Saturday, April 18

The Right Wing Coalition

The people of Israel have very little to be proud in the cobbling together of this right wing coalition with the Labor Party under Ehud Barak as playing a pivotal role. Labor has sold out to the right and destroyed the last vestiges of left wing Zionism to Netanyahu's occupation prolongation policies.

Ehud Barak, who was viewed as leader of the left wing block, cannot be seen as such any longer. He has chosen to bring his party into Netanyahu's right wing coalition without any thought for the few who supported Labor with him as leader. Barak is concerned with his own political ambitions even if it means compromising on the two-state solution. He has betrayed his supporters. He now serves as Defense Minister in this government.

Netanyahu has made it clear to all that he is opposed to the two-state solution. His coalition partner, the anti-Arab racist, Avigdor Lieberman, the new Foreign Minister, will be very negative for Israel. Obama supports a two-state solution and the Annapolis agreement of his predecessor. Lieberman's appointment as Foreign Minister is further proof that Israel's intentions of reaching an agreement with the Palestinians and the Arab World are not sincere. He antagonized the US and even Egypt.

The ramifications of this are more serious than what one would like to believe. The European nations as well as the rest of the world support a two-state solution to the conflict. Anything less than that would mean a continuation of the occupation and further expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank (known as Judea and Samaria by right wing, religious Zionists).

The right wing coalition under Netanyahu will lead to retrogression and it will turn Israel into a colonizing power in charge of the old South African-style "apartheid Bantustan" Palestinian reserve headed by a Palestinian puppet leadership propped up by Israel.

There are Zionist organizations that cry out to the world that Israel wants peace, has sacrificed its sons in war to achieve this. Military cemeteries are filled with thousands of loved ones whose lives were cut short by wars and terrorism. The importance of striving for peace has been Israel's hot pursuit for more than 60 years.

This is true but the Israeli occupation of territory since June 1967 has eroded this goal. The encouragement of settlement in the occupied territories has turned the goal of peace into a farce. Israel under its various leaders has often stated that it does not intend to rule over another people.

In practice, the opposite is true. Surely, if Israel encourages the establishment of settlements in occupied territories inhabited by Palestinians, then its desire to rule over the Palestinians is its aim. Occupation is subjugation of another people despite Israel’s claim to the contrary. Establishment of settlements is not made in order to uproot them. They are made permanently!

Netanyanu will ensure that no settlements are uprooted. His policies are towards peace with occupation. He desires a “pseudo-vassal" Palestinian entity including Jewish settlements of mainly right wing religious Zionist zealots. He has promised to improve these "Palestinianstans" economically. This somehow does resemble apartheid South Africa's Bantustan policy of 1950's 60's, 70's and 80’s. He will give them autonomy but no real power. Improvement of Palestinian conditions under occupation will not happen. The white apartheid government also promised improvements to the Blacks in their own areas but their situation got progressively worse until apartheid ended.

If the Netanyahu Government rejects the two-state solution or the Saudi initiative of 2002, which has many positive elements and is worth considering or another chance for peace will once again be scuttled. Surely full recognition of Israel as envisaged in the Saudi Plan is desirable and positive. This would mean Israel's withdrawal from territories occupied in 1967 war, establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as capital and a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem. This is supported by most moderate Arab States in the region including Jordan's King Abdullah, and possibly the US.

The rejectionist attitudes of the Netanyahu-Lieberman-Barak Government will move the conflict towards a bi-national state solution. This means that Israel will continue to remain an occupying power as the bi-national state solution will not be in the direction of democracy but in the domination of Palestinians by Israelis.

The Durban 2 Conference is about to take off in Geneva from 20th – 24th April 2009. This so called conference against racism is hypocritical and can be viewed as the greatest racist hype in town. Its declarations will be anti-Israel and the racism and abuse of human rights by those countries hosting this “shindig” will be overlooked. The most reactionary darkest regimes with a poor human rights record will be taking centre stage.

Condemnation of racist regimes that oppress their people will be conspicuous by the lack of condemnation.

Paragon model states – “true democratic states” such as Iran, Mugabe's Zimbabwe, Darfur, as well as other paragons of human virtue will be taking part. Issues concerning human rights abuses and genocide in these countries will not even be discussed. The New York Daily News described the politically charged conference as a "snow job."

The UN's idea of an anti-racism conference entered the final stretch yesterday with the planning committee deciding Iran ought to preside as a vice-chair, Libya will serve as the chair of the "Main Committee" running the conference and that Cuba will be the "rapporteur." All three human rights paragons will assume their new duties on the first day of "Durban II" set for Monday, April 20.

No doubt there will also be many "democratic states" in the Arab World taking part. While Israel's record of abusing Palestinian rights warrants severe criticism and condemnation, so does the human rights record of the hosting states leaves much to be desired no less. The human rights abuses, kangaroo courts of those countries participating will not even be an issue for debate. Instead, there will be a unanimous resolution, one sided in its context that will get support for condemning Israel.

If Durban 2 will be a true forum condemning racism and human rights abuses wherever it occurs, then this conference will have a positive role. However, it will be an anti-Israel tirade exclusively.

There is no doubt that Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands as mentioned earlier in this article puts Israel in the position of being an occupying power and weakens its credibility as a state seeking peace with its Arab neighbours including the Palestinians. Using Israel as a scapegoat to cover up the racism and human rights abuses of many of the participating countries is no less abominable. It shows lack of decent judgment and morality.

As repugnant as the present Israeli Government is, it is not in the same class as Iran's Ahmadinajad, Zimbabwe's Mugabe or Lebanon's Nasrallah whose record of human rights abuses and racism will be conveniently overlooked at Durban 2.

Those countries that value human rights and are against racism in all its forms should boycott this cynical conference.

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