Something to talk about

Ehud Olmert’s recent visit to the US was a waste of time and money. His demands for public fealty from the White House, and more money for Israel disguised as emergency aid for Iraq will get him nowhere. Neither the United States, nor the so-called “Quartet” has the authority or the right to approve of Israel’s plan to unilaterally withdraw from the West Bank, and declare final borders in favor of Israel in violation of international law. Neither can Abramoff’s Congress continue to dole out hard earned US taxpayer money to Israel, the shadow 51st state, without answering to the American people. While the international press is buzzing with talk of a Palestinian referendum on peace with Israel, an idea they wrongly attribute to Mahmoud Abbas, and that was actually introduced as a strategy by Hamas advisors more than seven years ago, and was also featured in a recent Christian Science Monitor article on moderate Hamas peace proposals, taxpayers in the US are buzzing about a US taxpayer referendum on Israel. Since what was previously the US Congress, functioning now as an extension of the Israeli Knesset, has decided that it will dictate US foreign policy in violation of our Constitution, while robbing US taxpayers to pay tribute to foreign powers, meanwhile killing off the US Middle Class with illegal immigrant labor, refusing to secure our southern border, the American people might feel that they should have something to say about what their elected representatives are dictating. The November 2006 election will be the first such referendum, and if the grapevine is right, there will be other grassroots attempts to purge our Congress of Abramoff’s influence, and to return the US Congress to the American people. The grassroots uprising against the hateful and wrongheaded Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act, even though it was completely ignored by the House of Representatives, was a small example of what AIPAC and its lackeys in the US government have to look forward to in the future.

If Israel can stop being arrogant and self destructive long enough, it might realize that for the first time in its illegal history and its illegal occupation, it has a real chance to negotiate a peaceful conclusion to its illegal occupation, with a guarantee of peace and normal relations not only with Palestine, but also with the people of the Muslim and Arab world, and that’s something that neither the US or the EU can guarantee or deliver. All they have to offer Israel is symbolic and tacit approval for its ill-conceived schemes, which wont mean very much should another uprising occur. The US and the EU aren’t likely to interfere militarily between Palestine and Israel, since to do so might invite other players to the game, who may see that US/Israeli and European hegemony in the Middle East is not in their strategic interests. Since all of these players might be nuclear powers, the stakes are higher than previously, when the world allowed Israel to simply wipe out entire Palestinian villages with US supplied tanks and F-16s, which also proved to be a failed strategy.

This new opportunity for real peace was created by Hamas’s unwillingness to pigeonhole the Palestinians into a history of failed, unfair and unjust peace initiates, which ostensibly frees Israel also. Since it takes two to tango, conventional wisdom suggests that freedom from past and failed peace initiatives and never kept agreements, means that the Palestinians and Israelis can both start anew, forging new agreements and plans for peace that are realistic and relevant to the exclusive interests of these two peoples, not jinxed by old and failed ideas and attitudes that has kept them embroiled in conflict for too many years. Israel never accepted the Roadmap peace initiative, and used Oslo only as a pretense for further land confiscation and illegal settlement building, which once failed, resulted in the bloodiest Palestinian uprising of record. Even though it’s true that more Palestinians than Israelis died in that uprising, Israel lost its hold on the moral high ground, massacring and murdering in a blood frenzy that caused most of the word to realize that Israel is not pursuing restoration of a Holy place, but rather it is involved in a brutal grab for land and power through military conquest, and nothing more. The sympathy that Israel once invoked has turned into disdain. Over the years it has also become apparent that the idea of an exclusively Jewish homeland is not dependant upon the conquest of Palestine only, and since the most recent intifada, it is also clear that Palestine is only the first step in a Zionist attempt to lay claim to other Muslim lands in an attempt to recreate what they refer to as Greater Israel. That could mean that a comprehensive peace agreement should also involve Lebanon and Syria, and not only Palestine. Palestine is hardly able, nor should it be forced to engage Israel in a peace process that is limited only to the occupied Palestinian lands, yet says nothing about lands illegally occupied by Israel in Syria, and previously in south Lebanon. Whereas Israel withdrew from South Lebanon, it did so unilaterally, and Israel continues to regularly bombard south Lebanon with missiles, and its also continues to occupy the Golan.

Hamas’s principled stand against US and EU pressure and demands that Palestine come back to the previous beating, hoping that Israel will quickly complete its attempts under the failed Oslo and Roadmap peace paradigm, to once and for all become a real and legal sovereign state with borders, has freed both Israel and Palestine, and created new opportunities for dialogue and negotiations that will lead to the freedom and sovereignty of both peoples, since now, there is something to talk about. There is also the possibility that Israel has not only one peace partner, it can have three, and the historic conflict, now as never before has a real chance to be resolved. Anything else is likely to lead to an expansion of this conflict and bring new players into the picture, leading to the Armageddon scenario that has been the pursuit of the religious fanatics fanning the flames of war and intractable conflicts in the Muslim and Arab world.