FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Buyer Beware

 

Recent news items concerning the possibility of outside intervention in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be considered very warily. Most importantly, any plan that would send US troops to the region should be opposed. There is only one fundamental reason for the US to do such a thing-so it can have even tighter control in the region. There is no indication from Colin Powell, the White House or the Pentagon that Mr. Powell’s upcoming mission will be to insure that Israel ends its occupation of the territories it has illegally occupied since the 1967 war. Nor is there any indication that IDF soldiers and commanders responsible for war crimes in the current invasion will be brought to justice a la the various members of the Serbian forces accused of similar crimes in the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. Indeed, according to the right-wing sounding board The Washington Times, the first actions of any US “peacekeeping” troops that are sent to the region would be to neutralize leadership of Palestine dissenting factions [and] prevent inter-Palestinian violence.” (4/5/02) What this means in plain English is that the US troops would either take over Israel’s current operation to “uproot terror” or, at the least, assist the Israeli army in the operations continuation.

The scenario that seems to be envisioned by the strategists in Washington is similar to that used by any imperial military-when the natives get restless the empire sends in its troops to calm the troubles. Britain did this in India and Africa, the United States did this in its own west when it was chasing indigenous peoples off their lands and killing those who refused to leave and the United States continues to do this in countries to its south. The motivation for these actions has very little to do with goodwill and very much to do with maintaining access and control over resources and territories considered important to the empire’s functioning.

If US troops were to end up in between Israel and the Occupied Territories under the auspices of an Israeli-approved peacekeeping agreement(and that’s the only way the US would send troops), the likelihood of a truly independent Palestinian state would be even further away than it is now. Instead, the Palestinians would end up with the worst aspects of the agreements framed in Oslo. In other words, they would be forced to live in Israeli-controlled regions administered by a combination of Palestinian bureaucrats and Israeli edicts. Their freedom of movement would be subject to the whims of the Israeli authorities and the power of the elected Palestinian officials would be limited to everyday matters. If one wants a scenario to compare such a setup to, s/he can take a look at how South Africa administered its bantustans under apartheid or, even closer to home, one can study the governance structure of most of the Indian reservations in the United States. In short, this option offers an illusion of freedom, not an independent nation. Of course, even this limited independence might be preferable to the blatant occupation and accompanying repression that currently exists in the Occupied Territories.

Another aspect to consider is this. If US troops are put in place in Israel and/or the Territories, the possibility of another staging area for any attack on Iraq would exist. This also means that the possibility of Iraqi attacks on Israel would increase should the US go ahead with its desire to kill Saddam and replace his regime with one more amenable to US designs.

In short, there can be few positive benefits for most Palestinians should the US send troops to patrol the borders the Territories share with Israel. One certainly understands the symbolic hope that Mr. Powell’s trip means to a people who currently have very little hope at all. Without anything substantive, sometimes hope is all that keeps one going. Mr. Powell’s trip is just such an event, despite the fact that he has no plans to meet with the elected president of the Palestinian people, Mr. Arafat, choosing instead to meet with what the US is terming “alternative Palestinian leadership.”

Furthermore, if the intention of the US is to send troops, there is little likelihood that those troops will either bring or maintain peace, nor is there much hope that their mission would include any serious attempt to restrain the Israeli army should the Israeli government decide to re-occupy any regions it might withdraw from. If the United States truly wanted to restrain Israel and create a semblance of hope for a just peace in the region, it would suspend all the aid it currently provides to Israel until that country ended its occupation of the Territories, closed down the settlements, and began serious negotiations with a coalition of Palestinian forces that would lead to an independent sovereign state of Palestine. Of course, this is not the intention of Israel or the United States. Such a peace will only come when enough of the world’s people demand it.

Ron Jacobs can be reached at: rjacobs@zoo.uvm.edu

 

More articles by:

Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. His latest offering is a pamphlet titled Capitalism: Is the Problem.  He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com.

April 19, 2018
Ramzy Baroud
Media Cover-up: Shielding Israel is a Matter of Policy
Vijay Prashad
Undermining Brazilian Democracy: the Curious Saga of Lula
Steve Fraser
Class Dismissed: Class Conflict in Red State America
John W. Whitehead
Crimes of a Monster: Your Tax Dollars at Work
Kenn Orphan
Whistling Past the Graveyard
Karl Grossman - TJ Coles
Opening Pandora’s Box: Karl Grossman on Trump and the Weaponization of Space
Colin Todhunter
Behind Theresa May’s ‘Humanitarian Hysterics’: The Ideology of Empire and Conquest
Jesse Jackson
Syrian Strikes is One More step Toward a Lawless Presidency
Michael Welton
Confronting Militarism is Early Twentieth Century Canada: the Woman’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Alycee Lane
On David S. Buckel and Setting Ourselves on Fire
Jennifer Matsui
Our Overlords Reveal Their Top ‘To Do’s: Are YOU Next On Their Kill List?
George Ochenski
Jive Talkin’: On the Campaign Trail With Montana Republicans
Kary Love
Is It Time for A Nice, “Little” Nuclear War?
April 18, 2018
Alan Nasser
Could Student Loans Lead to Debt Prison? The Handwriting on the Wall
Susan Roberts
Uses for the Poor
Alvaro Huerta
I Am Not Your “Wetback”
Jonah Raskin
Napa County, California: the Clash of Oligarchy & Democracy
Robert Hunziker
America’s Dystopian Future
Geoffrey McDonald
“America First!” as Economic War
Jonathan Cook
Robert Fisk’s Douma Report Rips Away Excuses for Air Strike on Syria
Jeff Berg
WW III This Ain’t
Binoy Kampmark
Macron’s Syria Game
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia’s Top Cop Defends Indefensible Prejudice in Starbucks Arrest Incident
Katie Fite
Chaos in Urban Canyons – Air Force Efforts to Carve a Civilian Population War Game Range across Southern Idaho
Robby Sherwin
Facebook: This Is Where I Leave You
April 17, 2018
Paul Street
Eight Takeaways on Boss Tweet’s Latest Syrian Missile Spasm
Robert Fisk
The Search for the Truth in Douma
Eric Mann
The Historic 1968 Struggle Against Columbia University
Roy Eidelson
The 1%’s Mind Games: Psychology Gone Bad
John Steppling
The Sleep of Civilization
Patrick Cockburn
Syria Bombing Reveals Weakness of Theresa May
Dave Lindorff
No Indication in the US That the Country is at War Again
W. T. Whitney
Colombia and Cuba:  a Tale of Two Countries
Dean Baker
Why Isn’t the Median Wage for Black Workers Rising?
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia’s Top Cop Defends Indefensible Prejudice in Starbucks Arrest Incident
C. L. Cook
Man in the Glass
Kary Love
“The Mob Boss Orders a Hit and a Pardon”
Lawrence Wittner
Which Nations Are the Happiest―and Why
Dr. Hakim
Where on Earth is the Just Economy that Works for All, Including Afghan Children?
April 16, 2018
Dave Lindorff
President Trump’s War Crime is Worse than the One He Accuses Assad of
Ron Jacobs
War is Just F**kin’ Wrong
John Laforge
Nuclear Keeps on Polluting, Long After Shutdown
Norman Solomon
Missile Attack on Syria Is a Salute to “Russiagate” Enthusiasts, Whether They Like It or Not
Uri Avnery
Eyeless in Gaza   
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Iraq Then, Syria Now
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail