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The AmeriKKKan-Palestinian conflict: Middle East looking to Vatican for influence

January 15, 2017

As reported by Iran’s official IRNA news agency, Palestine opened an embassy to the Holy See, in Vatican City.(1) The building housing the new embassy would be church-owned as buildings in the city-state are. The Holy See has diplomatic relations with the I$raeli entity and most states in the world. Most countries in the world recognize and have diplomatic relations with I$rael and the State of Palestine. The Holy See doesn’t have diplomatic relations with China and Saudi Arabia, among other countries, though it has had some official formal contact with Saudi Arabia. Iran has maintained diplomatic relations with the Holy See since before the revolution overthrowing the American-puppet king in 1979.

The same day, IRNA also covered a meeting between Iran’s ambassador to Austria and Roman Catholic cardinal and Vienna archbishop Christoph Schönborn.(2) Schönborn, who turns 72 in a week, is possibly a future pope, somebody who could be in Pope Francis’ position and influence church diplomatic activities before U.S. president-elect Trump’s term is over. “While referring to Iran’s ‘influential and important’ role in the global and regional developments, the Austrian Catholic leader praised the country’s efforts for establishment of peace and tranquility in the region.” So Iran found it necessary to discuss a papal contender appearing to praise Iran’s peace efforts. What the delusional or mistaken, thinking some other path is more practicable than the temporary two-state solution right now, need to understand is that Iran’s interest in Mideast peace is sincere. Iran wouldn’t benefit from more war in the Middle East, and the Supreme Leader of Iran continues to remind Iranians and the world that the U.$. entity is satan #1.

That is not to say Palestinian discussions with the current Catholic Church government are less significant. Iran’s Press TV said, “Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Pope Francis have discussed the probable relocation of US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds.”(3) Major French newspaper Le Figaro quoted Abbas as saying of an Amerikan embassy move to occupied al-Quds, “Not only would it strip the United States of all its legitimacy to play a role in resolving the conflict, but it would reduce to nothing a two-state solution.” That is what Abbas said to the media. It is in the midst of such words that international figure Abbas and Pope Francis met.

Palestinian diplomats had publicly expressed their frustrations with outgoing u.$. president Barack Obama many times before. Amerika’s losing its ability to play a role in resolving the so-called Israeli-Palestinian conflict wouldn’t itself make the two-state solution unworkable, though. There is a certain complexity to what Abbas said, but too many people have evaluated the two-state solution in terms of what the u.$. permits and claims to support: a submissive posture toward u.$. dominance. Despite speeches and the occasional intense appearance, the amerikans have been opposing the solution, not supporting it. They favor the status quo (more than they favor the unrealistic one-state solution), and promote conflicts and a weakening of Palestine and other Mideast nations, because it suits their interests.

Unsurprisingly, an AP article suggested John Kerry was just going to interfere at the Paris Mideast peace conference starting hours from now at the time of this writing.(4) “While more than 70 countries are attending, though neither Israel nor the Palestinians, the U.S. is primarily focused on shielding the Jewish state from unfair criticism and ensuring concerns about Palestinian incitement to violence aren’t ignored. / But the administration may find its voice ignored. While the U.S. received credit from close allies in Europe and elsewhere for abstaining from a December U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, America’s partners have grown tired with its leadership on the peace process.” As they should.

If the united $tates is unenthusiastic and doesn’t want to find itself in the position of having to sign a statement or decline, it shouldn’t show up. There is no need to feel obligated or responsible any more. Amerikans should just have a sense of their complicity and tendencies to cause problems. For its own part, the world shouldn’t feel it needs to invite the amerikans or seek their signature in the first place. The world does need to know what the amerikans are thinking, but the amerikans can communicate their intentions and threats other ways. Involving the amerikans just leads to watering things down or inadequate effort to address the u.$. role in Mideast conflicts.

In related news, Reuters intriguingly reported on ongoing indirect communication between Iran and Saudi Arabia via Iraq and quoted Iran’s semi-official IRIB media organization.(5) “Iraq’s foreign minister said he had carried messages between Iran and Saudi Arabia in a continuing attempt to curb a feud involving its two neighbours, Iran’s state broadcaster IRIB reported on Saturday.” ““The (mediation) steps have continued since last year, and I have exchanged messages between the two countries … because any crisis in Iranian-Saudi relations affects Iraq as well, and a rapprochement between them would also benefit Iraq,” Iraq’s Ibrahim al-Jaafari was quoted by IRIB’s website as saying.” That is Reuters talking about Iranians publicly talking about Iraq’s foreign minister discussing Iran-Saudi rapprochement. Recently there have been efforts to improve the Hajj situation,(6) in addition to other examples of potential cooperation.

The Holy See and the Iranian and Saudi governments are obviously hardcore-religious. Though it governs little territory, the Holy See in terms of what it views as being permissible opposes abortion even more than Iran and Saudi Arabia do. As an atheist and a feminist, this writer criticizes Western patriarchal culture including pseudo-feminist ideology and Western gender-related chauvinism/attacks but is not against abortion availability for teenagers in the First World, for example. There are ways of supporting abortion access that don’t involve “pro-choice” problematic rhetoric, promoting discomfort with vasectomy, and getting caught up in chauvinism and warmongering against countries facing Western bombs and missiles, as many liberals, so-called feminists and so-called leftists have. However, advances in education and birth control, increased contraceptive use, health care improvements, less interest in having children in general, changed attitudes toward sex and pregnancy out of wedlock, and decreased abortion rate/ratio, increasingly make the abortion issue moot at least as far as First World adults are concerned, despite partisan use of the issue. Multiple goals can have different priorities anyway. So First World activists shouldn’t be overly opposed to the idea of uniting with the Holy See to avoid more war in the Middle East. The Holy See, the Palestinians (most of whom are Muslim), the Iranians and the Saudis all have more interest in peace than the amerikans do. That is despite amerikans’ stronger secular tendencies.

Language like “Great Satan” and “shirk” is religious, but atheists should be able to agree with some of what Muslims say about idolatry and polytheism. Rejecting monotheism doesn’t have to mean treating amerikans as idols and worshiping those false gods. Barack Obama and John Kerry have made a last-minute effort to bolster u.$. image before Trump’s inauguration, but worshiping amerikan leadership will be just as idolatrous a week from now as it was eight and four years ago.

The amerikans have less than 150 hours to recognize the State of Palestine. It’s not going to happen. During the next four years, everyone will see how serious Western activists are about opposing Trump, who needs to be opposed as u.$. president, not just as a Republican or “fascist.” The amerikan-Palestinian conflict – a conflict between a hegemonic imperialist power and an oppressed nation struggling against colonialism and occupation – would have continued under Clinton, but it is becoming harder for anyone to deny that conflict. ◊

• “AmeriKKKa is still the dominant power in the world and needs to be opposed as such,” 2016 December.
• “Obama uses UN abstention to bolster reputation while the longstanding American-Palestinian conflict comes into focus for some,” 2016 December.
• “The American-Palestinian conflict: Paris conference approaches as various clocks tick down to heightened crisis,” 2017 January.

1. “Palestine opens embassy in Holy See,” 2017 January 14.
2. “Iran’s envoy confers with Austrian Catholic leader,” 2017 January 14. (
3. “Palestine president, Pope talk US embassy relocation,” 2017 January 15.
See: “Pope Francis meets with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas,” 2017 January 14.
See: “President Abbas inaugurates Palestinian embassy in the Vatican,” 2017 January 14.
4. “Paris meeting marks end to Obama’s failed Mideast diplomacy,” 2017 January 13.
5. “Iraqi minister trying to improve relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia - report,” 2017 January 14.
6. “Iranian team due in Saudi Arabia for Hajj talks,” 2017 January 11.

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