You are here

The ‘long-promised, never-delivered Palestinian state’

Jun 07,2017 - Last updated at Jun 07,2017

The bombings in London and Manchester, claimed by Daesh, may not have been motivated by Israel’s conquest of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza 50 years ago, but the failure of the international community to end Israel’s occupation is a core factor in the radicalisation of Muslim youth across the world.

The organiser of the attack on New York and Washington on September 11, 2001, Mohammad Atta, the young Egyptian radicalised by Al Qaeda, was motivated by the unresolved “Palestine problem”.

June 5, 1967, was followed by the 1973 war waged by Egypt and Syria to regain land lost in 1967.

Cairo and Damascus reasserted credibility and dignity in this, the first and last, Arab attack on Israel, but did not recapture their land.

If the land had been returned, Al Qaeda might not have been able to recruit young Muslims.

Israel’s wars on Lebanon and Gaza, waged to defend the occupation, played out day by day by global satellite television channels, left young Arabs and Muslims feeling helpless, frustrated, angry and bitter.

George W. Bush’s 2003 war on Iraq was plotted by neoconservatives who argued that the “route to Jerusalem was through Baghdad”.

They believed the ouster of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, seen as a standard bearer of the Arab front against Israel, would lead to Arab acceptance of Israel’s possession of the territories captured in 1967, as well as of the Israel established in the 1948-49 war that left Palestinians homeless and stateless.

The Baghdad route did not lead to Jerusalem, but to the rise of Al Qaeda in Iraq and this region, and the establishment of Jabhat Al Nusra and Daesh, Al Qaeda’s deadly offshoots that take their inspiration from September 11.

If the international community, particularly the US and Europe, had insisted on Israeli implementation of UN Security Council resolution 242 of November 1967, if Israel had withdrawn from the territories captured during the June war and the Palestinians had been granted self-determination, Al Qaeda — Nusra and Daesh — might never have emerged.

Neither Palestinians nor well-meaning Israeli anti-occupation activists are optimistic about the situation in the Palestinian territories conquered by Israel five decades ago.

The international community is currently focused on the struggle against Daesh and the wars against the cult in Syria and Iraq.

Although the US Trump administration promised a settlement between Israel and Palestine, the “Palestine problem” has been largely marginalised.

Western commentators trying to tackle Daesh mention the 2003 war on Iraq, but not the “route through Baghdad to Jerusalem”, before expounding on the socio-economic backgrounds of the misguided men and women prepared to kill themselves to take revenge against the West by killing its innocent civilians.

The 1967 war happened at the wrong time. The world was decolonising Africa and elsewhere, winding down Western colonial regimes that had survived World War II.

As soon as it seized East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, Israel began planting Israeli “settlements”, colonies, in strategic locations in the conquered territories.

Israel’s initial act of colonisation was its proclamation of “unification” of Jerusalem — the merging of conquered East Jerusalem, governed by Jordan from 1948 to 1949, with West Jerusalem, captured by Israel in early 1948, before the proclamation of the Israeli state on May 15 of that year.

As Israel’s colonisation enterprise was against the “decolonisation” spirit of the times, the international community should have exerted serious pressure on Israel to halt this drive before Israeli colonies became an obstacles to the resolution of the “Palestine problem”.

Instead, the Western governments, that of the US above all, subsidised the colonisation process by providing Israel with generous economic and military aid and permitting their citizens to finance, invest and settle in these colonies, deemed illegal in international law.

Today there are more than 650,000 Israeli colonists, 400,000 in the West Bank and 250,000 in East Jerusalem.

Israeli sources estimate the expenditure on colonisation has cost as much as $20 billion since June 1967.

Today, there are 126 “recognised” West Bank colonies and scores of “unrecognised” colony outposts.

Over the past 18 years, the surface area of colony construction doubled.

Israelis receive major incentives to live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including subsidies three times larger than Israelis who dwell west of the old “green line”, the 1948-49 armistice line.

A poll conducted by the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth revealed that 74 per cent of Israelis who live west of the “green line” have little or no connection with the colonies.

Thirty-eight per cent never visited the West Bank, 19 per cent once privately, 14 per cent in the military, while 26 per cent had visited more than once.

Nevertheless, there has been a “blurring” of the “green line”.

The colonisation process has been “normalised” and colonists/settlers have become part of the Israeli mainstream, although a recent poll showed that 47 per cent of Israelis continue to call for the “two-state solution” to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the emergence of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Unfortunately, only a tiny minority of this 47 per cent is prepared to work for an end to the occupation and a Palestinian state.

Veteran peace activist Michel Warschawski says the majority detached themselves from the cause and become “consumers” living comfortably in Tel Aviv and elsewhere.

Nevertheless, the anti-occupation/peace camp is not dead.

Peace Now, the popular movement founded after the 1982 Israeli war in Lebanon, is making a comeback.

In the run-up to the June 5 anniversary, Peace Now sponsored a rally which drew 15,000 in Tel Aviv, a far cry from the tens of thousands who used to turn up, but better than nothing.

Today, there are Israeli peace groups founded by soldiers, former diplomats, academics and students; the baton has passed from veterans of earlier movements to younger generations.

These groups are not, however, united and no longer have Palestinian partners.

Palestinian “peaceniks” risked their credibility and even their lives ahead of the 1993 Oslo accords by joining Israelis in the effort to forge a deal that would end the occupation.

That effort failed.

 

Today Palestinians depend on the determination of their people to stay put and the BDS — boycott, divest and sanction — effort designed to put pressure on Israel to negotiate seriously with the Palestinians for a long-promised, never-delivered Palestinian state.

up
63 users have voted.

Comments

It's clear to see how England exploited the foreign statehood recognition dependencies of the Arab populations, so no need to guess why they get dealt terror in retaliation for it....

Add new comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
1 + 0 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.

Newsletter

Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.