Please, Mr. President, Stop Talking Nonsense

At a town hall meeting in Tampa, Florida on 28 January, President Obama explained what in his view had to happen if there is to be a two-state solution which would see Israel and the Palestinians living side by side in peace and security. He said, “Both sides are going to have to make concessions“.

My own view is that Israel’s still on-going colonization of the occupied West Bank has destroyed the prospect of a two-state solution on any basis the Palestinians could accept. But for the sake of discussion I’ll pretend that is not necessarily so.

Israel is not required to make concessions. Israel is required to accept and implement UN Security Council resolutions which call for an end to its occupation and, more generally, to cease regarding itself as being above and beyond international law.

The Palestinians made the concession necessary from their side long ago.

There were three related reasons why Yasser Arafat and his mainstream PLO leadership colleagues decided that they had got to compromise with Israel if their people were ever to obtain a minimum but just about acceptable amount of justice.

  • The first was the reality of the existence of the nuclear-armed Zionist state – not a legitimate existence (as the true story of its creation proves) but a fact of life.
  • The second was the knowledge that the Arab regimes were never going to fight Israel to liberate Palestine, and, would collude with Zionism-and-America to prevent the PLO becoming an effective resistance movement in terms of guerrilla activities.
  • The third was the realisation that all the major powers of the world were committed to Israel’s existence inside its borders as they were on the eve of the 1967 war.

It took the pragmatic Arafat six long years, from 1973 to 1979, to sell the idea of compromise with Israel first to his Fatah leadership colleagues and then to the Palestine National Council (PNC), the highest decision-making body on the Palestinian side. And it was a mission that Arafat knew from the start could cost him his credibility with his own people and perhaps even his life. Why? Because he was asking them to accept what most thought was “unthinkable” – recognizing and thus legitimizing Israel’s existence inside its pre-1967 borders in return for only 22% of all the land the Palestinians were claiming.

In fact the full extent of the concessions Arafat persuaded his leadership colleagues to accept and be prepared to make went even further than that. Though they could not say so in public until they had something concrete to show for their policy of politics and compromise, they accepted, and Israel was informed, that the Palestinian right of return would have to be limited to the territory of the Palestinian mini-state on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem its capital or the whole of Jerusalem an open, undivided city and the capital of two states.

At the end of 1979, shortly after Arafat had persuaded the PNC to endorse his policy of politics and compromise with Israel, I had the first of many meetings with him. His comment on the PNC vote – 296 for his policy and only four against – was this: “How far we have travelled in six years. No more this silly talk of driving the Jews into the sea. (A statement Arafat and his Fatah colleagues never made). Now we are prepared to live side by side with them in a mini-state of our own. It is a miracle.”

It was the miracle of Arafat’s leadership. What he needed thereafter was an Israeli partner for peace. At a point it seemed that Israeli Prime Minister Rabin might be the partner, but he was assassinated by a Zionist zealot. The assassin was not de-ranged. He knew exactly what he was doing. Killing the peace process Arafat’s policy of politics and compromise had set in motion.

There are no more concessions the Palestinians can make for peace. President Obama’s statement that they must is absurd and obscene. Unclear is whether he was speaking out of ignorance of real history or from Zionism’s script.

8 comments on this post.
  1. mary:

    Indeed, how much more can the Palestinians “concede”? As Netanyahu allows what is left of their land to be gobbled up by illegal settlements, he still demands “concessions” when it is also quite obvious that the man is not remotely interested in peace. It’s all nothing but theater, for the naive Obama and for the few Israelis and diaspora Zionists still foolish enough not to see the truth.

  2. Adnab:

    Obama has clearly shown that he is following Bush and is following the Zionist NeoCon line.Studying their actions and not their talk, the conclusion is that they want to get rid of the Palestinians by expulsion or slow death. Keep Irak wrecked and divided and do the same to Iran and back the Israelis to rule the middle east till the oil runs out. The Caspian oil too will also flow through this region. They will Balkanise this region and keep samll states fighting with each other with Israel and its nuclear arsenal and the US armed forces to back them, ruling the roost.

  3. mary:

    Aqmamin, I don’t imagine there is one single Palestinian willing to wait another 77 years, as you state in your comment. I also am not willing to wait another 77 years. Perhaps that has been a large measure of what is keeping the Palestinian people from being liberated – the failure to understand that it is up to us as fellow human beings to right the wrongs. To refuse to act is to not give a damn. In 77 years, unless we act, there may not be any Palestinian people left.

  4. AB:

    the only true peace deal can be based on libermans old plan of the settelment blocs in israel control in exchange for the land of arab israeli towns which would be moved under palestinian control.

  5. syed mehdi hasan ashraf:

    We all know The plan for that part of the world,planned by those who thinks the creator of entire universe & us has given them right to determine any body’s or any nation’s fate.Till we really start to believing in as an individual that we are to answer one day infront of one & only Our CREATOR
    what ever we do & who ever with,these games will go on and so would the sufferings of innocent inhabitants of this beutiful world of ours.

  6. mary:

    It is a matter of breaking up the American political machine which is dominated by the Zionists and their sympathizers. The Congress is heavily influenced by money and political pressure to act according to the powerful lobby, and tragically, the American people do nothing to stop it. It appears that they have forgotten that an effective democracy does not run itself, but requires active participation from the citizens in order to remain in the hands of the people. While Americans were busy watching TV, using their credit cards and pursuing the “American dream,” they forgot their obligation to keep the democracy from falling into the hands of scoundrels.

  7. Steve Meikle:

    On every issue Obama has proven himnelf a complete traitor to those who voted for him, so he is not going to listen. And I suspect that he himself is dazzled by the beauty of his own rhetoric, so if this is true he has even less reason to listen

    Alas I fear this is the net result of speaking truth to power: as power corrupts so the powerful will always be too corrupted to listen to truth.

    But at least they cannot claim the excuse that they did not know the truth

  8. mary:

    I think Obama is under enormous pressure not to step out of the pro-Zionist track, simply because he wants to be re-elected in 2012. He needs the support of the Democrats in Congress, and the Democrats are overwhelmingly pro-Zionist. The naive young senator from Chicago probably thought things would be much smoother and simpler. I don’t think he is corrupt, at least not yet. But Obama is so caught up in pleasing everybody that he is not accomplishing anything.

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