What happens at and after Annapolis
What happens at and after Annapolis November 27th?
By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
* The Annapolis script is laid out for who will say and do what at Annapolis. It is designed to achieve a number of results like PR, encircling Iran, isolating Hamas, and on and on... everything but achieving real and enduring peace.
* Don't expect human rights or international law to be mentioned.
* Many parallels with Camp David of 2000 and the wars that followed.
* Recognizing Israel as "Jewish state" means recognizing and accepting past ethnic cleansing and legitimizing future ones.
* A more honest and direct route to peace is available based on International Law and human rights and some of the engines that would accelerate movement in that direction are Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions (BDS).
* Rescuing US foreign policy from the Zionist straightjacket is difficult but doable and might be the only thing that could salvage the sagging US economy (in recession even if people do not yet know it; see decrease in value of houses and US currency, and increase in prices of oil, gold, and other commodities, and the financial meltdown which is only beginning).
* Each of us can make a difference for peace and prosperity (and already many are). Suggested ACTIONS are in the last paragraph of this article.
After the attempt by the Clinton and Barak administrations to squeeze a surrender agreement from Yasser Arafat in July 2000 failed, two months later Sharon lit the fuse to the second intifada (uprising) against the Israeli occupation and colonization project. Now seven years after Camp David, 16 years after the negotiations started in Oslo, forty years after the illegal occupation of 1967, 60 years after the ethnic cleansing of 1947-1949, another meeting will be held. A rational examination of potential outcomes requires us to first look at the reality that the gatekeepers of mainstream media are trying desperately to shield from the US public (the rest of the world sees it and US Citizens are beginning to see some of this thanks to the internet and the efforts of thousands of fellow activists). After that, we can revisit what will likely happen in Annapolis and more importantly after Annapolis and we can more easily see the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about and that is blocking the only door to peace while many imagine its droppings on the wall to be doors and windows.
The leadership of the PLO recognized Israel on 78% of the land of Palestine in hopes of being allowed an independent state on the remaining 22%. Many "deals" since then failed because, as Amnesty International put it, they fail to recognize the importance of human rights. Thus we had "plans" named Baker, Oslo, Zinni, Tenet, Clinton, Geneva, and the "road map". The latter was a plan with timetables to achieve Israeli security, a freeze on settlement activity but no end to the occupation and colonization of Palestine let alone any reversal of those. In 2218 words, the "Road Map to Peace" does not mention "human rights" or "International law". The upcoming Annapolis summit that I am sure will result in another "plan" that will fail for the same reasons: ignoring human rights and International law. The Zionist establishment in the meantime is busy in the US suppressing free speech in academia and pushing for a new war (this time on Iran). While Democrats recognize the staggering cost of the war on Iraq, their leading presidential candidates pander to Israel-first lobby. Leading Republicans use language that reminds us of Nazi propaganda efforts in the early 1930s about the threat from abroad, the need to curb freedoms at home, and shift resources to the military. (exceptions Republican Ron Paul and Democrat Dennis Kucinich).
In the meantime, Palestinian leaders are asked to abrogate the right of return to their homes and lands and to recognize Israel, not as a state of its citizens, but as a state "for the Jewish people." As Palestinian Journalist Khalid Amayreh stated: "the reason why Palestinians can't recognize Israel as a Jewish state is because 'Jewish state' is euphemism for denying the right of return for Palestinian refugees uprooted from their homes and villages by Jewish terrorists nearly 60 years ago. The other reason is that Israel interprets recognition as a Jewish state as a pretext to expel or discriminate against the estimated 1.5 million Palestinians who are Israeli citizens. In other words, Israel wants to have the right to carry out ethnic cleansing of non-Jewish citizens, on the ground that Israel is an exclusively Jewish state." Denial of basic rights of Palestinians in favor in support of legitimizing ethnic cleansing 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 lands 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 recognize 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 supercede 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 flow from rights of self-determination of natives but Zionist claim of biblical authority. The US pushed, threatened and lobbied to barely get a UN general assembly resolution in 1947 that contradicted the UN Charter of Self Determination. The resolution recommended partition of a native land to give 55% of the land to Jews who at the time represented 30% of the population (most of them illegal settlers/colonists) and owned 7% of the land. The few native Jews actually were not Zionists for the most part and rejected such partition. The resolution was unfair and could not be accepted any more than Algerians were willing to split their country with French colonists. Yet, the resolution rejected any population transfer and included Internationalizing Jerusalem, on an economic union, and on free movement of people. All these provisions where unacceptable to the Zionist movement. Recognizing Israel as "Jewish state" means recognizing and accepting past ethnic cleansing and legitimizing future ones (to maintain the Jewish demographic super-majority). Asking the US and other countries to do so violates International law but asking the victims to do so is the ultimate in what is called Chutzpah. This is even worse since the best example of Chutzpah given is that a son who murders his parents asks for forgiveness from the judge because he is an orphan. In this case the son kills a parent and then demands the remaining parent recognize that there was no other parent and further more that he is a lonely and victimized child.
Hajo Meyer, an 83 year old survivor of Auschwitz* who now lives in Holland spoke about this pathology in a recent conference in CT:
Jews are not a nation but they do share a common socio-cultural heritage: JUDAISM. With its mixture of dietary and other customs Jews naturally were apart from communities were they lived and this led to resentment and animosity. Zionism and enlightened Judaism are opposite sides of the spectrum. Yet, the Torah (Old Testament) contains basic elements for both. Israel is thus a Zionist State. Its designation as Jewish state is misleading! Claim that Zionism part of Judaism’s heritage is correct but Zionism is related to the darkest part of the Torah. This part of the heritage is nationalistic, ethnocentric, xenophobic, blood-and-soil. Its nationalistic God orders his “chosen people” to perform cruel ethnic cleansing”. It is extensively found in Joshua, Judges and Samuel. It took me more than 70 years to learn about it because Since 70 AC. and especially after Mendelssohn and French Revolution German Reform rabbis made it ever more obscure. Their colleagues in the US did the same! The religious fanatic and murderer of Prime Minister Rabin said: if I had to murder children like prescribed in Joshua I would gladly do it. By contrast, the bright side of Judaism is seen in Lev 19:34
"The stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you and thou shalt love him. He is like you, for you (as well) were strangers in the land of Egypt.” This message of equality was also noted by many Prophets, by Rabbi Hillel, 1st century B.C., by German Reform Rabbis, and later by the US Reform movement (although the latter seem to have abandoned it). Here is Rabbi Leo Baeck in THE ESSENCE OF JUDAISM I: “Man has been created in the image of God… However large the differences, what they have in common and what characterizes all of them is that image of God in them… It is impossible to express the unity of all human beings more clearly and more definitely… Simon ben Asai said: ... When God created man he created him in his image’—in this sentence all of Torah is contained.”
Here is the US Reform Pittsburgh Platform 1885: We recognize in the Mosaic Legislation a system of training the Jewish people for its mission during its national life in Palestine, and today we accept as binding only the moral laws.. and reject all such as are not adapted to the views and habits of modern civilization." and the US Reform Columbus Platform 1937: "Judaism emphasizes the kinship of the human race, the sanctity and worth of human life and personality. .. Justice to all irrespective of race sect or class ...is the inescapable obligation of all. ... It abhors all violence and relies upon moral education, love and sympathy to secure human progress." .... Conclusion: occupation is at variance with basic concepts of universal and humanistic Judaism, at variance with ethics, at variance with International and humanitarian law. To address this we must address the unequal power structure occupied /colonized versus occupiers/colonizers and speak the truth to demolish the myths that Zionism is the same as Judaism.
(*I urge you to get Meyer's book titled "An Ethical Tradition Betrayed: The End of Judaism". Email me if you want details)
Archbishop Desmond Tutu recently spoke in pain:
"My heart aches. I say, why are our memories so short? Have our Jewish sisters and brothers forgotten their humiliation? Have they forgotten the collective punishment, the home demolitions, in their own history so soon? Have they turned their backs on their profound and noble religious traditions? Have they forgotten that God cares deeply about the downtrodden? . . . This is God's world. For goodness sake, this is God's world! We live in a moral universe. The South African apartheid government was very powerful, but today it no longer exists. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pinochet, Milosovic and Idi Amin were all powerful, but in the end they bit the dust... Injustice and oppression WILL NEVER PREVAIL. Those who are powerful have to remember the litmus test that God gives to the powerful: What is your treatment of the poor, the hungry, the voiceless? And on the basis of that, God passes judgment."
These sober assessments are shared by millions of objective US Citizens. Yet, the foreign policy of the only remaining superpower was hijacked by 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). They play the bad cop. The good cop is played by the left Zionists who managed to get to the echelons of power in the democratic party and thus chatter about wanting a "two state solution" while avoiding mention of International law (such as the illegality of the occupation) and human rights (such as the right of return, right of self determination, and even the right of freedom of movement). On the positive side there are key people on both parties (e.g. Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich) and certainly the Green Party who are getting significant public support despite being censored in elitist and Zionist dominated media outlets (for alternative news not seen on CNN and Fox, visit http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/ ).
The farce of Annapolis will not unravel at Annapolis. There we expect accolades for Israel's release of 440 of the 11,000 political prisoners it holds (and most of the released will have jail terms about to expire). We expect accolades for Olmert merely saying Israel will freeze settlement expansions except in East Jerusalem and the large settlement blocks (the Road map demands a freeze in all Settlement growth including for "natural growth"). The Israeli paper Haaretz actually summed up well "According to the Israeli government sources, the Americans asked Israel whether it preferred to announce a settlement freeze or outpost evacuations. 'Of the two, a settlement freeze is easier than evacuating the outposts, because this only involves a declaration, not a confrontation with settlers in the field,' explained one government official." Olmert, like Sharon, will be labeled by the pandering US politicians "a man of peace". The apartheid (hafrada in Hebrew) state will be showered with more US aid (stolen from US citizens to satisfy the Israel lobby). Mahmoud Abbas will be covered in the media only when he talks about how bad is Hamas and thus will be labeled "moderate". Everyone will be expected to attack Iran verbally and soon in other ways and Israel and the US still hope to build a block of "moderates" against Iran by giving the illusions of progress on the issue of Palestine. The daughter of the terrorist who oversaw the bombing of the King David hotel will be praised for speaking eloquently about combating "Arab" and "Muslim" terrorism and thus advance her ambition to move from Israeli foreign minister to a future Prime Minister. It will be a great photo opportunity for all attending. Meanwhile, Gaza will continue to be starved (a creeping genocide) and four million Iraqis and seven million Palestinians refugees and displaced people will get angrier. Actually, Israel may feel freed by Annapolis to wreak further havoc on Gaza (see http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2007/870/re82.htm ).
Perhaps this time, two months will not pass by as they did between Camp David and the Intifada (mass uprising) of 2000 or perhaps it will be longer (Palestinians were set up to fight with each other now). Perhaps this time, the "new Pearl Harbor" (Neocon Zionists projection of 1997) would occur as an election surprise. But it is only a matter of time before frustration boils over and a new Intifada erupts just like the last time. As before, the older generation who has given up will have to make way for the new generation. This is actually the prediction of the Israeli army, which will be engaged in the next few days in massive exercises in the West Bank in preparation for just such a scenario. This is exactly as what happened in the lead up to the 2000 Intifada when the occupation forces had done massive exercises for a brutal oppression (firing over 1.5 million bullets killing and injuring hundreds of Palestinians before the first Israeli was killed).
Instead of repeating history with new variations (Abbas for Arafat, Olmert for Sharon, declaration for “road map” for Oslo etc.), there is an obvious and more honest route to peace, security, and economic prosperity for all (Palestinians, Israelis, Americans, Iraqis etc). It involves rejecting the corroding and self-defeating effect of the Israel-first lobby and this will cause the US government to cut off US massive taxpayer military aid to Israeli apartheid. Politicians can't take it until massive popular pressure builds (they are politicians after all). There is also, like in South Africa under apartheid, a growing International movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) that will continue to grow until Israel evolves into a democracy with equality for all (Jews, Christians, Muslims etc) and implements international law including allowing the refugees to return to their homes and lands. Such a return and recognition of the injustice committed to the native people is the only way to allow a functioning Hebrew and Israeli culture to remain in Western Asia. The alternative to basic justice based on human rights and International law is not the fictional "two-state solution" but is too horrible to contemplate (a disaster for both Israelis and Palestinians). Would we want the outcome of Algerian French settlers (one million who had to pack up and leave after native Algerians lost 1 million people in the struggle) or would we want the more hopeful (though not by all means perfect) South African model? I think the choice is clear.
Rescuing US foreign policy from the Zionist straightjacket (the Israeli lobby that now occupies Washington DC like it occupies Palestinian lands) is difficult and requires hard work. But it is doable and might be the only thing that could salvage the US economy. While many don’t yet see it, the US economy is already in recession; see decline in housing prices, the financial meltdown, the skyrocketing price of oil and gold, and most significantly the precipitous decline in the value of the US currency and the abandonment of the $ as a trade and reserve currency by so many countries and private entities. Political Zionism is failing like many other ideologies based on injustice. The question is will we let it drag more humans into more wars before the inevitable happens. Taking action will accelerate the inevitable and thus save lives and treasures.
In all countries contact groups, churches etc and build boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) actions and contact politicians and the media. See also http://www.qumsiyeh.org/whatyoucando/
In the US (the main sponsor of Israeli apartheid) and besides mobilizing for a demonstration in Annapolis on the 27th:
- Contact the executive branch: President George W Bush, 202-456-1111 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Assistant Secretary for Middle East Affairs David Welch 202-647-6575 email: email@example.com
- Contact your elected representatives in the legislative branch using http://capwiz.com/fconl/dbq/officials/ and by phone call 1-202-225-3121 and ask for your two senators and your representatives
Also see contacts at http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml
- Contact the media: use http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=111 and http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/media/
- Host the Wheels of Justice bus tour or try to arrange seeking engagements (see http://justicewheels.org)