Cry yet more, poor Palestinians!
There seems no end to the cruelty and humiliation fate has in store for Palestinians at the hands of the US and Israel. Clearly the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, something unthinkable since the Palestinians abandoned the maximalist dream for the reality of the two-state solution, was not the final nail in the coffin of the already comatose peace process.
“Calling the establishment of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law hasn’t worked,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has now said. The UN waived its customary impotence at Washington as all other security council members ‘rebuked’ it for claiming that Israeli settlements were not in violation of international law. But everybody, especially everybody among the Palestinians, knows only too well what good that would do.
It is certain, then, that back-and-forth around the two-state solution had gone on too long. And there was no better time than the present, when practically all of the Gulf was also more or less on board, to move ahead with complete occupation of the Holy Land. This process began long before trump, when one particular US secretary of state, Colin Powell, directed American embassies to replace official mention of the term ‘occupied territories’ – meaning stolen land, of course – with ‘disputed territories’. But does that change the specifics of the law, that occupying powers cannot plant their own citizens on occupied and stolen land, as mandated by the Fourth Geneva Convention?
So the skeptics were right all along. There was never really going to be a two-state solution. How distant Chairman Arafat’s promises of return ring now, how broken the dream of going to their homes in Jerusalem and Haifa once again. Sadly the Muslim world’s story of these 70 years of Palestinian occupation will be one of disunity and betrayal. And the PLO, too, led to no meaningful reorganisation of Palestine’s insular clans. Its leaders grew rich in Lebanon as it became the best funded resistance movement in the world.
Whether or not the dye is finally cast by Washington green-lighting the settlements, there is no denying that the status quo has been shattered. Never did the words of Golda Meir, fourth in the long list of Israel’s hawkish prime ministers, feel as true as they do no.
“When we burnt down Jerusalem, I hadn’t slept all night, expecting that the Arabs would be coming from all over towards Israel. When the sun rose, I knew full well that we are facing a sleeping Ummah,” she said.
Poor, suffering Palestinians, then, are destined to cry yet more for their olive gardens.
Political paralysis and way ahead