Monday, November 30, 2015

My house for a kingdom: Israel resists Palestinian concessions

While Palestinians have offered increasing rewards for the state they have a right to, Israel demands recognition (though it has expanding, undefined borders) and refuses to make specific offers, because they are afraid the Palestinians will "ask for more" - that is a larger percentage of the rights they have already been refused by Israel. However, simple principles, should they be implemented by the international community, would easily resolve the matters considered pressing.

Having a reasonable position on the Palestinian State is a critical moral imperative. As Norman Finkelstein would say, "people like to drag in the kitchen sink" - but if we keep it simple there are important, reasonable standards which can and must be implemented.

These are not just reasonable - they are legal rights:
1. Palestinians have a right to security, control over their lives and the land the UN and int'l law say they can keep.
2. Israelis have a right to security, control over their lives and the land the UN and int'l law say they can have.

Palestinians have a right of return under the law - which includes land within the pre-67 borders. In negotiations, they have offered to renounce that right (and give up much land already taken illegally by Israel).

As Dennis Ross (Clinton/Bush diplomat) pointed out, it has always been the Israelis who refuse to explicitly state what they want. They claim they are afraid that it will "never be enough" for the Palestinians, who will push back. But the opposite happens in negotiations - the Palestinians offer more and more, and lay out what they would give up.

The Israelis bring maps that the Palestinians cannot even take with them, demand recognition of their state (not offering the existence of a state for Palestine - let alone recognition), and do not declare their own borders. This is while Israelis continue to seize more land in the West Bank ("facts on the ground"). Who could recognize a state which is *at that moment* taking your land (as happens during negotiations)?

Noam Chomsky pointed out that coalition aggression in Iraq was a "supreme international crime" echoing the Nuremberg trials, because contained within that crime was the "accumulated evil of the whole." If that is true for Iraq and Poland, then in Palestine the "supreme crime" is the illegal occupation, and the illegal wars to defend that occupation, because contained within them are the murders, expulsions, ethnic cleansing, genocide, resource, land and tax/aid theft, the destruction of civilian infrastructure ("Dahiya doctrine") and democratic governance / sovereignty, the razing of cultural sites and the strangulation of the economy.

Palestinians are utterly defeated - evident in the desperate attacks occasionally seen. Israelis are defeated, too - they are a people who usually want peace captured by a clique and state which 1. wants occupation and cleansing wars and 2. implements policies meant to maintain the same.

The law can and should be implemented - it is simple and agreeable. Even the proclamations of Dennis Ross, that the Israeli's "won't say what they want" does not justify the continued crimes. Palestinians are offering to give up their rights - Israel just knows it can get more. They have to be forced to accept what they have already taken as enough.

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