Is a trap.
Under what circumstances do we want Israel and Palestine to sign a peace treaty? How can Mr. Bush say that it is terrorism what is stopping the peace process when it is precisely terrorists who are right now oppressing the Palestinian people? Today, there are 652 checkpoints in the occupied territories, embedded in a web of Israeli roads and settlements, making it virtually impossible to develop commerce. This generates fear, anguish, internal struggle, and above all, a burning desire for freedom that corrodes people. So let’s stop pretending that the Israelis are the good boys. As Desmon Tutu said in Democracy Now a few days ago, Israel’s God is always on the side of the ones who suffer. If not for your brothers, please stop this occupation in the name of your God!
And why are the people of Gaza so upset about the Israeli-Palestinian peace cheat-chat between Mr. Bush, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert? First off, Abbas was not even elected by the Palestinian people. They chose Hamas, so maybe we should include them in the “peace” talks? And what ever happened to the spread of democracy? Or is it not valid when the people vote for the “wrong” candidate like they did with Allende in Chile, or in Nicaragua or Congo? Second, a referee that has taken one of the parties’ side can’t be fair. The US is relentlessly in favor of Israel. A good referee is a neutral referee. As Tutu put it at the Annapolis summit:
The world needs the Jews, Jews who are faithful to their vocation that has meant so much for the world’s morality, for its sense of what is right and wrong, what is good and bad, what is just and unjust, what is oppressive and what sets people free. Jews are indispensable for a good compassionate, just and caring world.
And so are Palestinians.
And in Noam Chomsky’s words:
Bush no. 2 has gone to new extremes in rejectionism. He’s declared the illegal West Bank settlements must remain part of Israel. That’s in accord with the Clinton position, expressed by his negotiator Dennis Ross, who explained that what he called “Israel’s needs” take precedence over Palestinian wants. That’s Clinton. But the party line remains undisturbed. Facts don’t matter. Bush, Rice and the rest are yearning to realize Bush’s vision of a Palestinian state — somewhere, someplace — persisting in the noble endeavor of the longtime honest broker.
So let us be abide by the rule of decency and give the Palestinian what they deserve: a sovereign state. Let us not favor one or the other. I pay taxes and I choose not to give my money to Israel, unless the same amount is given to Palestine. Let us not accept a peace treaty that is unequal and gives Israel most of the resources.
The Palestinian Land was given to the Israelis as a compensation for their suffering, not by a Holy right. Now they need to respect the people to whom they took it from. Let us respect democracy and establish a link with Hamas. Let us invite them to the peace summits and hear their concerns, for they are the voice of the majority of the people.