viernes, 30 de enero de 2009




Gaza Clouds Obama's Prospects


December 31, 2008

Robert Scheer is the editor of Truthdig, where this article originally appeared. His latest book is The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America(Twelve).

So, why didn't they give peace a chance? Why did the leaders of Hamas and Israel not wait for the incoming US president's inauguration before mutually escalating hostilities? Here was a president-elect chosen, in part, on the expectation that he could enhance prospects for Mideast peace, even if it meant negotiating with people thought to be enemies.

Why not give that approach an opportunity to succeed regarding the future of Palestine? Why not see if Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose husband had been more successful than any other president in advancing the prospects for peace in the Mideast, could have accomplished more than the lame-duck secretary of state she will soon replace?

The question answers itself.

Unfortunately, neither Hamas's nor Israel's leaders believe that a meaningful peace of the sort all US presidents have endorsed is in their interest. That peace stipulates two independent and viable national entities, one Israeli and the other Palestinian. Clearly, Hamas and its hard-line supporters in the region reject the goal of an Israel at peace with its neighbors and secure within its boundaries, even if those borderlines return to those existing in 1967 at the time of the Six-Day War.

Further, Islamic nations in the region obviously don't want a secure Palestine, as some support only the most radical of Palestinian movements, and the oil-wealthy regimes, while eagerly throwing money at Wall Street, refuse to invest in any serious way in the Palestinian economy.

What is less obvious, particularly to Israel's many knee-jerk supporters in the United States, is that the dominant Israeli politicians of all parties just as consistently reject the goal of a meaningful two-nation solution, if by that is meant a vibrant and truly independent Palestinian state. This last sentence represents heresy to those many who insist, as an article of faith and despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary, that Israel has never wanted anything but to live in peace with its neighbors.

Their view is colonialist propaganda, pure and simple. I first heard it while reporting from Gaza and the West Bank in the immediate aftermath of the Six-Day War, brought on by Egypt and Jordan, which were then the occupiers of what remained of Palestine. Maybe Israel's leaders, most prominently the conquering war hero Moshe Dayan, meant it when they claimed that they had no desire to permanently occupy this land. After all, they were mostly secular Labor Party Zionists, who shunned any notion of a divine mandate to remain in control of the Promised Land.

Whatever their original intentions, the occupation created its own logic of suppression, first breeding discontent and then rebellion. It doesn't matter whether that rebellion takes the form of stone-throwing or rocket launching; the Israeli response will always be wildly disproportionate, further damning the prospect for rational solutions. And uncritically underwriting that disproportionate Israeli response to any and all dissent will be the United States, the supplier of those F-16s doing so much damage in Gaza today.

But most US presidents, with the possible exception of George W. Bush, came to view the blank check for Israel as a loser's game. The madness at the center of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute has been widely acknowledged as the prime source of a much greater madness now codified as terrorism. And even Bush, as represented by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, recently has been forced by that reality to put pursuing a meaningful peace back on the agenda.

The fact that settling the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is central to international stability ends up informing US policy, much to the chagrin of the region's hard-liners on both sides. Throw in the prospect of a new US president, who has put the waging of peace into the conversation, and it is understandable why that would threaten many in the Mideast who are wedded to the old ways of doing business. It is why Jimmy Carter, as an ex-president, has worked so courageously to confront that deadly dynamic.

Obama's challenge will be to turn his mantra of change into a practical road map for Mideast peace, a prospect made much more elusive by the Israeli blitzkrieg. But if he fails to do that and simply panders to those who have grown comfortable with this disastrous status quo, he will seriously undermine the prospects for his administration. With our severe economic problems, the last thing we need is increased Mideast instability, driving up US military expenditures and the price of oil.

About Robert Scheer

Robert Scheer, a contributing editor to The Nation, is editor of and author of The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America (Twelve) and Playing President (Akashic Books). He is author, with Christopher Scheer and Lakshmi Chaudhry, of The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq (Akashic Books and Seven Stories Press.) His weekly column, distributed by Creators Syndicate, appears in the San Francisco Chronicle. more...

· Copyright © 2008 The Nation


31 de diciembre de 2008

Robert Sheer es el editor de TRUTHDIG, done este artículo apareció originalmente. Su último libro es THE PORNOGRAPY OF POWER: HOW DEFENSE SAWKS HIJACKER 9/11 AND WEAKENED AMERICA (Doce)

Entonces ¿Por qué no darle una oportunidad a la paz? ¿Por qué los líderes de Hamas e Israel no esperaron la toma de posesión del entrante presidente de los EE UU antes de la escalada mutua de hostilidades? Había aquí un presidente electo, elegido en parte sobre la expectativa de que pudiera ampliar las posibilidades de paz en Oriente Medio, incluso si esto significaba negociar con pueblos que se consideran enemigos.

¿Por qué no darle a este enfoque una oportunidad de éxito en consideración al futuro de Palestina? ¿Por qué no esperar a ver si Hillary Rodham Clinton (cuyo marido ha sido más exitoso que cualquier otro presidente ampliar las posibilidades de Medio Oriente) podría llevar a cabo más de lo que la fracasada secretaria de estado a la que pronto reemplazará? La pregunta se contesta a sí misma

Desafortunadamente, ni Hamas ni los líderes israelíes creen que una significativa paz (de la forma en que la plantearon todos los presidentes de los EE UU) esté a favor de sus intereses. Esa paz estipula dos entidades nacionales independiente y viables, una Israelí y la otra Palestina. Claramente, Hamas y su línea dura en la región rechazan el objetivo de una Israel en paz con sus vecino y segura dentro de sus fronteras, aun si esas fronteras retornaran a las existentes en 1967 antes de la Guerra de los Seis Días.

Además, las Naciones islámicas en la región obviamente no quieren una Palestina segura (como la que solamente la mayoría de los movimientos palestinos radicales respaldan), y los regímenes ricos en petróleo, mientras ávidamente arrojan su dinero a Wall Street, se rehúsan a invertir seriamente en la economía palestina.

Lo que resulta menos obvio, particularmente para muchos de los viscerales partidarios de Israel en los EE UU, es que los políticos dominantes de todos los partidos en Israel simplemente han rechazado de forma consistente el significativo objetivo de la solución de dos-naciones, si por ello se significa un vibrante y verdadero Estado palestino independiente. Esta afirmación parece una herejía para los muchos que insisten, como un artículo de fe y a pesar de la enorme evidencia en contra, que Israel nunca ha deseado nada más que vivir en paz con sus vecinos.

Su punto de vista es propaganda colonialista pura y simple. La primera vez que oí esto fue mientras estaba como reportero en Gaza y en Cisjordania tras la Guerra de los Seis Días, fomentado por Egipto y Jordania, quienes eran entonces los ocupantes de lo que quedaba de Palestina. Quizás líderes de Israel, prominentemente el héroe de la guerra de conquista, Moshé Dayan, pensara esto cuando proclamaba que no deseaba ocupar permanentemente esas tierras. Después de todo, mayoritariamente ellos pertenecían al secular Partido Laborista Sionista, que rechazaba cualquier noción de mandato divino para controlar la Tierra Prometida.

Cualquiera fueran sus intenciones originales, la ocupación creó su propia lógica de supresión, primero cultivando el descontento y luego la rebelión. No importa si tal rebelión tomara la forma de arrojar piedras o misiles; la respuesta Israelí sería siempre de una desproporción enorme fomentando así la condena de cualquier posibilidad de solución racional.

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario