USA-Israel combine has focused on threatening and or attacking Islamic nations on fictitious pretexts. While Palestine and Lebanon have been given over to the authority of Israel to “settle scores”, USA hand its Western allies have been attacking Muslims in the rest of the Arab world. However, very recently even Israel has claimed its right to attack Iran too. Whether or not Israel can really dare attack Iran, the emerging tensed scenario and speculative mechanisms have led to the price rise especially of fuel.
The US president George W. Bush has claimed is pushing for a Middle East peace settlement before he leaves office in January 2009, but there has been very little progress either in his own confusing efforts or in vague talks between Israelis and Palestinians. Most importantly, Israel seems to be determined to derail any serious initiative that would require them to surrender the lands to the Arabs. Meanwhile, irritations developed in US-Israeli relations as Israel was spying on US activities. But Israel had made a pledge not to spy on the United States.
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators once again will meet this week to work toward the long-shot U.S. goal of achieving a comprehensive peace deal this year The three-way talks will be the latest in a series USA has convened this year but, like the Israeli-Palestinian bilateral negotiations, have yet to produce tangible progress toward ending the six-decade conflict. In June 2007, as Hamas took control of Gaza and a new government was formed in the West Bank, observers ventured two scenarios. The West Bank might become an Israeli model, whose economic revival and improved relations with Israel and the wider world contrasted with Gaza’s sorry fate.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says the deal cannot be reached by the deadline set by the Bush administration. As a result, there is deep skepticism among Americans, Israelis and Palestinians. One U.S. official said, “It’s fairer to say that we are keen to build the sort of traction needed for things to move in the right direction, so that the next administration gets a situation that’s as manageable and productive as possible.” Olmert, grappling with an investigation into allegations he accepted envelopes stuffed with cash from a U.S. fundraiser and double-billed for travel expenses, says there could be agreement on borders and the Palestinian refugees this year but that a full deal resolving claims to Jerusalem was not a “viable possibility.”
Beyond the intrinsic difficulty of resolving such controversial issues as the delineation of borders, the fate of Palestinian refugees and the status of Jerusalem, the effort is further hindered by the political divisions on both sides. Israel, in a claim not recognized internationally, regards all of Jerusalem as its capital. The Palestinians want Arab East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Israel is pushing ahead with plans to build hundreds more homes in the occupied West Bank, infuriating Palestinians and drawing international criticism. Israel does not seem to leave the Palestinian lands.
How serious are the USA and Israel about establishing the Palestine state as promised by them? Mideast resolution is driven by uncertainty – over Israel’s unresolved conflicts with neighboring Arab nations, including the Palestinians. A domestically troubled and weak Israeli premier Ehud Olmert occasionally says Israel‘s existence as a nation depended on its “willingness and ability” to defend itself, but there was also a “willingness to compromise” with Arabs. However, the Israeli politicians as a class jointly reject any positive steps in the peace process, mainly because that would reduce the lands under Israeli occupation.
Like Bush would do, Olmert also wants to leave the resolution matter to his successor. (According to opinion polls, Israeli foreign minister Livni is the favorite to follow Olmert as head of the Kadima party. She could face a challenge from Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz, a former defense chief known for his tough tactics in crushing the Palestinian uprising that began after the last peace talks failed in 2000. Another potential successor, should new Israeli elections be held, is Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who tried and failed to strike a peace deal when he was prime minister in 2000)
ONE – Israel’s new Perception?
Israel celebrated 60 anniversary of Israeli foundation on May 14. By annexing and occupying the Palestinian lands, Israel declared itself an independent state on 14 May 1948, three years after the end of World War II, and the death of six million Jews in the so-called Holocaust. Palestinians know the Israeli foundation day on 15 May as al-Nakba, or “the Catastrophe” and they mark the occasion, to mourn the death of innocent Palestinians killed by Israeli terror forces. The state of Israel was proclaimed about six months after the United Nations General Assembly voted to partition what was then Palestine into Jewish and Arab states. In the war that followed 14 May 1948, some 700,000 Palestinians fled or were driven out of their homes, asides murdering of Palestinians. The “democratic” West and the UN have been on Israeli side. On 15 May, the occasion of al-Nakba, the Palestinians held solemn marches in the West Bank, meant to symbolize the hope of Palestinian refugees to return to villages in what is now Israel. The 60 years of Israel‘s existence have been marked by conflict, both with its Arab neighbors, and with Palestinians living under occupation.
So far, the Israeli strategy of attacking the defenseless Palestinians and extending its territory from Palestine has indeed worked pretty well. Since 1948, when Israel began occupying Palestine lands and killing the Palestinians with the help of weapons obtained from the West, Tel-Aviv has been expanding settlements in the areas occupied by Israeli forces. In order to retain the illegal settlements in Palestine, Israel floated all agreements made between the Arabs/Palestinians and Israel and unleashed additional genocides and destructions in Palestine.
Perhaps, Israel realizes that it will have to vacate the Arab lands sooner than later and visualizes US support for Palestine in the long run. “To quit or not to quit, the Palestinian lands?” is the worry of Israel now. This dilemma of Israel has to be understood in the proper perspectives. Any real US-Arab realignment is thwarted by Israel which thinks any positive ties between them could be disastrous for Israel. The Israeli lobbyists in the USA are seen engaged in restive diplomacy running posts to pillars to retain the traditional US support for the Jewish case in Mideast.
The November 2007 Annapolis summit held to find a lasting solution in the Mideast conflict by establishing the Palestine state, though not appreciated well by Tel-Aviv, appeared to be a turning point in Mideast affairs. Israel felt USA openly is pursuing a sort of pro-Palestine state agenda and quite very recently, unexpectedly, Israel has been undergoing, albeit in lighter veins, a difficult, often embarrassing situation while dealing with the emerging tricky situation, where Israel would finally lose the game without USA help. So far Israel has managed to project a good-boy image in the West by accusing the Palestinians of being bad-guys and obstructing to peace moves.
TWO- Hidden Agenda
On the eve of 60th anniversary of al-Nakba, US president George W. Bush and the first Lady went to Jerusalem to attend the function and blasted the Palestinians while reiterating US for Israeli actions in Mideast. On the eve of Bush visit, US-Israel strategists spread false rumor that Bush might declare an independent Palestine on the occasion and pressed the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to tighten the Hamas. Fatah PLO president Abbas’s security forces began deploying to the northern West Bank city of Jenin for a law-and-order campaign meant to show the government is laying the ground for statehood. Abbas said the forces, some of whom receive U.S.-funded training in Jordan, would target criminals like car thieves, and had orders to confiscate illegal weapons.
In fact USA wanted to use the occasion to kill or terrorize the Palestinians during the Israeli celebrations. Hence Washington’s efforts for a deal on a Palestinian state this year have shown little sign of progress so far. Israel‘s main condition for implementing a peace agreement is the idea: kill or isolate Hamas. But Israel is naïve in thinking that by keeping Hamas out Mideast peace could be achieved.
It is fact that many Palestinians say: “it was Israel that invaded us” and the Palestinians have suffered in all ways, when the entire world led by the USA and West has not resolved the issue by establishing Palestine and stopping Israeli aggression and genocides. Israel has always ignored the genuine concerns of the Palestinians. Apart from killing them, USA and Israel succeeded in branding the Palestinians as “terrorists”, ignoring their legitimate claims for decades but now are accepting them as the main party in Palestine in the resolution of Mideast conflict, albeit in private.
Israel is misusing Palestinians to work as their agents in Palestine. The Palestinians need a permit from the Israeli secret service, Shabak, for any severe medial treatment in Israel. But, once they are tamed, even the Palestinian girls are in Israeli grip for the rest of their lives. They’re used as informers in the Palestinian territories for the Israeli government.
Israel, both controlling and provoking the Palestinians, is keen to be the key player in Mideast. Tel-Aviv pursues its hidden agenda in Mideast. USA-Israel still considers Palestinians, especially Hamas as a “terrorist organization” and could not digest the fact the Hamas won the elections last year but used President Abbas to get the Hamas government dismissed and replace it with his own pro-US-Israel Fatah government.
It is a common knowledge that the USA and Israel had planned to split Palestine into two separate states one for Fatah and another for Hamas. After becoming separate nations, se Palestinian states would fight with each other with Israeli and Arab weapons, only to destroy themselves eventually. In order to destroy the Palestinians, the USA and Israel would have supplied arms to Fatah while the Arab nations would support Hamas. But the strategy has died a natural death, even though Fatah and Hamas have not seriously comprehended the anti-Palestine conspiracy. However now US-Israel specialists still talk about “Fatah-ruled West Bank a garden” that would be in contrast to the “desert of a Hamas-ruled Gaza”.
It, however, seems Israel is slowly moving away from its illusion of preventing the Palestinians from establishing a Homeland for themselves. Of late, Israel seems to recognize the fact that the Palestinian people have legitimate rights and aspirations. Just as a Palestinian state is an Israeli interest Israeli security must be a Palestinian interest. Like the USA, Israel also sends out conflicting signals to the world by ridiculing the emerging global political scenario where parties with “extreme” position on independence are acquiring power though ballot.
Bush spent three days in Israel, did not visit the Palestinian territories, perhaps to assure of US support for Israel or even to make Israel commit on peace process. Mrs. Bush explained US policy: “Celebrating that does not mean that you don’t recognize that there were consequences for the people of the region and that we’re still trying to deal with those consequences,” she hoped that one day a US president would be celebrating the 60th anniversary of a Palestinian democracy that is a good friend of the US.
THREE – Israeli Strength and Palestine Weakness
Today, Israel is a political, economic and military force to be reckoned with, even if its power is based on the patronage of foreign entities. A country of no more than seven million people, including nearly 1.5 million non-Jews (mainly Palestinians), Israel more or less directs the politics and policies of world’s only superpower, the United States, thanks mainly to powerful Jewish lobbies in Washington.
Economically, Israel is also a regional economic superpower, with a GNP bordering on $0.5 trillion. In fact, Israel is among a few pioneering states in the field of electronics and the development of new generations of medicine, with Israeli pharmaceutical firms’ share of the world market reaching billions of dollars. Notwithstanding all its success and achievements, Israel remains a state based on racism, apartheid and criminality against the Palestinian people whose homeland it seized and whom it is trying to obliterate to this day.
Over decades, Israel, a key arms dealer of the world, has emerged the strongest nation in Mideast thanks only to the US policy of arming and strengthening the Jewish state among the Islamic nations at all costs. Israel has changed dramatically since it was founded, with a population nearly 10 times larger, and a stronger economy and military than its founders could have dreamt of.
Israel, the largest possessor of weapons in West Asia, both nuclear and conventional, threatening security and peace of the region, has become a weapons depot of the US which is being used by Washington and other Western countries for transacting weapons deal with Third world countries including India. If any country wants to buy latest weapon systems and technology of the USA and West, Israel serves as intermediate agency for transactions. In exchange of this “services”, the USA and major world and their loyal media just support its aggressions and genocides in Palestine and Lebanon.
Israel has every reason to feel proud of its enthralled existence and success f its expansionist policies. With spectacular fanfare and a plethora of highlighted events, Israel celebrated its 60th birthday on 18 May 2008. The centerpiece ceremony took place in West Jerusalem and was attended by Israel’s political and military leaders as well as foreign dignitaries, including leaders form Germany, France and USA.
But the weakness of Palestinians could be seen in their mutual fighting and, hence, they have not come together to forming a unity government. But with two factions, Fatah and Hamas, functioning to the detriment of both, Israel is aggressively pursuing an anti-Hams policy, just as the USA- and Hamas is described as “terrorists”, while the regular aggressor killing innocent Palestinians, i.e., Israel claims to be an innocent democracy.
Israel: mischievous and arrogant
Military strength invariably makes any nation arrogant and unilateral. USA, Israel and India are only a few examples. Despite the fact that Israel continues its aggressive policy in Palestine killing innocent people by air-cum-ground strikes, by siege tactics making the poor Palestinians suffer from lack of essential supplies and by diplomatic anti-Palestine propaganda threatening their future in Palestine as well as the world, a permanent peace in the zone is not only important for Israel and Palestine but also for the whole region.
On the one hand Israel is engaged in preliminary talks with Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese on peace, one the other it uses same harsh rhetoric and continues with illegal construction activities. Israel now considers both Syria and Iran serious threats to Israeli interest in Mideast where it bosses over the rest. Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Dan Gillerman, who thinks the real threat is Iran and not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, said Hamas is armed and trained by Iran, whose president once called for Israel to be “wiped off the map.” Israel calls Syria also a “destabilizing influence” in the Middle East, hosting, very hospitably and warmly, over 10 “terror” organizations in Damascus, supporting Hezbollah, an anti-Israeli Shiite group in Lebanon with close ties to Iran and Syria. Like USA, Israel is also fond of using nasty terms to describe Muslims: the Israeli ambassador said, “Basically, Syria and Iran, together with Hamas and Hezbollah, are the main axes of terror and evil in the world”.
On Israel‘s initiative in the Middle East peace process, Israeli foreign minister Livni said the conflict is solvable. “Israel left the Gaza Strip, dismantled all settlements, and gave an opportunity for Palestinian self rule, as a first step on the path towards Palestinian state; we can together promote mutual understanding by removing incitement and hatred. I want the Arab world to take the initiative, not just for Israel but for Palestine and for the whole region”, she said. However, sooner than she said this, Israel announced its plan for enhancing the settlements.
Hamas now do not have sufficient trust in what Israel says, especially in face of the ongoing settlement expansion in Palestine territories, as Israeli establishment has deliberately floated all agreements reached between them and the Palestinians and Arabs. On the other hand, Israeli leaders are fond of shaking hands with Arab leaders, but the Arabs hesitate to do so because of Israeli mischief. Former President Jimmy Carter, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, “went to the region (in Damascus to negotiate a cease-fire with Gaza‘s Hamas rulers) with soiled hands and came back with bloody hands after shaking the hand of Khaled Mashaal, the leader of Hamas“. Gillerman called Carter “a bigot” for meeting with the leader of the militant Hamas movement in Syria.
An Observation: A Free Palestine
Initiatives from Arabs, USA, France and UN have been under way and they are not just for Israel and Palestine but for the whole region and world. A permanent peace in the Mideast is not only important for Israel and Palestine but for the whole region. An independent Palestinian state is an Israeli interest and its security. The problem with Israel is its double-speak and unserious approach. Israel control Palestine territories, terrorizes innocent Palestinians, collects taxes, and even blocks the passages from Gaza to make essential purchases and pilgrimage to Makkah. Peace for Israel means surrendering their lands to the Arabs, including Palestinians. Israel seems to realize this fact now, though belatedly.
When Bush announced last year about a permanent solution to Palestine by 2009 end, at first glance, what puzzled the world the most is the fact that after promoting Israeli aggression over Palestine and Lebanon for decades, USA, as a major twist to its foreign policy, now seems to support a real Mideast peace by creating a Palestine state that would coexist with an arrogant Israel.
Israel views Iran as an “existential” threat because of its suspected pursuit of WMD and has been trying to mix-up issues to disturb the peace process and stop the early establishment of Palestine. Tel-Aviv still continues with its constructions in Palestine. “There can be no peace without stopping settlement,” French President Sarkozy told members of the Israeli Knesset. He encouraged Israel to support a proposal, “backed by many members of your Knesset”, for the adoption of a law that would encourage Israeli settlers to leave the West Bank in exchange for compensation and relocation in Israel. The French president also called on Israel to ease restrictions on Palestinians’ movement within the West Bank.
Arab Initiative entails good relations with Israel, but for this, all Arab lands currently occupied by Israel by brutal force should be vacated to enable the Palestinians to establish the much awaited Palestine state. USA, UK and UN remain the key players in the mishandling of explosive Palestine issue. Will Israel vacate the lands being occupied by it with the support from USA, UK and their Western allies that supply weapons? This question puzzles even non-Arab Muslims.
USA, as usual, introduced an element of climax last year when President Bush convened a Mideast Summit in USA in last November to pursue the establishment of the Palestine state, but it not appreciated by Israel. It seems, as a result of enduring diplomatic shuffles from the USA and Quartet in that direction, Israel, pressured by the logic of emerging politics of the USA, seems to be slowly moving away from its petrified position of strategically ignoring Hamas in the resolution of Mideast conflict. However, it sends out conflicting signals to the world by ridiculing the emerging global political scenario where the so-called extremist parties are acquiring power though ballot, as in Nepal.
But, again, an anti-climax was enacted by Bush when the US president recently attended the Israel’s 60 anniversary celebrations in Israel and criticized Hamas and, later while in Egypt, reverted back to lecture series on known themes like democracy, the matter became more clear: Bush is only pushing a vague peace plan with mock exercise to fool the Arabs and is indeed has remained a collusion partner of imperialistic Israel.
US ambivalence towards Arabs does trouble Israel. Israel is, therefore, keen not to rock the US-Israeli boat fast running over anti-Islamic waters. The Israeli worry is that US now shows sincerity in Palestine in stead of the usual rhetoric only policy and is trying to push Israel to accept peace formula and coexist. That means USA sees through Israeli game to keep US policy hostage to Israeli interest in Mideast. Washington‘s focus would still be on Israeli commitments under the 2003 U.S.-backed “road map” peace plan to halt settlement activity and to ease the lot of Palestinians on the West Bank by removing checkpoints and other barriers.
Taking cues from Israeli tactics, countries like India also are too keen to establish “profitable” relations with USA. The massive American financial and military support is to Israel from the US-led West largely explains the power of the Jewish lobby in Washington, which is measured in hundreds of billions of dollars. In fact, the White House is infested with lobbyists from Israel and India and many of these agents throng around the Oval House for a few bones.
Of course, the western powers, as former colonialist/imperialist powers, are natural allies. Neo-imperialism brings all colonial powers together. Hence US-Israel-India trio slowly emerging against Islamic nations, while Arabs still supporting Indian case in Kashmir under Indian military occupation since 1947.
It seems Islamic brains have alarming limitations too as they are unable to gauge the real motive behind all this “terrorism” WMD trends introduced by USA-led Western powers. As if the Arab nations knew the truth about US global agenda and US-Israel equations only now, they now say they are astonished at Bush statement in Jerusalem that USA and Israel are historically trusted allies and Bush being closer to Israel.
It is high time Israel recognized the fact that the Palestinian people have legitimate rights and genuine aspirations to live peacefully without being controlled by Israel with support including arms from USA, UN and West. They are within rights to gain sovereignty back from occupying Israel and establish their own independent country in their own lands presently occupied by Israeli terror forces. Tel Aviv, if it is serous about peace in the region, should reconcile to the emerging reality where the Arab world is getting slowly united on the side of the Palestinian, and, help promote the peace process by letting live the Palestinians make their own home on their own lands.
Some media-men vaguely argue that if Israel is militarily strengthened it would allow some concessions to Arabs. The difficult question remains unanswered: Is Israel serious about and ready for Peace?