Netanyahu and Obama Spurn Peace - by Stephen Lendman
As a belligerent modern-day Sparta, Israel is a pariah state. Netanyahu exceeds the worst of Ariel Sharon.
His government is Israel's worst ever. His majority Knesset allies are rogue, racist criminals, operating outside international law.
His weak-kneed opposition goes along to get along. As a result, Palestinians suffer grievously. No relief whatever is in sight for them. Netanyahu's peace overtures hide his duplicitous intent to continue status quo injustice.
America is a lawless global bully. The business of America is war. America wages permanent wars on humanity. Together, Obama and Netanyahu contemptuously intend to deny Palestinians statehood and justice, using peace talks as a ploy to subvert both.
Abbas and his number two Salam Fayyad are longtime Israeli collaborators. Both speak with forked tongues. Expect neither one to fulfill promises. They didn't before and won't now.
Abbas didn't come to New York to deliver. His statehood petition falls short of what Palestinians want and deserve. His General Assembly address was hollow rhetoric. It was political, not a genuine proposal for long denied justice.
He mainly wants peace talks reopened. They never worked before and won't now. He didn't challenge a Netanyahu/Obama conspiracy to continue settlement construction and deny Palestinians statehood within 1967 borders (22% of historic Palestine) with East Jerusalem its capital.
Duplicity defines his agenda, not leadership with honor to do the right thing. Doing so would be totally out of character. He's not about to change his spots now.
Addressing the General Assembly on September 23, he said Israeli unilateralism and settler violence threaten PA authority and peace. No matter that Oslo he negotiated established the PA as Israel's enforcer, subverting his rhetorical call for peace.
Urging Israel to "come to peace," he said:
"We extend our hands to the Israeli government and the Israeli people for peacemaking. Our people will continue their popular, peaceful resistance. (Israeli settlement) policy will destroy the chances of achieving a two-state solution and threatens to undermine the structure of the (PA) and even end its existence."
On September 22, Netanyahu thanked Obama for "standing with Israeli and supporting peace through direct negotiations. We both agree that Palestinians and the Israelis should sit down together and negotiate an agreement of mutual recognition and security. I think this is the only way to get a stable and durable peace."
Netayahu asked other leaders to endorse his position. In his General Assembly address, he said:
"Israel is prepared to have a Palestinian state in the West Bank, but we're not prepared to have another Gaza there. The Palestinians must first make peace with Israel, and only then get their state....The truth is the Palestinians want a state without peace and you should not let that happen."
He also lashed out at the the UN, calling its actions "a theater of the absurd." At the same time, he challenged Abbas saying Palestinians were armed "only with their hopes and dreams," saying:
"Hopes, dreams - and 10,000 missiles and Grad rockets supplied by Iran" threaten Israeli security. In fact, Palestinians never threatened Israel and don't know.
When repeatedly attacked, they respond lawfully in self-defense with small arms, homemade and other modest weapons compared to Israel's F-16s, attack helicopters, tanks, and other destructive weapons used against Palestinians.
Netanyahu also appealed to Abbas for direct talks, beginning in New York before both leaders head home.
His UN comments showed characteristic contempt for Palestinian rights. Not only does he spurn peace, he won't tolerate Palestinian independence.
Saying "Let's meet here today in the United Nation" is a thinly veiled demand for unconditional surrender. No responsible leader would agree. Abbas, however, appears willing if he's able to make it appear he's doing the right thing.
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh accused him of acting unilaterally without consulting other leaders, adding:
"The Palestinian people do not beg the world for a state, and the state can't be created through decisions and initiatives. States liberate their land first and then the political body can be established."
"We repeat today that we are with the establishment of a Palestinian state on any liberated part of Palestinian land that is agreed upon by the Palestinian people, without recognizing Israel or conceding any inch of historical Palestine."
Haniyeh stressed that there can be "no mandate for any Palestinian leadership to infringe on Palestinian national rights, nor is there a mandate for any Palestinian actor to make historic concessions on Palestinian land or the rights of the Palestinians, foremost among them the right of return."
Israeli Belligerence Belies Efforts for Peace
Throughout the week leading up to Friday, thousands of Palestinians rallied for statehood. On September 23, outdoor screens let them watch his General Assembly address.
On the same day, Israeli security forces fired tear gas, concussion grenades, rubber coated bullets, and sound bombs at N'ilin and Bil'in villagers. Marching nonviolently for statehood, they were attacked for demanding their rights.
As a result, dozens were either wounded or suffered gas inhalation. Bil'in olive trees were set ablaze, but quickly put out. Israeli security forces tacitly allow settler violence. Palestinian victims are blamed.
Israeli forces also shot and injured five Palestinians with rubber coated bullets in reported clashes at the Qalandia checkpoint near Ramallah. At issue was preventing Palestinians from crossing a checkpoint for Friday Jerusalem prayers.
On September 23, Israel deployed 22,000 security forces across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, as well as along the Green Line separation from Israel.
In Jerusalem, police barred entry to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound to men under 50 and anyone without a blue East Jerusalem ID card. An extra 1,500 reservists were called up to enforce it.
A military spokesman said troops would show "restraint using riot dispersal means." However, when Palestinians rally or march peacefully, they're often attacked with tear gas, concussion grenades, rubber coated bullets and other violent means.
The above examples bear witness to what Palestinians regularly endure under occupation. It's why they want it ended under statehood.
Pro-Israeli New York Times Writers Comment
On September 23, New York Times writers Neil MacFarquhar and Steven Myers headlined, "Palestinians Request UN Status; Powers Press for Talks," saying:
Following Abbas' General Assembly address, Quartet "powers reached an agreement on terms to restart talks between Israel and Palestinians, Obama" officials said.
Officials hope for "a new round of negotiations....after many months of stalemate."
More on them below.
On September 23, Times writer Ethan Bronner (a man accepting fees for pro-Israeli speeches) headlined, "Amid Statehood Bid, Tensions Simmer in West Bank," saying:
"....Jewish settlers worry that Palestinian militants buoyed by international support of their statehood will step up attacks....(T)ensions lie just below the surface."
Settlers "fear for their communities....So the risk (that) Palestinians....might try to march on (them) is quite real."
"If they march, I'm sure they will come with knives and rocks, not with candies," said one settler. "This government lets the Arabs do whatever they want. But when a man feels unprotected, he takes the law into his own hands."
Bonner is a longtime Israeli apologist, blaming Palestinians for Israeli crimes and settler violence allowed to continue with impunity.
On matters relating to Israel and US imperialism, blame victims is standard Times policy.
Elements of the Quartet's Proposal
Quartet members established a timeline for "realistic and serious" negotiations to begin in a month. They hope for comprehensive proposals within three months, substantial progress in six, and a firm deal by end of 2012.
As a result, expect Abbas' Security Council petition to be tabled, effectively consigning it to memory hole oblivion.
Abbas said he's willing to meet Netanyahu and other Israeli officials provided settlement construction stops. Netanyahu refuses. Though it remains to be seen what's next, early comments and body language suggest continuing status quo futility.
An unnamed Israeli official said his side was "currently studying the" Quartet proposal, adding "(w)e are ready to resume the negotiations."
Chief PA negotiator Saeb Erakat (another longtime Israeli collaborator) urged Israel to "seize" the Quartet plan, saying Palestinians are "ready to assume our responsibilities. But Israel needs to assume its own and end settlement activity."
Notably, the Quartet's proposal excludes key issues, including settlements, 1967 borders, East Jerusalem as Palestine's capital, diaspora Palestinians right of return, and Gaza's siege among others.
In other words, it's little more than same old, same old dead-end failure offered Palestinians for decades instead of long denied justice.
Yet Erakat, representing Abbas and Fayyad, accepted what has no chance of succeeding or assuring Palestinian statehood within Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
In other words, they're comfortable with status quo failure and betrayal, their rhetoric notwithstanding.
A Final Comment
Palestinians must challenge collaborationist leaders working against, not for, their interests. Otherwise they'll remain occupied without statehood indefinitely.
Obama and Congress want it. So does Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders. Abbas, Fayyad, Erakat, and close collaborationist PA allies go along. Hamas and other Palestinian factions are entirely shut out.
Gaza remains isolated under siege. Repressive military occupation continues. Institutionalized injustice won't end.
A previous article said neither will constant fear, economic strangulation, collective punishment, mass arrests, torture, neighborhood incursions, Israel's expanding Separation Wall, curfews, roadblocks, checkpoints, barriers, by-pass roads, barbed wire, electric fences, isolation in bantustans, daily humiliation, and naked aggression whenever Israel chooses to wage it against defenseless civilians.
Changing what's no longer tolerable requires Palestinians react for what they'll only achieve by themselves.
With growing millions of supporters, why not, and what better time to start than now!
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.