Full Court Press to Deny Palestinians Statehood – by Stephen Lendman
Palestinians deserved and were ready for statehood 63 years ago. Washington, Israel, other detractors, and naysayers say not now.
Libya’s illegitimate Transitional National Council (TNC) puppet regime got theirs in less than 63 minutes.
Palestinians overwhelmingly want what imperial America and Israel intend to deny them. In fact, they’re applying hardball pressure for it right now.
Palestinians have other ideas.
On September 18, Haaretz writers Ron Ben-Tovim headlined, “Majority of Palestinians believe UN statehood bid will succeed,” explaining:
They also think Israel and America will respond harshly. Nonetheless, an independent Palestinian Near East Consulting poll showed 84% of Palestinians support statehood now. Moreover, they think the PA is capable of running it.
On September 13, Haaretz writer Danna Harman headlined, “Poll shows Europeans overwhelmingly in favor of Palestinian statehood,” saying:
The “Internet-based movement, Avaaz,” requested the poll conducted by YouGov in Britain and Germany, and Ifop in France. They showed 84% of Germans favor statehood, 82% in France, and 71% of Brits.
In addition, large majorities in all three countries want their governments to back and recognize it.
Citizens across Europe and other countries express similar sentiments.
On September 18, the BBC reported poll numbers strongly back statehood.
“The poll of 20,446 citizens conducted by GlobeScan (showed among countries surveyed) 49 percent back (it), while 21 per cent say their government should oppose it.” Others are undecided.
Support is strongest in Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia, as well as other Muslim countries and China. Even Americans support it by a 45 – 36% margin.
GlobeScan Chairman Doug Miller said:
“If countries’ citizens had a vote at the UN, the poll suggests that Palestine would receive official UN recognition.”
In other words, most of the world backs doing the right thing. Many of those against or undecided may either worry about harsh US and Israeli recrimination or don’t understand the implications of voting yes or no.
Palestinians know and say:
No more delays.
No more reasons why not.
No more obstruction.
No more let’s make a deal.
No more maybe next time, not now.
No more yielding to American and Israeli pressure, threats and intimidation.
Now’s the time! The name of the game is justice!
Palestine is Ready for Independence
On September 20, AP said donor countries and international lending agencies back Palestinian statehood, including the IMF and World Bank.
Norwegian Foreign Minister, Gahr Stoere, head of the Donors Support Group, called Palestinian institutions “a remarkable success story on the international level.”
He strongly supports statehood despite obstacles presented by Israel’s occupation and Gaza’s siege.
Ami Ayalon, former Israeli Shin Bet (its internal security service) head backs it, saying:
“After voting for the Palestinian state, Israel should start negotiations over borders….We should realize that the Palestinian move came due to the lack of other options.”
He added that Israel has itself to blame for its growing isolation and believes it’s essential to formulate a new policy.
Enlightened millions globally agree, including growing numbers of Jews in Israel and elsewhere.
On September 16, Israeli ex-pat Gilad Atzmon headlined an article, “Obama, the Palestinian State & Zionist Schizophrenia,” saying:
Monitoring the Hebrew press shows “a clear split within the Jewish collective psyche.”
In fact, “most Israelis actually want the Palestinian initiative to go ahead and to succeed.”
They believe achieving it is the best way to “save the ‘Jews only State’ from a demographic meltdown” because Palestinian numbers are growing faster than Jewish ones.
Polls show Israelis clearly favor Palestinian statehood. Not only that, “they actually love” the idea.
Opposing it are Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman, other political hard-liners, extremist settlers, diaspora Zionists, and the powerful Israeli Lobby.
“What we see here in practice is a clear identity crisis or even a schizophrenic counter flow of aspirations between” two opposing sides – most for it, others against.
It’s long past time for responsible parties to stand tall for what’s right, regardless of intimidating threats and pressure. It holds for ordinary people as well as nations with UN voting power.
Most important, it holds for PA president Abbas to pursue statehood responsibly. Previous articles said he won’t. He signaled it in body language and explicit comments.
En route to New York, he told reporters:
“We decided to take this step and all hell has broken out against us.”
“From now until I give the speech (on September 23), we have only one choice: going to the Security Council. Afterward, we will sit and decide.”
His aides said he may also go to the General Assembly for an upgrade from observer to non-member state. However, doing so is accepting status quo failure, leaving Palestinians back at square one. As a result:
They’ll be denied statehood.
They’ll remain an occupied Israeli vassal state.
They’ll have no rights.
The PA will remain Israel’s enforcer against its own people with no independent power.
It’ll have no control of its borders, air space or Gaza shoreline and waters. Nor can it end Gaza’s siege.
More Palestinian land will be stolen for Israeli settlements.
Also its resources, mainly water.
East Jerusalem will become entirely Judaized, excluding Palestinians altogether and their right to have it as their capital.
Diaspora Palestinians will have no right to return.
Institutionalized racism will continue.
So will constant fear, economic strangulation, collective punishment, mass arrests, torture, neighborhood incursions, Israel’s expanding Separation Wall, curfews, roadblocks, checkpoints, barriers, by-pass roads, barbed wire, electric fences, isolation in bantustans, daily humiliation, and naked aggression whenever Israel chooses to wage it against defenseless civilians.
Nonetheless, expect Abbas to settle for what no responsible leader should tolerate any time.
His disgraceful record shows he’ll again prove his collaborationist credentials, opting as well for more peace negotiations that never before worked and won’t now.
Systemic wrongs will continue. Poverty, unemployment, and repression will remain extreme. Institutionalized denial will substitute for freedom later, not now or maybe never.
Palestinian winter will replace hoped for spring. Status quo subjugation will be enforced by a puppet figurehead, a disgraceful Israeli collaborationist.
It’s time for Palestinians to decide their own fate – freedom or bondage under rogue leaders like Abbas, his number two Salam Fayyad, and their hangers-on for whatever privileges they enjoy at the expense of their own people.
America’s Media Never Quit
Unanimously they oppose statehood. A September 19 Washington Post editorial headlined, “A heedless rush for Palestinian statehood,” saying:
Abbas “acknowledged (that statehood) will be more hardship for” Palestinians. “Congress may terminate US aid….Israel is hinting at retaliation….(V)iolent confrontation(s) with Israel” may ensue.
Instead of supporting the right thing at the right time, WP echoed extremist threats that may, in fact, not occur given Israel’s growing isolation and waning US regional influence.
As a result, if either country piles on more hardships it may only shoot itself in the foot, so why risk it with so little to gain.
WP, in fact, acknowledges that Israel “stands to lose” by taking a hardline position on statehood. “The United States, too, could pay a price in the Arab world if it is forced to” use its veto.
Nonetheless, Abbas “appears likely to stick with his grand gesture – and to let Palestinians pay the price.”
Failure will cost Palestinians much more than independence bordering Israel. If achieved, they’ll be free at last, no matter what hardships lie ahead.
That reality defeats the unfortunate position of naysayers seeing a half empty, not half full glass with statehood.
Flawed freedom beats subjugation any time. It’s step one toward better times no matter what hardships remain.
On August 28, 1963, a quarter million people heard Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech at Washington’s Lincoln Memorial 100 years after Black people still weren’t free, and aren’t now.
He said he came to Washington “to cash a check,” guaranteeing “the ‘unalienable rights’ of ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ “
He “refuse(d) to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt.”
That America’s Blacks are excluded from “the riches of freedom and the security of justice.”
“Now is the time to make justice a reality,” he said.
“We can never be satisfied” with victimhood and second class citizen status.
He had a dream still unfulfilled, but success depends on trying, staying in the struggle for what’s right.
Palestinians have a dream after 63 years of denial. They’ve never had a better chance for step one than now.
Naysayers aren’t welcome in their struggle as defeatists.
Others proudly stand for what’s right over wrong always.
It includes liberating Palestine no matter what lies ahead for achieving it.
Subjugation no longer can be tolerated. Nor can naysayers.
A Final Comment
On September 20, Ma’an News said seven Security Council members committed to support statehood. Two more are needed to force a Washington veto.
The same day, Haaretz writer Shlomo Shamir headlined, “Report: UN vote on Palestinian statehood might be delayed for weeks,” saying:
“Sources say a ‘silent agreement’ exists among Western powers to act to postpone” Security Council and General Assembly votes for later dates to be announced.
Sources also “claim Abbas is interested in postponing the Security Council vote,” allegedly for more negotiating time with Washington.
Clearly America wants resolution delayed as long as possible for several likely reasons, including:
— more time for high-pressure strong-arming;
— without enough Security Council votes to get more to avoid an embarrassing veto;
— getting the issue out of headlines; and
— convincing Abbas to drop the idea altogether in return for special favors.
Given his intent already, he may agree with some bogus sweetners thrown in to say at least he got something.
He surrendered unconditionally at Oslo but came home proclaiming peace in our time.
Expect it again once UN business wraps up.
At issue is will Palestinians and their supporters accept betrayal when victory is so close at hand?
Stay tuned. This issue isn’t going away.
At least not until Palestinians get what they want and deserve.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.