Middle East Continues to Boil
by Stephen Lendman
A previous article called it the curse of oil and gas. Independent countries are targeted. Washington’s war on Syria rages.
It’s been ongoing for 28 months and counting. It continues because America, key NATO allies, Israel, and rogue Arab states pour arms into Syria. They do so lawlessly. They’re responsible for tens of thousands of deaths.
Dozens more die daily. Conflict persists. Obama bears full responsibility. Imported death squads serve US interests. Media scoundrels don’t explain.
Mercenary killers are called freedom fighters. Syrian defenders are called terrorists. Truth is turned on its head. It’s done so irresponsibly. Media scoundrels support Washington’s imperium. They betray their readers and viewers in the process.
Egypt’s on the boil. Washington’s very much involved. So is Israel. Both countries have important issues at stake.
Egyptians have legitimate grievances. They’re longstanding. They’ve been unaddressed for decades. Political and socioeconomic ones are key.
Things are worse now than ever. Bread and butter issues matter most. Widespread poverty, unemployment and extreme deprivation persist. Conditions are intolerable.
Ousting Morsi doesn’t matter. Neoliberal harshness is policy. So is police state repression. Junta power rules. It does so brutally.
Democracy’s an illusion. It exists in name only. It’s fiction, not fact. Street protests won’t work unless sustained. Days and weeks won’t help. Months and years are needed.
Whether Egyptians are up to the challenge remains to be seen. Mubarak’s ouster accomplished nothing. Nor does changing the guard now.
Entrenched power rules Egypt. Washington exerts enormous influence. It’s waning but still important. Change won’t come easily or quickly. Lots more blood may be spilled.
It’s true across the region. Breaking free takes commitment. It requires longterm struggle. Palestinians have been at it on and off for decades. Civil and labor rights in America took years of painful struggles.
Street protests raged. So did work stoppages, battling police, and paying with blood and lives before real gains were won.
Doing so’s half the battle. Lost energy turns triumphs into tragedies. It happens more often than not. Odds for success in Egypt short-term are nil. Longer term’s far from sure. Eventually perhaps is possible.
It’s true everywhere. Palestinians one day will be free. They’ve struggled too long to quit. They’re on their own. They’ll get no help from America. They never did. They won’t now. Washington sustains Israel’s killing machine.
Kerry’s heading back for more peace talks. He’ll arrive sometime this week. It’s his sixth visit since February. He represents US/ Israeli interests. He spurns what Palestinians most want.
He’ll shuttle between Jerusalem and Ramallah. His diplomacy is thin-veiled. It’s one-sided. It’s duplicitous. It demands, bullies and threatens. Decades of so-called peace talks accomplished nothing.
Netanyahu calls them a waste of time. Israel’s government is its most hardline ever. It’s vicious. It’s fascist. It’s no democracy. It’s all take and no give.
Since Kerry’s late June visit, Frank Lowenstein stayed behind. He’s Kerry’s senior regional peace talks advisor. He’s been shuttling between Jerusalem and Ramallah.
He held daily talks with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Netanyahu’s envoy Isaac Molho. He met with Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat.
Nothing he proposed washes. Reports suggest a reformulated plan. It’s old wine in new bottles. It’s duplicitous. It’s meaningless. It says one thing. It means another. It calls for:
- freezing construction outside major settlement blocs; words belie longstanding policy; Netanyahu prioritizes expanded development; so do most Knesset members;
- releasing 103 Palestinian prisoners within six months; multiples more will be arrested; freed ones are rearrested;
- advancing Palestinian economic projects; ones planned benefit Israel and Western interests alone; and
- talks based on 1967 borders.
Netanyahu prioritizes permanent occupation, settlement expansions, expanded development; exploiting Palestinian resources, and militarized rule.
He refuses final status talks. He wants all valued Judea and Sumaria areas Judaized. He wants Jerusalem as Israel’s exclusive capital.
He wants unchallenged Israeli domination. He prioritizes Israel’s Greater Middle East agenda. Divide, conquer and control define it.
Israel’s the only country without fixed borders. It wants them expanded. It wants parts of Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.
It wants Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. Arabs comprise one-fifth of its population. They’re marginalized, denied and persecuted. They’re persona non grata. They’re virtual non-people.
Peace talks were stillborn from inception. Israel deplores it. Subverting it is prioritized. Longstanding policy prioritizes:
- permanent militarized occupation;
- “maximum land with minimum Arabs;”
- dispossessing Palestinians from areas Israel wants exclusively for Jews;
- annexing all valued parts of Judea and Sumaria;
- controlling Greater Jerusalem;
- claiming it as Israel’s exclusive capital;
- establishing settlements, military bases, free-firing zones, commercial locations, tourist sites, nature reserves; no-go areas, Jews-only roads, checkpoints, other barriers, and other exclusively Jewish areas;
- stealing Palestinian resources; and
- cracking down hard on resisters.
So-called “territorial compromise” and “land for peace” are code terms. They’re meaningless. Equity, justice, and Palestinian liberation are non-starters.
From 1967 to today, Israel rejected the PLO as a legitimate peace partner. Negotiations were rigged to fail. Israel took full advantage. It still does.
Peace process deception is policy. It’s a charade. It’s always been that way. It’s no different now. Oslo was a spectacular failure. Israel planned it that way. Arafat went along. He betrayed his own people. He did so disgracefully.
Abbas was chief Palestinian negotiator. He’s a longtime Israeli collaborator. He sold out for benefits he derives. He amassed enormous wealth. He stole it. He secreted it safely offshore.
He’s Israel’s man in Palestine. He’s Palestine’s illegitimate president. Israel rigged his election. His term expired in January 2009.
In January 2006, Palestinians elected Hamas to govern. Israel prevents their parliamentarians from doing so.
They’re isolated in Gaza. They’re treated like criminals. They’re arrested and imprisoned. They’re excluded from peace talks. Doing so alone dooms them.
Lowenstein represents Kerry. He does so in his absence. He’s been pressuring Abbas to go along. Washington wants unconditional surrender. Don’t bet it won’t happen. It did before. It may now.
Israel concedes nothing. Promises made are broken. Israeli deals aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. Israel’s a rogue state. So is America. They’re no peace partners. They never were. They aren’t now.
The prophet Mohammed once said “Deeds are examined by the intentions behind them.” Israeli ones were never good. They’re one- way. They’re duplicitous. They’re unbending. They’re hardline. They’re unforgiving. They’re ruthless.
Palestinian liberation depends on them alone. It’s always been that way. It’s no different now. Their longterm struggle continues. Hopefully one day they’ll succeed.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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