Mazin Qumsiyeh: Israel Isolated
The developments in the last few days have been interesting to say the least. Israeli papers are finally publishing stories showing that Israel assassination of the Hamas leader Jabari that began the latest attack was intentional and political. Jabari was actually considering a draft ceasefre agreement reached between a Hamas representative and an Israeli with the knowledge of Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak and the Israeli hierarchy. Perhaps that is why Barak announced quitting of political life knowing that this will come back to haunt him in the upcoming elections! But Netanyahu and Lieberman are doggedly counting on the settler vote to win and had the plans ready ahead of time. The vast majority of countries voted for accepting Palestine into the UN system as a non-member STATE (based on the 1967 borders but also with reference to UNGA resolutions 181 and 194). Only Canada, the Czech Republic & a few tiny islands dependent on US aid voted NO with Israel & US. Four days later, the United Nations voted to inspect Israel’s nuclear facilities (which had manufactured hundreds of nuclear weapons destabilizing the region). The vote also calls on Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty without further delay. The vote again passed with vast majority: 174 countries votes for the inspection, six voted against, and six abstained. The countries that voted against the resolution were Israel, the United States, Canada, Palau, Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands. Shameful succumbing to Israel lobby by those very few counries (against their own people's interests). But clearly Apartheid Israel is isolated and we must increase the pressure to isolate it further to achieve peace with justice.
The Israeli government arrogantly decided to continue violating International law: a) it rejected all relevant UN resolutions, b) it withheld Palestinian tax money (called stealing), c) it approved building even more colonial settlements on Palestinian lands (also called stealing), and c) it bribed and blackmailed politicians around the world (Israeli intelligence is good at getting dirt on politicians or even entrapping them) to avoid any concrete measures of punishment. While all governments objected verbally (even the USA!), most failed to take any concrete measures against apartheid Israel for engaging in crimes against humanity. In fact, some European countries and the US are applying pressure on Mahmoud Abbas (whose term expired two years ago) not to take actions in International fora to hold Israel accountable.
The Palestinian Authority is now on shaky ground and not only politically (because of the division) but economically and over 150,000 civil servants will likely not get paid this month. All this emphasized to us Palestinians that liberation must come before governance. We must depend on ourselves (with some help from civil societies around the world and few governments) and there are certain things that must be done NOW: Fatah and Hamas and other Palestinian factions must implement their reconciliation agreements and the PLO must be reconsitituted on democratic ground to represent all 12 million of us and to deal with the grave challenges ahead. History will not forgive leaders who can make and implement agreements with their colonizers (including Oslo and ceasefires) but cannot implement agreements with their fellow countrymen. It is then possible engage in large scale popular resistance that gets most of the Palestinians to Participate and on solid footing and to take Israel to the International Court of Justice for breach of conventions like the Geneva Conventions, the Hague Conventions, and most importantly The International Convention for the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (see http://untreaty.un.org/cod/avl/ha/cspca/cspca.html ). Most Palestinians see that salvation will not come from outside and that unless we Palestinians are serious about challenging Israel, we will remain under perpetual occupation. There is a role for the international society and millions are now activists in the campaigns of boycotts, divestment and sanctions as we did it with Apartheid South Africa. Just last week, Stevie Wonder canceled his participation in concert that would have benefited the Israeli occupation forces (IOF).
Successes are mounting every week. I am back in Palestine tired but inspired by the energy especially of the youth in India whose conference was dramatically successful despite the odds. Tears rolled up in our eyes as we witnessed Muslims, Hindu, Christians, Atheists, and others of India working hand in hand against racism in their own society (like Brahmanism/cast system discrimination) and racism in Palestine (Zionism). We all recalled the words of Mahatma Gandhi and other Indian leaders in opposition to Zionism and colonialism. Most were youth who are taking charge of their own future. The alliance of Indian right-wing racism with Israeli and other racist/fascist movements now provides a joint target for popular movements around the world. The internet provides a tool of organizing for the energetic youth who attended the conference in India (see http://ipsf.org.in/ ). On the other side of the world, thousands gathered and took important decision on the issue of Palestine at the World Social Forum in Brazil (see http://wsfpalestine.net/)
It still rings in my ears: India Zindabad!! Palestine Zindabad!!
Israel and Palestine, an animated introduction from Jewish Voice for Peace
Report from the PLO on the ongoing settlement activities
Report from B'Tselem on "The E1 plan and its implications for human rights in the West Bank"
When It Comes to Gaza, Don’t Let Obama Speak for Black Americans: ‘Like an olive tree planted by the water, we shall not be moved’ by Jesse Hagopian
If Not Two States, Then One
Source: Mazin Qumsiyeh