Some Unfinished Business


The ongoing, undeclared war in the Mid East being carried out by Israel and it’s ally, the United States of America, against the Palestinian People is one of the most unconscionable acts of aggression ever carried out by our Nation. The Palestinians are on a lonely and desperate mission as they try to salvage something out of the land grab by England, France and the U.S., the Allies of World War I and II.

During WWII we called the enemy the Axis. And they were a deadly enemy. Who can forget the horror and shame of their acts against humanity? But, they came out okay! We treat those we conquer pretty good.

But there is some unfinished business involving the Palestinians, a people who have suffered unspeakably painful acts of horror, shame and acts against their humanity. They are human, you know. Killings, torture, homes and villages bulldozed, have resulted in almost four million refugees who have been waiting to come home for fifty years. The agreements related to the Palestinians’ right of return are unquestioned by any rational observer and were the basis of admittance of Israel to the United Nations!

These are not the results of anything done by the Axis, its Gestapo or its propaganda machine! These are the results of the worst possible acts of so called “diplomacy” and so called “public policy” known to the twentieth century. These people are reaping the whirlwind of the wind sown by the likes of Lord Balfour in 1917, Franklin Roosevelt in l945 and Harry Truman in 1949 and dozens of maladroit American leaders since them.

The Palestinians have no ally in the manner in which the Israelis have the U.S. They have sympathizers from whom they are able to get an occasional handout. But none of the first world powers is willing or able to come to the aid of these fourth world peoples, and certainly none of the power alliance from the two great wars of the Twentieth Century.

The irony of the U.S. leadership acting as an honest broker, when the U.S. is de facto part and parcel of the offending force applied to the Palestinians, should not be lost on even the most partisan observer. However, as a conquering force our reputation is good. Our motto should be “We Rebuild.”

The continuing failure of President Clinton and others to effect a reasonable peace based on fencing in the Palestinian Arabs supports the contention that the Palestinians should yield to Israel and it’s ally in the fifty-year war, The United States of America . Then the Palestinians should accept the options that all people conquered by The United States of America have enjoyed for scores of years.

This being the case, perhaps the soundest conclusion of the matter and one which should be recommended to the Palestinian leadership, who ever they are and wherever they are, is this:

Almost none of these attractive options will be available to the Palestinians under the plans currently being discussed to fence them into a small, inaccessible, arid, resource poor, economic disaster area for the rest of their existence as a nation.

The Japanese got these things, the Germans got them, the Italians got them, even the Bosnians are getting them.

If the Palestinians don’t get these benefits, it will be because they are negotiating for crumbs and simply don’t “get it.”

Remember, The United States of America is a powerful ally and a formidable foe. But, most of all we are a generous conqueror. Get smart folks—lay your sword on the table—and don’t get fenced in.

(Mr. Charles Howell is Chairman and CEO of Trust for the Future, Inc. in Nashville, TN)