Saturday, September 10

A Palestinian State and Israel's World Standing

While PM Netanyahu is lobbying the world of nations not to support Palestinian intentions of declaring a Palestinian state unilaterally, the US will veto the declaration when it reaches the Security Council if it comes to the vote.

Despite the Israeli Government’s juggling and manipulations, Israel has reached a new low in its credibility in the eyes of the Palestinians and the world.

The debacle with Turkey does not help matters at all and only adds to the "dwang" that Israel finds itself.

The handling of the Mavi Marmara flotilla affair was pathetic. The findings of the 105 page UN Palmer Report on this affair were fair towards Israel and even stated that Israel acted legally in the blockade of Gaza.

Despite this, Israel could have apologized to Turkey for the loss of life. It would not be a sign of weakness on Israel's part but a sign of strength. It could have cleared the air and placed the ball in PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey’s court to clear the air and rebuild trust between Israel and Turkey. After all both sides have much to gain if relations between the two countries are restored to normal as soon as possible. Both countries are facing a common Iranian threat which cannot be overlooked as well as deep economic and military interests.

Erdogan may not be Israel-friendly and his actions are demagogic in tone, but this is the Turkish people's choice and we must respect that with all the dissension that comes with it. We must have the strength to see beyond that. Turkey was Israel's strategic ally for many years and it is a pity that Israel's relations with Turkey has reached a low that seems to be irreconcilable.

The credibility of the Netanyahu Government is almost non-existent. Netanyahu pays lip service to the two-state solution but in practice hopes that it will never happen. Building of new homes in occupied Palestinian lands has reached a new unprecedented record. Nibbling away at Palestinian land certainly illustrates Netanyahu's true intentions instead of the hogwash that he portrays to the world. It should not surprise anyone that it is Netanyahu's way of maintaining his right wing coalition by deceiving his closest ally - the US!

At the same time, these delaying tactics create great frustrations for the Palestinians, who see the Palestinian state reality disappearing. The logistics on the ground created by Israel's desire to maintain the occupation can be viewed by facts on the ground.

This is unjustifiable and it will eventually erode Israel's standing in the world even further. There will come a time when the US will not be able to use the veto to support Israel and not pay a heavy price for doing so.

During the hot summer month of August 2011, a ground roots protest movement camped on
Rothschild Ave
in Tel Aviv. Demonstrators pitched tents, protesting against the lack of affordable housing. The protests spread like wild fire all over Israel. It brought people of all ages out into the streets of all the main cities and towns in Israel.

The protests gained a lot of support across the political spectrum. That is its weakness rather than its strength! While the protest movement had a noble and justified cause, it was applicable to only part of the population. Conspicuous by its absence were the Palestinian citizens of Israel. Where were their voices? There were those Israelis who made comparisons with the Arab spring that is sweeping the Middle East. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here there were no serious calls for the Netanyahu Government to resign.

It was a non-violent polite protest movement requesting the government to change its priorities and to improve the housing situation for young people. In Israel, it does not work that way. The piggish capitalism in the hands of a few tycoons keeps the prices high of not only housing but also basic foodstuffs.

Another holy cow that was tactfully avoided was the heavy defense spending to maintain and increase settlement activity. Suddenly building in the occupied Palestinian lands accelerated as mentioned earlier. Is this the solution to solve the high prices of housing in cities within the "green line"?

In other words the massive protests over housing may have acted as a catalyst to a renewal of an increased building pace in the occupied West Bank. It did not weaken the Netanyahu Government but strengthened its resolve to accelerated settlement activity beyond the "green line". No wonder the protest movement is "non-political". All the masses that supported it were mainly right wing. It becomes "political" if the left sought a solution which included all Israel's citizens irrespective of race, colour and creed.

No doubt, a change of priorities apart from social and economic must also include support for the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel and an end to the immoral occupation. If this essential ingredient is lacking then security expenditure and illegal settlement activity will continue to exact a high price. This affects the price of housing and basic foodstuffs as well. It is an important point that was barely mentioned during the duration of the protests.

The Netanyahu Government is aware of this and do not intend to make any changes in their priorities apart from establishing a cosmetic Trajtenberg Committee to investigate the gripes and do a plaster job until the next elections. By this time all will be forgotten as it will be back to business as usual. There was definitely something artificial and shallow about the protests as those leaders who initiated it were not from the grassroots of Israeli society, but rather from the upper crust. The upper crust would never seek true change on a wider spectrum. True peace with a new vision to end the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict was most conspicuous by its absence. This is the crux of keeping prices in all spheres high. This is the reason why I could not identify with the protest movement as it was sectarian. No mention was even made of those who were evicted from their homes in East Jerusalem to make way for further Jewish settlement. House demolitions in the occupied Palestinian lands were unmentioned in these protests.

The unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state deserves our support. It is our best investment to ensure a true peace between Israel and Palestine. Bibi Netanyahu hype and panic is harmful for the achievement of true peace in our area.
Since writing this article, news of a hooligan attack on the Israeli Embassy in Egypt occurred. Only after a request was made by Israel to President Obama of the US, did the Egyptian Army send their commandos to quell the hooliganism. Fortunately the fiasco ended without loss of life. Hooliganism against the Israeli Embassy needs to be condemned by all people. This barbaric act is destructive, immoral and unjustified. Despite this, Israel deserves credit for acting with restraint bearing in mind that Egypt is in a state of turmoil and instability because of the revolutionary changes and is unable to cope with the lawlessness and hooliganism that is becoming rampant. We sincerely hope that this will not destroy diplomatic relations between Egypt and Israel for the benefit of all peoples in the Middle East.

Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan, Prime Minister of Turkey...Image via Wikipedia
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1 comment:

Palestine Facts said...

Nice blog! I decided to follow you on blogger.

You describe conflict without any bias. Also, thanks for reccomending articles at the end of your posts. Its really useful information!