On some days, such as today, I look at the Middle East “peace process” and wonder how any serious journalist can’t write about Israel and Palestine and not simply laugh (or cry). Talks, meeting, summits, statements of intent and yet the occupation only grows. A farce allowed to continue by either blind Zionists or bought Palestinians (and a biased media.)
The New York Times reported this week’s meeting between Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas with this inane headline, “In Mideast Peace Bid, Obama Pivots in His Demands“. Well, the Palestinians left empty-handed (not surprising, considering their “leader” is a corrupt and complicit man) and the Israelis are allowed to continue building illegal settlements.
Obama himself, speaking at the UN, issued more pretty sounding words with utterly no political clout behind them:
We must remember that the greatest price of this conflict is not paid by us. It is paid by the Israeli girl in Sderot who closes her eyes in fear that a rocket will take her life in the night. It is paid by the Palestinian boy in Gaza who has no clean water and no country to call his own. These are God’s children. And after all of the politics and all of the posturing, this is about the right of every human being to live with dignity and security. That is a lesson embedded in the three great faiths that call one small slice of Earth the Holy Land. And that is why – even though there will be setbacks, and false starts, and tough days – I will not waiver in my pursuit of peace.
Nice, but Israel is playing Washington for fools. Nothing on the ground in Palestine has really changed. The colonisation continues apace. Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery is disappointed that Obama hasn’t achieved more (er, anything). It’s a shame people like him are still foolishly hoping for a US President to fairly deal with the Middle East. It isn’t going to happen. Hence the importance of a boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign, a civil and non-violent way to effect change. And it’s growing in power.
But back to this week’s New York meeting (here’s a small selection of Jewish commentators on the event, mostly saying that Israel is the undoubted winner. No kidding.)
J Street welcomes today’s trilateral meeting between President Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, and Palestinian President Abbas.
We applaud the serious commitment President Obama has demonstrated since the first day of his Presidency to personally engage in a sustained and active pursuit of a negotiated, two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
With the continued wide gaps between the parties readily apparent, with the window of opportunity for a two-state solution rapidly closing, and with little political leadership coming from the parties or the region, the only hope for progress lies with strong, sustained U.S. leadership.
We urge the parties and the administration to use today’s meeting as a starting point to get to the negotiating table as quickly as possible with concrete plans for addressing final status issues.
The two-state solution and a comprehensive, regional peace agreement are still the only way to ensure Israel’s long-term security as a Jewish, democratic homeland and to advance U.S. interests in the region.
The status quo is unsustainable and the time has come to move beyond process and toward peace – and to address tough questions and make difficult choices. In short, it is time for real leadership.
J Street looks to President Obama to take the bold steps necessary to move toward the resolution of the conflict so needed by both peoples and in the interests of the United States and all the people of the region.
The clearest evidence possible that America wants to continue its unquestioning relationship with Israel is this news:
The Obama administration will not allow the Goldstone report recommendations on Israel’s conduct in the Gaza war to reach the International Criminal Court.
A top White House official told Jewish organizational leaders in an off-the-record phone call Wednesday that the U.S. strategy was to “quickly” bring the report — commissioned by the U.N. Human Rights Council and carried out by former South African Judge Richard Goldstone — to its “natural conclusion” within the Human Rights Council and not to allow it to go further, Jewish participants in the call told JTA.
The report said the U.N. fact-finding mission investigating Israel’s conduct during the January 2009 war found evidence of Israeli war crimes. Israel has denied the allegations and said the report’s mandate was biased — an opinion echoed by U.S. officials.
The Obama administration is ready to use the U.S. veto at the U.N. Security Council to deal with any other “difficulties” arising out of the report, the White House official said Wednesday. The administration also has made clear to the Palestinian Authority that Washington is not pleased with a P.A. petition to bring the report’s allegations against Israel to the International Criminal Court.
The official said the Obama administration’s view was that the report was flawed from its conception because the mandate presumed a priori that Israel had violated war crimes and that the mandate ignored Hamas’ role in prompting the war through its rocket fire into Israel.
War crimes committed by Israel? Never, says Washington, they’re our friends.