Prioritizing Politics Over Peace – OpEd


By Alia A. Khashoggi

More than three weeks have passed since United States President Barack Obama’s alarming speech at the UN to veto the resolution for Palestinian statehood. There is still much doubt as to whether Obama’s eloquent words were heard correctly.

It was the shock of his words and not his decision that continues to sting. He ridiculed himself and jeopardized his entire political career by becoming Israel’s puppet. Nevertheless his part was played brilliantly, his acting flawless; a well rehearsed speech (especially by a Nobel Peace Prize winner!), who justified a country’s aggression against the oppression of another, prioritizing politics over peace.

Now how is that for irony? No encores were heard, no standing ovation received. To paint such a picture is to justify a banker’s greed against the thousands of people who lost their homes, a war costing millions of lives for the purpose of weapons that will never be found… alas, with such ideology it is undeniable that Israel must continue its fascist occupation in Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank.

The Middle Eastern neighbors are thus at fault for not embracing Israel with open arms, for not worrying about the safety of Israeli children taking the bus to school. To return 22 percent of the pre-1967 Palestinian land would only jeopardize Israeli security, but the progressing building of Israeli settlements in the West Bank is unquestionably not a threat to Palestinian security… huh? Yes this is the key word; there is no such thing as Palestinian security, it simply doesn’t exist.

Obama spoke of “putting one another in each other’s shoes.” I’m quite sure the Palestinians would willingly spend a couple of days in one of Tel Aviv ’s beach resorts; the new vacation hot spot, where thousands of Europeans flock every year. Or even in the 40 percent of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, where currently they are forbidden from entering Israeli settlements, or even driving on the roads linking these settlements.

But how about a weekend in Gaza? With one of the world’s highest population density rates? Be sure not to arrive there by boat, the Israeli Army are not the most welcoming to flotillas. There also might not be any clean water or electricity, and depending on the updated version of the list Israel provides to Gaza, you might not be able to get any ketchup, coriander, children’s toys or other bizarre items.

Such were the reasons for the US veto. Such was the advice of the president of the United States. It was a long-sought conclusion that aims to provide the highest level of peace in the region. Yes Obama speaks of peace although he has yet to learn its definition. This decision was not by any chance taken to avoid granting Palestine the right to hold Israel accountable at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. What an absurd presumption.

Nonetheless, the US veto to recognize Palestine as an independent state did not come as a surprise. One would be a fool to think that the world’s superpower would dare disobey the even more powerful Israel. The world unanimously anticipated America’s reluctance to give the Palestinian people their right to be released from Israeli colonialism and ethnic cleansing, even if only in writing. It was a well-predicted decision, and our bleak expectations did not fail us.

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Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz. Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

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