The Lack of Will to Make Peace with Justice

So much has been said and written about the Israel’s creation and occupation of Arab lands that anything said in the historical context will not be new. Therefore, instead of putting forward any solution based on historical facts and rival claims, why not attempt to begin with the undeniable facts before us today. Why not…

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So much has been said and written about the Israel’s creation and occupation of Arab lands that anything said in the historical context will not be new. Therefore, instead of putting forward any solution based on historical facts and rival claims, why not attempt to begin with the undeniable facts before us today. Why not move towards a solution based on the realities we face today.

What we see today is that the Israeli and Western governments’ collective effort to destabilise and overthrow an elected Hamas government has brought Palestinians to a stage where they have started killing each other.

President Mahmoud Abbas has called for new polls. Wafa Amr of Reuters reports on December 17, 2006 that Hamas would lose elections if it were held today. Wafa Amr cites the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research poll, conducted from December 14-16 which found 61 per cent of Palestinians favoured holding early elections, with 37 per cent opposed. It showed Fatah winning 42 per cent of a parliamentary vote and Hamas 36 per cent. Remaining voters are predicted to back independent factions or said they were undecided.

What we witness today is that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has once again demonstrated that he is a better friend of the West than he is of a real democracy. Mahmoud Abbas knows better than anyone outside that Israel and its supporters have brought the Palestinians to this pass. He knows how much he is supported against Hamas and how much Hamas was supported against Fatah. He knows that it is not Hamas which worked for decades to bribe, terrorise, expel, maim or kill Palestinian leadership, ban or kill their visionaries and philosophers, trash their democracy, steel their money, wall them in, and starve them in a modern day effort to cleanse a people from a specific area.

Despite all this, we see that Abbas has failed to demonstrate a little imagination and courage, and less self-interest. He could, conceivably even with the support of Hamas, have made a similar move but with a crucial difference. Before making his public declaration he could have privately gone to the Israelis, Americans, and Europeans and said: I’ll call for presidential and parliamentary elections on one condition. You must first publicly declare that if the conduct of these elections is determined free and fair, then irrespective of the outcome, you will agree to work with the newly elected officials and lift the boycott.

So, what we have today is that since Abbas imposed no such conditions, all he is doing is pushing to completion what Israel and its allies will probably conclude has been a successful experiment in the human laboratory of Gaza. Starve the subjects and impose all manner of deprivations on them and eventually they will bend in submission and cast the right vote. Of course, contrary to what the “mainstream” media says, it’s possible that Hamas will end up with both the presidency and parliament. In that event, Bush, Blair, and Olmert will presumably be as quick as they have been in supporting its declaration, to then declare the election a “failure.” Even if Fatah wins, who can guarantee any progress because Fatah had been in power before.

What we see today is that Israel, of course, is “making an extraordinary effort,” as the prime minister explained to the German Chancellor, to advance the “peace process.” So extraordinary that it has totally paralysed every possibility that can bring an end to this conflict. Although unlike Iraq, the so-called mainstream media has started calling the Palestinian infighting a civil war but after the experiment in Iraq, Israel will not want to promote that option for feeling secure and superior any more.

If we try to see in the near future, we find nothing positive even if early elections are indeed held in the PA and Hamas loses. After all, in the absence of an intention to have a real progress towards a just resolution of the conflict – in the absence of a real peace process, or confidence-building measures, or at least just the release of prisoners, Abu Mazen, or whomever may come to fore as Palestinian leadership, will have nothing to talk about with Israel. He will once again be left with agreements that are of no use to him. Worse than that, Palestinians will have no dearth of the desperate victims of oppression, who would prefer death to life under perpetual occupation and Israeli repression.

In the absence of a desire to conduct real negotiations for peace, Israel’s secret aspiration is for Hamas to win again, so again it will not have a partner of its liking and again the hudna will be maintained. Looked from the Israeli and American perspective, one sees nothing in the future but continuation of the status quo because Abbas, or Fatah’s craven puppet government for that matter, has no power to revive the wreck of Oslo. Worse still is the consequence of a disintegrated Palestinian leadership. Israel has no plan to deal with five million Palestinians living under its sovereignty because it is not prepared to consider them equal citizens as it is not prepared to see them living in an independent Palestine.

Another reality that we face today is the impossibility of Israel’s limiting an equal number of people to Gaza and West Bank cantons, without a leadership, without sovereignty and without real independence for ever to come. Israel cannot make the world believe that Palestinian resistance is just the product of bad or obdurate leadership of Hamas. In fact, no viable peace plan can be based on the assumption that continued assassination of Palestinian leadership in all possible ways, will lead to Palestinians’ forgetting their collective punishment, ethnic cleansing and genocide that sustains their spirit of collective resistance – a spirit that will always be there irrespective of leadership. In short, Israel cannot turn Palestinians into American Indians or Australian aboriginals or Canadian “first nations.” There is a great stake of all Muslims attached to the Palestinians’ fate.

Of course, we are in a difficult situation as the world stands aghast and US and EU just don’t bother to act justly. But there is no denying the fact that the real solution lies in genuine will for conflict resolution and a real intention for peace with justice. There is a proven lack of this intention on the part of the Israeli and American leadership. Hiding behind the myths of Oslo Agreement, Road Map, peace process and Palestinian Authority will never sustain the façade of Israel’s reality. Perpetuating injustice and oppression under different pretexts will never lead to peace.

Israeli and American leaderships have to face these realities and practically demonstrate their will to making peace with justice, equality for all and no Jewish exclusive rights to Jerusalem. Once there is a will to make peace with justice, finding out how to proceed towards it will not be difficult at all. Without this will, consequences of Israeli attempts to disintegrate Palestinian national unity will combine with the failure of American and its allies sustaining de facto colonisation in the rest of the Muslim world and lead to the destruction of existing global political and economic order.

It is not only Iraq and Afghanistan where the imperialists are losing their grip. The simmering rage is also increasing against puppet regimes elsewhere in the Muslim world. As admitted by Tony Blair on several occasions, continuation of injustice in Palestine will continue to have global consequences. So, it is not only Israel but also the US and its allies which are crafting their own destruction with hopes that one day they will be able to make Palestinians live as domesticated animals in a bigger Israel with partial sovereignty in partially independent cantons.¨