UN Watch

RIP Israeli-Palestinian peace process

It was just at the end of spring that the unquiet American President was talking big about being the man who can seal the deal on Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Jul 24, 2017
It was just at the end of spring that the unquiet American President was talking big about being the man who can seal the deal on Israeli-Palestinian peace. Yet fast-forward three months and much has happened. And none of it welcome.
 
Today, there is no peace process. No co-operation security.
 
We stand with the Palestinian people in the face of the latest Israeli aggression. An aggression that sees the Middle East’s only ‘democracy’ continue violating international law with endeavours to exert sovereignty over the territory it occupies. Today, this has extended to the holy compound that houses al-Aqsa Mosque for the Muslims and the Wailing Wall for the Jews; Islam’s third holiest site and Judaism’s first, respectively. It is an aggression that this weekend saw Israeli security forces open firing on Palestinian protesters, killing three and injuring some 450. Video footage shows an armed security agent kicking a Palestinian man who was praying in the street.
 
And this brings us to the heart of the matter. Earlier this month, Israel introduced security measures that severely compromised Palestinian access to al-Aqsa Mosque. These included metal detectors and barring entry to men under the age of 50. Which explains why that particular gentleman was praying outside. Palestinian rights activists have decried these ‘protocols’ — pointing out that an occupying power has no legitimate grounds for denying freedom of worship. It is, they say, an attempt to expand illegitimate Israeli ‘control’ over the compound.
 
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has responded by suspending contact at all levels with the Jewish state. The UN has called for calm, while “deploring” the killing of Palestinians. Voices from the Muslim world have lambasted Israel’s “excessive use of force”. But what happens when the current bout of outrage dies down, as it inevitably will?
 
We have been here too many times before over the last 50 years to believe otherwise. The Palestinians are the only people without a state. How long do they have to wait until genuine moves are made to grant them this most fundamental of human rights; one that precludes all others within the multilateral system of international law? Independent statehood has to be the starting point of any Israeli-Palestinian peace process. This is something that the apprentice-president would have done well to consider before he reportedly let Abbas have it in Bethlehem, accusing the latter of having lied about his commitment to peace. Yes, really. We have to ask Donald Trump: how does he think the Palestinians feel at having the whole world lie to them for the last half-century? Meaning that the occupation of the Palestinian territories is living and breathing proof that the western notion of liberal democracy is nothing more than the ambition of empire dressed up in borrowed robes.
 
We think that the London Palestine Action group put it best when they posted a video — complete with revised lyrics — of British band Radiohead playing in Israel: “I’m playing apartheid while Palestine’s occupied . . . I wish I was ethical”.So do we, Thom Yorke. Believe us. 
 
Daily Times, July 24, 2017

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