Words! Words! Words!

There isn’t one I haven’t heard” or so goes one of the lines in a well-known American musical. Yet, this time the world is imbuing the words with new meaning when it comes to US/Israel relations. The hope is that at long last the US is going to discipline Israel.

Alas, in the flurry of words, the music has not changed. America seems as much bedazzled by Israel as a parent who is blind to the antics of an over-indulged, demanding child. No amount of insults seems to shatter their illusion that the precious being is, in fact, a monster.

In their attempts to convince the rest of us not so enamoured, they fail to see that they have allowed their symbiotic relationships to become abusive. Just as the parent can no longer control a child’s obnoxious behaviour, so too America finds itself hamstrung by Israel’s illegal settlement expansion into Palestinian territory and its determination to take and Judaise all of Jerusalem. And while this time there have been some firm admonishments, there have been no follow-up consequences, America lapsing into the same old routine of placating Israel with promises to keep the faith.

The AIPAC conference in Washington DC provided the meeting place for the usual Israel love-in. There, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu plumbed the depths. He lied when he said that Jews had built Jerusalem 3,000 years ago. He lied when he said it was theirs to build again. He lied when he said “it is our capital”.

No one pulled him up over those lies. Instead Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waffled on about how Israel’s behaviour exposes the daylight between them that others in the region hope to exploit – the same daylight that US Vice-president Biden vowed did not exist between the two countries – and how it endangers the proximity talks and America’s essential role in bringing those to fruition. But not before she had told the audience that America’s commitment to Israel was “rock solid, enduring, unwavering and forever”.

Her prime concern was not that Israel’s behaviour denies millions of Palestinians the right to live in their own homeland and cruelly oppresses those who still do, but rather that America’s credibility as an honest broker in a long-defunct peace process might be at risk.

Nothing was said about Jerusalem being a corpus separatum under UN trusteeship since the Partition of Palestine in 1947 or that Israel does not have sovereignty over Jerusalem, despite its military conquests. Not a mention was made that East Jerusalem is occupied territory and that Israel is in breach of international law.

Netanyahu’s claims over Jerusalem presuppose an “eternal connection” between Jews and the land. But the historical record on that is clear. Not only are there non-Jewish groups who ruled Jerusalem for centuries rather than the brief 170 years of likely Jewish rule, but also the city existed long before Judaism took form.

On any reading, Jerusalem is no more Jewish than it is Christian or Islamic. Yet, if anyone can lay claim to it by an “eternal connection”, it is the Palestinians whose history goes back millennia to the Canaanites who worshipped pagan deities and then to those who converted to emerging Judaism, Christianity and centuries later to ascendant Islam. Thus, the three monotheistic religions believe they too have a claim. For this reason, the 1947 UN Partition resolution sought to give Jerusalem international status as a separate body.

To this day, the international community has refused to officially recognise Israeli sovereignty of Jerusalem. Notwithstanding this, Israel has pursued an aggressive policy of “unification” and “reunification” of Jewish Jerusalem by pushing out the boundaries of Palestinian East Jerusalem to some 73 sq km, well into the military-occupied West Bank where Israel has illegally settled some 300,000 Jews.

Secretary Clinton’s “no to settlements” and “no to natural growth” at the end of last year were empty words. Within days, she had eagerly announced that Netanyahu’s guarantees of no new settlement building and no new land grabs were “unprecedented” concessions. Nothing was said about the building going on in East Jerusalem, let alone the forced evictions of Palestinians, the demolition of their homes and Israeli building policies, which are deliberately skewed towards Jewish population growth.

One has to wonder what meaning words have at all when carefully considered ones are ignored. A United Nations report of May 2009 put as many as 60,000 Palestinians at risk of eviction from their homes and called for a freeze on demolitions in East Jerusalem. Yet, the most that Secretary Clinton could say then – 10 months ago – was that Israel’s actions were “unhelpful” in advancing the peace process.

As has happened innumerable times in the past, the chiding words of US emissaries and government officials, are always quickly followed up with other words to reassure Israel of “the unbreakable bond” between the two countries, and more significantly, actions that belie the reprimands. In the midst of all the recent hoo-ha about chilling relations, a $210 million arms deal with Israel and paid for by US military aid nevertheless went ahead with an estimated massive $3 billion F-35 warplane deal still in the offing.

In other words, regardless of the song-sheet, America never misses a beat to give Israel what it wants. It will be interesting to see if the US does withdraw support for Israel in the United Nations on any resolutions before the Security Council critical of Israel’s settlement policies in occupied East Jerusalem. The rumours are fulminating amongst denials from both sides. While to many this signifies a change of heart in America’s love affair with Israel, it may be no more than the stuff of gossip columns to re-make America’s image as honest broker in the Middle East.

The disconnect between words and actions might please those who want peace more than they want justice for the Palestinians, but for many, the words have been done to death. By the time proximity talks morph into full negotiations, there will be no Jerusalem left to negotiate and no Palestinians left in Jerusalem. All words will then be meaningless.

Sonja Karkar is the founder and president of Women for Palestine in Melbourne, Australia. Read other articles by Sonja, or visit Sonja's website.

3 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Rehmat said on March 31st, 2010 at 5:59pm #

    To a standing ovation of the 4,500 Americans attending the recent AIPAC conference with topic ”Israel: Tell Your Story” – whose loyalties are more toward a foreign country (Israel) than the US – Zionist entity’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Bibi) declared: “The Jewish people were building Jerusalem 3000 years ago and the Jewish people are building Jerusalem today. Jerusalem is not a settlement. It’s our capital”.

    Now, one doesn’t need a PhD in world history to figure out that Bibi was lying from both sides of his Zionist mouth. Even Israeli professor Shlomo Sand has admitted in his book ‘When and how Jewish people were invented?‘ that modern Jewish people were invented a little more than a century ago. Therefore, Jewish people could not be building Jerusalem 3000 years ago. However, they have been Judeazing Jerusalem city since 1948 when half the Arab Muslim-majority city of Jerusalem (Western) was awarded by the world’s western powers to the European Jews who were not welcomed in the Christian Heartland. The Jews then occupied the Eastern part of Jerusalem with the help of the same western powers in 1967.

    Historically, Jerusalem existed under the name “Salem” during the time of prophet Abraham 2000 years ago – and Abraham was certainly not an Israelite or a Jew. The entire city was demolished by Babylonians in 586 BC. and rebuilt seventy-year later by Cyrus, the King of Persia, who could not be a Jew. In 40 BC Romans occupied Jerusalem and incinerated the Temple of Solomon (Masjid-e-Aqsa, mentioned as “the Far-away mosque” in the Holy Qur’an).

    Palestine has existed, though not as an independent state, for over 10,000 years. Its inhabitants have been Jebusites (the ones’ who most probably built the city), Cannanites, Phoenicians, Hittites, Aramaeans, Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, Arabs, Franks and Turks. Part of Palestine was ruled by Israelite under the name of “Kindom of Judea and Samara” until they were defeated and taken as slaves or expeled by Babylonians, Greeks, Romans and Persians between 171 BC and 135 CE. The City of Jerusalem was handed over to Muslim Army by the Christian Patriarch Sofronius in a public ceremony. Muslims found out that the ruins of Temple of Solomon were used as the city garbage dump. Under the orders of Khalifah Umar Ibn Khattab (ra), the site was cleaned of garbage and handed-over to the Chaief Rabbi of Jerusalem, who in gratitude declared the Khalifah as the “Promised Jewish Messaih”. Sheikh Imran Nazar Hossein in his book Jerusalem in the Quran exposes the Zionist lies about their Biblical claim on the Holy Land.


  2. jon s said on April 1st, 2010 at 2:36am #

    Rehmat, try to at least get your facts and dates right.

  3. Mulga Mumblebrain said on April 1st, 2010 at 9:14am #

    Sonia has the misfortune to dwell in a country where hatred of Moslems, particularly Palestinians and Arabs(and Persians), is assiduously cultivated in the media,and reflected in politics. The media is dominated by Murdoch, whose absolute bias to Israel and contempt for the Palestinians is reflected by his minions in the media, as slavish a rabble of bootlickers to their owner as is possible to imagine. Might I recommend Greg Sheridan the foreign affairs hysteric for The Australian, who, in my opinion, could possibly be the most sycophantic, grovelling, obsequious crawler to Israel and all things Jewish in captivity, anywhere. He has added hysterical Sinophobia to his arsenal lately, reflecting the absolute determination of Zionists, who do not control China as they totally control the West, to derail China’s rise, come what may. Sheridan addresses every topic from what is, in my opinion at least, a deranged Manicheanism, where the Chinese, the Palestinians, Arabs, Moslems, Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah etc, are all the absolute embodiment of evil, and Israel and the US are beacons of every virtue, morally perfect and literally incapable of crime.In this deranged one-dimensional Universe, the Goldstone Report has been ‘discredited’, apparently by Zionist diktat, as near as Sheridan gets to divinely revealed truth.
    The other major media empire in Australia, Fairfax,has been solidly pro-Israel since the days of old Warwick Fairfax, when love of Israel was an (unspoken) condition of employment.Needless to say, the love of Israel reflects the political power of the local Jewish business plutocrats. Somewhere between one quarter and one half of Australia’s billionaires are Jews, all Zionists, all keen to lean on politicians. Jews make up 1% of Australia’s population, but are vastly over-represented in business, academia, the law etc. Many are extremely fine people, but even more, I would say, alas, are tribalists who put their Jewishness and Zionism before all else.Australian Jews may serve in the Israeli Death Forces, notorious for their human rights crimes, and return unmolested to Australia, and any thought that they might be investigated for crimes comitted in Gaza or Lebanon or the West Bank, would produce cries of incredulity, just before the bellowing chorus of ‘anti-semite’.
    As the hate campaign against Islam deepens, a sure sign that a new atrocity, the destruction of Iran,is on Zionism’s wish list, the individual examples of anti-Islaic hatemongering (absolutely inconceivable in regard to Jews, as it should be) are nearly all the product of Zionist Jews or their Sabbat Goy stooges. But to point that out is forbidden. No politician dares question Israel in any regard whatsoever, so the destruction of the Gazans goes ahead unremarked, and when Cast Lead saw children slaughtered without mercy, the politicians, including the childless Deputy Prime Minister, Gillard, rushed to Israel’s side. The situation where one tiny tribe so thoroughly controls political life through its money power, and the poor character of the politicians that they have bought, and this fact is simply denied, despite its omnipresence and undeniability, and the media suppress all investigation into this command and control, is truly despicable. While the Zionists keep people ignorant and brainwashed, the hatred for Islam and Moslems grows daily, deliberately fomented. The reality of global religious war,at the behest of Zionism, a daily reality in Iraq and Afghanistan and Gaza, looms as a wretched prospect for us all, while the architects of this global disaster grow more arrogant and presumptuous by the day.