SIXTY-FIVE years into its existence, Israel is no safer today than it was in 1948. Palestine, which existed until 1948 as a mandated territory with international recognition, today is little more than a base for Israeli settler fanaticism. Palestinian efforts to negotiate statehood through peace based on significant Arab compromise have been tripped up by the violence of Arab extremists and the increasing extremism of Israel’s leadership.
Even though President Barack Obama is the first president to defeat the Israeli lobby in an election – the Israelis went all out to defeat him and failed – instead of using his power, the cowardly Obama is crawling back to Israel on his hands and knees seeking approval from the pro-Israel lobby.
It was in the choking smoke of the bonfire of peace that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas desperately sought to salvage peace by seeking an “upgrade” in Palestine’s status at the United Nations where the conflict began.
Abbas could have demanded that the UN give Palestine full state membership. Instead, he only asked for an upgrade from “observer” to “non-member observer state.” The upgrade that Abbas won on Thursday might not push Israel or its servant the United States to energize their abandoned commitments to peace based on two states, but it might put the process back in the hands of the UN where the issue belongs. It might also upgrade Abbas in the eyes of the Palestinians as Hamas steadily climbs in popularity after its recent military victory over Israel.
Almost seasonally, Israel’s military launches vicious assaults against Palestinians in Gaza to convince its shrinking world supporters that its existence is threatened. Israel benefits from portraying itself as the victim, even though it is the violent aggressor. It’s the official Israeli narrative: Israel is threatened by the Arab hordes so it can resist compromising with the Palestinians.
The truth is Israel is not threatened at all. In fact, Israel is the party doing all of the threatening. By attacking Gaza, Israel contrived another fake crisis in which it fired missiles and killed hundreds of Palestinians, provoking the Palestinians to react as they always do with blind emotion and rage. Israel then uses its media power to twist the facts, making it look like Hamas initiated the conflict. The Israeli controlled American media rarely reports on Israeli violence and only starts the clock on reporting when Hamas responds.
It’s a clever Israeli media deceit – the media is something the Arabs will never understand let alone master. It’s a core part of the typically stupid Arab strategy. If the Arabs can’t have everything, they will fight to the death for nothing. It’s the exact opposite of Israel’s strategy which has been to take what you can get and build on it. The Gaza war was another real failure for Hamas, but that’s not how they are spinning it. Arabs culturally are ashamed of failure. They never admit failure. If they ignore failure, then their shame becomes irrelevant, in their own minds.
The biggest disappointment for the peace process though is Obama. No one has a better understanding of the real facts and history of how Israel screwed the Palestinians out of their rights, or an empathy for the Palestinians who have been oppressed by a brutal Israel.
Israelis feared that if Obama won a second term as US President, he would use his final term to push Israel to compromise with the Palestinians. But Obama beat Israel, and like many weak leaders surprised by their own success, they roll over in political surrender in order to avoid further conflict. Obama would rather have the love of Israel’s fanatics than the embrace of principle or morality. He has surrendered to Israel’s rightwing, embracing their propaganda rhetoric about the recent Israeli-provoked Gaza violence, which Israel provoked.
Obama knows that the Israeli controlled media won’t report on the hundreds of Palestinian dead, including women and children, but will raise bonfires of anger over the killing of one Israeli. The life of a Palestinian has no value in the valueless Israeli controlled American news media.
Israelis want peace but not with Palestinians. Israelis don’t want to return the lands they stole in 1948 or 1967. They just want the Palestinians to go away. And if they have to resort to apartheid-like practices or ethnic cleansing strategies to achieve that goal, they don’t care. As each year passes, the children of the European-driven Holocaust have become more heartless and cruel. Israelis are increasingly fanatic and rejecting peace through compromise.
With all this before him, Abbas had no choice but to roll the dice and gamble. He had to push for a change that both Israel and the cowardly Obama did not want. Even though Israel and “Obama the puppet” threatened to punish Palestinians for seeking and winning the UN upgrade, Palestinians have nothing more to lose and everything to gain.
The upgrade at the UN could change the dynamics of Middle East peace. It could take the peace process out of the hands of the deceitful Israeli controlled American government and put it back in the lap of the United Nations where, 65 years ago, this whole mess began when it imposed Jewish statehood on a non-Jewish population.
— Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist. He can be reached at www.TheMediaOasis.com