FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Palestine and the World Community: What’s Next?

Photo by Jordi Bernabeu Farrús | CC BY 2.0

It is just two weeks since U.S. President Donald Trump defied nearly the entire international community, and his own military advisors, and moved the U.S. embassy in Apartheid Israel to Jerusalem. Israel celebrated this event by killing 60 unarmed, peaceful Palestinians who were participating in a demonstration to demand their internationally-guaranteed right of return. These protesters were not on Israeli land; they were on Palestinian land, but this did not prevent Israeli snipers from shooting thousands of them.

Following this unspeakable mass murder, Israel was condemned around the world by nearly every nation, with the exception of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. The U.S. even praised Israeli ‘restraint’: in the Orwellian world of Donald Trump, this is ‘newspeak’ at its best.

The United Nations voted to investigate possible Israeli war crimes, with Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the U.N.’s top human-rights official, calling Israeli actions “wholly disproportionate”. However, in the past, Israel has refused to allow U.N. officials to enter Gaza or the West Bank, saying that it –Israel –would conduct its own investigation. Regarding those ‘investigations’, Ryvka Barnard of England’s War on Want said this: “Trusting that Israel can fairly and neutrally investigate its own war crimes is an insult to any common sense definition of justice, and makes a mockery of the UK’s stated commitment to international law, human rights, and accountability.” As one might expect, those ‘investigations’ have always exonerated Israel. And there is no reason to think that Israel will allow U.N. investigators into Gaza this time around.

The U.N. Security Council voted on a resolution to condemn Israeli actions, with the U.S., again as one might expect, vetoing it.

With all this international condemnation of Israel; with worldwide outrage at such blatant and shocking criminal activity; with social networks awash with horrifying photos of medics being prevented from treating injured Palestinians by heavily-armed Israeli soldiers, will circumstances for the suffering Palestinians finally change? Will the brutal, criminal, punishing blockade of the Gaza Strip end? Will the international community force Israel to retreat to the internationally-recognized, pre-1967 borders? Will Palestinians finally be able to import and export goods, farm their own land, travel without endless checkpoints, and take their rightful place on the world stage?

Probably not. The mighty U.S. still calls the shots, and in the eyes of the current U.S. government, Israel can do no wrong. International law? Israel is exempt. Human rights? Not for Muslims, or any Christians (about 50,000) who happen to live in Palestine. Common human decency? Bah! Who needs it?

Of course, the U.S. is forever looking for any reason whatsoever to condemn Iran; it faults Syria for any perceived human-rights violations. But for Israel, all that is overlooked.

But change seems to be happening, although it isn’t obvious to Palestinians. This writer is in contact with several people in Palestine, and their suffering continues unabated. Their own, traitorous, so-called ‘leader’, Mahmoud Abbas is, of course, a significant part of the problem, but one should not blame the puppet, but rather, the puppet-master, and Abbas’ strings are pulled by Israel and the U.S.

But there are some encouraging signs: when Trump paraded his corrupt and incompetent son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to speak at the embassy opening, along with the ‘first daughter’, the greedy and grasping Ivanka, there was nary a Democratic Congress member present.

Prior to that farce, as Israeli soldiers have been slaughtering Palestinians protesting on the border since March, The Electronic Intifada reported that “not one Democrat in the House or Senate has spoken up – at least on Twitter – to defend Israel’s actions. This may reflect a recognition among Democratic leaders of how toxic Israel is becoming to a large segment of the party’s base.”

The Times of Israel reported the following on May 16: “Across the Atlantic, several hours after the ribbon-cutting ceremony in Jerusalem, the Israeli embassy in Washington hosted its annual event marking the anniversary of the nation’s founding. It’s usually a festive occasion featuring lawmakers from both sides of the aisle who go to see the ambassador and be seen. But this year, not a single currently serving Democrat was spotted in attendance.”

My, my! Has some backbone somehow entered the Democratic Party? Have Democratic Party officials suddenly recognized that, yes, international law and human rights are important? Will they, in fact, do something to help Palestinians achieve them?

Again, the answer is ‘probably not’, at least not any time soon. As mentioned above, Democratic Party members may, indeed, be starting to recognize that the party’s base abhors Israeli crimes, and no longer supports that apartheid regime. But one must wonder how long it will take for that recognition to morph into action. There are few places on the planet where progress moves more slowly than in U.S. governance. Democrats and Republicans are exactly the same where that is concerned.

This leaves Democrats with a serious dilemma. Do they respond to the demands of their base, and thus jeopardize campaign donations from pro-Israeli lobbies, the American-Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC) chief among that disreputable group? Or do the let the bloody campaign dollars roll in, and their base be damned? The Party ignored its base in 2016 and cooked the books so Hillary Clinton would be the nominee instead of Bernie Sanders, and we all know how well that turned out. Can one hope that the Democrats have learned their lesson, and will respond to the wishes of those who generally vote Democratic?

When pigs fly. This writer has commented previously that the concepts of statesmanship, integrity and justice are mere words, without any substance when it comes to either of the two major parties, and the Democrats are more hypocritical about them than are the Republicans. Elected officials from each party pontificate ad nauseam about any subject that the feel will raise no controversy: such topics as ‘national security’, being ‘tough on terrorism’ and the ‘greatness’ of the U.S. can be relied upon to garner support. Any comments about institutional racism, sensible gun laws or Palestinian rights require not only a bit more thought than empty slogans, but also real work to affect change. Congress members who aren’t required to work any particular number of days a year (unlike most of the rest of us), and who would prefer to get their fifteen minutes of fame on the evening news than do any actual good, aren’t likely to make those efforts.

In a democracy, one could simply nominate better candidates, and vote out the do-nothing duds. But we are talking about the U.S. here, an oligarchy where money speaks loud and clear, and easily drowns out the voice of the people. Unless and until some semblance of democracy can be introduced into the U.S., the 1% will continue to run the show, the wishes of the 99% be damned.

More articles by:

Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).

Weekend Edition
January 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Star Wars Revisited: One More Nightmare From Trump
John Davis
“Weather Terrorism:” a National Emergency
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Sometimes an Establishment Hack is Just What You Need
Joshua Frank
Montana Public Schools Block Pro-LGBTQ Websites
Louisa Willcox
Sky Bears, Earth Bears: Finding and Losing True North
Robert Fisk
Bernie Sanders, Israel and the Middle East
Robert Fantina
Pompeo, the U.S. and Iran
David Rosen
The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?
Nick Pemberton
Human Trafficking Should Be Illegal
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
Did Donald Get The Memo? Trump’s VA Secretary Denounces ‘Veteran as Victim’ Stereotyping
Andrew Levine
The Tulsi Gabbard Factor
John W. Whitehead
The Danger Within: Border Patrol is Turning America into a Constitution-Free Zone
Dana E. Abizaid
Kafka’s Grave: a Pilgrimage in Prague
Rebecca Lee
Punishment Through Humiliation: Justice For Sexual Assault Survivors
Dahr Jamail
A Planet in Crisis: The Heat’s On Us
John Feffer
Trump Punts on Syria: The Forever War is Far From Over
Dave Lindorff
Shut Down the War Machine!
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: Student Voices of the Los Angeles Education Revolt  
Mark Ashwill
The Metamorphosis of International Students Into Honorary US Nationalists: a View from Viet Nam
Ramzy Baroud
The Moral Travesty of Israel Seeking Arab, Iranian Money for its Alleged Nakba
Ron Jacobs
Allen Ginsberg Takes a Trip
Jake Johnston
Haiti by the Numbers
Binoy Kampmark
No-Confidence Survivor: Theresa May and Brexit
Victor Grossman
Red Flowers for Rosa and Karl
Cesar Chelala
President Donald Trump’s “Magical Realism”
Christopher Brauchli
An Education in Fraud
Paul Bentley
The Death Penalty for Canada’s Foreign Policy?
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Not to Love NATO
Louis Proyect
Breaking the Left’s Gay Taboo
Kani Xulam
A Saudi Teen and Freedom’s Shining Moment
Ralph Nader
Bar Barr or Regret this Dictatorial Attorney General
Jessicah Pierre
A Dream Deferred: MLK’s Dream of Economic Justice is Far From Reality
Edward J. Martin
Glossip v. Gross, the Eighth Amendment and the Torture Court of the United States
Chuck Collins
Shutdown Expands the Ranks of the “Underwater Nation”
Paul Edwards
War Whores
Peter Crowley
Outsourcing Still Affects Us: This and AI Worker Displacement Need Not be Inevitable
Alycee Lane
Trump’s Federal Government Shutdown and Unpaid Dishwashers
Martha Rosenberg
New Questions About Ritual Slaughter as Belgium Bans the Practice
Wim Laven
The Annual Whitewashing of Martin Luther King Jr.
Nicky Reid
Panarchy as Full Spectrum Intersectionality
Jill Richardson
Hollywood’s Fat Shaming is Getting Old
Nyla Ali Khan
A Woman’s Wide Sphere of Influence Within Folklore and Social Practices
Richard Klin
Dial Israel: Amos Oz, 1939-2018
David Rovics
Of Triggers and Bullets
David Yearsley
Bass on Top: the Genius of Paul Chambers
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail