Promoting a failing apartheid solution
By Mazin Qumsiyeh
Jordan Times December 7, 2003
SUCCESSIVE "DEALS" between Palestinians and Israelis failed because, as Amnesty International put it, they did not recognise the importance of human rights. The media is now trumpeting the latest in this line of agreements: the Geneva accord.
Guided by an imbalance of power, Palestinians would be asked to abrogate the right of return to their homes and lands and to recognise Israel not as a state of its citizens but as a state "for the Jewish people". In short, this blatantly violates international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). What it means is that the victims of Israeli colonialism are expected to certify that it is OK for Israel to remain the only country in the world that identifies its land as belonging not to its citizens but to "Jewish people everywhere".
This means that the Palestinians accept that Israel caused the largest remaining refugee problem in the world and can break international law and basic human rights and refuse to allow them to return to their farms, businesses, homes and lands. The Palestinians must recognise that Israel can remain the only country in the world that gives members of a particular religion, including converts, automatic rights (citizenship, land, homes, subsidies) that supersede and mostly replace those of ?citizens? and native people who belong to other religions. Israel grants automatic citizenship to any individual who has one Jewish grandparent, while denying citizenship to native Christians and Muslims, simply for being of the wrong religion.
Israel is the only country in the world whose legitimacy does not stem from the right to self-determination of the native inhabitants but from the Zionist claim of biblical authority. Of course, there was a UN General Assembly resolution, in 1947, which called for partition, giving 55 per cent of the land to Jews who, at the time, represented 30 per cent the population; most of them were new settlers/colonists who owned 7 per cent of the land. Native Jews were not Zionists for the most part, and rejected such partition.
The resolution was unfair and could not be accepted any more than the Algerians were willing to split their country with French colonists. It was accomplished by much arm-twisting by the US and the USSR. Yet, the resolution rejected any population transfer and included internationalising Jerusalem, an economic union, and free movement of people. All these provisions were unacceptable to the Zionist movement and are absent from the Geneva accord.
The foreign policy of the only remaining superpower was hijacked by Israeli Premier Ariel Sharon's clones in DC, Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Wurmser and other "neoconservatives". They are content to lead us into endless "preemptive" wars for "securing the (Israeli) realm" (as Perle and company put it in a 1996 document submitted to the Israeli government).
Israel violated over 70 UN Security Council resolutions and was protected from 35 others by US veto. Yet, Israel receives billions in tax-funded aid, in direct violations of US law. Speaking of ?eventually? having a Palestinian demilitarised mini-state is analogous to South Africa speaking about having mini-states for blacks (what became known as Bantustans or large ghettos). The only difference is that South Africa never insisted that the appointed rulers of those bantustans recognise South Africa as a state "for the white people". Yet, unless annihilated (a difficult task in the 21st century), no native people ever succumbed to oppressors, however powerful.
If we want democracy in the Middle East, we should start with our own client states and cut off US massive taxpayer subsidy to Israeli apartheid and boycott it until it evolves into a democracy for all (Jews and non-Jews alike) and implements international law. Apartheid and walls can be no more solution here than they were in South Africa.
The writer is a Palestinian American associate professor at Yale and co-founder of the Palestine Right to Return Coalition and AcademicsForJustice.org. He contributed this article to The Jordan Times.