By Abid Mustafa
“ There are people who control spacious territories teeming with manifest and hidden resources. They dominate the intersections of world routes. Their lands were the cradles of human civilizations and religions. These people have one faith, one language, one history and the same aspirations. No natural barriers can isolate these people from one another … if, per chance, this nation were to be unified into one state, it would then take the fate of the world into its hands and would separate Europe from the rest of the world. Taking these considerations seriously, a foreign body should be planted in the heart of this nation to prevent the convergence of its wings in such a way that it could exhaust its powers in never-ending wars. It could also serve as a springboard for the West to gain its coveted objects.”– Sir Campbell Bannerman, Prime Minister of Britain [1905-08]
On October 6th 2011, the Executive Council of the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) approved Palestine’s entry into this UN agency as member. The resolution was approved by 40 votes in favor and 4 against (the United States, Germany, Latvia and Romania), while 14 other countries abstained. UNESCO’s move to admit Palestine was vehemently criticized by America. Speaking to reporters US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton said,” I think that this is a very odd procedure indeed and would urge the governing body of UNESCO to think again before proceeding with that vote.” Just three days earlier, the US Congress ‘punished’ the Palestinian people by withholding $200 million dollars of aid. The two events clearly demonstrate that the international mood to support Palestinian statehood is divided. America’s opposition intensified last month, when President Mahmoud Abbas again reaffirmed his commitment to seek UN approval for official recognition of the Palestinian state. On September 17 2011, Abbas said, “We are going to the security council. The world is sympathizing with the aspirations of the Palestinian people.” This unilateral move is detested by the Zionist state and is also opposed by America. In August 2011, Wendy Sherman, undersecretary of state for policy, and ranked third at the U.S. State Department categorically stated: ”If any such resolution were put in front of the Security Council, then we would veto it.” On September 21st US President Obama publicly confirmed at the UN that the US would veto any attempts by the Palestinians for statehood. Nonetheless, despite the frantic effort of the Obama administration to undermine Palestinian struggle for statehood, the actions of America’s surrogates in the region tells an entirely different story.
But first it is important to understand why Obama cannot make good on his desire to see a two state solution, which he defiantly defended at the UN last year. It is well known that President Obama is running for re-election in 2012 and is constrained in the amount of pressure his administration can apply on Netanyahu to commence negotiations with the Palestinians. The Jewish votes during US general elections are priceless for both democratic and republican contenders. Both sets of politicians vie with each other to demonstrate their loyalty to the Israeli cause in return for Jewish votes. The Republican Party is exploiting Obama’s weakness to unequivocally support with the Jewish state on this matter, and has started to make inroads amongst the Jewish voters, who traditionally are staunch democrats. The Jewish electorate makes up only 3% of American voter, but is pivotal in the swing states of Florida and Ohio. More importantly, the Jewish community is a very important constituency for fund raising, and the Palestinian statehood issues have become a significant source of concern for them. “Mr. Obama does not want to get into an unproductive fight with Israel,” said Aaron David Miller, a longtime State Department expert on the Middle East, who is now at the Woodrow Wilson Centre. Hence, the Obama administration cannot take a public stance that supports the Palestinians but ignores the demands of the Jewish state. However, America’s allies in the region have no such qualms, and are doing their utmost, to make the Jewish state vulnerable and to urge Netanyahu to negotiate and finalize a two state solution with the Palestinians.
The military junta of Egypt has used the ouster of Mubarak to give a clear indication that the thirty odd years of invincible peace the Jewish state enjoyed is now precariously poised. The attacks by militants in Sinai, the frequent disruption of gas supplies, and the recent ransacking of the Israeli embassy in Cairo that forced the ambassador and his staff to flee have clearly reminded the Jews how vulnerable their border with their Egypt neighbors has become. This was made worse by the killing of Egyptian border soldiers and the subsequent pseudo apology released by Netanyahu’s government. His government is also anxious from the rising tide of Islamic opposition to the Jewish state — a development that does not bode well for their future survival.
Additionally, Turkey’s deteriorating relations with Israel have also accentuated the weakness of the Jewish state. The expulsion of the Israeli ambassador, cessation of military ties, threat of legal action over the Marvi Marmara incident and Erdogan’s vocal opposition to Jewish state’s treatment of Palestinians has begun to erode Israel’s confidence and increased its isolation. Erdogan’s recent statements have made Turkey extremely popular in the Arab world, which is spearheading American efforts to isolate the Jewish state. For instance, on his visit to Cairo he said, ”Israel is the West’s spoiled child. To this day it has never executed a decision by the international community. It (Israel) acts irresponsibly and without hesitation in smashing human dignity and international law by carrying [out] assaults on international convoys, which carry nothing but food and toys for children…”
Compounded with the problematic relations with Turkey and Egypt is the growing unrest in Syria, which earlier spilled over into the Golan Heights and drove home the message to a distraught Jewish populace that its border with Syria is no longer impregnable. Thus in a space of a few weeks, the Jewish state finds its three pillars of territorial stability, shaken to the core, and now many Israelis are uncertain about the future.
Complicating matters further, Netanyahu now faces the actions of pro-British contingent of countries. The ‘harsh’ remarks by King Abdullah of Jordan, and the pledge of the Saudi’s to provide $200 million aid to the Palestinian authority to enable it to function is a resounding warning that the Jewish state is fast losing old friends amongst British and American surrogates. It is against this backdrop that Abbas has intensified his efforts for pronouncing statehood. His tongue could not have moved, unless he was given explicit permission by America to do so.
America’s intention behind all of these maneuvers is to forcibly goad Netanyahu’s government to accept the fact that the Jewish state’s security is not sustainable with its neighbors, unless it commits to peace and presses ahead with the two-state solution. In a visit to the Jewish state last week, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned that Israel was at risk of becoming isolated and more vulnerable if it did not take steps to repair ties with neighboring countries and restart negotiations with the Palestinians. He said, ”The question you have to ask is: ‘Is it enough to maintain a military edge if you are isolating yourself in the diplomatic arena? Real security can only be achieved by a strong diplomatic efforts as well as a strong effort to protect your military strength.” This is especially true now, as the Arab uprising has brought to the fore a new set of public expectations that cannot be simply swept under the carpet as before. This was also echoed by Panetta. He said,” It is pretty clear at this dramatic time in the Middle East when there have been so many changes that it is not a good situation for Israel to become increasingly isolated. And that is what has happened.” Thus at home the Obama administration stands shoulder to shoulder with the Jews fully expecting their votes, but in the Middle East she uses her loyal allies and agents in the region to compel the Jews to pursue peace with the Palestinians and her neighbors.
The Palestinian people must be careful not to be smitten by the actions of their neighbouring countries—particularly Turkey— all of whom are working tirelessly to implement the colonialist agenda and prevent their true liberation from tyranny. How can any sane ruler of the Muslim world call for a Palestinian state that for all intents and purposes is a prison state entirely dependent on Israel for its existence? For example, Erdogan’s rhetoric pales into insignificance when measured against the wise profound words of Sultan Abdul Hamid II (to the Zionists expressing their interests in the future of the holy lands), who said,” I cannot give up even one small patch of land in Palestine. It is not something that I own as a part of my personal estate. Palestine in fact belongs to the Muslim Nation as a whole. My people have fought with their blood and sweat to protect this land, let the Jews keep their millions and once the Khilafah is torn apart one day, then they can take Palestine without a price, to have the scalpel cut my body is less painful than to witness Palestine being detached from the Khilafah state and this is not going to happen …” Whether it’s the single state solutions as advocated by Britain in the past or the two-state solution promoted by the US; the people of Palestine and the Jews will never find peace under such colonialist projects. The intention of all such colonial projects is to keep Palestine in a perpetual state of conflict and consume the region in protracted wars. Jews, Christians and Muslims of Palestine would do well to look and learn from the Islamic alternative that guaranteed peace for hundreds of years under the auspices of the Caliphate state.
Abid Mustafa is a political commentator who specializes in Muslim affairs and global issues. He is a guest writer for new civilisation magazine and can be contacted at [email protected] The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect New Civilisation’s editorial policy.