Despite babbling about “staying the course” and “keeping the process going,” Condoleezza Rice’s latest visit to Israel/occupied Palestine was a belated tacit acknowledgement of the failure of the Bush administration’s approach toward the Palestinian issue.
Indeed, despite numerous visits to West Jerusalem and Ramallah, which cost American taxpayers millions of dollars, it can be said without exaggeration that Rice’s achievements amounted to a fat zero.
Rice had wanted to achieve her boss’s vision of seeing two states in historical Palestine, Israel and a vaguely-defined Palestinian entity, living side by side in peace.
However, after nearly eight years of hectic diplomacy, unfulfilled promises and unrealized hopes, that goal is now as illusive as ever.
In fact, one wouldn’t evade the truth by saying that the prospect of creating a truly viable Palestinian state in the West Bank is now more unrealistic than it was when Bush came to the White House nearly eight years ago.
The intensive proliferation of Jewish colonies in the occupied territories of 1967 has simply rendered the creation of a Palestinian state worthy of the name unachievable. We shouldn’t pay attention to those who say otherwise. They simply don’t know what they are talking about, assuming they are sincerely ignorant.
While speaking during a joint press conference with her Israeli counterpart, Tzipi Livni, Rice hardly touched on the continued expansion of Jewish colonies. She only managed to utter invoke the old platitudinous formula that we have been hearing ad nauseam, namely that “unilateral acts” (notice she wouldn’t even say the word “settlements”) don’t help the peace process.
Well, Rice and her boss have been saying the same tired words for ages while Israel keeps stealing Arab land and building Jewish settlements unabated?
So how are we supposed to interpret this farce or game of make believe? Is there a tacit understanding between the U.S. and Israel whereby the former keeps repeating certain disingenuous statements, which only ostensibly criticize Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank, while the latter keeps building the settlements irrespective of what American officials say in this regard?
A few years ago, George Bush lambasted the construction of that wall of shame, mutilating Palestinian land and meandering through Palestinian population centers, reducing them to de facto detention camps.
However, Israeli leaders effectively ignored Bush’s remarks, knowing too well that he was in no position to act on these remarks.
So why would Israel take seriously an administration that says openly that it wouldn’t punish Israel no matter what it did and that it would never force Israel to do anything against its will?
Apart from the phenomenal settlement expansion being frantically pursued by the fascist Zionist regime, Rice must have drawn satisfaction from the continuing criminal siege imposed on 1.5 million helpless Palestinians in Gaza.
The manifestly callous lady wouldn’t even utter a word about the enduring plight of these tormented men, women and children who are made to suffer and die because they had the audacity to elect a political party Israel and the Bush administration didn’t like.
There is no doubt that the American-Western approach to the Gaza ordeal is a stigma of shame at the forehead of the western world.
After all, we are talking about a nefarious collusion between Israel, a Judeo-Nazi state that thinks and behaves and acts like a Nazi state, and western governments in effecting a slow-motion genocide against innocent people for purely political reasons.
Israel used to tell the world that the evil blockade of Gaza was a defensive measure aimed at forcing the Palestinians to stop firing home-made projectiles on nearby Israeli settlements.
However, when a ceasefire was eventually reached more than two months ago, Israel kept the blockade virtually intact and both Israel and Egypt, apparently with American approval, kept the Rafah border crossing, Gaza’s sole conduit to the outside world, closed.
In truth, Gaza, thanks to this criminal lingering siege, is more than just “the greatest open-air prison in the world” as is bruited abroad. Gaza is actually a real concentration camp, a concentration camp where people are starved, tormented and made to suffer and die for diabolical political calculations having to do with efforts to expedite global American hegemony and Jewish supremacy.
At the Palestinian camp, there is a clearly stupid Palestinian leadership whose main preoccupation is staying politically alive even if this happens to be at the expense of the Palestinian people and their enduring just cause.
This is why the self-proclaimed “legitimate” leadership is willing to indulge in endless futile negotiations with our tormentors while Israel keeps stealing our land, demolishing our homes and building settlements for would-be Jewish immigrants from around the world.
This is the same leadership that keeps persecuting and repressing its own citizens by arresting them, torturing them and even killing them on Israel’s behalf. It is a leadership that is building a huge security apparatus, with American funding and training, not to liberate our land from the criminal claws of Zionism but rather to further savage our struggling people and weaken their ability to regain their freedom.
And now, we are about to enter a new phase of this farcical “peace” process where Palestine continues to be crucified and slaughtered while the whole world plays the role of spectator.
With Ehud Olmert about to leave the Israeli political scene soon, and with Bush having only a few months left in the White House, the Palestinian plight, with all its calamitous aspects, will have to wait at least until the next American administration puts its act together, which will take several months.
Hence, it is imperative that patriotic Palestinians find, as soon as possible, a way out of this absurdity.
Maybe we should be seriously thinking of abandoning the entire strategy of Palestinian statehood based on the so-called two-state solution. This hapless strategy is losing credibility and relevance and becoming a crippling liability undermining our struggle and aspirations for freedom and justice.
The important thing is that we must no longer allow ourselves to be held-hostage to this farcical theatre known as “the peace process” which only spells death and destruction to our people and just cause.