OBAMA’S GUTSY CALL (Part one of two).
Last week, President Barack Obama made an unexpected call, which seems to have surprised many in both Israel and the USA. Relative to the Arab-Israeli impasse, he bluntly and sensibly stated the obvious: it is in Israel’s long-term interest to give back seized-lands, as an opening gesture or kick-off point to reinstalling peace talks with the Palestinians. Of course, those whose interests are way above and beyond peace jumped him like he was being blasphemous. Many of them deliberately ignored some of the specific caveats in his speech: like “agreeable land-swaps”.
No surprise there. Nothing new on either side of Obama’s call. This is an obvious opening-gambit worth taking: hard-core Zionists are probably the main opponents who refuse to see its efficacy. But it isn’t only Zionists who are at fault here though: there are many people all over the world who are invested in things like war, civil unrest, insurrections, military upheavals, bloody revolutions and political, racial, nationalistic and/or religious strife/disputes. They capitalize on these things. They don’t give a damn about human lives being at risk. They only care about the wealth that can be accumulated through other people’s sufferings: they are the worst of the worst amongst us.
Look, it is not easy to write about the subject at hand. It’s like discussing religion, philosophy, economics and/or politics: too often, people come to the table with hard held views/positions, and are somewhat inflexible. If you read a book entitled, “The Arab-Israeli Impasse”- which is essentially Majida Khadduri’s compilation of many writings on the subject- you will get a decent understanding of the genesis of this impasse. There are many other valuable writings on this topic; so feel free. Some of them are even more contemporary.
The factual Arab - Israeli imbroglio predates the Balfour Declaration of November, 1917. The questions around fundamental Palestinian nationalistic rights, versus Israeli rights and ambitions can be traced back for centuries. I am not about to enter that discourse here. There are all sorts of depressing issues that have emerged, re-emerged and continually percolate. The fact is that this impasse continues to hold the rest of the world in a straight-jacket. Its potential is at least a hundred times deadlier than what happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
There are those who believe that since Israel battled to win lands from its Arab neighbors - via five wars fought since 1948- to the victor go the spoils. But it is not that simple. Some of the lands being disputed were not won in war, but were gained through terrorism, invasion, political muscle, military might, premeditated annexations and international support for Israel from the USA, Britain, and those nations under the direct (and sometimes indirect) control of both Britain and the USA.
It has been about 100 years since the League of Nations (now the United Nations) first started dealing with the issue of “Palestine”. Over that time it now appears that the issue has gotten more and more complicated with each passing year. Come next September or October, the UN will most likely vote to create a nation for Palestinian refugees, and for others of that ilk still living in Israel and in some of the disputed and annexed lands. The USA will probably have to veto (again) another pro-Palestinian UN-resolution on the issue; just like they have done many times over the past seven decades.
The UN has passed many resolutions calling for Israel to withdraw to amended borders, relatively similar to those that existed prior to the 1967 war. Understandably, the Israelis have been reluctant to do this, without some iron-clad assurances that their national-security won’t be compromised. Any sane person can see past both sides of this particular argument; especially given the history of terrorism on both sides of the divide.
When there are many (too many) on one side of the fence, unwilling to recognize and accept, the other side’s right to exist, then you get the sense that there is a serious “failure to communicate” between the parties enjoined. Warmongers are the first to exploit communication breakdowns and failures. In the international arena, the failure of political discourse and diplomacy to yield reasonable outcomes sometimes remits bloodshed, terrorism and war.
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