Thursday, December 6, 2007

Why Abbas Does Not Represent Palestine

They call him a "Palestinian Leader" or the President of the "Palestinian Authority" or even of "Fatah", but Mahmoud Abbas does not represent Palestine or the Palestinian people. He represents what Israel wants.

He represents the view that Israel is the be-all and end-all of the place once called Palestine, and represents recognition of the Superpower behind the throne. He represents the view that capitulation to demands of a power will bring rewards.

Maybe he represents himself and his own power, which will certainly increase if he agrees to Israeli demands. He may see himself as bringing peace by submission to Israel, as a compromiser who will finally end years of conflagration by waving a white flag. He may believe the very superficial promises given to him by Israeli officials and the highly trustworthy George W. Bush, whose integrity, like that of Olmert, have the sort of impeccable reputation that could only be worthy of a great stone wall inscribed with the words "the end justifies the means" and "what serves our immediate purpose overrides all other considerations."

George W. and Olmert have one common vision: the eradication of the Palestinian problem by the elimination of as many Palestinians as possible without anyone realizing it or causing any international outcry.

In other words, stealth slaughter.

It starts with bulldozers, settlements, checkpoints, walls and barbed wire. It continues with a public relations campaign and propaganda completely denigrating and humiliating the Palestinian people in the most insidious ways, in order to form public opinion about them that they are mostly terrorists, lowlifes, and not worthy of our time or consideration.

They appeal to fear, from xenophobia to the strongest fear - fear of terror, fear of fear itself. They use a few scapegoats to massacre the reputation of a nation. They will never hesitate to use collective punishment, and they never cry a tear over a single child, infant or mother, let alone fathers, sons, adults...

They never show Palestinian families, but always "terrorists", suicide bombers. As if the pain of having one's home bulldozed and one's family killed over mere suspicion is nothing. But any Israeli pain is everything. Palestinians' families don't count. Israelis' families are worth dying for, worth billions of tax dollars, worth endless eulogies. The Palestinians are poor, and poverty always makes for bad P.R. The Israelis are rich and can afford the best P.R. money can buy.

And so when Abbas agrees that Israel is a "Jewish Homeland", he opens the doors to genocide of all non-Jews - read "Arabs", Palestinians - now living in Israel. They will be immediately deported, their lands taken over, and to hell with them. Why worry about sub-humans? The Jews are everything. The Palestinians can have their homeland.

Ah, that Israeli rhetoric. They will say anything to look good. They say the Palestinians need a homeland. And they will give it to them. A "homeland" under Israeli control. A "homeland" without nation status. They will be under restrictions from Israel. They cannot elect their own leaders or determine their own destiny. They will be under a new form of occupation called "Supervised Nationhood." They can have a flag, a president, a police force, some officials. But they cannot be free. Because Israel's "security" means Eternal Occupation, Eternal Control.

Like a control person on steroids, Israel can neither relinquish control nor take responsibility for its own massacres, cruelty, crimes, injustices, torture, imprisonment without recourse to justice, and other forms of outright oppression of the Palestinians. They do the unconscionable in the name of "conscience."

Being Jewish should never mean that. It shouldn't mean merely a DNA ticket to impunity. It should have the more profound meaning that many thinking Jews have espoused over the years. But instead it merely means the right to oppress, to deny others their meagerest of human rights in the name of security for what for all intents and purposes amounts to a Master Race. The idea of a Jewish State is no different than the idea of an Aryan Nation. Both are based on race, and both are responses to suffering and loss. The idea is so imbalanced that it can never succeed.

Abbas ignores all this and goes all the way with Olmert in giving him a free ticket to oppression. It is not even good for Israel, because the position is in the long run untenable. But Abbas takes the path of expediency, the easier road, the road of capitulation.

The Palestinians are at a crossroads. Now their very right to exist has been essentially signed away by one man. That is, if Abbas represents the Palestinian people. But he does not. He was neither elected nor is his authority recognized by a majority of Palestinians. So under what authority does he sign this so-called "peace accord"? The authority of Israel? The United States? Do they now represent Palestine?

Hamas separated from Fatah because Fatah was both corrupt and representing the tendency to give in under enormous pressure. Fatah, under Abbas' leadership, represents Israel, not the Palestinians. Israel represents its own interests. Someone must be strong to represent the Palestinians, who have little power and even less money, but they do have powerful motivation and spiritual drive. But Hamas has been declared a terrorist organization! Hamas, the party elected to power by an election supervised by an "objective third party", under the leadership of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter - is now a non-entity.

Palestinians elect a leadership, later to be kidnapped by Israel under the usual auspices: "security", that catch-all reason for all injustices and atrocities. Then that leadership is declared by the United States Superpower to be a "terrorist organization". Making it an infraction and "evil" act to support Hamas with money or other means. So who is supposed to represent the Palestinian people? The "approved" Mahmoud Abbas who now signed away all rights for Palestinians to ever achieve any semblance of justice or independence or nationhood?

There are many who declare Israel a terrorist nation. But "terrorism" is a label never given to the strong - but always to the weaker. If a tyrant strikes, it's a government action. If a freedom fighter rebels in defense of his family or his people, he's a "terrorist". Both are collective punishment. Both strike innocent civilians. Both are technically despicable. But one does it to maintain power, the other to defend the innocent, right wrongs, and to survive. Until the strong listen to the motives of the weak, they can never end the war on terrorism. They should really fight a war on oppression. But how can an oppressor fight oppression?

Maybe Hamas is trying to tell us something. They did try to fight oppression, at least. If we recognized them, too, maybe a leader among them would stand as a strong representative of the Palestinian people and hence, a true peace accord would be reached. But these forced false papers represent nothing, bring nothing but pain and oppression to Palestinians, and are only documents of domination. In terms of true peace, the peace accords are unconscionable and worthless.

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