“Israel would never pull back to its 1967 borders.” There you have it — straight from the horse’s mouth. After decades of two step tango around multi version road maps drafted by peace players of all walks – quartets, duets, dissonant coalitions and tone deaf power brokers — what has always been evident to the rest of us is now out in the open in the official chambers of power. Israel has no intention of giving anything back. So there!
“Peace based on illusions will crash eventually on the rocks of Middle East reality,” Says Netanyahu. Its good to know that if you are going to be robbed by a professional thief, at least he is an amateur poet at heart.
As years of pent up pressure erupts across the Middle East, it is becoming clear to most that business as usual is unsustainable — that you can oppress some of the people some of the time, but you can’t choke off their oxygen all of the time – at least not without a good deal of blowback. Call it jihad; call it activism, call it freedom fighting or terrorism. It is all part and parcel of a gradual spiraling of rational dissent left ignored that heats up and smolders into anger to finally erupt like a volcano to consume itself and others. In other words it is called gravity. Not AIPAC, no right wing coalition, no veto wielding power on the Security Council, not even all the armies in the world can change that.
The policy makers in Washington are slowly coming to realize this fact and delicately attempting to re-engineer their traditional stance which has been consistent in its irritating superlatives with regard to support for Israel – no matter how badly it behaves — while marginalizing the most basic of Palestinian demands.
Just as over four million Palestinians languish under occupation, Mr. Obama feels the need to stress the “extraordinary bonds” between the US and Israel and to reassure Mr. Netanyahu of the “paramount” importance of Israel’s security while he must publicly demand an explanation from the Palestinian Authority for its decision to reconcile with Hamas — the democratically elected representatives of Gaza. Incidentally, as to who rains more terror upon the other – Israel or Hamas, we can reconvene on the next post.
Clearly however, the political machinery in Washington plays to a different tune – starkly out of step with the transformations unfolding in the rest of the world. Therefore Netanyahu can afford to be blunt in his rebuke of Obama’s speech which lays out U.S. policy with the 1967 borders as the baseline.
The Israelis are always blunt. It is a bluntness sanctioned by political realities that holds the president and the Congress of the United States accountable to the powerful AIPAC in consideration of 2-year and 4-year campaign cycles rather than to the American people or to responsible policy making for longer term considerations such as the Middle East peace process or the aversion of devastating human and economic costs of never ending wars in support of “strategic interests”.
The 1967 are “indefensible” he says. And why are they so? — because the Israelis have taken every possible opportunity to expand on what has clearly been ruled by International Court of Justice and voted every year by the General Assembly as part of the occupied territories. Every Palestinian objection whether peaceful, or violent – collaborative or combative – resistant or acquiescent has been taken as a window of opportunity to create facts on the ground, then grab more land to defend those facts on the ground.
Moses was not kidding when he said his were the chosen people – although I am not sure getting a pass on violating international law was exactly what he had in mind.
“Indefensible” will be the new buzzword, framing the discussion on Israel and Palestine from now on. It is just that vague and nuanced term that can be used to evoke guilt and to derail meaningful concessions while more land is grabbed. Vague enough and loaded enough for those with political aspirations not to dare to debunk it.
The nexus of the “special relationship” between the US and Israel is looking more like a junkie and an addict as one by one the family assets are sold off to support the habit. The difference being, the junkie is himself an addict – addicted to the short-term payoffs of US domestic considerations as Obama seeks re-election in 2012 and Democrats and Republicans vie for number one spot as to who loves Israel more.
Pathetic! — Especially in view of the on-going upheavals in the Middle East which should, if nothing else, act as a refresher course in geography that “Denial” is decidedly not a river in Egypt.