|ALL SMILES: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers remarks after meeting with Quartet Envoy Tony Blair in the Treaty Room at the State Department. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
I am becoming very conscious of an other-worldly air about the pronouncements of our political leaders. I’m sure readers must have noticed the same thing. For example, in arguing against the Palestinian case for status at the UN, both Canadian and American political leaders, such as Hillary Clinton and John Baird, not to mention our two supreme leaders, have given as a reason for their opposition that the route to settlement of the dispute between the Palestinians and the Israelis can lie only in negotiation. This essay in the UN can only set that peace process back, they have intoned, solemnly, with every appearance that they are putting forward a solidly-based argument.
Is there something wrong with me, or is there some reason why they insult our intelligence in this way?
Everyone knows, I know, my friends know, my cat and dog know (or would if I had any) that the Israelis have killed off the peace process, by the simple expedient of building thousands of houses in the occupied territories of the West Bank, and settling hundreds of thousands of people there.
This has been Israeli’s unchanged policy for years and years, to create conditions on the ground that cannot be reversed, and whose inexorable logic will be the creation, supported by the global powers, of a Greater Israel, occupying the entire area of what once was Palestine.
That this policy has killed off the two-state solution almost goes without saying. Yet these global leaders --- Tony Blair is another I have heard recently along the same lines --- keep insisting on the so-called “road map” put forward by the so-called Quartet of leading powers --- always ignoring the fact that the road map called on the cessation of settlement building. Israel, of course, has simply thumbed its nose at the road map, and at any other proposal they have not been willing to go along with. And yet the Israeli leaders, supported by the European and American powers, keep chuntering on about how they are ready to negotiate any time the Palestinians can get themselves to the table. Even though we all know they put every conceivable obstacle in the way of such negotiations.
People like me, and millions of others, I suggest, may think that this policy of Israel is like a suicide mission, because if a one-state solution is to be the only viable alternative, then inevitably it must, eventually, lead to the end of the Jewish state, because it will contain more Arabs than Jews.
There is, of course, one other possible route, which is that the Western powers whose support for Israel is so unshakeable, might go along with Israel as a state built frankly on apartheid --- something that has already begun to develop, actually. In other words, a state that is not built on the democracy that the United States is always preaching to the world, but on an ethnically-cleansed dictatorship of one race, one class, over the other.
As I sit here listening to our great leaders chunter on in this totally unrealistic way I begin to wonder if the world has not gone slightly mad, as if such values as equality between peoples, tolerance among races and religions, decency between classes, have not already begun to disappear from the earth.
Watch the Israeli-Palestinian imbroglio as it develops, because if the Israelis are allowed to get away with their long-term plan for a Greater Israel, then we can be certain the value-system we were all brought up to believe in, is on the ropes.