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News & Analysis > All
News & analysis from Proletarian Internationalist Notes—news, reviews and analysis from a global perspective
Obama uses UN abstention to bolster reputation while the longstanding American-Palestinian conflict comes into focus for some
December 28, 2016
Mondoweiss is a widely read website in the English language focusing on the so-called Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This writer has disagreed with some of the content on Mondoweiss in the past. That content has contributed to undermining anti-Amerikanism in the Palestinian struggle around the entity called I$rael. Even now, there are two contrasting articles on the front page of Mondoweiss. One of them is pro-amerikan. Another is much less so.
One, by Mondoweiss’ founder, expresses much optimism following the UN Security Council’s adoption of a limited resolution against settlement activity in Palestine.(1) Not only that. One reads that Obama has done more to advance the Palestinian cause than anyone “in the last ten years,” “what Obama did is so meaningful,” that Obama had been trying to get I$rael to make progress for years, that Obama “can claim some of the credit” for a coming change in I$raeli leadership, and “our presidents” have warned I$rael for decades but “Israel has become a partisan issue at last.” Amerikans’ hearing about the settlements now, Israel’s being “exposed” to AmeriKKKans, is supposedly a good thing. Yet, I$rael “has destroyed the two-state solution” already. Destroyed it.
It is thus possible to have a website that has some revolutionary- or strong- sounding rhetoric against Israel and is critical of, or ambiguous about, the two-state solution, and diplomacy or peace efforts in general (at least in some other articles, when the amerikans don’t allow something like UNSC Resolution 2334 to happen), but kisses amerikans’ ass. The only question is, why is kissing Obama’s ass or making Democrats look good, specifically, necessary at this point in time. There are only a few weeks left in Obama’s term. The rescheduled Middle East peace conference in France is to take place just before Obama leaves the stage. The conference needs to focus on planning and preparing for anti-amerikan struggle. Anti-amerikan struggle on Palestine, at least in the future with Trump, has become obvious to more people. The Paris conference shouldn’t be another photo op for Democrats or amerikans. Heaping praise on the amerikans won’t make them more likely to get out of the way or do anything that clearly helps the Palestinians. And Israel is not more likely to be a major partisan (Democratic/Republican) issue than alleged Trump supporter Russia, which may have more to gain in supporting the two-state solution than many Western countries do. This writer has come across far too many fucking ignorant or mentally ill non-white amerikans who think attacking Russia is some kind of way to get back at whites for racism but have less to say about I$rael/Palestine unless it is to bash Jews, Islam, or both.
There are many references to “the Israel lobby” in the same article, such as “Obama’s Failure to Veto signals to Americans that U.S. policy is not going to be dictated by the Israel lobby any more, or at least this once.” The words “Jewish supremacy” appear (together with “apartheid” an “an order that serves the bulk of Israeli society”) as do “establishment Jews” “hounding” Obama and “rich elites” (only a Jew is named), but there is no mention of Christian Zionism, secular non-Jewish amerikan pressure to support amerika’s Palestine and Middle East policy, or how a majority of non-Jewish amerikans didn’t really support the two-state solution in any way, not more than Jewish amerikans or Jewish Israelis did. There is no mention of how the United States has hindered the two-state solution for decades and the U.$. strategic interests underlying the lack of emergence of a two-state outcome in Palestine with more peace and Palestinian sovereignty. Amerikans have just been suffering at the hands of manipulative “spoiled brat” foreign Jews and domestic Jews somehow dominating the entity (the u.$.) that is dominant in the world. The amerikans apparently were just wasting their money all along in giving billions to Israel.
It is possible that some right-wing Israelis (Zionist or not) pursuing annexation or West Bank settlement consolidation conspired with Obama to allow a resolution to pass that would obscure the amerikans’ role in the so-called Israeli-Palestinian conflict and cause the situation to deteriorate. However, the adoption of Resolution 2334 exposed the lie that Israel controls the world. It is hard or perhaps just too complicated to deny that Israel as a state was against the resolution.
Besides Mondoweiss, others are talking about how Obama has supposedly singlehandedly breathed new life into the Palestinian cause. Either that cause includes some variation of the two-state solution at the moment, or it doesn’t. (At this time, a plurality and near-majority of Palestinians support the two-state solution in one way or another, even if only as a temporary outcome and even if it isn’t seen as viable.) Some, who would not have referred to any Zionism positively before, now have favorable things to say about “liberal Zionism.” Of course, in order for the two-state solution to be revived, it must not have been quite all-the-way dead yet, not completely destroyed. Some of those now seemingly enthusiastic about the two-state solution were saying it wasn’t viable a week ago. Others, who were getting in the way of Palestinians’ protracted, diplomatic war against the Israeli/amerikan entity occupying Palestine, now seem excited about diplomacy. The notion that the two-state solution has now become viable because some Democratic president appears to have suddenly done something with only weeks remaining in office involves delusions upon delusions. If Clinton had won and not Trump, there still would have been four or eight more years of amerikan obstruction. (Weiss almost admits this in an odd or ironic way, saying, “As for Trump, he also can claim credit for the UN Resolution. If he had not won and not appointed David Friedman, a settler hero, to be his ambassador to Israel, and Steve Bannon, a white nationalist, as a White House strategist, we would be seeing an entirely different political terrain.”)
The practice of supporting the two-state solution only when the amerikans make some gesture to show support for it is connected to u.$. hegemony. Contrary to what some are saying or might have suggested in the past, it is precisely when amerikans don’t support it that the two-state solution needs to be supported as a matter of opposing u.$. interests and involvement in the Middle East. Seeking a temporary two-state outcome at this time, better than what exists now, is a part of pursuing complete liberation of the Palestinian nation from the I$raeli/amerikan colonialism. The amerikans are now saying some words again in favor of the two-state solution, of course, but that shouldn’t confuse observers too much.
Four months ago – long before it became more likely than not that Trump would be elected – this writer said, “The united $nakes is the main force opposing progress in the Israeli-Palestinian issue, to the point where if there is a conflict it could be called the “American-Palestinian conflict.” That is an extremely important part of “what is really going on there.” Those who don’t understand that will get in the way, “act in an irrelevant way,” or apply “wrong solutions” – regardless of strong rhetoric against Israel.”(2) Anyone who wasn’t operating mentally and solely within certain Israel/Palestine delusions rooted in u.$. hegemony could see the amerikan-Palestinian conflict even years ago. The amerikan-Palestinian conflict is the reality that Palestinians have known for decades now even though some have not fully admitted it publicly outside Palestine. The delusional or lying antisemitic diehards in the West, obscuring the extent and character of the amerikan role and contributing to disorientation in international struggle even at this time (when there is a need to highlight the amerikan role now more than ever), must be denounced and isolated wherever they are found – no matter what their identity or background is.
Recognizing the amerikan-Palestinian conflict
Now Mondoweiss has published an article (albeit before the “Israeli hysteria” article) literally saying “it is time to recognize the American-Palestinian conflict.”(3) It has to be said Mondoweiss deserves credit for publishing such an article at a time when amerika’s role in Middle East conflict, at least as it pertains to Palestine, is most difficult for many to see despite amerika’s Syria debacle. It appears that article’s author and the present writer are on the same wavelength to some extent here. More need to see through Obama’s words and actions. Although, it is possible to raise an issue – in this case the amerikan-Palestinian conflict – only to obscure or confuse people about it later. Many opportunists mix different articles to create an impression.
As Abusalim mentions, various public responses were predictable. Amerikans emphasized those elements of the resolution that criticized Palestinians. Of course, Netanyahu still had to reject the resolution as ey did the Quartet report that didn’t criticize the united $tates but criticized both Palestinians and Israelis. Blaming the outgoing u.$. president responsible for what Samantha Power did in New York was easy, though the allegation that the united $tates was behind the resolution helps somewhat to reveal the truth that the united $tates has controlled the situation in the Middle East for decades and is responsible for the worsening status quo in Palestine.
The meaning, if not the meaningfulness, of the resolution is questionable after previous UNSC decisions were determined by the united $tates. For a Palestinian diplomat to talk about that publicly at the moment would be complicated no doubt. Many supporting the Palestinian cause, who now welcome Security Council activity, were skeptical about any approach in which the UN figured prominently, an attitude that was more justifiable in the context of the Security Council with the united $tates’ veto power. Some of those had problems with diplomacy in general. Reality is going to conflict with perception, but if non-Palestinians perceive that Palestinians have won something major and necessary, it may be hard for Palestinians to avoid cheering for that for the sake of real struggles. Spectators think the Palestinians’ team won. Somehow that team includes amerikans responsible for various Middle East conflicts – unless anyone wants to admit there was extraordinary pressure on the amerikans. Perhaps the most positive way of looking at things at this time is an explanation that includes that the Syrian struggle against the amerikans, for example, may have played a role in the u.$. abstention and related comments. Different anti-amerikan struggles may have forced the amerikans to take an action that may not be a real concession to the Palestinians.
It was time to recognize the AmeriKKKan-Palestinian conflict years ago. When there was more progress under Bush than under Obama, it is hard to understand the delay except in terms of Obama idolatry. Even if pro-amerikan antisemitism and rhetoric exaggerating the role of Jewish and Zionist lobbying may persist, Trump has taken the mask off of the united $tates’ anti-Palestine, anti-peace anti-two-state-solution policy and cast it away.
Abusalim mentions tens of thousands of amerikans in West Bank settlements. The u.$. government allowed amerikans to settle in the West Bank and is now under pressure to defend them regardless of religion/culture. “That is nearly triple the number of US armed forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, more and more reports are revealing that US citizens are actively taking part in the Israeli armed forces, potentially committing crimes against humanity and war crimes. These are, of course, facts that pale in comparison to the unwavering financial and military support Israel continues tor receive from American taxpayers.”
The discussion of Arab leaders is problematic. Within the context of sponsorship of draft resolutions in the Security Council, it is odd to compare “non-Arab governments” favorably with Arabs and suggest that Arab states failed to help Palestine with what was initially an Egyptian resolution. Various non-Arab states do indeed have reasons to oppose the united $tates on I$rael or support resolutions the amerikans might be reluctant to support, but Egypt is the only Arab member of the Security Council at this time to begin with. The countries that co-sponsored Res. 2334 after Egypt withdrew its sponsorship were representative of the Regional Groups – except Eastern Europe, which has only Ukraine among the temporary members of the Security Council. It doesn’t mean New Zealand was more supportive in every sense than China, Russia, and many other countries that either didn’t sponsor the resolution or weren’t part of the Security Council in the first place.
Certain Arabs do collaborate with the amerikans at this time. That is unfortunate and regrettable. The oppressed, and those who aren’t strong u.$. allies, understand there are bullying and blackmail operations. Nothing is beyond forgiveness if the collaborators stop what they are doing immediately. However, to compare Egypt unfavorably with a country like New Zealand has neocolonial, even colonial implications. Egypt borders “Israel” and went to war against the settlers there, unlike New Zealand and most other countries in the world, Arab/Muslim and not. There are already amerikan troops in Egypt supposedly to support the peace treaty with Israel. Whatever threats Israelis might have made to New Zealand over supporting Resolution 2334, New Zealand isn’t in danger of being occupied by the Israelis. Some act like Muslim countries should shoulder the burden disproportionately for Palestine, but others still remember the Suez Crisis, in which Western powers that have and still have interests in Middle East trade routes fought over the canal and invaded when the Egyptians resisted the Israelis.
The idea of Britain and France posing as peacemakers makes many Arabs uncomfortable because of the Tripartite Aggression and other history. Today, there is no Soviet Union however, and Britain and France still have conflicts with the united $tates, which is now the dominant power – conflicts that are useful for advancing the Palestinian cause.
Britain and France are still close allies of the united $tates. As always there will be a danger of letting in amerikan influence by working with any imperialist country – the oppressed must be on guard against the illusions and deceptions that are possible with inter-imperialist rivalry involving oppressed nations – but right now the amerikans are the biggest obstacle to progress in the Middle East. Non-amerikan Westerners who think they can do better than Arabs should go to the State of Palestine’s diplomats and offer troops to protect Palestinians and prevent violence, if they haven’t done so already. Palestinians need protection as they build, work, study, raise children, play, worship and move around in their own territory that everyone recognizes is Palestinian.
Possibilities and realities
The idea of a UN peacekeeping force in Palestine at the invitation of the State of Palestine sounds better than it did two months ago. If the amerikans want to ruin their relations with the UN, the door should be held open for them to leave. The amerikans may not be known as a rogue state universally because the ideological aspect of u.$. hegemony remains strong, but everyone knows who the world’s bully is.
Structurally it would be hard for the State of Palestine to support the one-state solution even if Israeli citizenship with some equality would be better than Palestinians’ current situation in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. But the amerikans would be against the one-state solution (as it is against the two-state solution in reality) if it were practicable and likely meant less subordination to u.$. interests than the current situation in “Israel”/Palestine. Amerikans still have problems with the Arab-majority and Muslim-majority countries that cooperate with them. With the amerikans, it is either u.$. hegemony or chaos – their way or their way – in the Middle East. That is the choice the amerikans offer.
Topics like the two-state solution are subjects for debate. People can debate them all day along. But either they acknowledge the amerikan-Palestinian conflict and that it’s the biggest conflict encompassing even settlements in the West Bank, or they don’t. Either they are for isolating and opposing the amerikans, or they aren’t. Either activists outside Palestine support freeing Palestinian leaders, such as Marwan Barghouti, from I$raeli prison to clarify matters in Palestinian public opinion and leadership, or they don’t support that. ◊
• “Boycott the United Snakes: Amerika standing in the way of the two-state solution,” 2016 July. https://github.com/pinotes/pinotes.github.io/blob/master/_posts/2016-07-15-news-Boycott-United-States.md
• “Americanism and anti-Americanism in conflict: understanding public opinion on Palestine,” 2016 August. https://github.com/pinotes/pinotes.github.io/blob/master/_posts/2016-08-11-news-Palestine-public-opinion.md
• “New JMCC poll shows pluralities of Palestinian youth prefer Marwan Barghouti and the two-state solution; PSR poll shows unfavorable Palestinian views of the United $tates,” 2016 October. https://github.com/pinotes/pinotes.github.io/blob/master/_posts/2016-10-15-news-Marwan-Barghouti-polls.md
• “Oppose the United Snakes, truly unite for Palestine,” 2016 October. https://github.com/pinotes/pinotes.github.io/blob/master/_posts/2016-10-21-news-Unite-for-Palestine.md
• “December PSR poll shows a vast majority of Palestinians don’t believe in Obama,” 2016 December. https://github.com/pinotes/pinotes.github.io/blob/master/_posts/2016-12-21-news-Dec2016-PSR-poll.md
• “AmeriKKKa is still the dominant power in the world and needs to be opposed as such,” 2016 December. https://github.com/pinotes/pinotes.github.io/blob/master/_posts/2016-12-28-news-US-hegemony-UNSC-settlements-resolution.md
1. “Israeli hysteria over UN vote is solidifying country’s new status, as a rogue state,” 2016 December 27. http://mondoweiss.net/2016/12/hysteria-solidifying-countrys/
2. “Beyond language: more anti-Americanism needed on Palestine,” 2016 August. https://github.com/pinotes/pinotes.github.io/blob/master/_posts/2016-08-26-news-Palestine-settler-colonialism.md
3. “It is time to recognize the US-Palestinian conflict,” 2016 December 24. http://mondoweiss.net/2016/12/recognize-palestinian-conflict/