By ARTHUR L. ALLAD-IW
A very interesting development internationally had evolved lately. USA President Barrack Obama urged US ally – Israel – to sit down and talk peace with the Palestinian Authority on (Israel’s) occupation of the West Bank. Israel, through its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, turned the table to USA and consistently repeated that they are ready for compromise but bullied “Israel will not return to the indefensible boundaries of 1967,” where Israel occupied the West Bank area allotted for the Palestinians.
We need to go back and review history to understand the un-peace between the Israelites and the Palestinians in the Middle East, including the roles of imperialist states.
In the 18th century and at the end of the 19th century, the Jews were discriminated against in Europe, particularly in Russia, Hungary, Romania and Poland. The Jews were persecuted through various programs such as anti-Jewish riots, harsh laws, ghettoes (or enforced slums) which institutionalized discrimination and inhuman acts upon the Jewish race.
This discrimination gave birth to Zionism, a worldwide movement to restore a Jewish state in Palestine as based on the Bible. By 1914, there were already 100,000 Jews who went to Palestine and took the lands of these Palestinians. As the Jews – Palestinian conflict heightened, the British, which had colonial mandate over Palestine, adopted a compromise known as 1917 Balfour Declaration.
This promised to the Zionist the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The Palistinians, who were never consulted, were against the move as they felt betrayed.
In 1921, however, the British divided what was then Palestine into two: Palestine and Jordan. The Jews-Palestinian tension heightened to a higher degree. As the British cannot contain the situation, they handed the problem to the newly created United Nations. On Nov. 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly approved, through a resolution, the partition of Palestine into two: One Jewish state and another Arab state with Jerusalem as the international zone.
With that as the legal basis, the Jews proclaimed on May 14, 1948 the Republic of Israel. Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion became their first Prime Minister.
The Arab states of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen, the next day after the proclamation, attacked Israel in their declared Jihad or Holy War. War followed between Arab states versus Israel in 1956, 1967 and 1973. Like the first, the latter wars were won by this newly established and tiny state of Israel, with the alleged support of the West. In the 1967 war, Israel was able to expand its territories by 200 percent into the Arab states, including the West Bank that it occupies up to the present.
The Intifada, uprising against Israel, was continued by the Palestinians. Yasser Arafat organized the Palestinian Liberation Organization for their struggle over their Palestinian homeland. In 1993, PLO entered in a peace accord with Israel. Here the parties (Israel and PLO) agreed the recognition by the PLO of the existence of Israel as a state; PLO renounced terrorism as a means of settling the conflict; Israel agreed to Palestine autonomy in the Gaza Strips and West Bank; and Israel will withdraw its military in those areas of Palestine that it occupied.
The PLO of Arafat has its political arm, the Fatah where he became the leader for the transformation of a Palestinian state. On the other hand, Hamas, the militant Palestinians, do not recognize Israel and wanted a Palestinian state including those of now Israel. Hamas entered elections in the Palestinian Authority (that body to supervise a Palestinian area based on the UN resolution of 1947). It controls the legislative body and at anytime can elect a President to change Pres. Mahmoud Abbas, who had succeeded Yasser Arafat who died in 2004.
From the above historical facts, it is clear that the division of Palistine into two – for Israel and another for the Palestinians – was imposed by colonialist Britain. It never considered the Palestinian interests by succumbing to the Zionist.
Even the partition based on the 1947 UN resolution is not being strictly followed by members of the United Nations if it really wanted peace in the area. In fact, their silence on the insistence of Israel for a 1967 boundary would support the expansionist policy of Zionist Israel. This is clear contradictory to the 1947 UN resolution. It is from this context that the Fatah agreed for a compromised settlement.
Of course peace between Palestine and Israel will not be realized without addressing the position of the militant Hamas for a pre-1947 Palestine. This group has a greater number of followers than the Fatah, as manifested by their control of the legislative body. For real peace, it must include the Hamas. Of course, they can only have the Fatah but compromise will not lead to peace, as in their case. Even with the military superiority of Israel, kudos to the imperialist west, it will not eliminate the aspirations of the militant Hamas. Hence, it must include them in settling the conflict towards peace.
But peace seems too elusive between Israel and the Palistinians. And the victors would be the imperialist. In a status quo where Israel is the regional power in the Middle East and with the allies in Arab states, the imperialist west will continuously exploit the vast oil resources in that region. # nordis.net