Farmaajo: We Have No One Else to Blame
It is ironic, though, because for decades the US tried to reconcile the asymmetrical differences between the Israelis and the Palestinians so that the latter could finally get their belated statehood. Now the US is doing the opposite and urging other states to join its opposition to the planned vote on the floor of the UN for the Palestinian bid for the recognition of its statehood.
This position alone is one of the plausible answers to questions Americans have asked themselves since the day after 9/11 of why the US is disliked so much. The whole world sees the conditions Palestinians are living under. There are over 4,000 illegal settlements in the West bank alone. Israeli authorities have made sure that no two Arab villages or towns are connected to each other. Jewish settlements are built on all available high ground areas above Arab villages and towns. The borders of a prospective Palestinian state are already controlled militarily by Israel, which also refuses to share water from the Jordan valley with Palestinians.
The Israeli government has been adamant in refusing to return lands forcefully taken from the Palestinians. If Palestinian statehood is endorsed, Israel’s actions would be interpreted as transgressions against the sovereignty of a state, not just illegal acts in an occupied territory.
Statehood may not end the virtual captivity of the Palestinians. They must be politically and economically satisfied, while the Israelis must be psychologically cured of their security obsession so that the whole of the Middle East’s politics is cleansed of the hatred of Jews that overshadows every aspect of life.
It is easy to understand why Israel is unhappy and worried, but why should the US follow suit? Could “Jewish power” be that effective in the US? As if endorsing Palestinian statehood were somehow a criminal act, US ambassador to the UN, Susan E. Rice, warned countries preparing to vote for a Palestinian resolution that they have the “responsibility to own the consequences of their vote.”
Needless to say this empty threat will soon be accompanied by a US veto when the resolution comes before the Security Council next week. While the US will add one more reason to the list of “unconditional support to Israel” (the main source of the “ugly American image”), the Palestinians are expected to receive an overwhelming majority in the General Assembly, which began on Tuesday.
The American ambassador is talking about a “negotiated settlement,” but come to think of it, Israel has rejected all of the UN resolutions concerning an end to its belligerence and land occupation, not to mention violations of international humanitarian law.
An overwhelming majority of countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America have already declared the color of their vote in favor of Palestine and are likely to shape the outcome of voting.
This is why both the Israelis and the Palestinians have concentrated their efforts for lobbying in Europe. Indeed European countries do not have a common position.
The majority of the Scandinavian countries, Belgium, Portugal and Spain are likely to support Palestinian statehood. Turkey is eager. However, it is reported that most post-Soviet countries as well as the Netherlands, Germany and Italy have given enough hints that they will oppose the resolution. Then there are countries like crisis-ridden Greece, which might vote along with its financial savior Germany. Britain and France have said their votes will depend on the text of the resolution. The Palestinians have not yet submitted the text of their bid for statehood.
It remains unclear whether the Palestinians will seek full membership through the Security Council or ask the General Assembly to grant them “enhanced observer” status. The Vatican enjoys this status, which gives them the right to join UN committees. This solution may receive more positive votes in favor of a Palestinian statehood that has been deferred since 1947.
I read your article on Foreign Policy with keen eyes and interest. While whining from public officials does not deserve response from any sensible citizen of the Republic of Somalia, I felt compelled to counter false narrative with more objective analysis.