Saturday, October 20, 2012

What "Peace Process?"

Once again the Palestinians are approaching the United Nations for recognition for some sort of statehood, if only non-member statehood. And as always the Uni ted States opposes any recognition by the U.N. and threatens to veto it once again, arguing, I gather, that it will interfere with the peace process. I wonder what peace process they have in mind, perhaps the one that has gone on endlessly for years and years and accomplishes absolutely nothing. It is no secret that the Israeli government wants to maintain the status quo for as long as possible. Any meaningful peace settlement would mean Israel would have to give up some of the land and water it has stolen from the Palestinians. The Israeli theft of Palestinian land has already made it impossible for the Palestinians to have a geographically contiguous state as Israel has illegally settled portions of the West Bank in such a way as to fragment what lands the Palestinians would still claim as their state. And of course the Palestinian dream of statehood with their capitol in Jerusalem can never be realized as long as Israel vows to never cede their control of that ancient city.

The so-called peace process that has been talked about for years now is nothing more than a farce. Many have claimed for years that only the United States could bring peace to Israel and the Palestinians, but that is little more than a bad joke as the U.S. is not an objective third party. The U.S. has supported Israel unconditionally for years, providing them with massive financial assistance, weaponry, and vetoes whenever necessary. Any claim the U.S. might have had for objective third party status evaporated long ago. And we stand by as Israel has herded more than a million Palestinians into the tiny Gaza strip where they control their food supply as well as everything else. The latest outrage, or at least it should be an outrage, is the discovery that the Israeli military even went so far as to calculate just how many calories the residents of Gaza should be permitted.

I frankly do not understand who gave the Israelis the authority to control the lives of the Palestinians in the first place. They have consistently violated every U.N. mandate, broken international law repeatedly, are engaged in what one can arguably describe as a kind of ethnic cleansing, as it is no secret they murder Palestinian leaders and others at will and would love to drive the Palestinians into Egypt or elsewhere. They allow their settlers to attack Palestinians, steal their homes, destroy their orchards and gardens, and no one seems to intervene. The problem is there is no higher authority that can force them to desist from their illegal conquest. The U.N. can condemn them, as it has often done, but they pay no attention, safe in the knowledge that the U.S. will remain complicit in their ongoing atrocities. The slavish and shameless support of the U.S. in what is happening to the Palestinians is a national disgrace. There is no peace process worthy of that name and will never be one as long as the U.S. is controlled by Israel.

We here in the U.S. suffer from our own lack of a higher authority that could demand attention and solutions to some of our problems. For example, there is little doubt the both George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are guilty of war crimes, they have even admitted it, but nothing has been done about it, and apparently never will. Supposedly our Constitution demands that our current President and Department of Justice are required to take action, but they don’t, and it seems nothing can be done to force them to act. Similarly, there is no doubt that some actions of the Republican Party are blatantly illegal, like trying to suppress the votes of certain segments of the population, and quite likely their refusal to participate in governing is, or at least ought to be, illegal. But there seems little can be done about it as if they were prosecuted for any such offenses there would probably be at least chaos if not a civil war. There is no outside higher authority to make us behave, we are supposed to govern ourselves, but if we do not, nothing can be done about it except to wait for the next election by which time the damage will have already been done. When those who in principle have the authority to rule refuse to exercise it we do, indeed, “reap what we sow.”

You can delegate authority, but not responsibility.

Stephen W. Comiskey

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