Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Abbas outs out of the aba daba dab

The "peace process" explained
All night long they'd chatter away,
All day long they were happy and gay,
Swinging and singing in their honky-tonkey way.
"Aba, daba, daba, daba, daba, daba, dab"
"Aba Daba Honeymoon"
Words and Music By: Arthur Fields and Walter Donovan
David Seaton's News Links
Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Palestinian authority, you know, the gray haired fellow with glasses that is always being photographed shaking hands with the Prime Minister of Israel or the President of the United States, or the the Secretary of State or all the visiting "envoys", which is basically all that he really does, has said that he has had enough.
Abbas had understood from Obama that he would force Israel to stop all settlement construction and then launch peace talks. (...) Taking his cue from Obama, Abbas made a full freeze of settlement construction a precondition for talks. But when the Americans backed down several months later after Netanyahu offered a slowdown but not a freeze, Abbas was left high and dry. JTA
Many think that Abbas's threat to resign is a bluff, but I take him at his word.

Abbas is 74 years old and even if this pantomime of a peace process is programmed to go on forever his body isn't. I think Barack Obama was his last hope of getting anything achieved  before his body gave out and now that too has proved to be a Chimera, so Abbas is tired of being made a fool of and would simply like to regain some dignity and respect before retiring to live out his remaining days among his people.

So that Palestinian children don't point him out on the street and throw shoes at him when goes to pick up his pension.

However his threat to not continue has caught everyone by surprise and made them realize that the "two state solution", the idea of a free Palestine living in peace, side by side with Israel, is probably not going to ever happen.

The "peace process" has become so precarious that its existence is mortally threatened without Abbas there just to shake hands.

That is the status quo, Israel builds more walls, builds more settlements, builds more checkpoints, takes more water, evicts more Palestinians from their homes, cuts down more olive trees, etc, etc, while Abbas... shakes hands.

Many say that a two state solution is the only path that Israel can take in order to remain both a "Jewish state" and a democracy. This is not so, there is another path.

Let me explain.

The greatest danger to Israel, or at least to Bibi Netanyahu's version of it, is not Iran, it's a free, sovereign Palestinian state in "Judea and Samaria". Why?

Because, for those who call the occupied territories of the West Bank, "Judea and Samaria", those areas are an essential part of "Greater Israel", without which it would be mutilated, defaced, disfigured.

If an internationally recognized sovereign state called Palestine were recognized on that land, that "mutilation" would become permanent, eternal. This would be considered a heinous betrayal of the Israel Covenant. The treasonous, blasphemous betrayal of thousands of years of history, suffering and tribulations. Like Esau they would be selling their "birthright" for a mess of pottage. The children of Israel have not traveled this far, for so long, to settle for that... Or so the ultra-nationalists that govern Israel would think.

However, the majority of foreign observers and the Israeli left would rush to say that a one state solution would be either be the end of Israel as a Jewish state, because through its greater fertility the Arab population would soon outnumber the Jews, or the end of Israel as a democracy if the Arabs within its borders were denied their civil rights.

There is another path.

Perhaps Yasser Arafat's greatest achievment was to get the world to officially recognize the word "Palestine" and especially the word, "Palestinian".

This was not so before his struggle. 

Here is how Golda Meir expressed it:
"It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist."
And she also said:
"How can we return the held territories? There is nobody to return them to."
That is what Arafat changed and that is a lot, but some things he couldn't change.

Moshe Dayan addressed the Palestinians prophetically, when asked for a solution for their problem:
"We have no solution, you shall continue to live like dogs, and whoever wishes may leave, and we will see where this process leads."
But, they didn't leave and that is where the process has led. They exist, officially recognized  by the entire world, including the United States, as a people, as people with human rights and rights as an occupied people, but they live like dogs... and they wont leave.

They resist, they wont leave.

There is another path: one that is not spoken.

Ethnic cleansing.

That is impossible, you say.

In normal times yes, but not in times of a general war in the Middle East.

When the "chessboard" of international affairs has been knocked over and the pieces scattered.

Israel and the occupied could only be ethnically cleansed in the midst of a  general war, when thousands of refugees are fleeing death and destruction.

In my opinion that is what the entire Iran affair is leading up to: a casus belli to set the entire region alight and in the ensuing confusion, ethnically cleanse "Judea and Samaria".

The Iranian atomic bomb is simply a McGuffin to get the show on the road.

I see this coming very clearly and it makes me very sad: sad for the Israelis, sad for the Palestinians, but especially sad for the United States, because I know perfectly well that when the Israelis start their war and in the midst of it ethnically cleanse the West Bank and Gaza, the Congress of the United States will pass a resolution backing them and if the UN security resolves to condemn the ethnic cleansing, the United States will veto that resolution. That makes me very sad.

I confess that I don't care a fig if Israel is a "vibrant democracy", or not, but I care quite a bit if the USA is one... and that is at risk here too, make no mistake. DS


Publius said...

I hope to God you are wrong!
The future is uncertain and unknown. Do you think it possible or likely that the much predicted war with Iran can be avoided by nations of good will, if they exist?

Forensic economist said...

To say that someone whose mother is Jewish has a right to take over someone's house in Hebron makes as much sense as my saying I have a right to take over someone's house in London. After all, my ancestors are Celtic, and the Anglo-Saxons invaded Great Britain and drove the Celtic peoples to the periphery and over the sea. In fact, that was more recent that the Jewish diaspora.

Which actually is as untrue as the belief that Jews were driven out of Palestine and are just taking their own back. When the Anglo Saxons took over, the landlords changed, the peasantry did not. Some of the Jews around Jerusalem were driven out by the Romans, and nowhere else. Most of the natives converted when Islam arose.

Israel - as long as it sees itself as an outpost of the west in a hostile sea - will go the way of the crusader states of the 1200s. It has a future only if it becomes a mideastern state - which would not be ethnically pure.

Western Europe got tired of subsidizing the crusader states after 200 years. At some point the US will get tired of subsidizing Israel. It won't take that long.