FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The Pledge of Allegiance v. the Constitution

In placing the blame for the current violence squarely on the Palestinians, President Bush has come up lamentably short.

Replace your leadership, Bush tells the Palestinians. Meanwhile, the United States does business with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, whose bloodied past led an Israeli commission of inquiry to charge him with a level of responsibility for a war crime, deeming him unfit to serve as his country’s defense minister. We receive Sharon out of our unshakable commitment to democracy. It suffices that he is Israel’s elected leader. But no such courtesy is extended to the Palestinians. Elected or not, Yasser Arafat and the current leadership must go. Re- electing it is impermissible. Democracy be damned.

Adopt a constitution, President Bush demands of the Palestinians.

Israel has never had a constitution. It has a set of laws, some blatantly racist in their assignment of privilege based on religion, but no constitution. We could offer Israel a copy of the U.S. Constitution, except, of course, it would require the dismantling of Israel’s Zionist infrastructure.

Build a democracy based on tolerance and liberty, the president beseeches the Palestinians.

A democracy based on tolerance is presumably one that, like our great democracy, has at its core the separation of church and state. And a democracy based on liberty? Can we understand that to be one that does not deny liberty to anyone, a concept fundamentally incompatible with the notion of militarily occupying another people’s land?

Neither parameter fits the Israeli model of democracy.

To his credit, Bush has recognized and stated that Israeli settlement activity must stop, and that the Israeli occupation must end. But his position is plagued by the same inconsistencies that have tarnished his attempts at statesmanship in the Middle East in the past. On the one hand, he conditions U.S. support for the creation of a Palestinian state on the Palestinian people having “new security agreements with their neighbors,” meaning their Israeli neighbors. Yet he also states that a “Palestinian state is necessary to achieve the security that Israel longs for.” A Palestinian state is necessary for Israeli security, but support for a Palestinian state will be withheld until Israel is secure.

There is a way out of the stalemate. It is to recognize, and base our policy, on the principle of cause and effect. The Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory preceded — by decades, no less — Palestinian terror attacks against Israel. The occupation and colonization of the West Bank and Gaza are not a response to the terror, but the reason for it.

President Bush must understand this simple truth before he can successfully formulate a process to turn his vision of two independent, viable, secure states into reality. Failing that, Palestinians and Israelis alike will be doomed for the remainder of Bush’s presidency — waiting for salvation which never comes.

Tarif Abboushi is a director of the Houston chapter of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

 

More articles by:

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

Weekend Edition
April 19, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
What Will It Take For Trump to Get His Due?
Roy Eidelson
Is the American Psychological Association Addicted to Militarism and War?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Time is Blind, Man is Stupid
Joshua Frank
Top 20 Mueller Report “Findings”
Rob Urie
Why Russiagate Will Never Go Away
Paul Street
Stephen Moore Gets Something Right: It’s Capitalism vs. Democracy
Russell Mokhiber
Why Boeing and Its Executives Should be Prosecuted for Manslaughter
T.J. Coles
The Battle for Latin America: How the U.S. Helped Destroy the “Pink Tide”
Ron Jacobs
Ho Chi Minh City: Nguyen Thai Binh Street
Dean Baker
Fun Fictions in Economics
David Rosen
Trump’s One-Dimensional Gender Identity
Kenn Orphan
Notre Dame: We Have Always Belonged to Her
Robert Hunziker
The Blue Ocean Event and Collapsing Ecosystems
Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr.
Paddy Wagon
Brett Wilkins
Jimmy Carter: US ‘Most Warlike Nation in History of the World’
John W. Whitehead
From Jesus Christ to Julian Assange: When Dissidents Become Enemies of the State
Nick Pemberton
To Never Forget or Never Remember
Stephen Cooper
My Unforgettable College Stabbings
Louis Proyect
A Leftist Rejoinder to the “Capitalist Miracle”
Louisa Willcox
Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic and the Need for a New Approach to Managing Wildlife
Brian Cloughley
Britain Shakes a Futile Fist and Germany Behaves Sensibly
Jessicah Pierre
A Revolutionary Idea to Close the Racial Wealth Divide
George Burchett
Revolutionary Journalism
Dan Bacher
U.S. Senate Confirms Oil Lobbyist David Bernhardt as Interior Secretary
Nicky Reid
The Strange Success of Russiagate
Chris Gilbert
Defending Venezuela: Two Approaches
Todd Larsen
The Planetary Cost of Amazon’s Convenience
Kelly Martin
How the White House is Spinning Earth Day
Nino Pagliccia
Cuba and Venezuela: Killing Two Birds With a Stone
Matthew Stevenson
Pacific Odyssey: Guadalcanal and Bloody Ridge, Solomon Islands
David Kattenburg
Trudeau’s Long Winter
Gary Olson
A Few Comments on the recent PBS Series: Reconstruction: America After the Civil War
Ellen Lindeen
What Does it Mean to Teach Peace?
Adewale Maye and Eileen Appelbaum
Paid Family and Medical Leave: a Bargain Even Low-Wage Workers Can Afford
Ramzy Baroud
War Versus Peace: Israel Has Decided and So Should We
Ann Garrison
Vets for Peace to Barbara Lee: Support Manning and Assange
Thomas Knapp
The Mueller Report Changed my Mind on Term Limits
Jill Richardson
Why is Going Green So Hard? Because the System Isn’t
Mallika Khanna
The Greenwashing of Earth Day
Arshad Khan
Do the Harmless Pangolins Have to Become Extinct?
Paul Armentano
Pushing Marijuana Legalization Across the Finish Line
B. R. Gowani
Surreal Realities: Pelosi, Maneka Gandhi, Pompeo, Trump
Paul Buhle
Using the Law to Build a Socialist Society
David Yearsley
Call Saul
Elliot Sperber
Ecology Over Economy 
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail