24 May 2011

The BiBi No Speech

Now that was one speech I shall never forget.

I plan to store it in my memory in the same box as this season's Arab leaders' speeches, except that it was not a dictator's pre-overthrow speech, it was rather a keep-the-peace-process-dead speech !

I am not sure what Netanyahu's "painful compromises" for peace are. But his address was not "painful" at all to him. It might have been painful to anyone naive enough to hope some progress could be made in the so-called peace process with Mr. Netanyahu at the helm of the Israeli cabinet.

No to a shared Jerusalem
No to the return of Palestinian refugees
No to pre-1967 borders for a future Palestinian State
No to Palestinian reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah
No to any military in a future Palestinian State
No to Palestinians recognising anything less than a Jewish State of Israel 
No to the end of occupation (because Mr. Netanyahu says it does not exist)

No No No No

Did I miss any other No in his speech?

It is not "painful" to say so many No's in a speech described by media as carrying conditions for a "peace settlement" whereby Israel would be "generous" with the size of a future Palestinian State.

Right !

Each one of those No's is a bullet fired at the already very dead peace process. Recent attempts to get the body resuscitated seem to just end in vain. Twenty years wasted in negotiations that only lead to a worse situation for the Palestinians.

I wonder why Mr. Netanyahu did not simply say: 
No to a Palestinian State
No to the Palestinian people

He was very vocal in telling Mahmoud Abbas what to do : tear up the pact with Hamas and come back to the negotiating table.

Mr. Netanyahu, and he is not the only one in Israel, seems to think that Hamas is some alien entity that can simply be excluded from the Palestinian canvas. Regardless of what one thinks of Hamas, it is a reality, it is part of the Palestinian political arena and it was elected by the people of Palestine, at least the ones inside Gaza and the West Bank. Therefore Hamas represents many Palestinians whom Mr. Netanyahu seems to think he can just simply cut out of the picture. 

An Israeli on Twitter keeps telling me that Israelis would be delighted to make peace with someone like me, as opposed to Hamas or other Palestinian factions. But the "other" Palestinians are just as Palestinian as I am, like them or dislike them. And if I were ever to find myself working on peace, I would make sure they are all represented.

If Israeli leaders one day really want peace, they should not think they can choose what Palestinians they like and what Palestinians they dislike, what Palestinians they wish to make peace with and what Palestinians they wish to leave out of peace.

Palestinians are left with no choice but to go for their unilateral bid to get a UN recognition for a Palestinian State in September. They can obtain it at the General Assembly even if the US stalls it, which Barak Obama has already warned he would do. It would give the Palestinians access to the International Criminal Court for example to try and put some Israeli war criminals on trial. It would also mark the 1967 borders as internationally recognised borders.

But I am not sure where all of that leads if the de-facto situation on the ground is occupation, more settlements, new discriminatory laws inside Israel, intolerant rhetoric, continuing siege of Gaza, checkpoints, thousands of Palestinian prisoners, control over everything within the Palestinian "zero" Authority territories, Apartheid wall, etc.  All backed by the most powerful nation on earth: the United States of America, whose congressmen, congresswomen and senators clapped and cheered through more than 20 standing ovations during Mr. Netanyahu's speech.

In his own Knesset (Israeli parliament), Mr. Netanyahu would not get any such cheering and support. Nor would Mr. Obama with his country's own Congress and Senate.

Mr. Netanyahu might have impressed American legislators with his eloquent American English, his charm playing US politics and his intense love for America. But he surely did not impress any Arab or Palestinian.. or even others in the rest of the world.

He came across as one more leader who is behind, unable to understand and/or accept that the Arab Spring has changed everything. His conditions for his version of peace sounded out-dated for the new era of Arab Awakening, where his usual collaborators in the region are not in control of their people any more.  The people are now capable of anything. The Geo-politics are changing as regimes change.  The gap between what Arabs want and the decisions their leaders make is what helped Israel maintain the status quo of occupation and aggression all these decades. When that gap is gone, the people will want one thing : a free Palestine including at least part of Jerusalem, and not an "undivided Jerusalem", "forever capital of Israel", as Mr. Netanyahu wishes. He claimed Israel is the best party to guarantee religious freedom. Alas Israel has a very bad record when it comes to allowing people to pray in one of the world's most sacred places.

Netanyahu also doesn't seem to realize that although his allies still control the U.S. Congress, public opinion in the United States -- including Jewish public opinion -- on the Middle East has shifted significantly in the last few years, and his views are considered extremist by more people in the world than he thinks.

To many in the Arab World, the fawning applause and obsequious cheering in the U.S. Congress was very similar to a typical Arab parliament's behaviour in the presence of their dictator. Whatever he says, they just clap, smile and agree. Many would even go as far as comparing it to Bashar Al Assad's latest address to parliament when Syrian MP's would even recite poetry to Assad to express their love and allegiance.

Just like an Arab dictator, Mr. Netanyahu does not seem to get it. What he now suddenly praises as the "promise of a new dawn" when referring to Arab revolutions -- which he at first dismissed by warning of Islamist take-overs -- that "new dawn" is bound to reach Palestinians too. It is now only a matter of time before Arabs have a real say in their regional politics, not through U.S. client states. Only when that happens can real negotiations take place and real peace be reached. 

Two States, one State, all will be possible. 

Until then, Mr. Netanyahu can continue playing the peace clown for his American audience.


Anonymous said...

#Netanyahu said on camera "America is Easy to Push Around" http://youtu.be/z6KLFrye9Xk

CaribeDeMar said...

For #Netanyahu, the ideal Palestine State must be a Bantustanate, like the worst guetto in the Apartheid Regime of White Afrikaaner Man...

challenging_sam said...

lady dima ... I'd like as I promised to comment on your two posts , and the other one about leadership-free revolutions in the arab spring.

Let me start by saying that extremists are always stupid and blind by the overwhelming facts that lay in front of their eyes but they're just too arrogant to admit that their perspective of what they believe is simply wrong and start adapting to the new facts and develop a new perspective and new perception of what the hell is going on.

Fortunately their denial accelerates change ... and add what could have been impossible peaks to that change ... so it may become more radical ... fair and just to all ... even the israelis themselves.

So I wasn't provoked at all by the Netanyahu's speech as an arab, muslim , egyptian who happened to be an islamicist at the same time.
To the contrary ... it speaks loudly about the perdicament the israeli leadership is in now ... that's why he ran off like a rat to his fellow mate lion's lair seeking refuge and support ... coz he knows or perhaps feels that this is his last resort.

But what if it falls.
What if the arab spring not only manages to change the region but also the world including YES the US Congress.

Among the signs raised by spanish in their own protests against their own government we saw clearly a sign stating ... "From Tahrir towards the sun"

"من التحرير و حتى الشمس"

I told before ... This is not a storm ... This is Noah's Flood which will save mankind. and those who defy this fact no matter they seem safe now , they well be overwhelmed soon by the waves of change domestically before universally.

The spirit that brings people out against such cruel , inhumane , and vicious regime as the syrian regime and its army forces because of what they believe in as just and right will ultimately reach israel and the occupied territories.

You worry so much Dima... You really shouldn't.

which brings me to your other post the leadership-free-revolutions ...

Who said there's no leader?

I know you're secular of sorts ... but even you can't deny that there's some sort of higher power directing this thing and moving its waves from one place to the next ... some call him Allah ... Some would like to call him the holy ghost ... others like you should call it the collective human will. is it so difficult to believe that we have inside a portion of a whole ... which once brought out together forms this beautiful and so powerful being ... one being. that doesn't even need to speak to direct us or make us understand or know what we should do ... it can only telepathe with us.

It's the power of freedom. and collective consciousness ...
I have a religious explanation for it while you don't need to have one ... but at the same time you can't deny what you see ...

No, there's a leader ...
just , fair and caring ... who knows what he's doing.

So Stop worrying ...

at last I will remind you of some verses from the qur'an that says something similar in similar situations where political rightful demands mixed with religious concepts ...

إذ أوحينا إلى أمك ما يوحى(38)أن اقذفيه في التابوت فاقذفيه في اليم فليلقه اليم بالساحل يأخذه عدو لي وعدو له وألقيت عليك محبة مني ولتصنع على عيني(39)إذ تمشي أختك فتقول هل أدلكم على من يكفله فرجعنك إلى أمك كي تقر عينها ولا تحزن وقتلت نفسا فنجينك من الغم وفتنك فتونا فلبثت سنين في أهل مدين ثم جئت على قدر يموسى(40)واصطنعتك لنفسي(41)اذهب أنت وأخوك بأيتي ولا تنيا في ذكري(42)اذهبا إلى فرعون إنه طغى(43) فقولا له قولا لينا لعله يتذكر أو يخشى(44

طه(38 - 44) ... و كذلك الثورة الله يصنعها و يصطنعها لنفسه أو هكذا أظن و الله أعلم

و الأخرى من سورة الطور (48-49) وفيها ينصحنا الله بالصبر

واصبر لحكم ربك فإنك بأعيننا وسبح بحمد ربك حين تقوم*ومن الليل فسبحه وإدبار النجوم

فلنصبر ديما ... هذه ثورات أيضا بأعين الله و لن يخذلنا ربنا

قلا تقلقي

وعذرا للإطالة

Anonymous said...

Isreal?=10 more years