Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Two-Prong Approach Needed
By Stuart Littlewood
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, August 9, 2011
Statehood: Palestinians must show they mean business
Two-prong approach needed
Stuart Littlewood calls on the Palestinians to pursue a two-pronged
strategy: on the one hand bid for UN recognition of their statehood
because they must have “equal rank to Israelis within the international
community and a level playing field”, while developing and expanding
boycott, divestment and sanctions to neutralize the "enemy within" our
Western parliamentary structures and media.
thought-provoking piece Professor Lawrence Davidson’s latest article is,
whether you agree with every word or not.
Palestinian bid for UN statehood recognition”, it makes the point that
the Palestinians' move, which Tweedle-dum Obama and Tweedle-dee Netanyahu
(they never contradict each other, you’ll remember) are desperate to
discourage, merely replicates the process by which Israel itself gained
recognition as a state. The world will recall that America recognized the
Jews' declaration of an Israeli state with almost indecent haste – like
The bid also echoes the UN's original intention to
divide Palestine between Jews and Arabs. So, there’s no attempt by the
Palestinians to break new ground here. What they propose chimes nicely
with what went before. How can there possibly be a valid objection?
Recognition should be accorded Palestine just as easily as it was accorded
“...I believe Hamas has a vital role to play, if it
re-markets itself with a friendlier face.”
However, Prof. Davidson seems keen to airbrush Hamas out of the
proceedings, saying the resistance movement "refuses to recognize Israel
and would destroy the Zionist state if it could". He admits that refusing
recognition is mutual and Israel is busy trying to destroy Hamas. In the
end, however, Hamas cannot prevail, so is dismissed as a key player.
For my part I believe Hamas has a vital role to play, if it re-markets
itself with a friendlier face. The rest of the international community
should not imitate the hypocrisy of those loudmouthed preachers of
democracy like the US and Britain and ignore – even punish – the people’s
choice before it has a chance to make good. Besides, there is considerable
talent among Hamas’s senior ranks.
Hamas Foreign Minister Muhammad
Awad has been calling for a united government to be formed urgently, ahead
of the Palestinian bid in September, as agreed between the factions in
Cairo months ago. Attempts to form a unity government have so far come to
nought largely because Hamas rejects Fatah's insistence that Palestinian
Authority (PA) Prime Minister Salam Fayyad leads the new government.
Fayaad is a stranger to Palestinian elections and has no democratic
Nevertheless many outside Palestine want to see Fayaad
up there because he is liked in the West. For the purpose of the bid there
probably needs to be a team of three or four all singing the same tune,
Fayyad and Ismail Haniyeh included – Haniyeh because he is proven to be
gritty and steadfast for Palestinian freedom, and has survived the worst
that Israel and the conniving PA can do to dislodge him.
Davidson is not so keen on the bid. He argues that Israel has no intention
of allowing a meaningful two-state solution and "UN recognition of
Palestine as a pseudo state on the West Bank and Gaza Strip will solve
nothing and may well cause more problems for the Palestinians on the
ground". The alternative, he says, is boycott, divestment and sanctions
(BDS) within the context of increasing worldwide awareness of Israel’s
essential racist nature.
He pins great hopes on the
noting Ilan Pappe's remark that BDS, as part and parcel of a civil society
struggle in support of Palestinian rights, has been successful in key
European countries. He suggests there is a good chance that a worldwide
BDS movement, growing steadily for the next quarter century, could achieve
the de-Zionization of Israel.
“Dismissing the [Palestinians’] UN bid [for state
recognition] and relying instead on BDS [boycott,
divestment and sanctions], doesn't take into account the
further damage by Israel's continued poaching of
Palestinian territory while we wait 25 years for the BDS
magic to work.”
This is where I tend to part company with the good professor.
Dismissing the UN bid and relying instead on BDS, doesn't take into
account the further damage by Israel's continued poaching of Palestinian
territory while we wait 25 years for the BDS magic to work. During that
time the occupation will have a much too permanent flavour. Israel, of
course, does not want a viable Palestinian state next door. But the world
cares less and less about what Israel wants. The creation of even a pseudo
state, in the meantime, should provide Palestinians with sufficient status
to demand UN protection against further predation and encroachment.
And America gets weaker by the day. For how much longer will Zionist
Washington rule the UN roost?
There is a general expectation that
BDS will bring apartheid Israel to its knees in the same way it put paid
to apartheid South Africa. But what gives Israel its criminal licence is
the subjugation of our own politicians to Israel’s agenda. An essential
part of BDS strategy, therefore, must be to break that parliamentary
BDS has the makings of an international organization that
could eventually bring about the downfall of Israel's global life support
system. Civil disobedience and direct action are the way to go, because
you cannot rely on lobbying elected representatives – most are corrupted
by Zionist influence. They are the real enemy, and they are fouling our
democratic way of life. As
Howard Zinn said (1970),
Civil disobedience, that
is not our problem... Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is
the numbers of people all over the world who have obeyed the dictates
of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions
have been killed because of this obedience. And our problem is that
scene in “All Quiet on the Western Front” where the schoolboys march
off dutifully in a line to war. Our problem is that people are
obedient all over the world, in the face of poverty and starvation and
stupidity, and war and cruelty. Our problem is that people are
obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while
the grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem...
Palestinians and their allies around the world need to show they mean
business. It seems to me the situation calls for a two-prong attack. The
bid for statehood is essential if only to put down a marker and change the
dynamic. Doing nothing means being forced back to the “negotiating” table
and we know what that means. There must be no negotiations until
Palestinians have equal rank to Israelis within the international
community and a level playing field. Continuing to push for negotiations
before then is utterly immoral.
The second prong is to develop and
expand BDS to neutralize the “enemy within” our Western parliamentary
structures and media.
If Palestinian leaders mess up in September I
suspect they'll lose a lot of friends. By messing up I mean going about it
in a half-baked, disunited way. They've got one month left to straighten