FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Last Moment of Hope

by ILAN PAPPE

This month marks the fifth anniversary of the Palestinian uprising and may well be the last moment for making peace in Israel and Palestine. Peace is not only important for the people who live there. It will pay dividends to the world and especially to the United States.

This is because a prolonged conflict in Palestine will destabilize the Arab world and allow its leaders to continue ignoring urgent issues such as poverty and democracy. The unsolved Palestinian question means that that the age of colonialism is not over and that dealing with poverty or liberty can be described as a luxury. As long as the Palestinian refugees who were expelled by Jewish newcomers in 1948 cannot return home and as long as the military occupation of the territories conquered by Israel in 1967 persists, there will be no lasting solution. No peace proposal to date has offered a fair solution to either the Palestinian refugees or those continuing to live under a brutal military occupation.

This perception of Israel as an aggressive relic of a colonialist past is widespread in the Muslim world. And it has ominous implications for the United States. Israel could not have uprooted close to a million Palestinians in 1948 and occupied another two million for the past 38 years without American support. Indeed, American taxpayers foot the bill for a $3 billion annual grant. This financial backing, combined with unremitting diplomatic support, has enabled Israel to sustain the longest occupation of another people in modern times.

Here are the horrors inflicted on the Palestinians that are witnessed by people across the Arab and Muslim world: widespread home demolitions, the confiscation of private property for the construction of Jewish-only settlements and Jewish-only roads and the expulsion of Palestinian Christian and Muslim people. And their wrath is not always limited to protesting Israel, the occupier and expeller. They sometimes also challenge –with condemnable terror –the United States, whom they see as the superpower behind the oppressor. The US does not need to be embroiled in a tense relationship with a fifth of the world population.

And yet this is a moment of opportunity. It is unrelated to the Gaza pullout, which has turned out to be an internal Israeli ploy to substitute direct occupation with an indirect one. The opportunity is a very American one, reminiscent of the civil rights struggle fought by and behalf of African Americans.

Despite their expulsion and occupation, anyone who has visited Palestine and who has Palestinian friends would tell you that, just like other human beings, Palestinians simply wish to be treated as equals. They yearn for a normal life, next to, and with the Jews in the tiny land of Palestine and Israel. If Christian and Muslim Palestinians were offered the kind of equality with Jews in Israel that all Americans now enjoy, they would accept it with open arms.

No Israeli government in history, backed by the US, has offered equal rights to the Palestinians, either in Israel or in the occupied territories. Israel has always demanded a Jewish majority and exclusivity in the shared land, while allowing, in the latest peace proposal, an impossible Palestinian state over a fragmented 8% of historic Palestine. More generous Israelis offer a few more percent.

Snippets of Palestinian territory, reminiscent of South African Bantustans –as the failed Oslo accords have proven –is a recipe for more bloodshed. It will drag the United States even more deeply into an endless conflict –one which could be solved today by embracing the very values Americans hold dear: equal rights and justice for all.

ILAN PAPPE, a senior lecturer in political science at Haifa University, is a leading Israeli historian and equal rights advocate.

 

 

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
December 09, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Charles R. Larson
Review:  Helon Habila’s The Chibok Girls: the Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria
December 08, 2016
John W. Whitehead
Power to the People: John Lennon’s Legacy Lives On
Mike Whitney
Rolling Back the Empire: Washington’s Proxy-Army Faces Decisive Defeat in Aleppo
Ellen Brown
“We’ll Look at Everything:” More Thoughts on Trump’s $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan
John Stauber
The Rise and Fall of Obamacare: Will the Inside Story Ever be Told?
Ted Rall
Ameri-Splaining
Michael J. Sainato
Mainstream Media Continues Absolving Itself From Clinton, Trump Election Failures
Ralph Nader – Mark Green
Divest or Face Impeachment: an Open Letter to Donald Trump
Gareth Porter
US Airstrikes on Syrian Troops: Report Data Undermine Claim of “Mistake”
Martha Burke
What Trumponomics Means for Women
Ramzy Baroud
Fatah, Hold Your Applause: Palestinian Body Politic Rotten to the Core
Steve Horn
Jeff Sessions, Trump’s Attorney General Pick, Introduced First Bill Exempting Fracking from Drinking Water Rules
Joe Ware
The Big Shift: Why Banks Need to Stop Investing Our Money Into Fossil Fuels
Juliana Barnet
On the Ground at Standing Rock
Franklin Lamb
Aleppo Update: An Inspiring Return to the Bombed Out National Museum
Steve Kelly
Hidden Harmony: on the Perfection of Forests
December 07, 2016
Michael Schwalbe
What We Talk About When We Talk About Class
Karl Grossman
The Next Frontier: Trump and Space Weapons
Kenneth Surin
On Being Caught Speeding in Rural America
Chris Floyd
In Like Flynn: Blowback for Filth-Peddling Fascists
Serge Halimi
Trump, the Know-Nothing Victor
Paul DeRienzo
Flynn Flam: Neocon Ex-General to Be Trump’s National Security Advisor
Binoy Kampmark
Troubled Waters: Trump, Taiwan and Beijing
Tom Clifford
Trump and China: a Note From Beijing
Arnold August
Fidel’s Legacy to the World on Theory and Practice
Dave Lindorff
Is Trump’s Idea To Fix a ‘Rigged System’ by Appointing Crooks Who’ve Played It?
John Kirk
Cuba After Fidel
Jess Guh
Repeal of Affordable Care Act is Politics Playing with the Wellbeing of Americans
Eric Sommer
Team Trump: a Government of Generals and Billionaires
Lawrence Davidson
U.S. Reactions to the Death of Fidel Castro
John Garvey - Noel Ignatiev
Abolitionism: a Study Guide
Clancy Sigal
Caution: Conspiracy Theory Ahead!
December 06, 2016
Anthony DiMaggio
Post-Fact Politics: Reviewing the History of Fake News and Propaganda
Richard Moser
Standing Rock: Challenge to the Establishment, School for the Social Movements
Behrooz Ghamari Tabrizi
Warmongering 99 – Common Sense 0: the Senate’s Unanimous Renewal of Iran Sanctions Act
Norman Solomon
Media Complicity is Key to Blacklisting Websites
Michael J. Sainato
Elizabeth Warren’s Shameful Exploitation of Standing Rock Victory
David Rosen
State Power and Terror: From Wounded Knee to Standing Rock
Kim Ives
Deconstructing Another Right-Wing Victory in Haiti
Nile Bowie
South Korea’s Presidency On A Knife-Edge
Mateo Pimentel
Some Notes and a Song for Standing Rock
CJ Hopkins
Manufacturing Normality
Bill Fletcher Jr – Bob Wing
Fighting Back Against the White Revolt of 2016
Peter Lee
Is America Ready for a War on White Privilege?
Pepe Escobar
The Rules of the (Trump) Game
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail