President Ronald Reagan once assured Israel that there should not be a Palestinian state. Israel thought it could rename autonomy to statehood as long as Palestinians have no real sovereignity and agree to live in Bantustans. Now President Bush further assures Sharon that the US government stands with Israel’s unilateral moves (against other International laws and human rights). Palestinian refugees thus cannot go back to their homes and lands from which they were ethnically cleansed. Unlike Reagan Bush was much clearer n advocating Zionist ideologies. Combined with the misadventure into Iraq, Bush actually managed to shed the last fig leaf and embark on a road which, if not reversed, will bring ruin to all of us.
Bush recognized new realities in the form of the massive building of colonies/settlements on Palestinian land. He did not explain that this ‘reality’ was simply theft of land using our taxes. Nor did he acknowledge the link between our support for ethnic cleansing to our predicament in dealing with people in the Arab world and beyond. One silver lining to this cloud is that while the world knew it, now Americans are finally learning how costly and misguided has been our support of the oppression of the Palestinians.
Erosion of US credibility abroad is positively correlated with our support for oppression of the Palestinians. Due largely to US support, nine million Palestinians live today as either refugees/displaced people (5 million), occupied and being walled in (3.5 million Palestinians inside the West Bank and Gaza; 70% unemployed now), or as 10th class citizens in their own lands (1.2 million Palestinians with nominal Israeli Citizenship). Unilateral moves are clearl not new to Israeli policy makers.
To cap the history of US direct and indirect aid to Israel by attacking the right of refugees is ultimately self defeating. This right is codified by the Universal Declaration of human Rights (to which both Israel and the US are signatory) and a number of International laws and conventions. Denial of basic rights is based on racism. How else would one explain that any Jew or convert to Judaism can acquire automatic Israeli citizenship while natives cannot return to their homes and lands which were stolen from them. By the dubious logic of power and arrogance, Bush and Sharon stand against the whole world. It is pathetic that Sharon had ten visits with Bush while yet has not set foot in European or other countries (where there was threats of arrests for this war criminal tha Bush called ‘a man of peace’). Does one wonder why at the UN, 140 countries vote against Israel and the US (joined occasionally by Micronesia and the Marshal Islands!) on key issues of human rights?
This government is losing credibility fast and facing people power. Its show of force in Iraq ring of the same kind of desperation when Sharon went into Jenin and Nablus last year. This was in fact why Zionists like Perle and Wolfowitz pushed us to war in Iraq: to cement kinship of two occupying powers. But despite a relentless program to ‘Zionify’ America, the public around the world supports the right of Palestinians to return and to self-determination. While our government forks $5 billion per year to support the Israeli apartheid state, many taxpayers volunteer as human shields to stop Israeli bulldozers from demolishing Palestinian homes (remember Rachel Corrie). Thus, concomitant with Israelization of the power structures in America there has been the Palestinization of people of good will.
One sign carried at a huge anti-War rally recently simply said: We are all Palestinians. We are the unemployed and the taxpayers. We the 40 million without healthcare and those struggling to pay for skyrocketing health care costs as we siphon money for the military. We the Muslim and Arab Americans reeling from the roll back of constitutional protections. We people of good faith who never bought into the mythology about need for walls of apartheid and separation or about ‘you are either with us or against us’ (most of the world population was against US’s disastrous foreign policy and Bush’s illegal war but are with us, the people of America). So Mr. Bush, go ahead and make your declarations. They will only help propel the new awakening already underway. A new world is indeed possible.