Monday, November 19, 2007

Er, Which 'People' Is That?

World opinion is still on the side of the people of the occupied territories.


Not us, the revenant Jews who reside in the territories, however you lable us. No, that statement refers to the Pals.

More of Jonathan Steele's opinion:-

As the United States-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian meeting in Annapolis, Maryland, approaches, the key question is what follows when it fails. Fiasco is looming, so what do the Palestinians do next? In their decades-long bid for justice, they have already tried everything. The "armed struggle" of the 1970s, with its publicity-seeking aircraft hijackings, won global attention but no major concessions. The suicide bombings of the 1990s hardened Israeli attitudes and lost the Palestinian struggle much of its legitimacy. The Qassam rockets which continue to be fired from Gaza inflict damage and occasional death, but bring disproportionate retribution from the Israeli airforce.

...Today no major party is willing to contemplate a reasonable concept of Palestinian independence. Instead, the ancient settlement project of Zionist dreams moves forward unabated, with the outrage of the ever-expanding wall and the annexation of east Jerusalem and its hinterland. According to the latest figures, Palestinians only control 54% of the West Bank. The rest has been taken by Israeli settlements. Meanwhile 570 closures - concrete blocks, mounds of earth and checkpoints - divide the remaining Palestinian land into mini-enclaves of anger and indignity.

Attempting to convince successive US administrations that pressure needs to be put on Israel has also not worked for the Palestinians. Even Bill Clinton confined himself to sweet-talking. He never wielded any muscle, let alone hinted at sanctions for Israel's serial non-compliance with UN resolutions.

To expect anything tougher from George Bush is futile. Indeed, it is hard to fathom what his people are up to by proposing the Annapolis meeting. The president shows no real energy or engagement on the issue, compared with Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, or even his father. Does he seriously think he can get an agreement, and have one foreign policy success after the disaster of Iraq? Even if Mahmoud Abbas were to sign a meaningful piece of paper at Annapolis, the Palestinian president lacks the moral or political authority of Arafat. He is more likely to be denounced than praised by most Palestinians.


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