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The American-Palestinian conflict: Paris conference approaches as various clocks tick down to heightened crisis

January 10, 2017

Iranian media are reporting that the current French foreign minister will be in Tehran this month to discuss economic issues.(1) Jean-Marc Ayrault’s trip will be the first such visit in more than a decade.

The timing is interesting. Less than a week from now the Paris Middle East peace summit will be here.

Ayrault was in former colony Lebanon in December and met with Lebanon’s new president. President Aoun is in Saudi Arabia now after Mecca emir Prince Khaled al-Faisal met with Iran-friendly President Aoun in November in Lebanon.(2) Aoun will reportedly be in Qatar and Iran soon. According to Tasnim News Agency, Aoun in December, during a meeting with an Iranian deputy foreign minister in Beirut, “lauded Iran’s positive role in the region, as in resolving the crisis in Syria.”(3) “For his part, the Iranian diplomat applauded Lebanon for its success to bridge the political differences through “dialogue and national consensus”, stressing that such Lebanese procedure could become a paradigm of settling the regional conflicts.”

Iran puts more emphasis on liberating the whole of the Palestinian nation’s territory than some others do. Some other countries that don’t recognize the I$raeli settler entity nonetheless put more emphasis on the two-state solution. However, as previously discussed here in detail, there seem to be people even in Iran who believe some two-state outcome can be both necessary at this time and temporary.

Iran doesn’t support peace less than the United $tates does. The U.$. exploits tensions, and the threat of war, to its advantage. It goes so far as to actively undermine progress, peace, and stability. A global plurality already knows the u.$. is the biggest threat to peace in the world.

The countries of the world are struggling to wage diplomatic war against the u.$. entity and, at this point in history, generally don’t benefit from coups and kinetic war to the extent the u.$. entity does – because of a complex situation involving u.$. hegemony, u.$. military strength, and nearly global neo-colonialism coupled with extreme international exploitation by the united $tates and class stratification along national lines. All countries in the world are capitalist today, and socialist revolution and general anti-neocolonial struggle will continue to lack success until u.$. hegemony is gone. There is no revolutionary class or group of classes in Israel or amerika, not enough to be a main force for socialist revolution there. Others in the world either have a bourgeois or parasitic class structure as well, or are so exploited/oppressed that even pro-neo-colonial (not necessarily pro-amerikan comprador) bourgeoisie can still play a role in struggle against the u.$. in particular. Any military struggle against the u.$. more than a defensive war in one’s homeland requires stronger multinational anti-amerikan unity, attainable through long diplomatic and public opinion struggle.

It is true Israelis should not trust the united $tates and that the amerikans may abandon Israel after using it to sow the seeds of a war that would benefit the amerikans but may end in a way that isn’t ideal for them. It is true Israelis already exhibit independence of interests and action though the u.$. for decades indirectly financed settlement activity and opposed anti-settlement struggle. The u.$. did so before and after it started claiming the two-state solution was nearly dead. In this mostly post-colonial (neo-colonial) world, it is true various states have a level of autonomy despite u.$. hegemony. However, trying to side with the amerikans against some state, even the I$raeli entity, as if the state or entity were more dominant or dangerous than the u.$. entity is generally a dead end now. The u.$. continues to behave as the main obstacle to peace in the Mideast. It continues to give billions of dollars in aid to I$rael, aid that ends up benefiting the settlement project due to fungibility, because it is in the u.$. population’s exploiter and oppressor interests to do so. The u.$. continues to distort Israeli politics and society. It continues to try to divide and weaken Mideast states.

Paris Mideast conference

Diplomatic struggle against the united $tates doesn’t mean talking with it necessarily. There is no need for the u.$. entity to be in Paris if it is just going to hamper things as it did last time. The u.$. doesn’t need a seat at the table there. There will need to be discussions with the amerikans at some points (some level of diplomacy can be conducted, from a position of strength, with the amerikans even as an anti-amerikan course is pursued), but the world’s countries would benefit from trying to reach an understanding without the amerikans, first.

Oddly, maybe that is something Iranians, Israelis and Palestinians can all agree on if financial matters (aid, sanctions concerns) don’t get in the way too much. If anyone wants the summit to be postponed or delayed until after Trump’s inauguration, that isn’t an entirely bad idea. With Trump in the Oval Office, the situation would be more clear to some, and the u.$. might then choose not to participate anyway. For John Kerry to go to Paris while Israel declines to attend, as is going to happen now, will be confusing and help u.$. Democrats more than it helps Palestinians.

Arguably more important than whether the world waits a few more days for a conference is whether the conference is truly led by somebody other than the amerikans (in which case it should have happened months or years ago). In terms of elections and inaugurations, time is of the essence not because of Trump’s inauguration, but because of France’s presidential election in April 2017 – which happens to coincide (within a matter of days) with the fifteenth anniversary of Marwan Barghouti’s kidnapping from Ramallah. In April 2002, an I$raeli goon squad took the widely popular intifada hero and two-state solution supporter to a colonial kangaroo court in “Israel.” Barghouti remains imprisoned there.

Barghouti continues to be a favorite in polls for the Palestinian presidency. Palestine hasn’t had a presidential election in more than a decade thanks primarily to amerikan-caused difficulties. Palestinian international figure Mahmoud Abbas will turn 82 in March. With Barghouti still in prison and no date for a presidential election announced, Abbas’ successor may lack legitimacy in the eyes of many Palestinians.

Another presidential election to consider is Iran’s, this coming May.

According to the detailed results of PSR’s latest Palestinian public opinion poll,(4) a plurality of Palestinians in the West Bank and a plurality in the occupied territories (outside the Green Line) as a whole, on December 8-10, supported the French initiative regardless of expected outcome. A plurality (by a statistically insignificant 0.2 points) in the Gaza Strip opposed the initiative.

87.6% in the West Bank thought Obama didn’t do “all he could during his terms to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.” 75.4% in the Gaza Strip thought that was the case. 59.0% in the West Bank wanted Trump to not “interfere in the peace process.” (The question was, “And what do you want president Trump to do? Do you want him to play a stronger role or do you want the US not to interfere in the peace process?” It is unclear to this writer whether there is a typo. In any case, wanting Trump to not interfere may be the same for many as wanting the u.$. to not interfere.) 44.1% in the Gaza Strip wanted Trump to not interfere. Altogether, a majority of respondents wanted Trump to not interfere. Fewer than a majority answered DK/NA or wanted “a stronger Trump role in the peace process” (29.6%) or for “Trump to play the role the US currently plays in the peace process” (9.7%).

Majorities in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank opposed or certainly opposed “abandon[ing] the two-state solution and demand[ing] the establishment of one state for Palestinians and Israelis.”

Recent events

Netanyahu blamed the truck attack in occupied al-Quds on ISIS.(5) It could have been worse. Netanyahu could have blamed a specifically Palestinian group or movement. Blaming ISIS for inspiring the attack seems to just help Westerners sympathize with Israel; the truck attacks in Nice and Berlin weren’t by Palestinians. Alternatively, maybe Israel still has a need to negotiate with Fatah and Hamas more than the united $tates does. In this writer’s opinion, CIA assets or ideas were possibly involved in the al-Quds attack. Now a “Palestinian” group nobody has ever heard of has reportedly claimed responsibility for the ISIS-style ramming. Only about 5% of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip/West Bank, less than 3% in the West Bank, thought ISIS represented or certainly represented true Islam. People in various Muslim countries oppose and seek to eliminate ISIS-style attacks benefiting the amerikans.

The amerikans, and right-wing Israelis undermining two-state Zionism, would be to blame for ISIS appearing in Palestine inside or outside the Green Line. In other news, there has been another checkpoint attack in al-Arish, in North Sinai. Al-Arish is about a two-hour drive from Tel Aviv or Bi’ir as-Sab, and an hour away from Rafah.(6) There are already hundreds of u.$. military personnel, including infantry, in Sinai. Connect the dots.

It’s not that this writer would be against the united $tates’ recognizing the State of Palestine as some are suggesting the u.$. could and might do. It is just very unlikely. Recognizing a Palestinian state, even with limited sovereignty, is much different from abstaining from a UN vote that doesn’t criticize the united $tates.

Iranian revolutionary figure, leader and former president Ayatollah Rafsanjani has passed away. Hashemi Rafsanjani was perceived relatively favorably in the West. However, many in the Arab world will remember Rafsanjani as someone who sought friendlier relations with Saudi Arabia perhaps more often than some other Iranians did. With JCPOA in danger of collapsing and deterioration also of amerikan-Saudi relations, Rafsanjani’s passing seems particularly unfortunate now. There may be less danger of amerikan influence via Saudi Arabia today so now is the time to struggle for Iranian-Saudi cooperation independent of u.$. interests. It is difficult to see, but there may be a bright side to Saudi Arabia’s allegedly not drawing attention to Rafsanjani’s death.(7)

• “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.
• “Iran signals its support for the two-state solution and Palestinian diplomacy,” 2016 November.
• “Iranian-Palestinian relations develop in the midst of unexpected U.S. election result,” 2016 November.
• “December PSR poll shows a vast majority of Palestinians don’t believe in Obama,” 2016 December.
• “Obama uses UN abstention to bolster reputation while the longstanding American-Palestinian conflict comes into focus for some,” 2016 December.
• “Airbus A321 to be delivered to Iran in days,” 2017 January 8.
• “U.S. economic outlook improves; structural basis of crisis continues to develop,” 2017 January.
• “Diplomat: Ayat. Rafsanjani playing pivotal role in Iran-Russia ties,” 2017 January 10.
• Kuwait News Agency: “Iran condemns terrorist attacks in Baghdad, Istanbul,” 2017 January 1.

More news:
• “Abbas warns Trump over US embassy relocation to Jerusalem al-Quds,” 2017 January 9.
• “Iran confirms receiving Saudi invitation for Hajj talks,” 2017 January 10.
• “‘We will even back S. Arabia if it fights Israel’,” 2017 January 9.
• “Iran capable of absorbing $20bn foreign investment,” 2017 January 7.
• “Nematzadeh: Trade in Lira, Rials to strengthen Iranian, Turkish currencies,” 2017 January 4.
• “Iran in talks with Philippines over oil exports: report,” 2017 January 7.
• “Egypt dollar transactions dip,” 2017 January 9.
• “US Navy destroyer fires warning shots at Iranian fast-attack boats in Persian Gulf,” 2017 January 10.

1. “French FM to visit Tehran,” 2017 January 8.
“French FM to attend economic meeting in Iran in late January,” 2017 January 8.
“French FM Due in Tehran in Coming Days,” 2017 January 8.
2. “Lebanon’s Aoun visits Riyadh to mend fences with Saudi Arabia,” 2017 January 10.
3. “Lebanon hails Iran’s regional role,” 2016 December 24.
4. “Palestinian Public Opinion Poll No (62),” 2016 December 29.
5. “Jerusalem attack: Palestinian group claims responsibility for deadly truck ramming,” 2017 January 10.
“Unclear whether truck attack in Israel inspired by Islamic State,” 2017 January 9.
6. “Eight Egyptian police killed in attack in North Sinai,” 2017 January 9.
7. “Some Gulf Arabs commiserate over Iran’s Rafsanjani, Saudi silent,” 2017 January 9.

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