Acting audaciously or gambling dangerously?

Palestinians have historically suffered more than any other peoples. And despite various UN resolutions — there seems to be imminent respite

Despite appeals from Arab and European leaders and the risk of anti-American protests and violence throughout the world, Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. He also announced that he would be moving the U.S. embassy there. This outrageous act has ignited violence, stirred unrest across the region and destroyed any hopes of reviving the Middle East peace process.But Trump said that he invoked the Jerusalem Embassy Act of October 1995, which was passed to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel.Yet, the U.S. had never endorsed the Jewish state’s claim of sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem since then, and believed its future was linked to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace agreement. However, all US presidents since then had been issuing waivers after every six months because of national security concerns. Anyhow, President Trump’s dangerous gambit has been criticized from all sides.

Palestinian President Mehmood Abbas said that Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will lead to endless religious war. Referring to a broad international consensus over the issue, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Jerusalem’s status was an issue to be decided through negotiations.”In this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear that there is no alternative to the two-state solution.” At the Vatican, Pope Francis prayed that “Jerusalem’s status quo would be preserved to avoid new tension in a world, already shaken and scarred by many cruel conflicts.”French President Emmanuel Macron called the U.S. move regrettable. British Prime Minister Theresa May said she intended to speak with Trump and express concerns. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, said the president’s stance would provide a boost for terrorist groups. OIC and Arab League will hold extraordinary meetings soon to discuss the issue.

The Palestinians want an independent state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem – areas Israel captured in 1967. On 22 November 1974, United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3236 recognized the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty in Palestine. Up to October 2014, 137 countries of the world had recognized the Palestinian state. Spanish lawmakers adopted a motion on 18 November 2014, which read “The parliament urges the government to recognize Palestine as a state. This recognition should be the consequence of a process negotiated between the parties that guarantees peace and security for both, the respect of the rights of the citizens and regional stability.” Sweden had formally recognized the Palestinian state on 30 October 2014.After the 1967 Arab-Israel war, more than five American presidents had promised to get the UN resolutions implemented and Palestinians would get their state, but they all backtracked from this guarantee.

In July 2004, 37 years after the 1967 war, an international court declared the occupation of Palestinian lands by Israel to be illegal. Israel’s savagery is unpardonable; but what is even more unforgivable is the refusal of the Americans and their allies to take action to stop Israeli war crimes and punish those responsible for slaughtering Palestinian civilians. In April 2014 when the Israeli-Palestinian conflicthad surged, the US State Department spokesman John Kirby had said “the United States was concerned with Israel’s moves, as it was a significant increase over two conversions in 2014; nearly 1,000 acres near Bethlehem in the Gush Etzion bloc and another 250 acres in the same area, which fundamentally undermined the prospects for a two-state solution.”Palestinians have undergone the longest suffering in the annals of history, as despite various UN resolutions and accords there seems to be no end to their plightin sight.

In July 2004, 37 years after the 1967 war, an international court declared the occupation of Palestinian lands by Israel to be illegal. The latter’s savagery is unpardonable; but what is even more so is the refusal of the Americans and their allies to take action to stop Israeli war crimes and punish those responsible for slaughtering Palestinian civilians

America is committed to protect Israel from foreign aggression and vows to defend it even if Israel starts wars and usurps Palestinian land. If it continues to give unqualified support to Israel, the latter will never remove settlements in the West Bank or stop constructing new ones. The Oslo Accord was based on the principle of “Land for Peace”, and the US was a guarantor for implementation of the agreement. But Israel would not implement it. Even former President Bush’s ‘road map’ had been shredded into bits by Israel when Sharon had unilaterally announced to withdraw from Gaza Strip years ago instead of completing the talks about total withdrawal from Palestine lands.There is a perception that the US suffered the terror of September 11 because of its support to Israel, as the latter was involved in false flag operations to provoke the US against Palestinians.

During 1967 war, Israel deliberately attacked the USS Liberty with unmarked fighters and torpedo boats causing 174 American casualties in an attempt to blame Egypt and garner American support. It had tricked America into bombing other nations such as the attack on Libya in 1986. The complete list of such false-flag operations is too long to be elaborated here.  Apart from other reasons, the month terrorists chose for attacking the World Trade Center and Pentagon shows their true motivation, because 16thSeptember is the anniversary of the League of Nations proclaiming the British Mandate in 1922, entrusting Great Britain with establishing a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine.It was the first physical step toward the implementation of the Balfour Declaration and the establishment of Israel. The Balfour Declaration, legislated in 1917, was the first time a world power recognized the need for a homeland for the Jewish people; which later achieved international recognition.

 

The writer is a freelance columnist.

He can be reached at mjamil1938@hotmail.com

Published in Daily Times, December 9th 2017.