[News] If Hamas Did Not Exist

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jan 2 10:49:34 EST 2009


http://www.counterpunch.org/

January 1 , 2009


Israel Has No Intention of Granting a Palestinian State


If Hamas Did Not Exist

By JENNIFER LOEWENSTEIN

Let us get one thing perfectly straight. If the 
wholesale mutilation and degradation of the Gaza 
Strip is going to continue; if Israel’s will is 
at one with that of the United States; if the 
European Union, Russia, the United Nations and 
all the international legal agencies and 
organizations spread across the globe are going 
to continue to sit by like hollow mannequins 
doing nothing but making repeated “calls” for a 
“ceasefire” on “both sides”; if the cowardly, 
obsequious and supine Arab States are going to 
stand by watching their brethren get slaughtered 
by the hour while the world’s bullying Superpower 
eyes them threateningly from Washington lest they 
say something a little to their disliking; then 
let us at least tell the truth why this hell on earth is taking place.

The state terror unleashed from the skies and on 
the ground against the Gaza Strip as we speak has 
nothing to do with Hamas. It has nothing to do 
with “Terror”. It has nothing to do with the 
long-term “security” of the Jewish State or with 
Hizbullah or Syria or Iran except insofar as it 
is aggravating the conditions that have led up to 
this crisis today. It has nothing to do with some 
conjured-up “war” – a cynical and overused 
euphemism that amounts to little more the 
wholesale enslavement of any nation that dares 
claim its sovereign rights; that dares assert 
that its resources are its own; that doesn’t want 
one of the Empire’s obscene military bases sitting on its cherished land.

This crisis has nothing to do with freedom, 
democracy, justice or peace. It is not about 
Mahmoud Zahhar or Khalid Mash’al or Ismail 
Haniyeh. It is not about Hassan Nasrallah or 
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. These are all circumstantial 
players who have gained a role in the current 
tempest only now that the situation has been 
allowed for 61 years to develop into the 
catastrophe that it is today. The Islamist factor 
has colored and will continue to color the 
atmosphere of the crisis; it has enlisted the 
current leaders and mobilized wide sectors of the 
world’s population. The primary symbols today are 
Islamic – the mosques, the Qur’an, the references 
to the Prophet Muhammad and to Jihad. But these 
symbols could disappear and the impasse would continue.

There was a time when Fatah and the PFLP held the 
day; when few Palestinians wanted anything to do 
with Islamist policies and politics. Such 
politics have nothing to do with primitive 
rockets being fired over the border, or smuggling 
tunnels and black-market weapons; just as 
Arafat’s Fatah had little to do with stones and 
suicide bombings. The associations are 
coincidental; the creations of a given political 
environment. They are the result of something 
entirely different than what the lying 
politicians and their analysts are telling you. 
They have become part of the landscape of human 
events in the modern Middle East today; but 
incidentals wholly as lethal, or as recalcitrant, 
deadly, angry or incorrigible could just as soon have been in their places.

Strip away the clichés and the vacuous newspeak 
blaring out across the servile media and its 
pathetic corps of voluntary state servants in the 
Western world and what you will find is the naked 
desire for hegemony; for power over the weak and 
dominion over the world’s wealth. Worse yet you 
will find that the selfishness, the hatred and 
indifference, the racism and bigotry, the egotism 
and hedonism that we try so hard to cover up with 
our sophisticated jargon, our refined academic 
theories and models actually help to guide our 
basest and ugliest desires. The callousness with 
which we in indulge in them all are endemic to 
our very culture; thriving here like flies on a corpse.

Strip away the current symbols and language of 
the victims of our selfish and devastating whims 
and you will find the simple, impassioned and 
unaffected cries of the downtrodden; of the 
‘wretched of the earth’ begging you to cease your 
cold aggression against their children and their 
homes; their families and their villages; begging 
you to leave them alone to have their fish and 
their bread, their oranges, their olives and 
their thyme; asking you first politely and then 
with increasing disbelief why you cannot let them 
live undisturbed on the land of their ancestors; 
unexploited, free of the fear of expulsion; of 
ravishment and devastation; free of permits and 
roadblocks and checkpoints and crossings; of 
monstrous concrete walls, guard towers, concrete 
bunkers, and barbed wire; of tanks and prisons 
and torture and death. Why is life without these 
policies and instruments of hell impossible?

The answer is because Israel has no intention of 
allowing a viable, sovereign Palestinian state on 
its borders. It had no intention of allowing it 
in 1948 when it grabbed 24 per cent more land 
than what it was allotted legally, if unfairly, 
by UN Resolution 181. It had no intention of 
allowing it throughout the massacres and ploys of 
the 1950s. It had no intention of allowing two 
states when it conquered the remaining 22 per 
cent of historic Palestine in 1967 and 
reinterpreted UN Security Council Resolution 248 
to its own liking despite the overwhelming 
international consensus stating that Israel would 
receive full international recognition within 
secure and recognized borders if it withdrew from 
the lands it had only recently occupied.

It had no intention of acknowledging Palestinian 
national rights at the United Nations in 1974, 
when –alone with the United States­it voted 
against a two-state solution. It had no intention 
of allowing a comprehensive peace settlement when 
Egypt stood ready to deliver but received, and 
obediently accepted, a separate peace exclusive 
of the rights of Palestinians and the remaining 
peoples of the region. It had no intention of 
working toward a just two-state solution in 1978 
or 1982 when it invaded, fire-bombed, blasted and 
bulldozed Beirut so that it might annex the West 
Bank without hassle. It had no intention of 
granting a Palestinian state in 1987 when the 
first Intifada spread across occupied Palestine, 
into the Diaspora and the into the spirits of the 
global dispossessed, or when Israel deliberately 
aided the newly formed Hamas movement so that it 
might undermine the strength of the more secular-nationalist factions.

Israel had no intention of granting a Palestinian 
state at Madrid or at Oslo where the PLO was 
superseded by the quivering, quisling Palestinian 
Authority, too many of whose cronies grasped at 
the wealth and prestige it gave them at the 
expense of their own kin. As Israel beamed into 
the world’s satellites and microphones its desire 
for peace and a two-state solution, it more than 
doubled the number of illegal Jewish settlements 
on the ground in the West Bank and around East 
Jerusalem, annexing them as it built and 
continues to build a superstructure of bypass 
roads and highways over the remaining, severed 
cities and villages of earthly Palestine. It has 
annexed the Jordan valley, the international 
border of Jordan, expelling any ‘locals’ 
inhabiting that land. It speaks with a viper’s 
tongue over the multiple amputee of Palestine 
whose head shall soon be severed from its body in 
the name of justice, peace and security.

Through the home demolitions, the assaults on 
civil society that attempted to cast Palestinian 
history and culture into a chasm of oblivion; 
through the unspeakable destruction of the 
refugee camp sieges and infrastructure 
bombardments of the second Intifada, through 
assassinations and summary executions, past the 
grandiose farce of disengagement and up to the 
nullification of free, fair and democratic 
Palestinian elections Israel has made its view 
known again and again in the strongest possible 
language, the language of military might, of 
threats, intimidation, harassment, defamation and degradation.

Israel, with the unconditional and approving 
support of the United States, has made it 
dramatically clear to the entire world over and 
over and over again, repeating in action after 
action that it will accept no viable Palestinian 
state next to its borders. What will it take for 
the rest of us to hear? What will it take to end 
the criminal silence of the ‘international 
community’? What will it take to see past the 
lies and indoctrination to what is taking place 
before us day after day in full view of the eyes 
of the world? The more horrific the actions on 
the ground, the more insistent are the words of 
peace. To listen and watch without hearing or 
seeing allows the indifference, the ignorance and 
complicity to continue and deepens with each grave our collective shame.

The destruction of Gaza has nothing to do with 
Hamas. Israel will accept no authority in the 
Palestinian territories that it does not 
ultimately control. Any individual, leader, 
faction or movement that fails to accede to 
Israel’s demands or that seeks genuine 
sovereignty and the equality of all nations in 
the region; any government or popular movement 
that demands the applicability of international 
humanitarian law and of the universal declaration 
of human rights for its own people will be 
unacceptable for the Jewish State. Those dreaming 
of one state must be forced to ask themselves 
what Israel would do to a population of 4 million 
Palestinians within its borders when it commits 
on a daily, if not hourly basis, crimes against 
their collective humanity while they live 
alongside its borders? What will suddenly make 
the raison d’etre, the self-proclaimed purpose of 
Israel’s reason for being change if the 
Palestinian territories are annexed to it outright?

The lifeblood of the Palestinian National 
Movement flows through the streets of Gaza today. 
Every drop that falls waters the soil of 
vengeance, bitterness and hatred not only in 
Palestine but across the Middle East and much of 
the world. We do have a choice over whether or 
not this should continue. Now is the time to make it.

Jennifer Loewenstein is the Associate Director of 
the Middle East Studies Program at the University 
of Wisconsin-Madison. She can be reached at 
<mailto:amadea311 at earthlink.net>amadea311 at earthlink.net




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