By Iqbal Jassat
Why do you say that there is ‘some merit’ in Abbas’ bid while you vehemently oppose and discredit it?
It’s a question many people, including journalists have challenged me with in the last few days as a global audience readied itself to watch the drama unfolding at the United Nations centered on the Palestinian Authority seeking approval for an independent state.
In attempting to unpack what clearly appears to be a contradiction in terms, the reality is that while battle lines are being drawn in an arena that for more than six decades can arguably be held responsible for turning its back on the plight of Palestine; the same venue will place the spotlight on Israeli intransigence!
The “merit” therefore in the bid attempt is that a confirmed collaborator plunges headlong into an abyss of disaster. But along with him too are the leaders of America and Israel.
Thus, while it is clear from the repeated threats of veto by the U.S. that Mahmoud Abbas was not likely to succeed in gaining unanimous approval in the Security Council, his “insubordination” risked exposing Obama’s double standards and blatant hypocrisy beyond repair.
Analysts, including some who had previously held that Obama would still surprise the world by “fixing” the conflict, are now convinced that America would rather stand accused as an unfair mediator than to be challenging Israel. However to make the choice between these immoral positions in full glare of the world’s media is not comfortable for any U.S. president, let alone Obama!
Abbas in the course of his bid effort caused enormous embarrassment and humiliation to a man who sought very hard to cast himself as different from his predecessors, particularly the extreme neo-con administration headed by George W Bush.
Obama’s speech at the UN was so far-removed from his Cairo PR stunt resulting in harsh rebukes and scorn from erstwhile allies in the columns of many American newspapers.
In similar fashion, the apartheid regime’s leader Bibi Netanyahu was so severely wounded by the bid attempt, that he resorted to some of the worst forms of Islamophobia, racism and unmitigated hate.
Hurling insults at Islam and Muslims through slander and derogatory terms such as “crocodiles” and positioning “militant Islam” as the world’s enemy No 1, was a shameful display of conceit brought upon by the fact that the “master” was provoked by the “slave’s” insistence to unmask him.
In addition to leaving Obama and Netanyahu defrocked as hypocrites, the bid has unmasked a number of people and institutions. Seeing Tony Blair and Hilary Clinton squirming and ducking for cover from the heat unleashed by Abbas’ “jihad” is quite enjoyable. The Quartet, made up of an old boy’s club from Russia, America, the UN and the European Union, is now clearly understood to be firmly in the Israeli camp.
On the other hand and perhaps on a more serious note, the bid exercise and its entire project associated with gaining UN backing for an independent state is fraught with huge risks for Palestinians as a whole.
Any so-called “Palestinian state” compromises and weakens the ability of refugees to return to their original homes. Indeed such a state – prototype of South Africa’s disgraced Bantustans – would be entirely dependent and economically controlled by the Occupying regime.
In the ensuing debates that go on to enrich people’s understanding of different opinions, what has become crystal clear is that Palestinians will not surrender their rights.
Nor are they willing to go on living without civil rights under a repressive occupier for another six decades.
The message is clear: if a faithful and obedient client authority was able to expose Israel in all its nakedness, there cannot be any hope for the settler-state to sustain its illegal status.
– Iqbal Jassat is the chairperson of Media Review Network, Pretoria – South Africa. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Visit: www.mediareviewnet.com.