Thursday, November 29, 2012

On the UN resolution for Palestinian statehood

When the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993, a political journal I wrote for published an article by a Palestinian supporter endorsing the Accords as “the best the Palestinians could get.” But anyone who compared the demands of Palestinian justice with the details of the Accords recognized that the document embodied the terms of Palestinian submission to Israeli dominance & did not even tip the hat to justice. It was a document of surrender & Palestinian defeat. The article incensed me & I sent off a critique arguing that Palestinians could not hope to win justice in the arena of diplomatic maneuvers, that wienie-brained diplomats (I might have put it less rudely) could not possibly envision a just solution & that it required a massive, international social movement with an understanding of & an uncompromising fight to attain justice.

Though neither of the two Oslo Accords (the first in 1993 & the second one in 1995) addressed the question of Palestinian statehood they were regarded as the basis of a two-state solution, seen as the pragmatic solution to the conflict. Tis a pragmatic solution alright but one that completely preempts Palestinian justice. That justice must include the end of occupation, the end of Zionist settlers expropriating Palestinian lands, the end of bombing sieges, the right of return to Palestinian refugees, full equality & democracy in a single secular state. And nothing less!

That the two-state solution is still even thought of as a possibility boggles the mind. To hold on to that pipe dream means ignoring Israel’s policies of apartheid & ethnic cleansing, Israel's policy of settlement expansion in the West Bank & East Jerusalem, the siege & repeated murderous bombing campaigns against Gaza, the millions of Palestinians still living in refugee camps after 65 years, the barrier apartheid wall with all its check points.

Many are jubilant at the UN resolution accepting Palestine as an observer at the UN. Though it doesn’t invest a single political advantage to Palestinians--most notably statehood of any kind--supporters argue it is a symbolic victory. Symbolic of what? What does an observer’s chair at the UN mean regarding future Israeli bombing in Gaza or continued expropriations of Palestinian lands in the West Bank? Palestinians have no voice, no vote, & if they did would be shouted down by the thunderous majority of other UN members with both. It’s ironic symmetry that a UN resolution in 1947 recognized the right to establish a Jewish state in the British colony of Palestine & 65 years later some are looking to the same UN for recognition as a bantustate, as if that institution could possibly offer a just solution.

The Palestinian statehood resolution offers nothing to the Palestinians. It is an empty gesture, grandstanding, political theater by Mahmoud Abbas & the leadership of the Palestinian Authority. It is an obfuscating diversion not to fool wienie-brained diplomats but to hoodwink the Palestinian people & their supporters. Objections by the US & Israel were just part of the melodrama--sound & fury signifying nothing.

Gaza is a prison; it can never be a state--not even a lousy bantustate. The mis-leadership of the Palestinians led by the disreputable, Mahmoud Abbas, is pulling a stunt, substituting diplomatic maneuvers & shenanigans for a political strategy which addresses the urgent questions of Palestinian justice like the right of return, the end of land expropriations, the end of the Gaza siege, the end of bombing assaults, tearing down the barrier wall, the right to live in a unified, democratic, secular state in harmony with Jews.

But the very worst part of this damn UN maneuver is that it legitimizes what has now been proved a pipe dream & impossible solution--the two-state solution. And it delegitimizes intifada. Every attempt of the Palestinians to push back against apartheid will be seen as a provocation, a violation of the Israeli creed that my land is my land & your land is my land & when we’re finished with Palestine, Palestinians will not exist.

Though we may disagree strongly on the UN resolution for Palestinian statehood, we do agree on the need to continue boycotting all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729) & on the demand to end all US & EU aid to Israel. Justice for the Palestinians.

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