Friday, September 25, 2009

PACE viewpoints - Obama's peace process rhetorics in the 23rd Sept speech at the UN

Assalamualaikum and greetings to all,

President Barrack Obama's speech at the United Nation on 23rd September has removed any shadow of doubt that he supports the notion of Israel as a Jewish State.

“The time has come to re-launch negotiations – without preconditions - that address the permanent-status issues: security for Israelis and Palestinians; borders, refugees and Jerusalem. The goal is clear: two states living side by side in peace and security - a Jewish State of Israel, with true security for all Israelis; and a viable, independent Palestinian state with contiguous territory that ends the occupation that began in 1967, and realizes the potential of the Palestinian people.”

A closer look at Obama's choice of words would reveal the followings.
1. The peace negotiation must proceed with no preconditions. This means Mahmood Abbas must not insist on the cessation of settlement activities in the occupied territories. Israel will continue to built more jewish housing units on the occupied territories to meet the demands of the so-called ' natural growth' of existing settlements.

2. The notion 'jewish state of Israel' connotes that Israel will be a state exclusively for the jews. Recognizing Israel as such endorses the racist tendencies of Tel Aviv towards their significantly large non jewish populations, particularly Arabs of the Palestinian descends. Avigdor Lieberman, an ultra right Israeli minister has once spoken of banishment of the arabs from Israel and exterminating them.

3. Obama also talked about 'ending the occupation'. Ending the occupation has become a vague term. He did not explicitly says that Israel must relinquish all territories wrestled in the 1967 war. Israel has insisted that they will retain the settlements, the network of highways that linked them and the security zone which claim almost 60% of the west bank on the eastern borders with Jordan. Ending the occupation might as well mean the establishment of a hodgepodge of Palestinian land based on the realities on the ground. That realities on the ground include the security wall which extended deep into the west bank, carving up an additional 30% of Palestinian territories.

4. The permanent-status issues: security for Israelis and Palestinians; borders, refugees and Jerusalem. These are just rhetorics that will have no bearing on Israel's national policy. Israel has never implemented any of the UN resolutions on the Palestinian issue. The right of return of refugees (Resolution 149), the illegal annexation of Jarusalem and the west bank (Resolution 242), the illegal declaration of Jarusalem as the united and eternal capital of Israel (Resolution 267). Every Israeli Prime Minister from Golda Meir to Netanyahu has vowed that Israel will not withdraw from the occupied West bank, the biblical Judea and Samaria (correspaonding to the northern and southern portion of the West Bank). One will certainly not expect Israel to depart from these stance that is an integral part of Israel's reason d'etre.

After 61 years of defying every UN resolutions (since 1948), 61 years of blatant disregard of the Universal declaration of human rights (1948), 60 years of ignoring the 4th Geneva Convention (1949) and trampling on every international rule of law there is be, one will not expect Israel to pay heed to another rhetorics by yet another US President.

Dr Hafidzi Mohd Noor
PACE(Palestine Centre of Excellence)



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