is indeed possible, but not according to the current standards, which the Palestinian Authority has sadly accepted. If the two-state solution is to work, Israel must dismantle all of its settlements from East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza and withdraw to the June 1967 borders in accordance with UN resolutions 242 and 338. Palestinian refugees must be given the choice to return to their land in accordance with UN Resolution 194. The Israeli wall must come down in accordance with the ruling of the International Court of Justice of July 2004.

Israel must also accept its responsibility for Palestinian dispossession and suffering for the last five decades.

The international community must do all it can to ensure the implementation of the law it helped draft.

Palestinians on the other hand, must continue to create alliances among peace forces around the world, including Israel itself, and under no circumstance should they forfeit their right to defend themselves.

Shortly before his untimely death, Palestinian-American Professor Edward Said wrote in Al-Ahram Weekly: “So far all we hear is that Palestinians must give up violence and condemn terror. Is nothing substantive ever demanded of Israel? Can it go on doing what it has without a thought for the consequences? That is the real question of its existence: Whether it can exist as a state like all others, or must always be above the constraints and duties of all other states in the world today. The record is not reassuring.”

RAMZY BAROUD is a veteran Arab-American journalist and editor in chief of PalestineChronicle.com. He can be contacted at editor@palestinechronicle.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Ramzy Baroud has been writing about the Middle East for over 20 years. He is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author of several books and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story (Pluto Press, London). His website is: ramzybaroud.net

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
July 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Obama Said Hillary will Continue His Legacy and Indeed She Will!
Jeffrey St. Clair
She Stoops to Conquer: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Rob Urie
Long Live the Queen of Chaos
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Evolution of Capitalism, Escalation of Imperialism
Margot Kidder
My Fellow Americans: We Are Fools
Ralph Nader
Hillary’s Convention Con
Lewis Evans
Executing Children Won’t Save the Tiger or the Rhino
Vijay Prashad
The Iraq War: a Story of Deceit
Chris Odinet
It Wasn’t Just the Baton Rouge Police Who Killed Alton Sterling
Brian Cloughley
Could Trump be Good for Peace?
Patrick Timmons
Racism, Freedom of Expression and the Prohibition of Guns at Universities in Texas
Gary Leupp
The Coming Crisis in U.S.-Turkey Relations
Pepe Escobar
Is War Inevitable in the South China Sea?
Norman Pollack
Clinton Incorruptible: An Ideological Contrivance
Robert Fantina
The Time for Third Parties is Now!
Andre Vltchek
Like Trump, Hitler Also Liked His “Small People”
Serge Halimi
Provoking Russia
David Rovics
The Republicans and Democrats Have Now Switched Places
Andrew Stewart
Countering The Nader Baiter Mythology
Rev. William Alberts
“Law and Order:” Code words for White Lives Matter Most
Ron Jacobs
Something Besides Politics for Summer’s End
David Swanson
It’s Not the Economy, Stupid
Erwan Castel
A Faith that Lifts Barricades: The Ukraine Government Bows and the Ultra-Nationalists are Furious
Steve Horn
Did Industry Ties Lead Democratic Party Platform Committee to Nix Fracking Ban?
Robert Fisk
How to Understand the Beheading of a French Priest
Colin Todhunter
Sugar-Coated Lies: How The Food Lobby Destroys Health In The EU
Franklin Lamb
“Don’t Cry For Us Syria … The Truth is We Shall Never Leave You!”
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
The Artistic Representation of War and Peace, Politics and the Global Crisis
Frederick B. Hudson
Well Fed, Bill?
Harvey Wasserman
NY Times Pushes Nukes While Claiming Renewables Fail to Fight Climate Change
Elliot Sperber
Pseudo-Democracy, Reparations, and Actual Democracy
Uri Avnery
The Orange Man: Trump and the Middle East
Marjorie Cohn
The Content of Trump’s Character
Missy Comley Beattie
Pick Your Poison
Kathleen Wallace
Feel the About Turn
Joseph Grosso
Serving The Grid: Urban Planning in New York
John Repp
Real Cooperation with Nations Is the Best Survival Tactic
Binoy Kampmark
The Scourge of Youth Detention: The Northern Territory, Torture, and Australia’s Detention Disease
Kim Nicolini
Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red In It
Phillip Kim et al.
Open Letter to Bernie Sanders from Former Campaign Staffers
Cesar Chelala
Gang Violence Rages Across Central America
Tom H. Hastings
Africa/America
Robert Koehler
Slavery, War and Presidential Politics
Charles R. Larson
Review: B. George’s “The Death of Rex Ndongo”
July 28, 2016
Paul Street
Politician Speak at the DNC
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail