Now we know the truth. Neither the Bush administration nor the Israeli government has any intention whatsoever of allowing the Palestinians to establish their own state.
That means, of course, that both have been lying, not only to the Palestinians but to the American people. It also means that there will be no end to the conflict in the Middle East no matter what we do. A peaceful, stable Middle East is an utter impossibility without justice for the Palestinians.
One of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s advisers, Dov Weisglass, finally told the truth in an interview with Ha’aretz, a respected Israeli newspaper – although no doubt Israel will try to backtrack from Weisglass’ comments. He said that Sharon’s plan of unilateral disengagement is meant to prevent a resumption of negotiations. “It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians,” he is quoted as saying.
Sharon, of course, had already said publicly that he had discarded President Bush’s “road map to peace” plan, a statement that drew no response from the Bush administration, which either is frightened to death of offending the Israeli lobby or already knew the plan was dead despite its public statements.
To further quote Weisglass: “The significance of the disengagement plan is the freezing of the peace process. Effectively, the whole package called the Palestinian state with all that entails has been removed indefinitely from our agenda. And all this with authority and permission – all this with a presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress. What I effectively agreed to with the Americans was that part of the settlements would not be dealt with at all, and the rest will not be dealt with until the Palestinians turn into Finns.”
He was referring to Jewish settlements on the West Bank and in Gaza.
So there you have it. All the talk about the president supporting a two-state solution has been a lie. While telling lies in public, both the United States and the Israeli government have secretly agreed that there will not be a two-state solution. There will be no solution at all.
Now, you might fairly ask yourself, “What do I care what happens to the Palestinians?” Well, to be brutally frank, if you don’t know any personally, the answer is probably “nothing.” But ask yourself another question, “What do I care what happens to me and other Americans?” Ah, there’s the rub, because our fate and the fate of the Palestinians are inextricably bound together. Those 3,000 Americans who died on Sept. 11, 2001 died in large part directly because of U.S. policy vis-à-vis Israel and the Palestinians.
Osama bin Laden has said time and again, as have others, that as long as the Palestinians bleed, so will we. And he’s right. Despite the heifer dust spread by the Bush administration, the plight of the Palestinians is the fuel that motivates virtually all the terrorism. The terrorists don’t hate us because we are rich or free. They hate us because, in cahoots with the Israelis, we have brutalized and deprived of their human rights the innocent Palestinian people.
The modern state of Israel is the last colonial outpost. Palestine was occupied by an overwhelming majority of Palestinian Arabs when Great Britain agreed to allow European Jews to colonize it at the end of World War I. That meant displacement of the native Palestinians. Today, Israel and the United States are the only countries in the Middle East that occupy territory seized by brute force. Think about that.
What George Bush has done is sin against generations of Americans. He has condemned us to perpetual war, perpetual violence, perpetual bloodshed and perpetual grief. Our liberty will not survive that, and perhaps our economy won’t either.
If you ever hope for Americans to once more live reasonably secure and to be able to travel with reasonable safety, then you darn well better get interested in solving the Palestinian problem. No Palestinian state, no peace for America. That’s a fact whether Osama lives or dies, and no matter who is president. It is time for Americans to recognize that Israel’s interests are in direct conflict with America’s interests.