Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Palestine is dead — prepare for 3-state solution
Among the dead bodies and destroyed buildings of Gaza also lies the unclaimed corpse of the Oslo Accord.
While the lifeless Palestinians and Israelis have been given their proper rites of burial and shall be mourned for years to come, no one has as yet had the courage to acknowledge that buried deep beneath the rubble is the peace process.
Born amidst great pomp and hope 20 years ago and celebrated for the promise it had offered to so many of us, it is sad that today the rotting carcass of peace in the Middle East lies unclaimed, abandoned and unmentioned.
Those of us, who imagined a future Palestinian state existing alongside the state of Israel, should now abandon that hope. Instead of the coveted ‘two-state solution,’we now have the prospect of a three-state solution: Israel with Gaza to its west and an ‘up-for-grabs’ West Bank on its eastern boundary.
While the wily Yasser Arafat seems to have schooled himself in Sun Tzu’s Art of War, running circles around the late Yitzhak Rabin, his successor Abu Mazen on the other hand, demonstrated neither strategy nor wisdom. Even if it were true that Israel was acting in bad faith in using Oslo to encroach slowly on Palestinian land by building new settlements, Abu Mazen’s tactic of boycotting the peace talks with the Israelis worked in Israel’s favour.
Had this protest elicited an outrage against Israel inside the U.S. and triggered sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians, the tactic would have borne fruit. But that was an impossible task to accomplish.
Americans are suckers in sympathizing with a ‘victim,’ but such consideration is difficult to bloom when the victim says “death to America”at every given occasion.
If America is the country the Palestinians hate most next to Israel, then expecting ordinary Americans to play neutral, let alone be sympathetic to their cause, is to live in fantasy, not reality. A World Bank report says virtually all the “growth” in the West Bank was the result of foreign aid, including American.
To be hostile to the hand that feeds you is a tactic Sun Tzu would not have recommended to an army in conflict. In March, U.S. lawmakers released $88 million in development aid for the Palestinians, but instead of a ‘thank you’ note, Abu Mazen was positioned as an American stooge by Hamas.
Gaza is Palestinian territory, where the president of Palestine cannot set foot. Sure the sheiks of Qatar with billions in tow are welcome as are guerrilla tourists in the west in the flotilla adventures, but not the elected president of the territory.
Imagine a Tito not welcome in Serbia or a Ho Chi Minh denied entry in Hanoi or Nehru told he was not welcome in Mumbai after the British left.
Palestine as imagined in Oslo is dead. And it died not as result of Israel’s continued occupation or its ‘harsh’ encirclement of Gaza. Palestine died because Palestinians killed it.
If Oslo died in November 2012, Palestine died on November 12, 2007. That is the day when Hamas gunmen fired on a rally inside a Gaza stadium to commemorate the late Yasser Arafat. Many people died that day.
And that is the day Hamas executed Palestine. The rest is mere detail.