Edition 2: No. 112
Is Palestine a lost cause?
By Alan Hart
A long version of the headline question would be something like this: Given that in the 46th year of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank Jewish settlers are continuing to consolidate their hold on the territory’s land and water resources by stealing more and more of both, thus demonstrating not only Zionism’s contempt for international law but, also, that the only peace Israel’s leaders are interested in is one that requires a complete Palestinian surrender to Zionism’s will, is there any real prospect, in any foreseeable future, of justice for the Palestinians?
It is probably still the case that, in the name of Arafat-like pragmatism, a majority of the oppressed Palestinians would regard the establishment of a state of their own on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem its capital as an acceptable minimum amount of justice.
They are, of course, fully aware that in such a scenario the right of return for those dispossessed of their land and their rights in 1948 and again in 1967 would have to be limited to return to the territory of the Palestinian mini state, which would mean, because of the lack of space, that only a relatively small number of the dispossessed Palestinians and their descendants would be able to return. (Arafat and his leadership colleagues calculated that initially not more than 100,000 would be able to return). The rest would have to settle for financial compensation.
Beyond that the Palestinians of a mini state would entertain the hope, as Arafat did when he persuaded the institutions of Palestinian decision-making to accept the need for unthinkable compromise with Israel (peace with it in return for only 22 percent of their land, thus legitimizing Israel’s occupation of the other 78 percent) that a genuine two-state solution could lead in one or two generations to one state by mutual consent. In that event there would be greater scope for more diaspora Palestinians to exercise their right of return.
But it isn’t going to happen. Though not yet buried, the two-state solution has long been dead, killed by Israel’s colonization with the complicity of the major powers and, by default, the regimes of an impotent Arab Order. As I document in detail in my bookZionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, the Arab regimes never had any intention of fighting Israel to liberate Palestine or using the leverage they have to press the U.S. to require Israel to end its occupation of land grabbed in 1967.
As I also reveal in my book, the most explicit statement about why the two-state solution has long been dead was made to me in early 1980 by Shimon Peres. He was then the leader of Israel’s Labour Party, in opposition and hoping to win Israel’s next election and deny Begin a second term in office as prime minister. I was then acting as the linkman in a secret and exploratory dialogue between Peres and Arafat. At a point in our very first conversation for this initiative, Peres said that he feared it was “already too late”. I asked him why. He replied:
“Every day that passes sees new bricks on new settlements. Begin knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s creating the conditions for a Jewish civil war. He knows that no Israeli prime minister is going down in history as the one who gave the order to the Jewish army to shoot large numbers of Jews (to end the occupation).” Pause. “I’m not.”
Obvious question. If it was too late in 1980 when there were only about 70,000 illegal Jewish settlers on the occupied West Bank including Arab East Jerusalem, how much more too late is it today when they number in excess of 500,000, with that number rising on an almost daily basis, thanks in large part to funding assistance from America’s Christian fundamentalists?
In passing it is interesting to note that the U.S. State Department has now defined Israeli settler violence against Palestinians as “terrorism”.
It is now clear beyond any doubt that the most any Zionist leadership will offer the Palestinians for peace is a maximum of 35-40 percent of the West Bank (the Sharon plan) in the shape of two, three or four Bantustans which the Palestinians could call a state if they wished. This is and always will be totally unacceptable to all Palestinians.
As things are and look like going, I believe the course is set for a final Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
I mean that when Israel’s leaders conclude that their policy of making life hell for the occupied Palestinians in the hope of causing them to abandon their struggle and leave in large numbers has failed, and that they can’t bring on a puppet Palestinian leader who will force his people to accept crumbs from Zionism’s table, they will create a pretext to drive the Palestinians off the West Bank and into Jordan or wherever. One possible pretext could come about with a classic false flag operation – Mossad agents posing as Palestinian terrorists to plant bombs and kill Israeli Jews.
What about the Palestinians of the blockaded Gaza Strip? According to the latest UN report, it will not be “a liveable place” by 2020 unless action is taken to improve basic services in the territory. My guess is that in Zionism’s plan for the future the Gaza Strip’s Palestinians will be left to sink deeper and deeper into poverty, misery and despair in the hope, Zionism’s hope, that this will eventually cause large numbers of them to flee and seek a new life elsewhere. If that doesn’t happen Israel’s leaders will have the option of creating a pretext for a Gaza Strip ethnic cleansing operation by military means.
After months of reflection my conclusion is not only that the Zionist state of Israel is a monster beyond control but that Palestine IS a lost cause UNLESS… The main purpose of this article is to put some flesh on the bone of what I see as the Unless Scenario.
In it there are two initiatives for the Palestinians themselves to take.
The first is to demand and insist upon the dissolution of the impotent and discredited PA (Palestine Authority) in order to make Israel completely responsible and therefore fully accountable for its occupation.
Without the PA’s American trained security forces to keep the Palestinians of the occupied West Bank (Hamas supporters especially) under control for Israel, having to take complete responsibility for occupation would be costly financially and in terms of the additional call on Israel’s own security resources.
More to the point, if the Zionist (not Jewish) state had complete responsibility for the occupation, calling and holding it to account for its defiance of international law and its occupation policies would be, in theory, less than what it is at present – a mission impossible
But if theory is to be turned into practise, something very significant has to happen.
Only governments can call and hold Zionism to account for its crimes, but they won’t act unless they are pushed to do so by informed public opinion. The problem, as I never tire of saying and writing, is that public opinion, in the U.S. especially, is too uninformed – too conditioned by Zionist propaganda – to do the pushing in big enough numbers. So here’s THE question: With the mainstream media unwilling to come to grips with the truth of history as it relates to the making and sustaining of the conflict in and over Palestine that became Israel, how can the citizens of nations be informed and empowered to do the pushing in big enough numbers?
There are hundreds of groups of all faiths and none around the world which call and campaign for justice for the Palestinians, but (generally speaking) they are each and all doing their own little things in isolation, which makes them like flies to be swatted away by Zionism. In that light I think the informing to mobilise public opinion to push governments can only be done if groups of all faiths and none everywhere which call and campaign for justice for the Palestinians collaborate and form one (Zionist-like) universal lobby. The internet makes the necessary collaboration and coordination perfectly possible.
The strategy of a universal lobby for Palestinian rights should be determined by asking and answering one question. Why, really, has Zionism succeeded to date?
The short answer is its success in selling propaganda lies about the making and sustaining of the conflict as truth; an amazing achievement that was assisted by having the obscenity of the Nazi holocaust to play as a blackmail card.
It follows, or so it seems to me, that the first priority of a coordinated, universal lobbying campaign for justice for the Palestinians should be to present in forums and on platforms of every kind the documented evidence which exposes Zionism’s propaganda lies for the nonsense they are.
Four of the many essential truths to be communicated are:
- that almost all if not all the Jews who went to Palestine in answer to Zionism’s call had no biological connection whatsoever to the ancient Hebrews and therefore no claim on the land;
- that Israel was created mainly by Zionist terrorism and ethnic cleansing;
- that Israel’s existence has never been threatened by any combination of Arab force – i.e. Israel has not lived in constant danger of annihilation, the “driving into the sea” of its Jews; and
- that it was Israel not the Arabs which closed the door to prospects for peace time and time again.
I am assuming (am I guilty of wishful thinking?) that if the citizens of nations, Westerners especially and Americans in particular, were aware of the truth of history as it relates to the making and sustaining of the conflict, they would insist that their governments called the Zionist monster to account – not only for the sake of justice for the Palestinians but also to best protect the interests of all, including the Jews of the world. (In a Footnote below there is reference to a report of the thinking of America’s intelligence community on what must be done to protect US national interests).
Now to the second initiative the Palestinians could and in my view should take if they are to play their part in preventing Palestine becoming a lost cause.
Obviously the dissolution of the PA will only happen if enough Palestinians demand it. But in my view it’s not only the occupied and oppressed Palestinians who need to do the demanding. In my view it’s time for Palestinians everywhere to become engaged by peaceful and democratic means in the struggle to end the Zionization of their homeland. Put another way, if the Zionist colonial project is to be contained and defeated, the incredible, almost superhuman steadfastness of the occupied and oppressed Palestinians must be supplemented by practical, effective and co-ordinated Palestinian diaspora action. For what purpose?
Not only to bring about the dissolution of the PA but to have it replaced as soon as possible by a re-structured and re-invigorated PNC (Palestine National Council). Once upon a time this now side-lined parliament-in-exile represented Palestinians nearly everywhere in the world and was the supreme decision-making body on the Palestinian side. Even Arafat was accountable to it. (It did, in fact, take him six long years to persuade a majority of PNC delegates to endorse his policy of politics and compromise with Israel. That happened towards the end of 1979. The PNC vote in favour of Arafat’s policy – the two-state solution – was 296 for it and only four against. From then on the Palestinian door was open to peace on terms which any rational government and people in Israel would have accepted with relief. Arafat’s problem then was that he didn’t have a partner for peace on the Israeli side. He did eventually get one in the shape of Prime Minister Rabin, but he was assassinated by a Zionist zealot. The assassin knew exactly what he was doing – killing the Oslo peace process Arafat started and to which a reluctant Rabin pushed by Peres responded positively. It is fashionable today for pro-Palestinian activists to rubbish the Oslo peace process, but I still think Arafat’s take on the matter was correct. When it was obviously doomed to failure by Israel’s complete rejection of it after Rabin’s death, I asked Arafat if he thought that history would say he had made the mistake of his life in thinking that he could trust Israeli leaders to keep their word and honour agreements. He replied to the effect that if the US had backed the Oslo process it could have worked – could have achieved “something concrete” for the Palestinians on which they could, hopefully, build).
For the PNC to be brought back to life re-structured and re-invigorated there would have to be elections to it in communities throughout the Palestinian diaspora.
The composition of the Palestinian diaspora by countries and numbers of Palestinians resident in them is roughly the following. Jordan – 2,900,000; Israel – 1,600,000; Syria – 800,000 Chile – 500,000; Lebanon – 490,000; Saudi Arabia – 280,245; Egypt – 270,245; United States – 270,000; Honduras -250,000; Venezuela – 245,120; United Arab Emirates – 170,000; Germany -159,000; Mexico – 158,000; Qatar – 100,000; Kuwait – 70,000; El Salvador – 70,000 Brazil – 59,000; Iraq – 57,000; Yemen – 55,000; Canada – 50,975; Australia – 45,000; Libya – 44,000; Denmark – 32,152; United Kingdom – 30,000; Sweden – 25,500; Peru – 20,000; Columbia – 20,000; Spain – 12,000; Pakistan – 10,500; Netherlands – 9,000; Greece – 7,500; Norway – 7,000; France – 5,000; Guatemala – 3,500; Austria – 3,000; Switzerland – 2,000; Turkey – 1,000; and India – 300.
The prime task of a re-structured and re-invigorated PNC would be to debate and determine Palestinian policy and then represent it by speaking to power with one credible voice. That could only assist the task of empowering the citizens of nations with the truth of history.
There is also a joint initiative a universal lobby for Palestinian rights and a re-structured and re-invigorated PNC could that would of itself be a game changer. Just imagine what would happen if a million or more diaspora Palestinians, other Arabs and peoples of all faiths and none marched peacefully on Greater Israel from Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
I can see only two ways in which any Israeli government could react. It could order the IDF to shoot to kill in unthinkable numbers – a reaction that would so horrify the world that governments, including the one in Washington D.C., would have no choice but to take whatever steps were necessary to bring Zionism’s colonial enterprise to an end; or it, the Israeli government, pushed perhaps by a majority of its own people, could say something like: “We are now ready to be serious about real peace even if the outcome of negotiations is One State for all, provided only that the wellbeing and security of all its citizens. Arabs and Jews, is guaranteed.”
I have suggested the need for such a march in the past. It really could be organized if the groups of all faiths and none everywhere who call and campaign for justice for the Palestinians put their act together.
I think I am not alone in wondering if there is real substance to a recent report inForeign Policy Journal by Franklin Lamb with the headline America Preparing For a Post-Israel Middle East? (A Professor of Law and a former Assistant Counsel to the US House Judiciary Committee, Lamb, currently based in Beirut, is a real Middle East expert with very good sources).
The lead point of Lamb’s article was that the 16 agencies of the U.S. intelligence community commissioned a study which has produced in draft form an 82-page analysis, apparently due for publication very soon, which concludes that “the American national interest is fundamentally at odds with that of Zionist Israel“, and that “Israel is currently the greatest threat to US national interests because its nature and actions prevent normal US relations with Arab and Muslim countries and, to a growing degree, the wider international community.”
According to Lamb’s account, the draft study is nothing less than a call for the next president to put America’s own interests first by withdrawing its support (funding and other) for the Zionist monster.
My first reaction to Lamb’s account was – if true, wow!
If it is true, I mean if such a draft analysis does exist, one speculation invited is that whoever is the next American president will have to choose between saying “No” to his intelligence community and putting America’s own best interests first or “No” to Zionism. In that event a key factor in the presidential decision-making process would be the state of American public opinion. In my view the president would need it to be much better informed about the truth of history than it is today if he wanted to say “No” Zionism and have the best possible chance of staying on that track when the Zionist lobby and its many stooges in Congress tried to push him off it.