Out of fail­ure, a chance for jus­tice

The Pak Banker - - Editorial5 - Wil­liam A. Cook

Philip Crow­ley, speak­ing for the State Depart­ment, seemed to im­ply a new be­gin­ning for the U.S. as it halted the peace ne­go­ti­a­tions it had started last May, when he noted there "may well be a change in tac­tics."

Per­haps Ne­tanyahu's bribery of bil­lions of U.S. dol­lars for 20 F-35 fighter planes at a time when Obama's ad­min­is­tra­tion is try­ing to get Congress to ex­tend un­em­ploy­ment ben­e­fits for 3 mil­lion Amer­i­cans ran­kled the Pres­i­dent; per­haps a forced writ­ten guar­an­tee that the U.S. would not in­ter­fere with fu­ture set­tle­ment con­struc­tion while it con­tin­ued its "un­con­di­tional sup­port" for Is­rael as it con­fis­cated more Pales­tinian land by us­ing its veto in the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil pricked the Pres­i­dent's con­science as he re­al­ized that he was no longer in charge in his own ad­min­is­tra­tion; per­haps the Pres­i­dent fi­nally un­der­stood that Amer­ica can­not be the bro­ker for peace in Pales­tine be­cause it is con­trolled by Is­rael, a de­cided un­fair ad­van­tage for a negotiator that be­lieves in jus­tice; and maybe, just maybe, he rec­og­nized that af­ter all these decades of "pre­tended peace talks be­tween Is­rael and the PLO" the Zion­ist govern­ment never had any in­ten­tion of bring­ing a Pales­tinian state into ex­is­tence thus de­priv­ing the na­tions of the world their op­por­tu­nity to con­front Is­rael with true Jus­tice in in­ter­na­tional courts.

Per­haps Crow­ley's "change in tac­tics" means that the U.S. will aban­don its role as "negotiator" and do, as the Bri­tish Govern­ment did in 1947, give the res­o­lu­tion for peace in the Mid­dle East to the UN where it be­longs since the UN carved the Man­dated land into two states in Res­o­lu­tion 181.

Tak­ing such ac­tion would re­duce Obama's hu­mil­i­a­tion at the hands of Ne­tanyahu and his hound dog, Avig­dor Lieber­man; it would re­move, in the eyes of the world com­mu­ni­ties, the pall of dis­trust and ha­tred that the U.S. has earned as a lackey for the Zion­ist regimes since Sharon ruled Is­rael; and it would pro­vide a sen­si­ble and real so­lu­tion to the is­sues that have plagued the peace process: the se­cu­rity of Is­rael, the bor­ders of a Pales­tinian state, the fate of the Pales­tinian refugees, and the sta­tus of Jerusalem. How?

Since the UN has al­ready de­fined the bor­ders of Is­rael and Pales­tine in Res­o­lu­tion 181, mod­i­fied in Res­o­lu­tion 242 and ac­cepted at that time by both sides, the is­sues of bor­ders can be de­ter­mined by an im­par­tial body ap­pointed by the UNSC. It fol­lows that Is­rael's se­cu­rity can be as­sured if those bor­ders are con­trolled by a UN Peace Keep­ing force that would monitor egress and ingress for both states. It fol­lows also that the bar­ri­ers that have been used by the Is­raelis to con­trol the peo­ple of Pales­tine could be brought down as nec­es­sary to make the bor­ders true state bor­ders and not a prison wall. Again, since the orig­i­nal for­ma­tion of the two states by UN Res­o­lu­tion in­cluded an in­ter­na­tional sta­tus for Jerusalem, the con­di­tion of Jerusalem al­ready ex­ists as long as the UN takes con­trol of the process. There re­mains only the prob­lem of the refugees. In­ter­na­tional law de­ter­mines the rights of the refugees, and hence, the ac­tion of the UN would have to be in con­form­ity with that law. Var­i­ous res­o­lu­tions could be adopted in­clud­ing re­turn to the Pales­tinian state as de­signed by 242, pay­ments to the refugees in lieu of re­set­tle­ment, and use of ex­ist­ing Is­raeli "set­tle­ments" for hous­ing for refugees with ad­e­quate com­pen­sa­tion pro­vided for to Is­rael and the U.S. In short, with the in­ter­na­tional courts and the UN in charge, jus­tice can fi­nally pre­vail in Pales­tine .

In­ter­est­ingly, just last month, Yu­val Rabin, son of the late Prime Min­is­ter Yitzhak Rabin, pro­posed an Is­raeli Peace Ini­tia­tive, a joint ven­ture with Koby Hu­ber­man a busi­ness­man and ac­tivist; the pro­posal is built on the fol­low­ing points:

1 - A vi­able Pales­tinian state based on the 1967 bor­ders and one-on-one land swaps

2 - Jerusalem as the home of two cap­i­tals and spe­cial ar­range­ments in the holy basin

3 - An agreed so­lu­tion for the refugees in­side the Pales­tinian state (with sym­bolic ex­cep­tions)

4 - Mu­tual recog­ni­tion of the gen­uine na­tional iden­ti­ties of the two states as the out­come of ne­go­ti­a­tions not as a pre­req­ui­site

5 - Re­it­er­a­tion of the prin­ci­ples un­der­ly­ing Is­rael's 1948 dec­la­ra­tion of in­de­pen­dence re­gard­ing civic equal­ity for its Arab cit­i­zens

6 - Long term se­cu­rity ar­range­ments with in­ter­na­tional com­po­nents. ( Haaretz, 26.11.10)

Need­less to say, this pro­posal makes it easy for Ne­tanyahu to act in ac­cor­dance with pos­si­ble UN ac­tion since it would pro­vide an Is­raeli res­o­lu­tion to off­set crit­i­cism that he was ca­pit­u­lat­ing to Obama's de­ci­sion to re­turn the prob­lem to the UN. Crow­ley's un­der­stated com­ment that there "will be a change in tac­tics" just might be an an­nounce­ment of jus­tice at last for both Pales­tini­ans and Jews. We need only look back to see the fu­ture.

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