“The people of Egypt have spoken, their voices have been heard, and Egypt will never be the same.”
–President Barack Obama, 2/11/11
With this statement the President seemed to declare that it is the Egyptian people who have the right to determine what government will serve them, not which government will be imposed upon them. The statement mirrors Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government.” That article is complemented by Article 15: “Everyone has the right to a nationality. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.” Despite these expressed ideals as declared in the Charter of the United Nations, the Obama administration appeared to be sundered in two during the Egyptian protests—the expressed desires of the State Department and those of the Executive branch, specifically the President. While the President has attempted to recognize the rights of the people in their call for a Democratic form of government, the State Department, through Secretary Hillary Clinton and her Assistant, Frank Wisner, appeared to favor the stability provided by the Mubarak dictatorship, at least till September with an orderly transition to Omar Suleiman, the anointed Vice President. The New York Times on Saturday, February 5, stated that “Mr. Obama ‘was furious’ by Clinton’s and Wisner’s statements, as Obama was demanding that change in Egypt begin right away.”
At present, of course, there is little that can be prophesized about Egypt’s future, but it’s interesting, indeed intriguing, to speculate on what this internal administrative conflict portends. A week before Mubarak acquiesced to the people, Wisner had served as an envoy to Mubarak from Obama; on his return he stated “President Mubarak remains utterly critical in the days ahead as we sort out our way toward the future…(Mubarak) must stay in office in order to steer those changes through.” (Politico.com, 2/5/11). By the following week, in revelations made by Juan Cole, Wisner’s soiled connections to Mubarak in his business relationship as arbiter and litigator for the Egyptian government were exposed. (“Egypt: I ask myself why,” 2/6/11).
Add to this scenario the proclaimed damnation of Obama’s currying to the people as expressed by Israeli pundits and a picture emerges of a State Department heavily influenced by supporters of Israeli positions relative to Egypt and the current crisis. What is it that threatens Israel— “a strong democratic government”!(Reuters 2/2/11). Pundits like Aviad Pohoryles in Maariv accused both Obama and Clinton in the early days of the Protest, that they seem willing “to fuel the mob raging in the streets of Egypt.” Ari Shavit declared that Obama had made America’s word worthless having betrayed Mubarak, a trusted friend of America. (Ha’aretz). Curious how the “people” become a “mob,” a dictator a friend, and “democracy” is to be feared despite Israel proclaiming itself the only true democracy in the middle-east.
How strange that our closest ally in the mid-east, Israel, is afraid of the people, the democratic rule by the people and for the people. Why? Could it be that Israel is run by a closed, authoritarian group, an inner circle if you will comparable to that which ran Egypt, holding power by instilling in its people fear of—Muslim extremists, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Iranian nuclear aspirations, Syrian control by Iranian Mullahs, Hezbollah, loss of U.S. support, the sundering of the “peace agreement” between Egypt and Israel should the “Mob” rule, and, among others too numerous to mention, the return of the holocaust. Such resorting to fear as a state of mind ensures reliance by the people on their government for security and stability; hence the total investment in Israel of rule by force through universal military conscription—virtually all citizens are forever part of the security apparatus that guarantees ‘peace.’ Imposition of this psychological power resides in those who control Israel’s government.
As far back as the 1930s and 1940s, Israel has been under the control of the Zionist ideology proffered by predominantly European Jews called Ashkenazi. Ilan Pappe in The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine notes, “The Consultancy (a secret band of Zionists who controlled the terrorist war against the British Mandate government) … was a combination of security figures and specialists on ‘Arab affairs’, a formula that was to serve as the core for most of the bodies entrusted with advising future governments of Israel through out the years on issues of security, strategies, and policy planning towards the Arab world in general and the Palestinians in particular.” (Pappe38). The intent of this Consultancy and of future Israeli governments, right up to the present day, can be understood by a review of the chapters in The Plight of the Palestinians where more than 20 specialists in the Israel/Palestine conflict demonstrate the desire on the part of Zionists to eradicate the Palestinians by ethnic cleansing and genocide.
Ambassador Chas Freeman, in a Letter in the Washington Times, March 11, 2009 on the Israeli Lobby’s and Jewish American attacks on him forcing him to withdraw from his appointment by President Obama to Chair the National Intelligence Council confirms the reality of the totalitarian rule of the Zionists: “Benjamin Freedman, an anti-Zionist Jew, said in 1961: “The Zionists and their co-religionists rule these United States as though they were the absolute monarchs of this country.” He went on to explain that the Eastern European Jews who form 92 percent of the world’s population of so-called Jews were originally Khazars, a Mongoloid race forced out of Asia into Eastern Europe. They were Pagans who converted to the Talmudic faith.”
It would appear that America’s basic principles of peoples’ rights as annunciated by the President must give way to the security of Israel as perceived by the Israeli controlling junta if the State Department and its Neo-con contingent, working hand in glove with our Congress, have their way. What determines Israeli security as it is impacted by the events in Egypt? Douglas Hamilton in an article, “Israel shocked by Obama’s ‘betrayal’ of Mubarak,” notes “To win popular Arab opinion, Obama was risking America’s status as a superpower and reliable ally…Throughout Asia, Africa and South America, leaders are now looking at what is going on between Washington and Cairo. Everyone grasps the message: ‘America’s word is worthless…America has lost it.” And finally, this point closes Hamilton’s critique: “The peace between Israel and Egypt has lasted for more than three decades and our objective is to ensure that these relations will continue to exist,” Netanyahu told his ministers.
Let’s consider the implications of these points: first and foremost, Israel’s relations with Egypt under Mubarak must continue if Israel is to maintain its economic growth and secure lifestyle despite his barbaric policies that crippled his country while he pocketed over 70 billion dollars; secondly, Obama’s betrayal of Mubarak is more shocking than Mubarak’s thievery of America’s tax dollars, his acceptance of torture as accepted practice in a democracy, his ‘emergency’ arrest and imprisonment of his people without due process, and more significant than the President’s stated wish that the Egyptian people assert their rights; and third, America’s word is worthless because it does not adhere to the Israeli line that dictators who are friendly to Israel be supported rather than be put on notice that their illegal actions, subjugation of their people and endangerment of America’s image as a true supporter of democracy be given any consideration whatsoever. Ultimately in the Netanyahu mind America’s status as “a superpower and reliable ally” of dictators overrides its constitutionally based morals and principles of justice and equity for all.
All of which brings us to this final and insurmountable conclusion: either Obama decides to enthrone once again the rights declared under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, built on the platform of our own Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence and Constitution, for Egyptians, Tunisians, Yemenis, Algerians, Bahrainians, Jordanians, and yes, for Iranians and Syrians, and most especially because most forgotten, the Palestinians or he bows before the Israeli controlled forces that care only for their own security leaving in place decades of injustice and inequality. This is not a time to suggest that the Palestinians protest against the PLO or Hamas since, in the real world of occupation they live under, neither group controls their existence. The force that controls the Palestinians is Israel; it is the Dictator of consequence in the land they occupy, the oppressor of a people, the cause of their poverty, their near starvation subsistence and their inhumane humiliation in an existence that offers no hope, only helplessness.
How is it possible for the American Congress or the President to ignore the Palestinian people now? What inhumane indifference would allow this nation to maintain its absolute support for a nation that has massacred, subjugated, imprisoned and humiliated five millions of people for 63 years while it proclaims to the world our undying belief in human rights? What hypocrisy would allow this nation to decry the possibility of Egypt becoming a religiously dominated society when we support a nation based on a democracy of religion, a citizenship determined by birth or conversion? What justification can be made for this nation that not only has stolen the rights of the Palestinians but their land and their heritage? What in our Constitution or Bill of Rights allows us to support a trillion dollars worth of American taxpayer money to construct cement walls and electrified chain link fences around a population ignoring their freedom of movement, their access to their own property, access to schools and mosques, even egress from one portion of their “reservations” to another and still proclaim that we Americans live in accordance with out founding documents?
How can this nation stand before the world communities and say with a straight face, Israeli impunity for its identified crimes against humanity as disclosed and documented in the Goldstone Report, Amnesty International Report on Israeli Crimes, and the Report by the UN designee for Palestine, Dr. Richard Falk, is justified because we veto any critique of Israel and call that justice?
Must we not at some point in time recognize the absolute horror of the condition placed on the Palestinian people by a nation that recognizes no justice but its own, especially now that their friends and neighbors have risen up against their respective oppressors and called upon the world to proclaim their rights? Do we recognize justice or accede to those who recognize only power that denies its reality? Now is the time for Obama to take full control of the America he so eloquently proclaimed as the nation of human rights and justice by bringing the decisions regarding the Palestinians before the United Nations to address in accordance with the desires of the Arab world and the UN in General Assembly that has called for justice in resolutions every year since 1948. That one act will cut the cord that has made the Israeli nation an albatross around America’s throat, a hangman’s noose of Israeli injustice that threatens the very core of America’s belief in “the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of the government and everyone has the right to nationality,” a right denied the Palestinian people for far too long. Now is the time for Palestine.
WILLIAM A. COOK is a Professor of English at the University of La Verne in southern California. His latest book, The Plight of the Palestinians, was published by Macmillan this past August. He can be reached at www.drwilliamacook.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.