FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Last Moment of Hope

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:
April 24, 2018
Carl Boggs
Russia and the War Party
William A. Cohn
Carnage Unleashed: the Pentagon and the AUMF
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
The Racist Culture of Canadian Hockey
María Julia Bertomeu
On Angers, Disgusts and Nauseas
Nick Pemberton
How To Buy A Seat In Congress 101
Ron Jacobs
Resisting the Military-Now More Than Ever
Paul Bentley
A Velvet Revolution Turns Bloody? Ten Dead in Toronto
Sonali Kolhatkar
The Left, Syria and Fake News
Manuel E. Yepe
The Confirmation of Democracy in Cuba
Peter Montgomery
Christian Nationalism: Good for Politicians, Bad for America and the World
Ted Rall
Bad Drones
Jill Richardson
The Latest Attack on Food Stamps
Andrew Stewart
What Kind of Unionism is This?
Ellen Brown
Fox in the Hen House: Why Interest Rates Are Rising
April 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
In Middle East Wars It Pays to be Skeptical
Thomas Knapp
Just When You Thought “Russiagate” Couldn’t Get Any Sillier …
Gregory Barrett
The Moral Mask
Robert Hunziker
Chemical Madness!
David Swanson
Senator Tim Kaine’s Brief Run-In With the Law
Dave Lindorff
Starbucks Has a Racism Problem
Uri Avnery
The Great Day
Nyla Ali Khan
Girls Reduced to Being Repositories of Communal and Religious Identities in Kashmir
Ted Rall
Stop Letting Trump Distract You From Your Wants and Needs
Steve Klinger
The Cautionary Tale of Donald J. Trump
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Conflict Over the Future of the Planet
Cesar Chelala
Gideon Levy: A Voice of Sanity from Israel
Weekend Edition
April 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things: On Devils Known and Not
Conn Hallinan
The Great Game Comes to Syria
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mother of War
Andrew Levine
“How Come?” Questions
Doug Noble
A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza
Kenneth Surin
The Blight of Ukania
Howard Lisnoff
How James Comey Became the Strange New Hero of the Liberals
William Blum
Anti-Empire Report: Unseen Persons
Lawrence Davidson
Missiles Over Damascus
Patrick Cockburn
The Plight of the Yazidi of Afrin
Pete Dolack
Fooled Again? Trump Trade Policy Elevates Corporate Power
Stan Cox
For Climate Mobilization, Look to 1960s Vietnam Before Turning to 1940s America
William Hawes
Global Weirding
Dan Glazebrook
World War is Still in the Cards
Nick Pemberton
In Defense of Cardi B: Beyond Bourgeois PC Culture
Ishmael Reed
Hollywood’s Last Days?
Peter Certo
There Was Nothing Humanitarian About Our Strikes on Syria
Dean Baker
China’s “Currency Devaluation Game”
Ann Garrison
Why Don’t We All Vote to Commit International Crimes?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail