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Dec-23-2013 02:38printcomments

Santa is Not Coming to Palestine

What is it that makes our leaders tread the same path over and over and over again, knowing that it can only lead to disaster?

Santa in Palestine

(LONDON) - It’s the Sunday before Christmas. London is wearing its party frock; the lights are glittering, the bells are chiming; the throng of shoppers are streaming up and down the streets. Happy and joyous are they all. And here I am, a Palestinian exile, a grandfather, a father and a husband, trying to bring some of this happy mood into a corner of London that I call my little Palestine.

Amongst all this, my heart and thoughts are with my people back home, going through the most arduous winter on record. Snow has covered the entire Middle East in the last week or so. Palestinians inside Palestine, in the refugee camps dotted around the Arab world are all at the mercy of the elements. Gaza is not only totally besieged and freezing but is also flooded by sewage, courtesy of the ever merciful Israelis. In the West Bank they decided this harsh winter week was a good time to cut the electricity. After all, the illegal settlers need it more.

I did not deliberately sit down to write a lament or a sad piece, but the situation is very sad and where we are heading is totally lamentable. I refer here to the on going, utterly useless, not to say cringe-making and vomit inducing charade that is still unfolding in Jerusalem, Ramallah and Amman under the name of ‘peace’ negotiations.

What is it that makes our leaders tread the same path over and over and over again, knowing that it can only lead to disaster?

The path I speak of is the one leading inevitably towards The West in general and to Washington DC in particular. How is it possible that a leader of Palestine can place his trust in the hands of the United States of America when administration after administration, since Harry Truman, has been firmly, subserviently, faithfully on the side of Israel?

In a speech on December 7th, just two weeks ago, the current presiding ‘peace’ negotiator, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, described the US as “the honest broker”. How does that work when, in the same speech, the ‘honest broker’ stated, “I have spent almost 30 years in the US State Senate, and I am proud of my 100% voting record for Israel”?

He went on to eulogize about Nelson Mandela. Maybe he forgot it was Mr. Mandela who said, “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

But, of course, Mr. Kerry’s over-riding concern is the survival and the security of Israel at any cost to us, the Palestinians. He went on further to say that, “the only way to secure Israel’s long-term future and security will be achieved through direct negotiations that separate Palestinians and Israelis.”

Isn’t this Apartheid, Mr. Kerry?

As if that isn’t enough, Kerry also went on to describe Palestinian Israelis as a “demographic time bomb” and an “existential threat to Israel”.

What are you calling for, Mr. Kerry? A total ethnic cleansing of Palestinians out of Palestine?

Let’s see now what Mr. Kerry actually means by ‘direct negotiation’. According to leaks published by many mainstream Israeli news outlets he means:

· Demilitarization of the new State of Palestine, under US control. · Putting the borders between Palestine and Jordan under joint Israeli/Palestinian control.

· Maintaining an Israeli military presence on the western side of the River Jordan. · Installing Israeli early-warning stations on the eastward slopes of the West Bank highlands. · Postponement of arrangements for the final status of Gaza Strip. Leaving the Gazans, as ever, besieged and in limbo and bereft from the main body of Palestine.

Do the Palestinians have a say in any of this, Mr. Kerry? Have they any rights? This appears to be a list Israeli demands. Is this what ‘honest brokering’ American style looks like?

Meanwhile, while he was in South Africa for the funeral of the late Nelson Mandela, Mr. Abbas firmly rejected the campaign in South Africa to boycott and divest from Israel. “We are not calling for the boycott of Israel,” he said. “We are calling for a boycott of products from the settlements.” You see, when the shepherd can’t take care of his flock how can we blame the prowling wolf?

Yes, we’re told that our ‘friendly relationships’ with The West and America are a must if we are to achieve our goals. We have to befriend anybody and everybody who will serve our interest. Fine. America is the one and only remaining super-power but when you know that the most powerful country in the world is tucked in bed with your enemy what do you do?

Without American money, arms and total support Israel would not exist. America has proved on many occasions that the survival, security and supremacy of Israel in the region are paramount to her interests. Never forget what Moshe Dayan once said, “ Our friends, the Americans give us money, give us arms and give us advice. We take the money, we take the arms, we ignore the advice.”

This is the latest pronouncement from the ‘peace seeker’, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu in response to the American request ‘to refrain’ from the announcement of further settlements in the West Bank and Occupied Territories.

“We are committed to building and expanding settlements,” he said, “Tel Aviv will not be pressured into halting its settlement activities.”

He was very adamant. “We are building and working in full gear,” he stated. “We will build and develop everywhere, including in the settlements.”

It was as if America had not even spoken. I can’t help being reminded of Ariel Sharon’s reprimand to his then Foreign Minister, Shimon Peres, when Peres cautioned him not to upset the Americans.

“We Jews own America,” said Sharon, “And the Americans know it.”

When your ‘partner in peace’ is not even remotely interested in peace then why carry on? When the so-called arbitrators of peace are openly slanted towards your foe, why keep trusting them? When the facts on the ground speak volumes of their continued occupation, colonization and ethnic cleansing of your people and land, why in God’s name do you continue on this path to oblivion? When injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes a duty.

As Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Cowardice asks the question, is it expedient? And then expedience comes along and asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? Conscience asks the question, is it right?”

Is it right, Mr. Kerry, that you reward the thief and punish the victim? Is that ‘The American Way’?


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