Just days after U.S.-made Israeli F-16s bombed homes and buildings in Gaza, verbal bombs have been launched at the West Bank – Palestine’s other half – for daring to go to the UN to try to gain a stepping stone to statehood.
The Palestinian political representatives from the West Bank, including former PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) head Mahmoud Abbas, won the designation of a “non-member state” in the UN, the closest thing they’ve come to statehood since the Israeli occupation began in 1967.
The United Nations voted 138 in support, 9 against, and some 40 states abstaining. The US and Israel political and media classes immediately damned the vote, claiming it was an impediment to the so-called ‘peace process’.
In fact, it was the peace process that was all but dead, moribund after decades of talks that strengthened Israel while leaving Palestinian lands broken, walled and under a wave of repression that barely allows it to breathe.
The UN vote showed how most of the world’s nations couldn’t bring themselves to vote against Palestinian efforts. Again, only 9 countries, the US, Israel, Canada and islands like Micronesia voted against the resolution.
Despite the U.S.-Israeli downplaying of it, this was a political win for the Palestinians – even if their day to day life couldn’t be more disastrous.
But those are the perils of the Occupation, and the lebensraum (German for ‘living room’ – as in land hunger) of the Zionist, settler state.
Over 60 years ago, shortly after Israel’s founding, the influential Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz wrote an editorial outlining why Israel was supported by the U.S. (and other Western powers). The editorial read:
Therefore, strengthening Israel helps the Western powers to maintain equilibrium and stability in the Middle East. Israel is to be a watchdog…if for any reason the Western powers should sometimes prefer to close their eyes, Israel could be relied on to punish one or several neighboring states whose discourtesy toward the West went beyond the bounds of the permissible.*
These words were published in 1951. It’s a new century – and same old plan.
That’s why the US stood, now almost alone, against Palestine.