U.S. VETO: A DECLARATION OF WAR – PART II: Point of no return | Le Mauricien.12 OCTOBRE, 2011 – 17:30 | PAR MOHAMAD VAYID
Yet this is a war the U.S. cannot afford: it has neither the resources, the reach, nor the allies to win it. So long as it continues to shield and pamper Israel in the latter’s intransigent and arrogant confrontation with the Palestinians, the U.S is condemned to isolate itself and become the favourite target of all manner of extremists.
Leon Panetta, the U.S. Defence Secretary urges Egypt to release an Israel spy Illan Grapel, in return for U.S. promises of economic and political support; congressmen have blocked a $200 million aid package to the Palestinians as punishment for their application for full membership of the U.N; the U.S. State Department criticised the Palestinians for wanting to join UNESCO, threatening “it could make things harder for them …it further exacerbates the environment of tension”. The simple-minded spokeswoman of the State Department, Victoria Niland, refuses to understand that it is the illegal construction of Jewish settlements on Palestinian lands that is actually the root cause of the tension. This issue has been the main stumbling block of 18 years of negotiations, which have proved fruitless.
A creeping annexation leading to a peacemeal aggrandisement of Israel in a bid to place the international community before a “fait accompli” and render a Palestinian state unrealisable is the unequivocal agenda of the Jewish state. And the U.S. and the E.U., while paying lip service to the two-state objective, are guilty of criminal complacency in the face of such a Machiavellian plan. And they insist on new negotiations, undeterred by the bitter experience of nearly two decades of talks with the Israelis, who stonewalled the creation of a Palestinian homeland.
Cynicism of the Quartet
So long as Israel receives a mere slap on the wrist for all its inhuman actions in the Occupied Territories – like the forcible eviction of Palestian families from their homes, the demolition of their houses, the expropriation of their lands, the denial of their basic rights, the disproportionate use of army and airforce attacks on Palestinians, the assassination of freedom fighters – the U.S. and Israel will remain isolated on the world stage. The great majority of U.N. members supporting a Palestinian state right away have clearly demonstrated that the U.S. veto is academic and irrelevant, although it can delay the creation of a Palestinian homeland.
There was some hope that the Quartet, made up of the U.S, the E.U., Russia and the U.N., would bring some even handedness in dealing with the Middle East conflict, but its first decision betrayed its cynicism regarding the problem: it appointed Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister, as its envoy to bring the parties together; the same Tony Blair who was instrumental in the invasion of Iraq, who was branded George W. Bush’s “Poodle” by the British press, whose closest friends were Lord Levy and Rupert Murdoch the boss of News International, owner of the Jerusalem Post, intimate buddy of Ariel Sharon and unconditional friend of Israel. It speaks volumes for the tolerance of the Palestinians that they tried to work with this double agent for years.
The demeaning servitude of the U.S.
Now cheque book diplomacy is again rearing its ugly head in the formal threat of the U.S. to cut off its funding for UNESCO (20% of its budget) because of its unbiased handling of the Palestinian issue. In other words, the U.S. continues to act as the wet nurse of Israel, whose continued oppression of the Palestinian people is minimised or swept under the carpet. With the coming presidential election in 2012, U.S. politicians will bend over backward to woo the Israeli lobby, especially AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) to show their unshakable commitment to the Jewish state.
It is, of course, a nauseating sight but power is such an aphrodisiac that politicians are immune to all other sentiments in their eagerness to capture it. In the case of the U.S., however, a great country by many standards, it is difficult to comprehend its acceptance of such a demeaning servitude to a self-serving, bigoted minority, representing barely 2% of the electorate. This servitude has been excruciatingly laid bare by Professor Stephen Walt of Harvard University and Professor Mearsheimer of Chicago University in their ground-breaking book. “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy”. For their pains they were hauled over the coals by pro-Israel diehards, but sanity eventually prevailed and their work was recognised as a major contribution to the debate, by exposing Jewish manoeuvres to subvert U.S. foreign relations, especially with Iran.
Another publication, “the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” by Ilan Pappe is a searing historical recapitulation of the massacres, expulsion and expropriation of Palestinians by Hagana and Irgun, the army and secret service of Israel in its formative years. Pappe is hailed as “Israel’s bravest, most principled, most incisive historian”.
Knocked off its perch
Yet the road to a settlement is not so intractable: it only requires some lucidity coupled with a sense of fairplay. The root cause of the current stalemate is the continued violation of international law by Israel in its forcible annexation of the Occupied Territories by building illegal housing estates for Jews. All law abiding countries agree on this fact, including the U.S. But none has the courage to say so officially, not even the Quartet, which lost thereby a unique opportunity to strike a blow in favour of peace.
The reasons are simple enough: Russia has 1 million migrants in Israel, the U.N. is willing but powerless, the E.U. is divided, with Spain as the only clearheaded nation to speak up, while Germany is still nursing its guilt complex for killing millions of Jews during the Second World War, so that in its eyes Israel can do no wrong. As for the U.S., it is tied up in knots before the AIPAC, while Congress is focused on Jewish financial and media support in the next presidential election.
The U.S. has been knocked off its perch of invincibility in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. It is now losing its mantle of respectable morality by its abject subservience to Israel, earning in the process the derision of the civilised world.
The U.S. veto is likely to represent a point of no return in the U.S. – Muslim World relationship. It will bring closer the prediction of Samuel P. Huntington’s prediction concerning the clash of civilisations. The U.S. will become a hostage to its veto and condemned to lose international credibility and respect. Only its military might and technological superiority will serve to protect it from its enemies. But that is not enough to ensure its security in the world, as Afghanistan and Iraq have clearly demonstrated. There are dark days ahead for the American people – and the world.